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Raleigh leaders OK development amid Crabtree mall traffic concerns

Posted April 3, 2012
Updated April 4, 2012

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— The Raleigh City Council voted 7-1 on Tuesday to approve a development proposal that could add traffic to an already congested area around Crabtree Valley Mall.

Developer Crabtree North LLC asked for a permit to build 533 residential units and 7,500 square feet of retail space on nine acres near the intersection of Lead Mine and Charles Road – within walking distance to the mall.

Anywhere from 40,000 to 70,000 vehicles pass daily through the 1-mile area around the mall, which sits at the corner of Creedmoor Road and Glenwood Avenue near Interstate 440.

City planners have estimated that traffic along the corridor could grow by as much as 70 percent by 2035.

Crabtree North's plan would add more than 1,700 additional motorist trips a day through the Lead Mine Road-Glenwood Avenue intersection with no plan in place to address the growing congestion.

Mayor Nancy McFarlane was the only council member to vote against the plan. Other council members said they still want the traffic issue addressed before the plan moves forward.

Last year, the City Council approved recommendations to mitigate traffic congestion in the area, but planners say the changes are still years away because the city needs to secure millions of dollars in federal funding.

"We did the Crabtree Valley transportation study, because we realized impacts were substantial," McFarlane said. "We asked staff to look at this area because we realized it would be too much. They have readily admitted that there is a problem they can't solve. This (proposed development) is going to compound the problem that we do not have the ability to solve and people are going to be asking us why pretty soon, and it’s for that reason I can’t support this project. “ Raleigh leaders OK development amid Crabtree mall traffic concerns Raleigh leaders OK development amid Crabtree mall traffic concerns

Among the suggestions from a $250,000 study were creating a new exit off Interstate 440 to keep mall traffic off Glenwood Avenue and routing those vehicles along an extended Crabtree Valley Avenue right to the mall.

The study also called for closing the Ridge Road exit off I-440 and connecting the road to Glenwood Avenue instead.

In the meantime, city staff is looking at other alternatives, such as implementing stricter development rules for the area, but that study is still months away from being complete.

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  • GPMU PALM ASHS Apr 6, 2012

    I like the idea of more living options when it comes to green building. Hopefully the area will respond to this developer's designs. This will be the start of something great for this area. What we don't need are 1970's style single family homes in disrepair, sucking energy off of the grid.

  • DontLikeTheSocialistObama Apr 4, 2012

    In Cary they did the right thing, there is a flyover ramp exiting US-1 South directly into Cary Crossroads.

    Also in Cary, there is a dedicated 4 lane highway going from I-40 to Cary Town Center.

    At Triangle Town Center, there is a dedicated exit that takes traffic into the Shopping Center with Target, Triangle Town Center, and the Walmart without ever touching Capital Blvd.

  • ellis2 Apr 4, 2012

    News lady missed a lot of the story in an obvious effort to make a story, what the City approved was actually a change from a current zone that would have allowed one more really cool glass office tower that everyone drives to and instead got a residential walkable community of the same traffic impact. along the way I believe if she had checked she might find the City also received a free right of way and a free road oh wait, did I hear support for a walk cycle bridge across glenwood by the Mall and a condition the building be GREEN..with electric car spaces and covered cycle spots...reporter....really?

  • ew2152 Apr 4, 2012

    Felton23 That may be a solution, but do you also understand that would mean they would have to charge higher rents to cover the additional development costs, or didn't you think it out that far?

  • ew2152 Apr 4, 2012

    Just widen Crabtree Valley Ave and extend it to connect with the 440 ramp. There would then be an exit to take traffic past Crabtree on either side.

  • HBdirtbag Apr 4, 2012

    curious what they'll do about parking, parking there is already a nightmare, not nearly enough spots to feed customers

  • ew2152 Apr 4, 2012

    Widen Crabtree Valley Ave behind the mall and extend it to join the 440 ramps so you can get on/off on either side of the mall

  • DontLikeTheSocialistObama Apr 4, 2012

    It's easy, add a dedicated exit from I-440 (Beltline) directly into Crabtree Mall.

  • lokitzl Apr 4, 2012

    One of the wonderful aspects of living in the area(Cary 2.5 years-moved from NJ) is the lack of traffic. Even during "commuter " time frames its still managable. Almost no matter where we dove from mid to upper NJ we ran into traffic. I learned to avoid certain roads from Friday afternoon thru Sunday night. Traveling around the triangle has been a pleasure. While I certainly understand the need to grow, we need to be mindful of creating traffic patterns that will cause accidents, pollution, waste energy, and possibly the reverse of the intension of building housing near the mall- people may move away. We have a close friend in Monmouth County NJ on the planning board who tried to ensure that shopping was built with safe traffic patterns. It wasn't always successful. It would be so disappointing to see the offer of revenue outweigh good sense.

  • Nunya123 Apr 4, 2012

    howdiditgettothis - please give us the name and address of those greedy people who forced you to live there. We'll make sure they have a permit for that gun they held to your head.

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