Some island residents would argue that the first sign of summer is not the first wave of vehicles along NC Highway 12, the opening of businesses and the local piers, or even the initial appearance of our beloved seasonal mosquitos – instead, it’s that subtle change along the highway when the speed limits go down.
Reports have trickled in that this change has indeed occurred, by cautious and conscientious drivers who noticed on Monday morning that those white signs along the highway now say 35 mph instead of the wintertime 45 mph.
The speed limit is reduced by an average of 10 mph within the town borders of Avon, the tri-villages, and areas of Buxton / Frisco in the summer months, when the area traffic along the island is noticeably higher. In the winter months, when motorists can sometimes share the road with just a couple other cars and a deer or two, (if that), the speed limit is higher to cater to the few local motorists on the road.
The speed limit typically remains at the 35 mph level until the fall, when the summer swell of visitors dissipate, and the seasonal population goes down.
Like daylight savings time, it often takes locals a few days to get used to the change, so be sure and set your cruise control, and try and keep your foot off the gas.
Apparently, summer has officially arrived.