Some North Charlotte neighbors say a plan to widen Beatties Ford Road could make the area more dangerous and inconvenient.
Betty Funderburke moved to Beatties Ford Road 34 years ago. "No street lights, only traffic was people who lived here," she said.
Funderburke has watched the area develop and the road become congested, but she's not a fan of the city's plan to fix the problem. "I'm not opposed to renovations and beautification, but I am when it involves safety and convenience."
The plan would widen Beatties Ford Road from Capps Hill Mine Road to Sunset Road. It would go from two lanes to four. The plan includes a median in between the lanes. So Funderburke could no longer make a left turn from her house. She would have to go right and quickly cross two lanes of traffic before she could make a U-turn at Slater Road. "I'm fearful someone's going to get hurt or killed," she said.
Funderburke's neighbors tell us that their families and nearby businesses would be inconvenienced by having the median there. "Including a funeral home! Imagine a funeral procession going up to make a U-turn," said Paul Holmes.
City leaders tell Channel 9 they've had several public meetings about this and they've used input from property owners when drafting plans. They said the new design increases the capacity of the road safely and adding the median is the safest option. They also said the safety of the U-turn lanes has been considered since the beginning.
There is another concern for neighbors since part of their lawns will be used for the new road. "Will it lessen my taxes and the value of my property?" said Funderburke. The city told Eyewitness News the road will provide opportunity for more development there and that should drive property values up.
They also said that Funderburke would be allowed to extend her driveway at the back of her property so it continues to Slater Road, letting her avoid Beatties Ford altogether. Funderburke said she isn't so sure about that idea. She worries the driveway would encroach on her neighbor's property.
City leaders anticipate construction on the widening project to start in 2013.