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Cornelius News

Widen I-77 statement on protest Friday at Exit 28; police plan hands-off approach

Widen I-77 statement on protest Friday at Exit 28; police plan hands-off approach

April 28. The region-wide debate over tolling I-77 continues to heat up. A loose confederation of toll opponents plans to stage a protest complete with signs starting at4:30 pm Friday. Widen I-77 issued this statement: “Widen I77.org supports the efforts of all citizens and groups fighting the plan to build toll lanes in the Lake Norman area. We encourage those who can to join in the protest this Friday at Exit 28 in Cornelius from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., like WidenI-77 and Exit 28 Ridiculousness on Facebook, and visit WidenI77.org. Because 50 years is a long time.”

How many will show up is anybody’s guess.

Cornelius Police are aware of the plan and will take a hands-off approach.

A town ordinance allows for protests in the form of “expressive activity” without a permit if less than 100 people are involved on public property as long as they do not sell or trade anything. The content of the signs is protected by the First Amendment. Protesters may occupy the pedestrian part of the bridge and all sidewalks as long as they do not impede traffic.

The town’s plan is to draw as “little attention to the protest as possible” while being “very much aware” of what is going on.

At some point, the police may reach out to Widen I-77 through social media to remind them they cannot sell or hang signs.
Cornelius Police are expected to be in touch with law enforcement in Huntersville and Davidson.
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