CARY, N.C. — Whether or not certain people shop at Crossroads Plaza shopping center could depend upon how badly they need something.
People who visit the Cary shopping center can expect to wait in line -- a line of traffic. With as many as 50,000 cars coming through that area of town, traffic near Crossroads is a mess.
It has been five years since Cary came up with a new plan for that diverse section of town, which is just 3.2 square miles but includes homes, apartments, shopping and a whole lot of traffic. The town has developed a 20-year vision plan for Southeast Cary that includes improving traffic flow at Crossroads.
"We've done a major widening and realignment on Walnut Street," Cary Planning Director Scott Ramage said. "The world is changing very quickly in this part of Cary, which really means we have to look at these plans on a very regular basis."
Specifically, the plan includes sending traffic from Cary on U.S. 1 and 64 right into Crossroads, bypassing Walnut Street.
The plan also includes having a direct route from Meeting Street inside the shopping center to Crossroads Boulevard.
Finally, cars coming from Raleigh to Walnut Street would not exit at Crossroads to avoid traffic tie-ups.
The goal is to create an urban environment that people like, but that keeps traffic moving -- a very specific plan aimed at reducing congestion around the shopping center.
"That would really be an improvement if we had some logical way of getting in and out, other than everybody having to go out one or two congested exits," shopper Ron Cooper said.
The plan also involves land development, greenways and sidewalks.
Another hot-button issue is going to be what to do with an 80-acre tract of farmland off of Walnut Street above Tryon Road.
"I think the biggest issues in this area are going to be people's complaints about traffic on Walnut and Tryon," Ramage said.
The public was invited to comment on the plan at a meeting Tuesday night.
"We're looking for community feedback to tell us if we're on the right track or not with this 20-year vision for our area," Ramage said.
"It's a very delicate balancing act, and we think this plan is achieving the balance that the citizens of Cary have been asking us that they would like to see out here."
Public hearings are also scheduled for April and June. The town is expected to vote on the plan by July.