Monday, January 25, 2010

Dilworth streets to become slow-moving parking lots

Posted By on Mon, Jan 25, 2010 at 2:28 PM

OK, I know this could be construed as a minor gripe, a really small inconvenience. And I know there are people in Charlotte today whose homes are soggy from flooding after yesterday’s and last night’s downpours. And there are roads in surrounding counties that are closed until further notice because of the severe washouts brought by the rains. I know that all those things are worse than this one other little concern, but, damn, are they really telling us that a relatively short section of East Boulevard is being permanently changed to two lanes — as of today?

If you don’t drive in the Dilworth area, this news may not mean much. But if you’ve experienced East Boulevard at rush hour, you’re probably wondering the same thing I am: How in hell are all those cars going to be crammed into two lanes? The only answer is, “they can’t be,” which will without a doubt lead to more cars cutting through parallel streets in Dilworth (which are already crowded with cars parked on both sides of the street). You can imagine how happy the owners of those pricey bungalows are gonna be when their hip urban nests’ front porches are turned into spectator benches for a slow-motion parking lot.

Single lanes will be the rule between Euclid Ave. and Dilworth Road West, says the city, in order to build something called the East Boulevard Pedestrian Streetscape Project, which, they say, will add “medians, sidewalks, wheelchair ramps, bicycle lanes and bus turning areas” — just what a busy thoroughfare needs. But why stop at those amenities? Why not really gum up the works by adding a kids’ play area and a climbing wall at the Streetscape Project? Or a bike rental station like they have in Paris? That’d be world class, right? Crowded, but world class. While they’re at it, how about a mini post office, a Starbucks and a couple of Goodwill bins? Or better still, why not install a museum of moronic traffic control decisions? Nah, that would definitely take up too much room.

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