Concerned citizens send letter to NCDOT over controversial uptown noise walls



CHARLOTTE - A concerned group of residents and commercial property owners sent a letter to Transportation Secretary Anthony Tata and NC DOT Board chairman Ned Curran over the weekend, to further their fight against proposed noise walls along Interstate 277 in Uptown. 

This letter from the group "Citizens for a Sounder Solution" calls the NCDOT out for the controversial voting process that gave the noise wall project the green light last month.

According to the group's letter, "NC DOT violated its own written policy, wrongfully excluded eligible citizens from voting, sent the wrong voting instructions twice, and inaccurately tallied and reported voting results."

The NC DOT sent out ballots using a weighted system that gave more votes to those closest to the wall.

There were 27 votes for the wall in Fourth Ward and 74 against.

Under NC DOT rules, unreturned ballots counted as a "yes" vote, giving it approval.

Commercial property owners like John Nichols didn't have a say at all. 

He owns a plot of land off North Tryon right next to where one of the walls would be built.

"It's sad because we feel helpless."  Nichols said, "We kind of had to interject ourselves into this process."

Resident Mike Restaino was one of the people who voted against the noise wall.  He wants the NC DOT to rethink the plan, "I think they need to be open that the urban environment process needs to be completely different than the other noise wall processes.   Restaino added, "We want to have a solution that's right for the present and future of Charlotte."

Channel 9 also spoke with Greg Jonson, the man who wrote the letter to the NC DOT.  He said he's hopeful the NC DOT will see the voting process was flawed and that they will work with the city to come up with a solution to tackle the noise that makes sense for everyone.

Tata responded to the letter Monday via email, saying, "Our chief of engineers is involved and will ensure this effort is executed to standard."