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Opening of New Coliseum Poses Problems for Neighbors

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FAYETTEVILLE — In three weeks, Cumberland County will celebrate the opening of the CrownColiseum, but the big event has some neighbors on edge.

Debi Overby, a coliseum neighbor, has a home and business on DraughoneAvenue. For years, she and others here have coped with civic centertraffic, but they expect to see much more once the Crown Coliseum opens.

"When you're in here, and the traffic's going down the road, I can't pullout of my driveway," said Overby. "My company can't pull out of my driveway."

Sherrie Lauer, coliseum neighbor, likes to play outside with her two boysbut she doesn't like the idea of cars streaming by.

"I think they should block the road off completely," said Lauer. "I mean, the traffic is coming because they're going to have the concerts, the games."

Bucky Pierson is so upset he's asked the county to buy him out.

"It's just too much," said Pierson, coliseum neighbor. "I mean even at thetimes when they do it now, with concerts and the little things that go on,my little girls have to suffer for it. I mean they have to go into thehome."

County leaders never intended to use Draughone Avenue as an access road.But the main entrance won't be finished for another year.

"We're going to do everything we can through advertising and direction oftraffic flow to direct traffic away from Draughone, so we hope we can keepany inconvenience to the residents along Draughone to a minimum," saidCliff Strassenburg, Cumberland County manager.

Eventually, Draughone will be a dead end street, but for now it willhandle as many as 400 to 500 cars for big coliseum events. On Monday, theCumberland County Commissioners will consider Pierson's request to buy hisproperty.