Yesterday, City Council met with representatives from NCDOT, Ronnie Worley Gaston County Commissioner, and Representative Dana Bumgardner to discuss the intersection of Belwood Drive and South Point Road in front of the new middle school. There were also several residents from the Belwood Drive neighborhood present.
There was a general consensus among the group that the current design for that intersection presents a number of issues both from a safety and traffic flow perspective. I think that the current design basically creates either a situation where traffic deadlocks every time someone needs to go into or out of the Belwood Drive neighborhood or a situation where (young) pedestrians are in close proximity to drivers distracted by attempting to make a very quick turn.
There is some development interest in the property across the street from the middle school which may provide an opportunity for a long-term solution to this problem. However, even under the best-case scenario, it is unlikely a fix under this route would be in place by the time the new school opens. So, Council directed staff to obtain cost estimates for the work necessary to fix the intersection so that we can determine the level of financial commitment necessary for this project and explore some possible creative financing opportunities. There seemed to be a shared commitment among the different parties at the meeting yesterday to find a solution to this problem, so I am cautiously optimistic about our chances of figuring out a fix for this.
In other news, the agenda for our CIP workshop on Thursday is now available. You can find that here.