Drivers worry I-77 toll lane will make traffic worse

- Traffic along I-77 in northern Mecklenburg County can come to a standstill at really anytime of the day. One of the biggest fears among the widen I-77 citizens group is that toll lanes won't improve traffic flow.

FOX 46 Charlotte hit the road along with the FOX 46 Charlotte radar gun to see just how slow traffic along the interstate can be.

The first stop was the Exit 25 off ramp at 3:45 p.m. where I clocked drivers at 59 miles per hour. But, 15 minutes later along the on-ramp to rejoin I-77 north, drivers were clocked at just 16 miles per hour.

As most slammed on their brakes to let cars merge, it's a scene, not that surprising for area drivers.

"Not at all, especially with the road under construction," said William Rakatansky with the Widen I-77 group.

Members of the widen I-77 group fear once construction is complete toll lanes will make traffic worse.

"Traffic in the general purpose lanes will be much more congested because of all the new comers and development coming up in this entire region, North Mecklenburg, South Iredell," said Rakatansky.

There wasn't an empty seat at the widen I-77 meeting Thursday night where leaders disputed findings of a I-77 contract review which says widening I-77 would cost $500 million. 

They are still begging for the toll lane contract to be canceled or bought out, something that can be done by the Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Transportation if it benefits public interest.

"What we need to do and what we have already done is we need to make that this is not good for our region and not good for our state," Rakatansky said.

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