CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The city of Charlotte unveiled a plan Tuesday night to reduce speeding along Scaleybark Road.
Once a neighborhood road, the thoroughfare is now a popular shortcut between Woodlawn Road & South Boulevard for commuters. The city estimates 10,000 cars travel it every day. It's also used by pedestrians walking to the Scaleybark LYNX Light Rail station, and it's popular for walkers and bicyclists who live in the neighborhood.
Asked what life was like living around Scaleybark, one woman called it, "a speedway."
Neighbors packed into the Collinswood Language Academy to look at what the Charlotte Transportation Department is going to do to slow speeders down.
The plan is called traffic calming.
The city said traditional traffic calming techniques, such as the installation of speed humps, stop signs or traffic circles weren't an option, since Scaleybark is considered a thoroughfare with a speed limit of 35 mph. Instead, designers focused the proposal on a center median, curb extensions, on-street parking, sidewalks, crosswalks and bicycle lanes.
"Some crosswalks would be good, because there’s lots of pedestrian traffic," said Karen Elsken, bicyclist.
Lanes will be narrowed between Woodlawn Road and South Boulevard, and there will be additional median built along with bicycle lanes.
The plan was presented by Ashton Watson, a CDOT Traffic Engineer, who explained why it was not possible to put in speed bumps at a few more stop signs.
"The volume of traffic and the types of vehicles such as emergency response vehicles...We just can't deter them that much by introducing those types of features," Watson said.
Most of those who came by to look at the city's presentation said they were pleased something was being done after years of complaints.
"We're hoping it will slow it down and make the neighborhood nicer, more enjoyable, and safer," said Mike Farrell who lives just off of Scaleybark.
Ashton says the $1.6 million project would break ground in the fall of 2014, finishing up in the spring of 2015.