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Cornelius News

Jetton safety study options unveiled at Town Board

Jetton Safety Study

Sept. 21. By Dave Vieser. An $11,400 safety study designed to address ways to improve traffic safety on Jetton Road between West Catawba Avenue and Charlestowne Lane suggests a partially closed median at the intersection of Old Jetton and Jetton, and erecting a roundabout at the intersection of Charlestowne Lane and Jetton Road.

Town Board members received the details of the study from Jason Gorrie, representing the WSP/Parsons Brinckerhoff Engineering. Gorrie also suggested that the town could consider lowering the 45 mph area speed limit as a safety factor. The focus of the study was on the Old Jetton Road/Jetton Road intersection since the accident rate at that corner was significantly higher than any other corner within the study area.

The suggested options were divided into two alternatives:

  • Under Option One, motorists exiting Old Jetton Road would be prohibited from crossing Jetton Road, or from turning left onto Jetton Road. Motorists on the opposite side from the CVS lot would face likewise traffic prohibitions, and would need to turn right and then make a U-turn prior to West Catawba to continue their travels.
  • Under Option Two, similar movement restrictions would be supplemented by the construction of a roundabout at the Charlestown Lane/Jetton Road intersection.

The cost for each of the two options was dramatically different: $300,000 for option one and $1.2 million for option two.

Gorrie suggested a lower cost approach to start: Establish a “No left Turn” from Old Jetton Road out of Harris Teeter; prohibit any direct “cross over” from the CVS parking lot to Old Jetton Road; allow both right and left turns out of CVS onto Jetton Road.

“There is minimal traffic out of the CVS lot, while Old Jetton Road is heavily traveled,” he said. “Denying a left turn from CVS places an unfair burden on those folks, and the notion of folks merging left on outbound Jetton to make a U turn is, in my view, unworkable. If CVS shoppers have problems with a left onto inbound Jetton Road, they have a number of other alternatives out of that parking lot area.”

Discussion of changing the speed limit generated the usual concerns from the board. “There are people who are hell bent on lowering the speed limit to 35, and there are folks who say no way,” said Commissioner Jim Duke. “Let’s do it right. Let’s get citizen input.”

No decisions were made as the board members plan to review the study and also provide an opportunity for residents to comment.

During the earlier public comment session of the meeting, the only speaker was Cornelius resident Jodi Archer who asked if the town planned to take over maintenance of Bethel Church Road and Torrence Chapel Road, as they have done with Jetton Road.

Mayor Pro Tem Woody Washam, who ran the meeting in Mayor Travis’ absence, said that the town has not yet requested maintenance from the NCDOT but that the board could so in the future if they want.

Also at Mondays meeting the board:

· Appointed Cheryl Crawford as Planning Board Chairwoman.

· Recognized Brian Simmons for his seven years of service on the Planning Board, including four as chairman.

· Set Monday Nov. 7 as the date for a public hearing to consider permanently closing a portion of Kunkleman Drive, north of Knox Road. This road closure is associated with the proposed Watermark Condos project.