Motorists frustrated over traffic backups outside Steele Creek schools

CHARLOTTE — Motorists continue to be frustrated in Steele Creek where cars line up in the drop-off line at Palisades elementary and high schools, which blocks an intersection on Highway 49.

Some commuters told Channel 9 this has been an issue for months.

Lake Wylie resident Tim McMasters sent Channel 9 a video of the backups at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.

“Sitting there and watching the light turn green and having to wait those extra seconds because somebody wanted to be impatient and get into the intersection so they could get through is very frustrating to me,” McMasters said.

McMasters and other drivers said the new CMS schools have made a difficult morning commute worse.

“The fact that there’s only a couple of avenues to get in and out of Lake Wylie makes it even worse,” McMasters said. “It’s either go through Belmont through Rock Hill or across the Buster Boyd, which is obviously the most direct route into Charlotte.”

Channel 9′s Tina Terry asked CMS officials if they have any plans to improve the flow of traffic near the school in the mornings, such as adding a law enforcement officer or guard to direct traffic.

The district had not responded by Wednesday afternoon.

Terry also reached out to transportation officials to ask if there are long-term plans to relieve congestion on this section of Highway 49.

“We’re not aware of any current plans to change the speed limit or make other improvements to (Highway) 49 by the elementary/high school,” said a spokesperson with the North Carolina Department of Transportation.

McMasters said he’s hopeful that school officials will implement a temporary solution soon.

“Just to have somebody out there and try to mitigate that situation from happening,” he said.

The South Carolina Department of Transportation has been researching ways to alleviate traffic congestion on the South Carolina side of Highway 49.

None of those proposed projects have been funded.

VIDEO: New CMS high school causing traffic headaches in southwest Charlotte