Changes could be coming to roads in Plaza-Midwood

Safe streets for pedestrians and bicyclists remain a concern for Plaza-Midwood residents.

The concern prompted a study with the Charlotte Department of Transportation, who’s now looking to make some changes.

Neighbors remember Al Gorman who was struck and killed in 2015 while riding a bike near The Plaza and Parkwood Avenue. A ghost bike stands as a memorial where he was struck until, the bike was also hit.

“That unfortunate tragedy spurred on a lot of this you know, the petition that kind of started after that event and it really just raised awareness to the problems in the area. It is very unsafe for pedestrians and bicyclists,” said Renee Bradley, Plaza Midwood Neighborhood Association.

Fast moving cars, limited sidewalks, and no bike lanes quickly drew more than 600 signatures to a petition.

The issue went before Charlotte City Council who later brought in the CDOT.

Dan Gallagher, transportation planning manager for CDOT said they are still in the study phase.

“We’re in the middle of the corridor study right now. We’ve been coordinating with the communities around the two corridors, Parkwood and The Plaza. We’ve collected data, we’ve done walking tours, we’ve done a public workshop with the community.”

Although the study is incomplete, CDOT is recommending some changes.

“So we’re looking at a number of pedestrian crossings. We’re looking at possibly reconfiguring the lanes to provide possible buffer bike lanes, if that winds up being feasible. We think that looks like a possibility along Parkwood Avenue. We still have some work to do along the Plaza to see what else is the best option there,” said Gallagher.

As of Thursday, no road diet was recommended for The Plaza however, that could change once the study is complete. The project is estimated to cost $2.5 million, so far. Gallagher said the next steps are design and funding for the project which could begin next year.