Changes possible for Montford Drive

The City of Charlotte is asking business owners and residents in the Montford Drive area what changes they want to see for the popular nightspot of Charlotte.

Business owners say it’s actually a good problem they have here. The area has become part of the popular bar scene in recent years, bringing in more startup business.

But with more people has come parking problems and even earlier last summer issues with crime.

“It’s changed a lot. It’s very busy now. It didn’t used to be like this,” Henry Baugas said, The Roasting Company.

Along a stretch of Montford Drive, between Park and East Woodlawn Road, folks are bound to find more bars than homes.

“From six months ago to now it’s just packed,” Mike Neal said, Kure Vaporium.

The addition of more traffic and people is forcing the City of Charlotte to think ahead. They are asking residents and businesses what changes they would like to see along Montford Drive – everything from pedestrian safety to curb appeal is up for grabs.

“We actually have a broken telephone police that has been here since probably about eight or nine months,” Neal said.

“It needs more park and more visibility for pedestrians,” Baugas said.

Last June, a woman reported being raped along Montford Drive while walking home from a bar. Since then, business owners say they have remained vigilant.

Crime reports from CMPD show more than 20 calls for service since the end of summer, mostly for larcenies and fights. For now, business owners say crime isn’t the problem in this neighborhood. It’s the traffic.

“Sometimes when I come here on the weekend to work around 8 p.m. I have to park three blocks away because there is no room to park anywhere,” Baugas said.

There is some on-street parking along Montford Drive and most parking lots have strict towing rules. The City of Charlotte is still in the planning stages for changes along the street. They say they are still open to hearing from business owners.