Some residents of the Crestdale neighborhood and developments along Charles Street and Tanktown Road say the year-old Mecklenburg County Sportsplex has created a dangerous traffic situation.
“I watched the planning of this project for 15 to 20 years,” said longtime Crestdale resident Harvey Boyd. “I just never realized there wasn’t a road into the place. There is a desperate need for something to be done in the area
“If you can’t make progress on the road, then we at least need a police officer there for speed control.”
Boyd lives on Crestdale Road, which connects Matthews-Mint Hill Road to Tanktown Road. The sportsplex is near the end of Tanktown Road, a street turned into a dead end by the county when Interstate 485 was built.
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Matthews Public Works Director Ralph Messera said that once the decision was made to end Tanktown Road, the 300-plus county-owned acres at the site were split by I-485. The county originally intended to build a landfill there but chose another site.
The county gave some of the 300 acres to Central Piedmont Community College, swapped some land with Habitat Matthews and retained part of the parcel for the sportsplex.
Two more entrances to the facility are planned to ease traffic along Tanktown Road. When the second phase of construction begins early next year, a road will be built from the sportsplex parking lot to Brigman Road, by the Carolina Lanes Bowling Alley. Once construction is complete sometime in 2016, the road will be paved and become permanent.
A third entrance, an extension of Greylock Ridge Road, will start at John Street and connect to the sportsplex; but the cost for that road is estimated to be about $4 million and currently has no funding.
Crestdale resident Gregory Fraylon submitted a petition signed by more than 80 residents from the Crestdale and Tanktown Road areas asking that the town install speed humps on the road and put no-parking signs on Tanktown Road and adjoining neighborhood streets.
“We’re being bombarded by traffic from the sportsplex,” Fraylon said. “Our children cannot play in their front yards. I’ve seen young ballplayers racing through the area.”
Messera said no-parking signs would pose a challenge because the signs would apply to all cars, meaning residents could be ticketed for parking in front of their own homes.
Messera said, however, that the town would perform an electronic speed study and traffic count to see if speed humps are needed.
Messera said Matthews also will work with the county to get the connector to Brigman Road open sooner than planned.