Charlotte Growth Leading to Greater Traffic Snarls and More Accidents?
Charlotte, North Carolina has enjoyed a period of growth since the bleak days of the most recent recession. Now it must contend with growing pains, as the boom in development has brought traffic congestion and an increased rate of auto accidents. Following the downturn of 2008, traffic accidents in Charlotte dropped, as fewer people were driving to work and high fuel costs limited motor traffic. The number of accidents in the city remained low until recently. According to The Charlotte Observer, the city recorded more than 23,000 collisions in 2014, which was up nine percent from the previous year and approaching prerecession levels.
Some see these traffic numbers as a return to normality, but others anticipate worse conditions in the future. The biggest reason for pessimism is the explosive growth of commercial and residential real estate in Charlotte. For example, 2,100 new apartments, two new office towers and two major mixed-use projects are currently planned for the SouthPark area. These plans lead many residents to wonder whether their neighborhood, already the home of the largest shopping mall in Charlotte, may become the next Buckhead, the Atlanta district north of downtown, which lost its residential character after a period of rapid commercial expansion in the 1980s.
The number of people working in SouthPark has more than doubled in the last 20 years. While this latest building boom will raise property values and bring additional amenities to the area, residents can’t help but be concerned about traffic snarling the neighborhood, creating congestion, adding pollution, overcrowding parking areas, and hampering their commutes. There are safety issues as well for the motorists and pedestrians who will inevitably see an increase in traffic accidents unless the city takes responsible steps to improve traffic flow.
The Law Offices of Brian deBrun is deeply rooted in the Charlotte community, and we fervently hope that city planners manage growth prudently for all concerned. Congestion is a quality-of-life issue that affects us all, and traffic accidents too often have tragic consequences. If you or a loved one is injured in an auto accident in the Charlotte area, the Law Offices of Brian deBrun PLLC is ready to help. To schedule a free consultation, call us at 704-412-4258 or contact our Charlotte office online.