New data highlights traffic increase in Queen City

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — New data shows traffic volume in Charlotte has soared over the past decade.

The Charlotte Department of Transportation said there are 200,000 more drivers, pedestrians and cyclists on Charlotte roads than there were 10 years ago.

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Members of a Plaza Midwood community said traffic volume has become dangerous for them.

Last week a car plowed into a business at Central and Louise avenues. There have been about 20 other crashes at the intersection in just one year.

Owner Charles Hunter’s business, Roseland Floral Company, has been on Central Avenue for nearly four decades, and he has never seen so much traffic.

"People driving too fast, being distracted and not paying attention,” Hunter said. “Increased cars certainly (are) a factor, itself."

CDOT officials said traffic has grown on Central Avenue from 18,000 vehicles a day in 2012 to 26,000 in 2016, which is a 44 percent spike.

Last week, a car crashed into Zack Decker's business in the 900 block of Central Avenue, which is the second time in two years.

"The school gets so backed up when school gets out, we've had a dad direct traffic because the intersection gets so backed up," Decker said.

CDOT officials added safety features like pedestrian refuge islands to the intersection, and they plan to put object markers on utility poles to prevent more crashes.

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Decker hopes for more improvements.

"Bumpers, guardrails, something to make businesses pedestrians safe as the city grows,” Decker said.

CDOT says the increase in drivers is affecting all major roads in the city.

In terms of a long-range plan, CDOT officials said they're working on a project called Through Our Vision Zero initiative. They will continue this effort by working very closely with CMPD and other partners to identify opportunities to implement engineering, education and enforcement strategies to eliminate all fatal and serious injury crashes by 2030.

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