Raleigh Residents Unhappy With Lead Mine Road Widening Project
Posted March 13, 2002
RALEIGH, N.C. — The city of Raleigh has spent years and millions of dollars on a total overhaul of Lead Mine Road.
The city tried to keep the neighbors happy as it changed a quiet, two-lane road into a major connector road. However, some neighbors said that they did not get the road they expected.
The newly-rebuilt thoroughfare will handle traffic from 17,000 vehicles a day. Traffic engineers are proud of the changes, but some of the neighbors living along the road are not.
"We trusted the city, and I think that was our mistake," said Robert Young of the Lead Mine Road Task Force.
Young said that the city removed too many trees.
"What we didn't expect, and we felt somewhat betrayed actually, was when they came in and clear cut from property line to property line across the whole width of the street and put a three-lane road in the center. We don't understand why this was done," he said.
The citizen task force convinced the city to reduce part of the new Lead Mine Road from five lanes to three. They claim the city still cleared enough trees for five lanes.
City engineers said that they took only what was needed for a proper right of way.
The city has heard the Lead Mine group's complaints. They said that despite the bad reaction, there are some bright spots. For example, the old intersection with Town and Country Road and Lead Mine has been completely redone.
The city said that the new configuration makes it safer for everyone. While that might be the case for cars, residents living along the road were hoping for sidewalks.
"If I want to visit my neighbor behind me, I have to get in my car and drive to his house because I can't get there without walking on the pavement of Lead Mine road and that's just not safe," Young said. "I don't know what the children are going do."
Young wrote a letter to Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker detailing his concerns. As a result, the mayor has asked traffic engineers to explain the decisions they made regarding the Lead Mine Road project.