All winter long those of us who live down Brawley School Rd. on Lake Norman’s largest peninsula were wondering why construction of the widening project had ground to a screeching halt. So much so that I actually wrote to the NCDOT to get an update and shared his response on this blog: Brawley School Road Widening Update March 2010 .
Well, to say that construction is back with a vengeance is an understatement! Unfortunately, with it has come an unprecedented level of traffic delays that are so severe at times that many of us are having to plan our day around what time might be best to try to get in or out.
Joe Marusak wrote a good update in the Charlotte Observer today: Brawley School Road Headaches Continue. However, his focus was primarily on the closing of Canvasback Rd and the impact this has had on the residents of the detour route. What he failed to mention was that Blume Rd will be closed starting tomorrow, April 24th at 4am AND that they have begun narrowing to one lane on the weekends. Last Sunday in the middle of the day, thanks to the narrowing to one lane, most folks simply gave up trying to get in and out. Those that managed to get to The Daily Grind for breakfast or lunch said that it took them between 45 minuted to 1 hour to get there from Williamson Rd!
Having had the pleasure of sitting on Williamson Rd this week while trying to make a left turn onto Brawley and then inch my way home, I had plenty of time to come up with some recommendations:
- Synchronize the signals at Morrison Plantation, Canvasback Rd, Mallard Creek and Stutts with those at the intersection of Brawley and Williamson
- Drivers, we must temporarily fore go the typically kind gesture of letting any and every car merge in front of us! Yes, we all want to adapt the wonderfully mellow Lake Norman lifestyle but desparate times call for desparate measures. The poor drivers trying to cross Williamson Rd on Brawley or turn left onto Brawley from Williamson Rd go nowhere because the cars once on Brawley keep letting all of the cars from Harris Teeter and the old Lowe’s parking lot merge in. New rule: NO MERGING ALLOWED. All drivers must use a signaled entrance to Brawley unless one is not available. Sorry, no more cutting in line. Pretend you are back in California or New York:)
- Related to above, the DOT could post “No Right Turn” or No Left Turn” during the hours of 7am-9am, 11:30 – 1:00, and 4pm – 7pm. at the Harris Teeter, Old Lowes Market parking lot and anywhere else that contributes to the bottlenecks.
- NCDOT: Do not close down to one lane on the weekends. Limit your closures to night time only.
- Call Resident Engineer John Cook with suggestions: 704.876.3543
In a year we will all look back at these frustrations with a sense of humor. Yes, “We survived the widening of Brawley School Road” T-shirts will be everywhere. We will cruise down our 4-lane divided road with bike lanes and sidewalks and marvel at the pure joy of living on the Brawley Peninsula. But right now I need to run because it is after the morning school bus crunch and before the lunch backup so I have a window of opportunity to get out while I can!