It’s no secret that traffic is bad at the Main Street / Concord Road intersection during rush hour, but town leaders need more information about the root cause of the backup before they determine next steps, board members said Tuesday at their regular board meeting. Also Tuesday, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Superintendent Heath Morrison stopped by to introduce himself and field questions from board members, and board members voted to allow electronic advertising for construction and service bids. Read below for details.
MAIN ST. / CONCORD RD. TRAFFIC
A 2011 parking study conducted by SEPI Engineering looked at traffic flow at the Main Street / Concord Road intersection and determined it operated at a “B” level of service, with only short traffic delays (about 10 to 20 seconds). The longest delays, according to the study, were for west-bound vehicles turning left onto Main Street (26.5 seconds). But Public Works Manager Doug Wright and several town board members disagreed with those findings, having experienced much longer delays themselves while driving on Main Street at rush hour.
SEPI engineers suggested as a way to alleviate some traffic a left turn lane leading to the intersection on South Main Street with 50 feet of storage, or enough to queue about 2 vehicles. But putting in the lane also would eliminate 4 parking spaces on the road in front of Davidson College Presbyterian Church, Mr. Wright said, and in his opinion the traffic impact would not be significant enough to make it worth the lost spaces.
Mr. Wright also questioned the study’s findings of only “short delays” at the intersection. He estimates the wait time for a car to travel from Griffith Street to Concord Road during prime time is between 3 and 7 minutes, and estimates the traffic backup is about 1,000 feet (the study estimated a backup of just 280 feet, or about the distance from Concord Road to Depot Street). Board members who travel that route during rush hour agreed with his assessment.
While a left turn lane may help alleviate the traffic, planners have no way of knowing at this point, because they have not yet identified the root cause of the backups. It could be the left-turning vehicles, or it could simply be increased volume of cars on the road, board members said.
Mr. Wright recommended the town have NCDOT reevaluate the situation and do a traffic impact analysis to determine the current traffic levels and what improvements, if any, the town would see by installing a left turn lane. He also recommended that the town hold off on installing thermoplastic lane markings (which are more permanent than the paint markings) until November, in case NCDOT recommends changes to the road.
Board members agreed with Mr. Wrights recommendations.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Superintendent Heath Morrison visited the Davidson Town Board meeting as part of his tour of Mecklenburg County. Accompanied by District 1 School Board Representative Rhonda Lennon, Dr. Morrison has visited Huntersville and Cornelius Town Boards, as well as those in Ballantyne, Matthews, and others around the district.
“It truly does take a village to raise a child,” Dr. Morrison said, “and we need to be clear to the community about what we need.” He hopes to harness the “human capital” in our region to enhance learning in the schools.
Dr. Morrison also shared a new CMS motto: “Every child, every day, for a better tomorrow.”
It’s no longer enough to focus just on graduation rates, he said – schools must prepare students to be globally competitive, and ready for next steps, whether they enter college, the military or the work force.
He hopes to gather information in the coming months through visits with town and school leaders and citizens, and in November to come back to the community with specifics on what he believes to be the school district’s strengths and areas for improvement.
Also at the meeting Tuesday were: Northeast Zone Superintendent Dawn Robinson, new Bailey Middle School Principal Chad Thomas, Davidson Elementary Principal Dana Jarrett, and new Davidson Day School headmaster Kendall Berry.
ELECTRONIC BID ADVERTISING
Board members voted unanimously to allow town staff to advertise for bids electronically. A piece of legislation from 1997 allows for print and electronic advertising, but board authorization was needed.
Staff advertise for bids for construction contracts of $300,000 or more, and for purchase contracts of $90,000 or more.
Town Manager Leamon Brice announced Ben McCrary as the new planning manager. Mr. McCreary had been serving as interim manager. The town now is advertising to fill the vacancy left by Mr. McCrary who accepted his new managerial position officially Tuesday.
Rising W.A. Hough High School ninth grader and lifelong Scout Jeremy Collier presented a welcome video he helped create for the town. The video has been shown to all MSC Industrial Direct employees considering the move from Long Island to the new Davidson location, and also is on the MSC corporate website. Click here to watch the video.
CORRECTION: This article has been updated to correct the spelling of planning manager Ben McCrary’s name.