Focus on Roads in Apex Town Council
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On May 17, 2017, 36 year old Matthew Brandon was driving on Apex Barbecue Road, when he suddenly crashed into a bridge, and his car flipped upside down into Beaver Creek. The car was pulled from the creek just over two hours after the initial crash, and Matthew was rushed to the hospital where he would later die (Carolina, CBS North). This accident helped bring the issue of several roads in Apex that are unsafe for drivers. We fear that with the continual rapid population growth in Apex, that more fatal accidents like Matthews could possibly occur. We believe that Apex needs to renovate its roads to prevent further fatal crashes and accidents, and to accommodate for the rapidly growing population.
In Apex, NC there has been a large increase of growth over the past couple of years. According to FactFinders.census.gov, in 2007 we had about 31,656 thousand people. As of 2016, we had about 47,349 thousand. That's an increase of 15,693 thousand people. With an influx of that many people, we need to have updated roads and infrastructure to keep people safe. In 2016, Apex attributed for more than 2.03% of crashes in North Carolina. That doesn’t seem like much, but Apex only accounts for 0.44% of North Carolina’s population (Advameg Inc and connect.ncdot.gov). So all in all, 2.03% is a much larger statistic than it should be, especially as we are not a highly urban area, such as Raleigh. In the frame period of 2000-2013, City-data.com states that there has been an increase from one fatal crash every two years to two fatal crashes per year.
There is a bridge that is about 60 years old on Apex Barbecue Road that needs reconstruction. According to CBS, there are plans to fix this bridge, but not until May of 2018. The original plan was to replace the bridge in 2019, but Matthew Brandon's death has expedited the repairs schedule. There has been a history of crashes on this bridge, so the bridge should have already been worked on. The fact that the plans to fix this bridge were not considered urgent until someone died shows that the priorities of our town’s resources needs to be reconsidered. Even with the death of a driver on this bridge, the bridge work is still delayed for a year, with a temporary fix of guard rails on the bridge to patch up the issue until 2018. The death on this bridge should have brought change along much sooner. Apex is behind on making it’s roads safe for the growing number of people who are moving to Apex. According to ncdot.gov, the ten year average of fatal crashes in Wake County is 69. We must do our part to help make a change in our town. The safety of our roads needs to be a priority so that there is a lesser chance of fatalities.
In conclusion, we aim to prove to town council that Apex roads need roadwork, and that Apex residents care about the roads, to the end of getting Apex roads fixed and safe for Apex residents. After taking closer look at certain incidents, such as the death of Matthew Brandon, we can see more specifically the issues present in our current roadwork plans. In that case, it took the death of a resident to begin roadwork on a bridge that had stood there for 60 years. The nearby residents recognized that the bridge was too narrow, and among students it will occasionally be casually mentioned in conversation as “too thin,” or “annoying.” We have taken a look at the statistics of crashes in Apex, and it has become clear that our ratio of crashes to population is too high. Town council isn’t moving towards fixing roads on its own, so our team will present this problem in what we see to be the most effective way possible; the word of the voters. Assuming our petition gains enough support, we will be able to present our data to town council, who will hopefully begin to rearrange our roadwork schedules to fix the more significant problems at hand as Apex continues to rapidly grow in the future.
Advameg Inc. “Fatal car crashes and road traffic accidents in Apex, North Carolina.” Fatal car crashes and road traffic accidents in Apex, North Carolina, City-Data, www.city-data.com/accidents/acc-Apex-North-Carolina.html
https://connect.ncdot.gov/business/DMV/DMV%20Documents/2016%20Crash%20Facts.pdf “DMV, et al. “Illustrated Analysis of NC Traffic Crash Statistics.” North Carolina, 16 Aug. 2017.”
Data Access and Dissemination Systems (DADS). “Your Geography Selections.” American FactFinder - Results, US Census Bureau, 5 Oct. 2010, factfinder.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?src=bkmk .
Carolina, CBS North. “Raleigh man dies after car crashes into bridge, flips into Apex creek.” WNCN, 18 May 2017, wncn.com/2017/05/17/car-plunges-into-water-off-apex-barbecue-road-rescue-underway/.
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