Raleigh council approves plan for Crabtree traffic
Posted February 9, 2011 6:51 p.m. EST
Updated February 15, 2011 6:15 p.m. EST
Raleigh, N.C. — The City Council on Tuesday approved most recommendations in a plan to ease traffic congestion around Crabtree Valley Mall.
Planners say construction likely won't begin for another decade because city officials need to secure federal funds to help pay for the projects.
"Ultimately, we want to help mobility in this area," said Fleming El-Amin, a transportation planner in Raleigh's Department of Public Works.
About 60,000 vehicles travel on Glenwood Avenue past Crabtree Valley Mall each day, and El-Amin said the traffic volume will increase to about 100,000 vehicles a day by 2030.
A traffic study conducted over the past two years suggested creating a new exit off Interstate 440 to keep mall traffic off Glenwood Avenue and route those vehicles along an extended Crabtree Valley Avenue right to the mall.
The plan also calls for closing the Ridge Road exit off I-440 and connecting the road to Glenwood Avenue instead.
Sharon Tharrington, who lives on Ridge Road, said she and her neighbors don't like that idea, saying it would increase traffic in the area.
"Adding an additional load to what is already a pretty busy thoroughfare is just going to make it a dangerous situation for people who live in that neighborhood," Tharrington said.
Planners disagree, saying cutting off access from the highway will reduce traffic on Ridge Road.
"We think traffic will decrease, but for folks who live in that neighborhood, (they will) still have a means to get to Crabtree," El-Amin said.