Streets of Speed: University City to get long-awaited crosswalk

Streets of Speed: University City to get long-awaited crosswalk

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by BEN THOMPSON / NBC Charlotte

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WCNC.com

Posted on February 5, 2013 at 6:42 PM

Updated Thursday, Oct 31 at 8:09 PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Neighbors who live near JW Clay Boulevard in University City will be getting a long-awaited crosswalk in the next year, NBC Charlotte has learned from the Charlotte Department of Transportation.

“That is what we were trying to get done in 2009. Glad to hear it will be done in the next year,” said Karen Tannenbaum, who lives in the Welwyn neighborhood.

As part of its ongoing “Streets of Speed” investigation, NBC Charlotte monitored traffic along JW Clay Boulevard recently, after Tannenbaum contacted the station.   A news crew observed traffic going 15 miles above the posted speed limit, but Tannenbaum said it's often worse.

“The speed limit is 35 miles per hour, but cars use the road as a cut-through and sometimes go as fast as 60 miles per hour,” she said.

JW Clay connects Harris Boulevard and North Tryon Street, two of Charlotte’s busiest roads.  The short stretch of road is home to several neighborhood developments on the eastern side of road, and shopping developments, a walking trail and a lake on the western side of the street. 

There’s currently no crosswalk despite what appears to be constant pedestrian traffic flow between the two sides.

“All the shops that are nearby--the lake--It’s really nice to walk around the lake,” said neighbor Laura Steele, who has lived here for 17 years.

CDOT says a pedestrian beacon will be installed with a marked sidewalk on JW Clay Boulevard, about 650 feet north of Olmstead Drive, in conjunction with a greenway trail that’s being built.  A beacon allows pedestrians to change a traffic signal above and cross the crosswalk when necessary.  CDOT estimates a year to design and construct the beacon and crosswalk.

“Something just to slow the cars down.  Let them know that someone’s crossing,” said Tannenbaum.

If there’s a road you think is a frequent speeder spot, e-mail NBC Charlotte at streetsofspeed@wcnc.com.

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