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If you have driven through Matthews recently, you have almost certainly seen signs against the proposed “superstreet.” Monroe Road extends past the MoRA area into downtown Matthews, the lanes cut in half, and the resulting John Street connects to 485. It is a guarantee you have been slowed down due to traffic.
There are plans to expand John Street into a superstreet, a setup that looks very similar to a highway. The group Preserve Matthews is concerned about the proposed changes, which they believe will needlessly increase traffic while ruining the small town feel of historic, downtown Matthews. If you haven’t been to downtown Matthews recently, you should check it out. You can walk between a bunch of great food destinations, tap rooms, bottle shops, and coffee roasters. They, of course, have a huge farmers market and there are frequently a bunch of festivals. I’m not sure what it will look like with a superstreet, but it may end up broken up like businesses on Independence.
What’s most worrisome for MoRA residents is the potential increase in traffic brought about by the superstreet. NCDOT reportedly expects the superstreet to handle nearly 55,000 cars per day. Monroe Road already supports 40,000 vehicles per day, and increasing traffic up to 35% would cripple this residential connector. The city appears to think of Monroe Road as a mini Independence Boulevard that will accommodate overflow and passthrough traffic.
As a resident that uses Monroe Road every day I can already see the problems added traffic would create. Some sections have already proven dangerous. In just the last few months the street has seen a fatal car crash, both a pedestrian and cyclist killed by cars, and countless additional preventable accidents. This isn’t new. There were 393 total accidents along Monroe Road, Sardis Road North, Village Lake Drive, and North Sharon Amity in 2016. This resulted in 264 injuries and three deaths just on these few miles of Charlotte roads.
Monroe Road doesn’t need more traffic. It needs more traffic lights, better pedestrian crossings, and better turning lanes. The road should serve the community, not those passing through.
The superstreet looks like the first step in turning the residential Monroe Road into a high-traffic throughway. Independence is only a mile away, and is clearly the best and fastest way to commute up and down the corridor. Why should surrounding streets serve the exact same purpose? If there’s traffic on Independence, cars will pour over to Monroe. The current traffic problems will only get worse, making it even more dangerous for residents to head to the store.
What can you do? Attend this public meeting on the John Street widening organized by Preserve Matthews. The more support they have, the better. Next, get your neighborhood in contact with MoRA as we look at ways to improve traffic, safety, and access along the corridor. Please fill out the following neighborhood survey if you want to help shape goals for Monroe Road.
We have been waiting impatiently for Common Market to open their new and nearby Oakwold location. Southeast Charlotte desperately needs a hangout place, and the quirky and colorful local market easily fills that need.
MoRA is excited.
We reached out to Common Market for info on their upcoming opening, and got a sneak peak at the new neighborhood hangout. They have made a lot of progress since we last saw it, and promise they are opening soon.
The cool custom exterior art is good to go! Common Market plans to have their grand opening in mid-May. If everything goes according to plan, they will start serving food next week, and serve beer and wine in two weeks.
The inside space looks inviting for early morning coffee and late night drinks.
The new bar will look out onto Monroe Road, and offer a slew of hard-to-find brews.
Finally, a place to get a great cup of coffee. Our only area options are McDonalds and chancing life and limb in the Cotswold parking lot for Starbucks.
You can really get the feel for Common Market from this covered outdoor patio. We can’t wait to try out the newest neighborhood hangout.
We have been closely watching the construction of Monroe Road’s newest restaurant. City Barbeque, an award-winning barbeque joint, opened their first Charlotte location in Ballantyne last year. Construction on their second just finished in south MoRA. We finally got a sneak peak inside at the restaurant and their “low and slow” cooked meats.
City Barbeque smokes all their meats on-site, including pulled pork, brisket, pulled chicken, smoked turkey, St Louis cut ribs, sausage, and smoked chickens. The menu looks delicious, offering deserts like homemade warm peach cobbler, sweet corn pudding, hand-dipped hush puppies, baked beans with brisket, fresh cut fries, among many others.
Take a look for yourself.
The dedication to their craft is impressive, and the homemade sides are just what we needed in our part of town. City Barbeque opens at 1514 Galleria Blvd, Charlotte NC 28270, within walking distance of MoRA favorite Deep Sea Seafood Market and the soon-to-open Jolly Rolls gourmet rolled ice cream shop. South MoRA may be the perfect destination to pair with an evening at Charlotte’s best movie theater, Cinemark Movie Bistro.
The BBQ joint opens Monday, February 27th, but they have a grand opening celebration on Saturday, March 4th, that includes kid’s entertainment, giveaways and appearances by Sir Purr, the Top Cats and Carolina Panthers’ PurrCussionists. There will be food samples, and 10% of all sales will go to local non-profit Bright Blessings.
MoRA is very excited to welcome City Barbeque to the neighborhood. Be sure to RSVP to the grand opening celebration here.
You aren’t the only person who thinks southeast Charlotte is underserved. Common Market’s Graham Worth thought the same thing when looking for another location for the Charlotte staple. They found the space, location, and neighborhood they were looking for on Monroe Road.
The new market, dubbed CM OakWold, will host everything you expect out of Common Market: indoor and outdoor seating, coffee, an expansive beer and wine selection, and “off-the-wall retail.” The market will be open from morning to night, serving breakfast, lunch, and of course, beer. Yes, just a few simple things that are few and far between in this part of town.
When meeting with Graham in January, we explained there were not many meeting places without driving almost to Matthews. His response: “Well, we are solving that!” He’s right. this will be southeast Charlotte’s first cool hangout spot you can drop by at anytime.
The location is next to Suds and Duds just past Sharon Amity, across from the Oakhurst Square development starting soon on Monroe and Chippendale. The building is undergoing major reconstruction, and they plan to move back the front facade to create ample outdoor seating. They hope to wrap up construction in two to three months. There is plenty of additional space at the business park, and we hope to see some new tenants thanks to Common Market foot traffic sooner rather than later.
Please cross your fingers for a brewery.
What else will CM OakWold have? That’s up to you! There will be a meeting at Clayworks on February 6 at 5 p.m. to get ideas on events, characteristics, and offerings the neighborhood wants. If you want beer tasting events, bicycle ride meet ups, or live music, you can tell them. Find more info on our Facebook event page.
For more info, read the press release here: Common Market Press Release OakWold
MoRA needs YOUR help! VOLUNTEER with us on important community projects. Can’t volunteer? DONATE to help make our public art dream a reality. Even a $20 tax-deductible donation will help give the neighborhood a beautiful, defining sculpture that will make residents proud.