you're reading...

Cornelius News

What do you think about left turns at Torrence Chapel?

Photo by Jason Benavides

March 22. By Dave Vieser. The Cornelius Town Board plans to survey residents on eliminating left turns at the Torrence Chapel/Liverpool Parkway/West Catawba intersection. In a memo to the board, Deputy Manager Wayne Herron said “NCDOT has asked the Town for one last consideration regarding removing the left turns now versus in the future.”

The description of the agenda item last night went on to say: “Removing the left turns now would increase efficiency and level of service (LOS) and the cost would be significantly less now than in the future.”

But during a lively discussion, at least one commissioner thought the proposal should be rejected.

“I wouldn’t even consider this request. I would dismiss it out of hand,” said Commissioner Dave Gilroy, who was on the board when the original deal was hammered out with NCDOT.



In May of 2017, the town struck an agreement with NCDOT that these turns would remain after the completion of the triple roundabout projects planned in the area. They would only be phased out over time as average daily traffic volume increased.

NCDOT recently suggested that removing the left turns would increase efficiency and the intersection’s “level of service.” The cost would be significantly less now than in the future.

The cost would be borne by the town, not the NCDOT.

When this issue first arose in 2017, there was considerable opposition to removing the left turns. However, over the past four years, it has become clear that the time it takes to handle the left-turning traffic creates additional congestion for Catawba Avenue traffic, particularly eastbound motorists seeking to access I-77 or travel crosstown. Whether this is enough to sway public opinion towards eliminating the left turns will be determined during the next several months by the town in a survey manner to be announced. 

In other action, the commissioners:

—Reappointed four members of the Land Development Code Advisory Board (LDCAB). Bob Bruton, Joe Dean, Karen Tovar and Laura Pegram will serve additional two-year terms at the recommendation of Chair Cheryl Crawford. Taken together, the four have a total of 27 years on LDCAB, which recommends changes and amendments in the Town planning processes and procedures.

—Adopted a 14 point state legislative agenda outlining priorities for the town and its residents. The new board chose to compose a shorter list this year than what was done previously, focusing on the most important issues. The agenda includes maintaining the timetable and funding of the many transportation projects in Cornelius, a new Exit 27 on I-77 at Westmoreland Road, $3 million in funds for community redevelopment in Smithville, and creating a new magistrate position to handle cases in North Mecklenburg. Copies are distributed to state representatives.