Charlotte roundabout construction causing traffic, risky detours

Police warn of the dangers and ask that drivers take the recommended detours.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Charlotte is growing and with that, comes growing pains in the form of traffic.

A roundabout is being built at the intersection of Highway 51 and Idlewild road on the border of Matthews and Mint Hill.

But construction has created chaos for pedestrians who frequent a busy shopping area that has Food Lion, Walgreen's, CVS Pharmacy, among other stores.

Detours are set up about a half-mile away from the intersection, but people are ignoring those and using parking lots to pass through. The Matthews Police Department has received complaints from people who claim they've nearly been struck.

"We're just asking people, please go by the recommended detour that the DOT has set up," said Tim Aycock, the community resource and public information officer with the Matthews PD.

Aycock says while there is no speeding limit in a parking lot, he says you can still be charged with a crime.

"Violations that you can charge cutting through parking lots: careless and reckless [driving], exceeding safe speeds, things like that," said Aycock.

In the current case of temporary traffic to solve a pre-existing problem, every rose has it's thorn. But Karen Lanham says some of her friends aren't sold on the idea.

"A lot of people have already determined that the roundabout is not going to be good for traffic," said Lanham who added that she'll wait and see how traffic flows before making her decision.

Like it or not, the traffic problem will persist at the intersection of HWY 51 & Idlewild road until at least August 18, when the DOT anticipates the round-about to complete.

Until then, the Matthews and Mint Hill Police Departments encourage people to follow the detour signs and avoid the congested intersection unless you're going for a specific item.

© 2017 WCNC.COM


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