Residents want traffic signal on busy road near Birkdale

Residents want traffic signal on busy road near Birkdale

HUNTERSVILLE — Those who live near the intersection of Highway 73 and Norman View Lane on the Huntersville-Cornelius line believe lives are at stake.

"It is very dangerous trying to make a left turn from either direction," said Cornelius resident Phillip Ball.

They said traffic congestion is out of control at an intersection right next to a private elementary school. According to the North Carolina Department of Transportation, there have been eight accidents at the intersection between 2010 and 2014. In 2013, someone died in an accident about 400 yards down the road.

"It's dangerous. It's beyond an inconvenience, it's dangerous," said Huntersville resident Tom Filippo.

It's why the community has pressed for a traffic light; But despite agreeing that the road is over capacity, the NCDOT has said a traffic signal is not warranted at the location. 

However, the agency said it would install one if the two municipalities pay the $70,000 for it.  Cornelius agreed, but Huntersville did not. Huntersville Commissioner Rob Kidwell voted in favor of paying for the light, but said his colleagues paid more attention to the NCDOT's recommendation.

"I do believe in numbers. I believe that you have to look at the numbers and make decisions, but sometimes, you have to look outside the box and see how that's going to affect your community," Kidwell said.

"Some people think it's a burden if we put up a stop light. I think it's more of a burden to know that I could have saved a life with a stop light," said Cornelius resident Karen Smith.

Several more community meetings are planned for those who are in favor of getting a traffic light.  Supporters have started a Facebook page called Our Lives Matter Birkdale.