Plaza Midwood business owners push for more crosswalks, additional parking

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Neighborhood leaders and business owners in the fast-growing Plaza Midwood section of Charlotte are pushing for safety improvements and better parking in the area.

The stretch of Central Avenue between Westover Street and Iris Drive is the latest to see an upturn in the development of apartment complexes and businesses.

The recent opening of one of those businesses, Resident Culture Brewing, is attracting people, but they need to hurry across Central Avenue to avoid being hit by passing vehicles.

“We have over a mile without a crosswalk or street light to cross the street,” said Russell Ferguson, of the Plaza Midwood Merchants’ Association.

Ferguson said city officials listened to safety concerns and plans to add a crosswalk near Veterans Park. But Ferguson is frustrated over another priority – on-street parking after 7 p.m.

Drivers are currently allowed to park along Central Avenue after 7 p.m. between Thomas Avenue and Pecan Avenue. Neighborhood and business leaders said that allowing parking to extend down the street will allow the area to continue to grow.

“We just want to use the asphalt that’s sitting here to make the road less wide, so people will slow down, so it’s easier to cross the road,” Ferguson said. “And it generates economic development for an area that needs it.”

Neighborhood leader Allen Nelson told Channel 9 that additional spots would help prevent drivers from parking on residential streets.

“As this area grows, we’re going to see more problems, so we want to be proactive,” Nelson said.

Channel 9 contacted the Charlotte Department of Transportation for comment and received the following statement, in part:

"CDOT has met with several stakeholders in the area and walked the corridor with them to assess opportunities and challenges along the Central Avenue corridor...will continue to discuss parking and crossing options and limitations with the community going forward."

Eyewitness News anchor Allison Latos will have the full report on neighborhood concerns in Plaza Midwood on Channel 9 starting at 10 p.m.