Traffic

Plan underway to reduce traffic around Crabtree Valley Mall

Posted April 30, 2018 10:39 p.m. EDT

— A plan is in the works to ease congestion around the Crabtree Valley Mall, but not everybody is happy about it.

A Monday night meeting with residents and business owners was designed to understand the community's concerns about transportation in the area. It was the very beginning of a study intended to address traffic concerns around the Crabtree Valley Mall area and stakeholders giving feedback are concerned that whatever happens will impact their overall way of life.

The room was packed at the Highland United Methodist Church in Raleigh as part of phase one in the study process, gathering data and feedback.

“Bottom line, we’re really here to listen. The work on this project is really just getting underway. We’re in the early stages, where we’re gathering project information, and that includes feedback from the people who live here,” said consultant project manager Beth Smyre.

The state Department of Transportation, along with project consultants and the City of Raleigh, have set out to address traffic concerns around the Crabtree Valley Mall area, specifically on Interstate 440 at Ridge Road and on U.S. Highway 70 and Glenwood Avenue.

The project is the result of a 2011 City of Raleigh and Crabtree Valley Mall transportation study, city officials said.

Most at the meeting, however, had their own concerns about their neighborhoods, traffic, safety and the overall way of life once the project gets underway.

“I’m feeling like I felt last meeting, is that they really didn’t answer anything,” resident Judy Codgins said.

At the Citizens Advisory Council meeting, residents were given a map outlining the areas in which studies will be conducted.

Residents want to know what the residential impact of the project will be. DOT spokesman Joey Hopkins said they were at the meeting to collect data from traffic counts, the environment and feedback and then develop options.

“This is the very first stage of the project. We don’t know what we’re doing so we don’t know what the impacts are,” Hopkins said. "They've got real concerns that we've heard and we're going to listen to them and take that with the data we collect from the traffic counts, the traffic forecast, the natural environment, the human environment which we heard a lot of tonight, the safety and we're going to look at that and develop alternatives and hopefully we can address most of those impacts."

Another public meeting is expected to be held this fall. In the meantime, residents are encouraged to mail or post their feedback online.

Bidding for the project is expected to open in 2019. Once awarded, the project should take between 18 to 24 months to complete and has a current budget of $90 million.