Huntersville planners are hoping a new approach can help alleviate an old problem: backups on N.C. 73 near the Target store.
Right now, the road is a trouble spot that backs up traffic. Cars often have to wait a minute or more, and many drivers dangerously dart across to make it through a small opening. The town board is hoping Target will agree to turn its access road into a public street, helping to facilitate traffic on N.C. 73 and getting that area better prepared for the widening of N.C. 73 next year.
To do it, Target would have to sacrifice some of its parking spaces and also cut off some access points for others. But Huntersville transportation planner Bill Coxe said something has to be done.
“Right now, people turning left onto the access road (from N.C. 73 east) have to wait for a gap in ongoing traffic,” Coxe said. “That changes the whole dynamic of the traffic flow.”
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Coxe said the road would be a key piece to finish before the N.C. 73 widening process begins. Target and American Asset Corp., the shopping center owner, are already asking for rezoning to allow for more development. A decision on that could come Monday at the town board meeting.
“We need to mutually figure out what to do with that road and figure out a timetable before we can start the N.C. 73 widening process,” Coxe said. “They want to get more development, which causes more traffic. So we have to mesh the two roads together in the best way.”
“We want them to spend the money to make it a public street,” said Coxe. “They don't necessarily disagree with that. It is just a matter of how fast we can all agree to all parts of this.”
Officials said it will likely be several weeks before a proposal can be ironed out. Huntersville Mayor Jill Swain said the tie-ups have to be dealt with soon.
“It has been on our minds for at least a decade,” said Swain. “This is hugely important, because it is not getting any better. We need to do something.”