Editorial: Old-fashioned bottleneck on Innes
Here are three words for the engineers in charge of traffic flow on Salisbury’s major arteries: East Innes Street.
Need we say more?
The city is fortunate to have a fair amount of development on East Innes near the I-85 interchange ó Walmart, Cracker Barrel, Town Creek Commons and Innes Street Market on Faith Road. But that brings a lot of cars and trucks to one point, chiefly the intersection of Innes and Arlington streets. Under normal circumstances, traffic backs up at that light on Friday afternoons and other busy days. During the height of the Christmas rush Tuesday afternoon, it was backed waaaaay up, with eastbound vehicles stopped in the right lane all the way back to Shaver Street, beside Wendy’s.
By Charlotte or Raleigh standards, that would be nothing. Thankfully, Salisbury is not a metropolis. One of the benefits of small-town life is being able to get across town in only a few minutes. That’s our standard. Surely there’s a way to engineer the intersection to prevent cars and trucks from idling through several light changes at Innes and Arlington.
The double left-turn lanes flowing from Faith Road onto Innes do a good job of moving traffic through that intersection. We’re not traffic engineers, but something similar appears to be needed at Arlington Street ó more turn lanes and different timing for traffic signals, maybe.
Drivers have been through much worse situations here in the recent past. The prolonged construction period for I-85 should have taught us patience. But the public’s memory is short, and drivers’ patience is shorter. Interstate 85’s state-of-the-art interchange sits within eyesight of an old-fashioned bottleneck. Considering the importance of clean air ó and avoiding road rage ó improving this intersection should be a high priority.