A plan is in the works to ease congestion around the Crabtree Valley Mall. However, not every resident agrees with it.
To discuss the community’s concerns about transportation in the area, a Monday night meeting with residents and business owners was designed. 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. The meeting was 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 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.
Those Living Near the Crabtree Valley Mall Were Unsure
Most at the meeting, however, had their own concerns. These concerns centered around their neighborhoods, traffic, safety and the overall way of life once the project gets underway.
“I’m feeling like I felt the last meeting, is that they really didn’t answer anything,” resident Judy Codgins said.
At the Citizens Advisory Council meeting, residents received a map outlining the areas in which studies will take place.
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. They would then develop options for moving forward.
“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 meeting is predicted to be held this fall. In the meantime, residents are encouraged to mail or post their feedback online.
Bidding for the project will open in 2019. Once awarded, the project should take between 18 to 24 months to complete and has a current budget of $90 million.