South Charlotte

City inches closer to fixing intersection

The city of Charlotte is one step closer to relieving congestion at the heavily traveled intersection of McKee Road, Providence Road and Ballantyne Commons Parkway.

The $7 million improvements, funded with 2010 transportation bond money, could include additional sidewalks and bicycle lanes, as well as improvements to turn and driving lanes.

As developers built neighborhoods and shopping centers in south Charlotte, congestion became a problem.

To alleviate some of the bumper-to-bumper, standstill traffic in the morning and evening, the Charlotte Department of Transportation widened Providence Road, south of I-485.

But transportation issues still plague the intersection.

"There's a lot more traffic down there with I-485 and other improvements and developments in the area," said project manager Leslie Bing with the city's Engineering and Property Management Department. "The intersection needs to be improved to help with capacity there."

All three roads were deemed major thoroughfares by the city's Intersection Capacity and Multi-Modal Enhancement program, which was designed to improve travel conditions for all modes of transportation.

About 37,000 cars travel on this portion of Providence Road daily, according to city data, and more than 22,000 travel McKee Road daily.

Ballantyne Commons Parkway sees about 18,000 cars per day.

The city has already identified some of the deficiencies at the intersection, including:

a missing lane, curb, gutter and sidewalk at McKee Road;

turn lanes not long enough;

a lack of pedestrian and bicycle amenities and safety features;

gaps in sidewalk connection from residential areas to walking destinations;

poor sidewalk conditions.

Representatives from the city's engineering and property management department met with residents and people from area businesses several weeks ago to hear their concerns and suggestions.

Attendance was small - only about 10 people - but most came with recommendations, Bing said.

And the city has gotten a number of calls and emails from people who weren't able to attend the meeting but wanted to weigh in.

"(We) heard from shopping centers, they want to make sure that access is granted to their properties ... (and) isn't restricted," said Bing.

Representatives of the Promenade and Providence Commons shopping centers, both located at the intersection, want to make sure travelers are able to enter the shopping centers easily, without much maneuvering.

People with businesses at the corporate park along McKee and Providence roads had the same concerns, Bing said.

The public meeting presentation is posted on the city's website,

The city is still in the conceptual stages of the project, and there will be another public meeting in the fall, where the city will present several options and ask for feedback.

A date for the public meeting hasn't been set.