Every five years or so, the idiotic idea to reduce Charlotte Street to three lanes rears its head. This time, one of the arguments is that that by slowing (stalling) traffic, it will ultimately reduce the volume of cars. I don’t see less people moving here, so where exactly is this traffic avoiding Charlotte Street going?
Chestnut Street is already a challenge, and that is before a proposed five-story residential building at the Fuddruckers site. Or, as in Atlanta, will these cars simply cut through other residential side streets? Those of us who live in the neighborhood and constantly use Charlotte Street already know how three lanes function; we see it every time there is a water-main break or some other infrastructure problem that causes a lane closure — immediate traffic backup.
I am also struggling with how a single turn lane accessing both sides of the street would work. Unlike Hendersonville Road, which has many strip malls with common parking, thus allowing a single turn-lane access to multiple businesses, Charlotte Street has dense businesses, usually with individual parking. They can’t all have turn lanes, so wouldn’t this result in a lot of U-turn situations? If so, that would be truly horrible.
I get that Charlotte Street is not the most bike-friendly but would also bet that only one in a thousand vehicles on Charlotte is a bicycle; therefore, taking a car lane to create two bike lanes is like a pug tail wagging a Saint Bernard. Unlike cars, bicycles can use back neighborhood roads with little impact. I often take my scooter downtown and use different routes than when driving my car, so why can’t bikes?
— Steve Woolum