Road problems spark online petition

road (AP)

October 6, 2010 9:13:54 PM PDT
Southwest Raleigh residents say they are concerned about a dangerous road.Years ago, Tryon Road between Wilmington Street and Lake Wheeler Road near Garner could handle the traffic volume, but now with increased traffic it has become a safety issue.

"'The Garner Death Curve' is something that's bringing attention to this area," Raleigh resident Jason Hibbets said. "You've got two hair pinned curves, 90-degree curves, if you're not familiar area it's very easy to have an accident there."

Dozens of accidents have happened on the road. Most recently, a driver was killed when he rammed into a house. Though alcohol was involved, advocates say increased traffic and tight shoulders leave little room for error. But officials say there is not enough money available to fix the problem.

Meanwhile, developers of brand new subdivision nearby have paved the road as they wait for a substandard railroad bridge to be replaced and connected along Tryon Road.

The North Carolina Department of Transportation owns the bridge and claims it's a priority.

"It made the city's list, it made our division's list," said Joey Hopkins with the NCDOT. "Out of our seven counties initially it didn't make CAMPO's Top 25."

CAMPO is the Capital Area Municipal Planning Organization whose decision may have delayed the project, because even if DOT had the funds, transportation leaders say safety changes would cost millions and take years.

"There's already been some preliminary environmental work done on that project," Hopkins said. "If we can get money, it won't be a decade before that project gets constructed."

The DOT tells ABC11 it is unable to pull funds from other projects right now, but the state's priority project list comes out next summer and that could change.

In the meantime, frustrated residents have created an online petition. Hundreds of people have signed it, hoping city and state leaders will do something about the so-called death curve.

"Sometimes citizens shouldn't have to go through all this effort you would hope our leadership would be there to make sure these types of things happen," Hopkins said.

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