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Residents worry about SouthPark shortcut

When Piedmont Town Center opened several years ago in the SouthPark area, residents and business owners hoped the development would become a popular place to live and shop.

The didn't expect it to become a popular driver shortcut with high-speed traffic.

Now residents and businesses in the center find themselves conflicted about what to should do. They want to slow down – even deter – traffic so pedestrians feel safe walking to and from the shops. On the other hand, the businesses need traffic to drum up interest.

“We bought these units knowing we weren't on a cul-de-sac,” said Thomas Golen, president of the Piedmont Row Residential Condo Association. “The volume of traffic is just so high, though, that we feel things could have been planned better.”

Piedmont Town Center is on Fairview Road near the intersection of Barclay Downs Drive. Throughout the day, Barclay Downs Drive bustles with drivers trying to get onto Fairview Road from SouthPark mall and nearby offices and neighborhoods.

Getting through the choked intersection can be slow. So during rush hour, dozens of drivers funnel onto the tiny arteries running through Piedmont Town Center: Piedmont Row Drive, Carnegie Boulevard and Bulfinch Road.

Some residents have unaffectionately dubbed the route the “Barclay Downs Bypass.”

Read Sunday's Neighbors of The City or www.charlotteobserver.com/city for more details.

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