In an effort to increase the economic impact visitors to Hanging Rock State Park have in the county, county and King leaders are petitioning the North Carolina Department of Transportation to change how it directs motorists to the park.
Stokes County Interim Economic Director David Sudderth is leading the effort to have directional signs to the park on U.S. 52 moved from Exit 122 to Exit 123 in an effort to reroute park traffic though the main business corridor in King.
The new route would take traffic down South Main Street through the downtown area before turning right on East King Street. Traffic would then turn left on Mountain View Road and return to the existing route to the park.
On Monday, the King City Council agreed to cosign a letter to the DOT requesting the change.
In the letter, cosigners, including the county, King, King Chamber of Commerce, and Hanging Rock State Park, argue the new route would not only help the city and county economy, but also provide more options for park visitors to access needed services.
It notes that the new route includes several food service choices and will also take travelers past the planned Walmart in King.
“It is essential that we be able to route the traveling public through the heart of our leading economic epicenter in the county,” reads the letter.
Once the letter is signed by all interested parties and sent to the state, the DOT will have to give final approval on the proposal before the route is changed.
Nicholas Elmes may be reached at 336-591-8191 or on Twitter @NicholasElmes.