Neighbors say traffic traps them in their homes

by: Tina Terry Updated:

KANNAPOLIS, N.C. —

Neighbors in a Kannapolis neighborhood told Eyewitness News they are trapped in their homes during busy traffic times and especially on Fridays, because it's unsafe to drive out of their neighborhood.

"Especially on Fridays, traffic is backed up on 29 and you can't get out, it's impossible," said Curtis Ballard.

He lives on McLain Road in Kannapolis. He and other neighbors said the only exits out of their neighborhood lead to U.S. 29 and there are no traffic signals. He said that makes left turns dangerous.

It wasn't always that way. McLain Road used to extend north to Fairview Street until the city blocked off that portion of the road in 2009. Leaders said Friday that it sits in a flood plain and was often buried under water.


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Neighbors are collecting dozens of signatures asking leaders to re-open the road.

The public works director, Wilmer Melton, said 58 homes are in the area and an apartment complex, but he couldn't say exactly how many people lived there. He said rebuilding the road could cost $750,000 because they would have to move it out of the flood plain.

He promised Thursday to ask NC Department of Transportation about the possibility of a traffic signal.

Some leaders said a cheaper solution would be for neighbors to make a right turn rather than a left onto U.S. 29.

Neighbors said they'll present their petition to the city soon and they're prepared to hire an attorney if they don't get help.