I was at the Fayetteville Street Committee meeting tonight where one of the items was the issue of widening Wedington Drive to only 4 lanes or 4 lanes with a center turn lane. To add that turn lane the possibility that a planned bike lane might have to be sacrificed.
Lioneld Jordan, chairman of the street committee, started the meeting off with a compromised proposal. A 4 lane highway with a center turn lane and a 10' asphalt multi-use sidewalk.
Public comments fell within several groups. Those that live near or on Wedington wanted the 5 lanes. Most were concerned about trying to make those left hand turns with no protection. A few people wanted the 4 lanes, mostly concerned about the issue of that center turn lane causing more accidents. I don't know which is particularly right. I've seen statistics which support both. Interestingly, Sen. Sue Madison was there to let us know that the state got federal money if we made road changes if it's for safety purposes. There were some bicyclists there pressing for the bike lane. There was some snickering in the audience when they cited the need for the lane because of "global warming" and "climate change". I was extremely amused by the guy who looking for the "wind in his hair" and concerned about the "wounded soldiers who would be disenfranchised" if there wasn't a bike lane. Say What?
I'm of the opinion that we should go with the center turn lane. There is a lot of development on Wedington, both residential and commercial, and I fully expect it to continue all the way down to Double Springs Road. The 4 lane highway is only going to have 5 or 6 left turn lanes. It's not going to be possible to add more as Wedington develops. A center turn lane will help development along Wedington and if there are sections that become safety issues, then a grass median can be put in place. A grass median is easier to put in than a left turn lane on a 4 lane highway.
Anyway, the Street Committee voted to accept Lioneld's proposal. The State's representative were there so it would appear that things will work out so that Wedington will be a 4 lane highway with a center turn lane.