Kannapolis holds Cannon Boulevard corridor community input meeting

Published 12:10 am Friday, June 14, 2024

KANNAPOLIS — The Kannapolis planning department organized a community input meeting at Elegancia Events on June 11 to gauge from the public how the Cannon Boulevard corridor project should proceed.

The Cannon Boulevard corridor is a six-mile stretch of road that goes from Interstate 85 to the town of Landis. While this project is being controlled by the North Carolina Department of Transportation, Kannapolis can contribute to it with beautification ventures.

“We really wanted to identify areas in the corridor that are hardscape that can probably be softscape because it is a DOT corridor, but there are some things the city can do to help improve the corridor itself. So we could take over some of the medians, plant trees, plant grassy areas where it’s not such a hardscape corridor,” Planning Director Richard Smith said.

Smith and Assistant Planning Director Elizabeth McCarty gave a presentation on the corridor project and answered questions from the audience before everyone broke away to write notes on what they would like to see the corridor be based on maps placed in the room.

The planning department will then take the information that is gathered in the meeting and from the online survey that is available to take until June 21 to the city’s planning and zoning commission. The commission will then make recommendations to present to the city council sometime in August or September according to Smith. There is an expectation to begin construction in 2026. 

Dr. Beverly Lessane, a physician in Kannapolis, has an interest in the corridor and she said she would like to see it become more pedestrian friendly and have businesses that deal with holistic health. To her, the possibilities are endless to what can be accomplished. 

“There’s a lot of room for improvement and I’m very excited that we’re at least thinking futuristically and being proactive on some of the things that are not as aesthetically pleasing and also the functionality of our city to make sure that it’s going to be a place where people are welcomed and excited to come,” Lessane said.

Lessane also brought her daughter, Joselyn Council, a rising senior at Northwestern University majoring in civil engineering, to the meeting. Council found everything to be  informative and geared towards what she’s studying in school. 

“This would be a nice merging of my schoolwork with something that actually means a lot to me culturally,” Council said 

Having lived in both a smaller town and a major city, Council sees a connection between the two and believes what has been done there can lead to breakthroughs in Kannapolis.

“Something I noticed growing up here, that we’re so car-centric, that’s a big theme here. Moving to a bigger city, I saw alternatives and different programs and things people are implementing to fix that problem. I think there’s great opportunities here to implement those. I’m really inspired by what I’ve seen here today and hopefully we can move forward and get something big out of this,” Council said.