CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A new program in Dilworth is aiming to set the pace for traffic moving through the neighborhood.
The Dilworth Community Association (DCA) is starting a Pace Car Program this month, with a goal to get people to obey traffic laws as neighbors lead the way.
Franklin Keathley, president of the DCA, said Dilworth has a lot of cut-through traffic as people try to get to Uptown, South End, or other surrounding neighborhoods.
"A lot of times we have people driving, you know, 35, 45 miles an hour on 25 miles an hour streets because they just don't know it's a neighborhood,” Keathley said.
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The idea for the Pace Car Program came to Keathley one day as he was driving through the neighborhood.
"Someone got on my bumper and, you know, as I kind of slowed down to slow them down a little bit, I realized there was a line of cars forming behind me,” Keathley said. “And after that, I realized that I was kind of acting like a pace car."
Keathley set the wheels in motion, so to speak, for the program to launch, with people who live in the neighborhood leading by example.
"I knew that I couldn't very well expect other people to follow the rules of the road in my neighborhood unless I was doing so first,” Keathley said.
Neighbors will display a logo for the pace car program as a magnet or bumper sticker on their car and will be asked to take a pledge.
The pledge states that neighbors will commit to driving the speed limit on city streets, especially in Dilworth and other neighborhoods. They will stop at all stop signs and red lights. They will stop to let pedestrians cross the street. They will be courteous and share the road with bicyclists. They will walk or bike instead of driving when possible.
"We want them [others] to see us driving the speed limit, following traffic laws, yielding to pedestrians, and we want them to follow suit,” Keathley said.
It’s a program that Keathley said he believes could work in other neighborhoods in Charlotte, showing that neighborhoods can be a safe place for both people and cars.
Dilworth neighbors can sign up to take the pace car pledge here.
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