Months ago, the Monroe Road Advocates teamed up Sustain Charlotte for a safety walk along Monroe Road between the McAlpine Creek Greenway and Sardis Road North. With the help of some concerned residents, we walked the street looking for dangerous conditions and possible improvements. Sustain Charlotte looked over the data, and we formed a plan on some likely improvements.
MoRA has met with multiple representatives of the city to discuss short-term safety improvements, and longer term goals for southeast Charlotte.
Monroe Road Vision Workshop
The city has offered vision workshops to Oakhurst and other parts of the city to learn what people want to see happen in their area. There was a vision workshop for the intersection of Rama Road/Idlewild Road and Monroe Road, where a major construction project is planned. MoRA is pushing for a vision workshop for our area between the changing Matthews and Oakhurst roadways. The workshop is currently planned for early next year.
Traffic Light at Covedale Drive and Monroe Road
Monroe Road lacks a single light or crosswalk in the two mile stretch between McAlpine Business Park Drive and Sardis Road North. This is also includes the area of this year’s fatal car crash where excessive speed was a factor. Cars drive too fast, and pedestrians do not have a safe way to cross.
MoRA confirmed with the city that a traffic signal was previously approved and fully funded for the intersection of Covedale Drive and Monroe Road, right in the middle of this long stretch. This should be a big help in breaking traffic flow up for pedestrian crossings and to reduce vehicle speeds. The light should be installed within 18 to 24 months.
We now know the process for requesting installation of traffic lights, pedestrian refuge islands and signaled pedestrian beacons. We are hoping to identify some of the more dangerous spots that may get prioritized for limited city funds. We requested the city to look into the intersection of Knickerbocker Drive and Monroe Road for safety improvements. There is currently a pedestrian island at Ashemore Drive and Monroe Road. The process can take 2 to 3 years, if approved, so we hope to move quickly with identifying problem areas.
There is not a good, short-term way to get the sidewalks re-worked to add a planting strip/buffer along Monroe Road. You will notice that new development comes with wide sidewalks set farther back from the roads, but most of Charlotte has small sidewalks right next to the road. The new sidewalks coming as part of rezoning, and may be required if the City Council approves an ordinance to improve sidewalks any time a property is redeveloped, and not just rezoned. The ordinance has not passed, but MoRA plans to support the approval of this ordinance.
Bus Stop Improvements
The city is already looking at improving bus stops along the corridor and has plan in place for one or two. We plan to look for ways to improve the safety and access of bus stops along Monroe Road.
December Walking Tour
MoRA has one more walking tour planned this month, and you can help us look for improvements. If you missed our last walk, we walk the sidewalks with a group and a questionnaire looking for specific danger areas in our neighborhood. We are meeting on December 15 at 2 PM at the Embrace sculpture, and will make the 1.5 mile walk to Village Lake Drive. We will have cars parked to drive back to the sculpture, and volunteers are encouraged chat after the walking tour at Hawthorne’s.
For more information, please visit our Facebook page.