An $11,400 safety study designed to address ways of eliminating traffic hazards on Jetton Road between West Catawba Avenue and Charles Towne Lane in Cornelius has raised more questions than it has answered.
More than 80 residents gathered at the Peninsula Club on Dec.20, to question Assistant Town Manager Andrew Grant about the options raised by the study, which was prepared by the WSP/Parsons Brinckerhoff Engineering Firm in conjunction with the state DOT and the town.
This section of Jetton Road is congested by numerous curb cuts and turns that permit motorists to reach and/or exit Harris Teeter, Wells Fargo, Brooklyn South and a dozen more retail establishments. The focus of the study was on the Old Jetton Road/Jetton Road intersection because the accident rate at that corner is significantly higher than any other corner within the study area.
The study suggests a partially closed median at the intersection of Old Jetton and Jetton Roads, and erecting a roundabout at the intersection of Charles Towne Lane and Jetton Road.
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“I fear all these recommendations will do is move accidents and danger from one intersection to the other,” said Greg Polek. He was especially concerned about the ability of the large 18-wheel trucks that service Harris Teeter to get in and out of the area safely.
Grant suggested the town might consider a lower speed limit than the 45 mph limit in place. “Jetton Road is now a town road so we have the ability to lower the limit. If it was a DOT road, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.”
Commissioner Jim Duke, who lives in The Peninsula neighborhood, admitted the speed limit issue is always a tough one. “There are people who are hell bent on lowering the speed limit to 35, and there are folks who say no way,” said Duke. “That’s why I wanted to get citizen input at a meeting such as this.”
At the meeting, town officials distributed surveys asking for feedback from those in attendance. The suggested options on the survey were divided into two alternatives:
▪ Eliminate left turns and straight across movements only from Old Jetton Road to Jetton Road. Heading north on Old Jetton Road will take motorists to West Catawba Avenue.
▪ Eliminate left turns and straight across movements from both Old Jetton Road and the CVS/Brooklyn South parking area. U-turns are allowed at the intersection of Jetton Road and West Catawba Avenue to travel west on Jetton Road.
The cost for each of the two options: as low as $75,000 for option one and $1.25 million for option two.
▪ A third option would be to retain the current traffic pattern.
The survey also asked if the speed limit on Jetton Road between West Catawba and approximately Peninsula Shores Drive should be lowered from 45 to 35 mph.
According to Grant, “Everything is still on the table. The Town Board will discuss this issue and the survey results during the next month.”
The board could render a decision its Feb. 6 meeting at Town Hall.
Dave Vieser is a freelance writer: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jetton Road Safety Study
Businesses and residents can answer 2 questions concerning potential changes to Jetton Road at www.cornelius.org/JettonSurvey; the deadline is Jan. 8.
WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff evaluated roadway and safety improvement alternatives along the section of Jetton Road between West Catawba Avenue and Charles Towne Lane.