Local News

Raleigh leaders plan to reduce traffic in Crabtree area

Posted July 13, 2013 11:17 p.m. EDT
Updated July 13, 2013 11:20 p.m. EDT

— As traffic around Crabtree Valley Mall continues to worsen, Raleigh city leaders are working on a plan to reduce congestion in the area. 

The Raleigh City Council will hold a meeting Tuesday to discuss the plan that would limit retail developments in the area. 

"Typically retail is the biggest generator for traffic and now the council has put on its agenda an amendment to our plan limit the amount of retail in the Crabtree area as a way in the short term to address the traffic problems," said planning director Mitchell Silver.

Other solutions have been suggested, such as building a flyover, or creating a road that connects I-440 and Crabtree Valley Mall directly. City leaders say these projects would be too costly, with estimated project costs at $100 million. 

Nearly 8,500 cars travel the stretch of Glenwood Avenue in front of the mall during the morning rush hour and more than 10,000 cars during the evening peak period. 

Mike Ross drives through the area frequently and says that traveling just a few miles takes too long. 

"To get there it's sometimes 20, 30 minutes sometimes, especially if it's rush hour, it's crazy," Ross said. 

Silver says the city identified this area as a growth center back in 2009 and traffic is estimated to grow by as much as 70 percent over the next 20 years.

"Because of the mall, because of the beltline, because of 70, Glenwood Avenue is a heavy traffic area," Silver said. 

Short term solutions such as limiting retail developments in the area will help control the traffic flow.

"It is like placing a band aid on something that needs stitches," Ross said.