STEELE CREEK NEWS
Highlighted at Annual Meeting
(March 13, 2015) Late Thursday afternoon an accident on Highway
49 on the South Carolina side of the Buster Boyd Bridge caused
significant traffic backups on all the major roads in Lower Steele
Creek. Motorists experienced long delays while waiting in bumper to
bumper traffic. The backup was the major topic of conversation among
folks who had planned to arrive early at the Steele Creek Residents
Association meeting to set up or attend the Meet & Mingle but were
caught up in the delay. The backups resulted in a late-arriving
crowd, but they also demonstrated to transportation planners and
decision makers that there is a lot of traffic in Steele Creek.
the meeting, many attendees expressed concerns about traffic woes on Steele Creek
Road while others nodded in agreement. A major focus was on the intersection of Steele Creek Road
and Hamilton Road. This used to be an intersection of a two-lane
road with another two-lane road. Because there were no left turn
lanes, traffic backed up behind cars waiting to turn left,
especially when it was heavy during rush hours.
Last year the developers of RiverGate added a right turn lane on
southbound Steele Creek Road at the request of the North Carolina
Department of Transportation. While this was intended to improve the
intersection, it has actually made it more hazardous. Impatient
motorists, unwilling to wait behind cars stopped to turn left, are
now using the new lane to pass illegally on the right. But since
cars going straight are supposed to use the left lane, those that
have waited as they should are surprised by the cars illegally
passing and suddenly merging into their lane. As one transportation planner said, they
"didn't anticipate" that this would happen.
relief is in the works. Neil Burke, Senior Principal Planner with the Charlotte
Regional Transportation Planning Organization (CRTPO)
discussed the recently released Draft State Transportation
Improvement Program (TIP), which lists highway projects expected to
be constructed between 2016 and 2025. (See
CRTPO Presentation. Also see
Highway 160 Projects to be Funded by 2025.)
The TIP calls for
widening the Steele Creek Road/Hamilton Road intersection for
additional capacity consistent with the future Steele Creek Road
cross section. Widening Steele Creek Road from South Tryon Street to
the South Carolina line is not in the TIP, but it would include four
lanes with sidewalks and a median, so the intersection improvements
would be consistent with that.
The Steele Creek Road/Hamilton Road
intersection project is slated for right-of-way acquisition in 2019 and
in 2021. Since this begins within the first four years of the TIP
period, funding is considered more secure. Total cost is
Meanwhile, Lennar Homes, which is planning
a new residential development at Hamilton Road and Smith Road, is
being required to add left turn lanes to all four sides of the
Steele Creek Road/Hamilton Road intersection. This must be
completed before they will be allowed to sell homes for occupancy.
It may take up to a year and a half for them to complete the left
turn lanes, but they have a major incentive to complete them as soon
Another project in the TIP is the widening
of Steele Creek Road from Shopton Road West to South Tryon Street.
This project is scheduled for right-of way acquisition in 2022 and
construction in 2024 and 2025. The project includes a four lane
road, sidewalks on both sides, bike lanes, and a grassy median.
Total cost is approximately $38M. Since this project is scheduled to
begin more than four years into the TIP period, it is subject to
reevaluation and reprioritization in the next TIP.
Attendees also expressed support for this
widening as soon as possible. Not only does current traffic exceed
capacity, but continuing new residential and commercial development
will only make it worse.
Alberto Gonzalez, Senior Principal Planner
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Planning Department gave a presentation on
Comprehensive Neighborhood Improvement Program (CNIP).
This program has targeted five neighborhoods across the city where strategic
investments in infrastructure will address a broad array of community needs. One of
these is the
Whitehall/Ayrsley area of Steele Creek. The designated
area also includes Berewick and
neighborhoods along Brown-Grier Road, Sandy Porter Road, and Steele
Creek Road. See
CNIP Presentation. Also see
Charlotte Plans $30M Capital Expenditures in Whitehall-Ayrsley Area.
city expects to spend $30M over several years on capital improvements in the designated
Whitehall/Ayrsley area, which will be financed through Neighborhood
held the first public meeting on March 10 to begin the process
of identifying projects that the community believes are most needed.
The project selection and prioritization process will continue at a
the next meeting scheduled for April 23 at 6:30 at Kennedy Middle
Also at the April
meeting, staff will present plans for a sidewalk project along
Brown-Grier Road and Gallant Lane leading to Kennedy Middle School.
Charlotte plans a significant capital
investment in northern Steele Creek. They are requesting input on
projects that the community believes are needed, but also projects
that complement each other to improve the connectivity and
livability of the entire target area. This process provides YOU with
an opportunity to have input in the spending of $30M in tax dollars.
advantage of the April 23 meeting and other opportunities to provide
Peter Pappas of Pappas Properties, the
developer of Berewick, gave an update on what is coming at Berewick.
He said that most infrastructure is in
place, including about 80% of the trails. He said that construction
on the extension of Berewick Commons Parkway to Dixie River Road
would begin later this spring. Their concentration now is on the
Town Center, where dirt is now moving.
The Town Center will follow the Scottish
theme and feature a green and other open space. The first phase will
feature a Harris Teeter, which should open in summer 2016. They are
in negotiations with five restaurants, which include a variety of
styles, from fast food to sit down. Plans include a Walgreens,
neighborhood shops, and a hotel, as well as office and residential.
Berewick contains 1,200 single-family
homes and 200 townhomes, with more residential neighborhoods now
Representatives of community organizations and local government
agencies and facilities set up tables with displays and information.
This provided a great opportunity for attendees to interact with
each other and learn more about their community.
Charlotte Neighborhood and Business Services - Southwest Service
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Planning Department
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department - Animal Care and Control
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department - Steele Creek
Mecklenburg County Park & Rec - McDowell Nature
Mecklenburg County Park & Rec - Park Planning
Olympic High School -
TEAM High Schools)
Red Fez Club
Steele Creek Library
Steele Creek YMCA
Meet & Mingle PowerPoint Loop Presentation.
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