A year later, opinion split on Durham's 15-501 redesign

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Opinions vary on effects of road changes.

Durham businesses along the 15-501 business corridor are feeling the impact of a "road diet" the city constructed almost a year ago.

The city of Durham was contacted by NCDOT and the decision was made to reduce the number of lanes from four to two, re-pave the road, add a bike lane, and create space for street parking. NCDOT funded the entire project and Durham agreed to review the lane modifications in a year.

As the anniversary of the construction approaches, businesses are worried the reduction and other changes are doing more harm than good. The owner of Classic Treasures Furniture Consignment agrees.

"We are just hoping no one gets injured or is killed," Blake Addison said. "You really would be taking your life in your hands during the week. Because these cars still fly through here. I'd say 50-plus miles an hour."

Addison says he opposed the road diet but initially went along with it -- given the city's promise to review the modifications. However, he says he hasn't heard from the city.

"I doubt it will actually be brought back up," Durham City Manager Thomas Bonfield told ABC 11 when asked about any plans for the road diet.

However, the city periodically reviews that stretch of 15-501, according to Bonfield.

Popular cafe Guglhupf is located several doors down from Addison. The restaurant's manager, John Sedawie, is a fan of the road diet because it created extra parking that his business did not have to pay for.

"When they expanded that, it actually benefited us by giving more parking spaces. Less frustration with the guests and all that," Sedawie said.

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