From correspondent Kathryn Ardizzone
Sidewalks and bicycle lanes will probably not be added to Smith Level Road, after the Board of Aldermen rejected an unpopular, $6.6 million DOT project for the area.
DOT traffic engineers have devised a plan for adding two lanes, sidewalks and bicycle paths to Smith Level Road to deal with anticipated higher traffic.
At a public hearing Tuesday night, 15 people spoke against the project.
Carrboro residents and the aldermen agreed that sidewalks are needed on the road, which teenagers often travel to get to Carrboro High School.
The board and objecting residents, however, doubted the necessity of adding two lanes to the road, saying DOT’s traffic projections were faulty.
Mayor Mark Chilton, the only person to vote for DOT’s design, said the sidewalks cannot be built without state money.
“I think the idea of a having a four-lane road through there stinks,” he said. “I think it’s totally unnecessary.”
“But it’s totally unnecessary to go on for untold years without sidewalks and bike lanes.”
DOT would contribute $6.24 million of the estimated $6.6 million price tag of the construction, with a $360,000 match from the town of Carrboro.
The aldermen acknowledged that by voting against the plan, they would likely be forfeiting the funds to build the sidewalks and bicycle lanes