Pending bridge project causing designers to rethink some parts of plan
by Mike Parks
There may be some changes coming for the planned improvements to Community House Road in Ballantyne, as city staff considers what impact extending the road over Interstate 485 will have on traffic in the area and at the proposed Bryant Farms Road roundabout.
City planning and transportation leaders intend to improve Community House between Bryant Farms and Ardrey Kell roads by adding, among other changes, designated left-turn lanes in both directions of Community House onto Ardrey Kell, medians near Ardrey Kell High and Community House Middle schools, bikes lanes, better pedestrian crossing options and additional sidewalks to fill in gaps around the schools and Morrison YMCA.
Those improvements also include a one-lane roundabout at Community House and Bryant Farms to correct problems at the intersection, though some residents feel a traffic circle will only add to problems on the road and cause more backups. Now, as road planners consider the option of even more cars using Community House, there’s talk of possible making the roundabout two lanes when it’s built. When that actually will be is unclear. City engineers did not respond to an interview request for this story.
Charlotte didn’t expect to extend North Community House over I-485 until well into the future. But when the Bissell Companies proposed spending $11 million on road improvements in the area to help its Ballantyne Corporate Park, the bridge was included and now could be done in the next few years.
Speaking at a community meeting in Ballantyne earlier this month, Charlotte City Council representative Warren Cooksey said the city may have to change some plans depending on the estimated traffic increase due to the bridge. That could include widening the roundabout to two lanes, similar to the roundabouts in Davidson.
Cooksey said it’s likely a public forum will be held later this summer to update area residents on any changes to the plan. A date hasn’t been set for that meeting.