Thu, 7 August 2008
August 6, 2008
Drivers in the SouthPark area are fond of using the tiny streets in
They didn't expect it to become a popular driver shortcut with high-speed traffic.
Now residents and businesses in the center find themselves conflicted about what to do. They want to slow down – even deter – traffic so pedestrians feel safe walking to and from the shops. On the other hand, the businesses need traffic to drum up interest.
“We bought these units knowing we weren't on a cul-de-sac,” said Thomas Golen, president of the Piedmont Row Residential Condo Association. “The volume of traffic is just so high, though, that we feel things could have been planned better.”
Getting through the choked intersection can be slow. So during rush hour, dozens of drivers funnel onto the tiny arteries running through
Some residents have unaffectionately dubbed the route the “Barclay Downs Bypass.”
Restaurant managers in the area say they don't mind the increased traffic because it can be used to boost business.
“Our problem isn't that we can't get people here,” said Brian Boyce, general manager of Dolcetto wine bar. “The problem is they can't get out when they do want to leave.”
Boyce said he and other business owners have thought about how they might capitalize on the situation, perhaps providing to-go services. Food, bottled wine and other products could be delivered to customers' cars while they're sitting in gridlock.
A similar idea has occurred to Paula Cocking, co-owner of The Dinner A'Fare, a meal-preparation business at
The streets in
Residents and business owners have considered installing speed slowing measures such as speed humps or the gentler speed “tables.”
Cocking and others said something will have to be done before someone gets hurt.
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