South Main redevelopment should be a priority

Jan 23, 2014

Waynesville is a beautiful place to live, work and play, and we want our main corridors into town to reflect that beauty and sense of community.

While North Main Street has been revived into a bustling downtown, South Main Street still needs some work to keep up with the new developments in West Waynesville. The once industrial side of town is now shifting into a retail and service area since Dayco closed and the Waynesville Commons development opened. That development has spurred other new businesses, which is great for our economy, but it has put more demands on our roads and created more traffic congestion.

The Town of Waynesville has done its part by conducting feasibility studies and approving a very detailed and comprehensive redevelopment plan for South Main Street. The plan includes widening the road, adding more turning lanes and green arrow traffic signals, bike lanes, sidewalks and a roundabout at the intersection of Ninevah Road.

The conditions of the roadway as they stand are not safe for higher traffic counts or for pedestrian traffic, according to the redevelopment plan. With more restaurants and retailers opening up in the area, the roadway needs to me more conducive to bikers and pedestrians.

Now the project is in the hands of the North Carolina Department of Transportation, which has limited funding each year for road projects. The South Main Street project is not even funded yet, but residents will have an opportunity to give the DOT engineers input before projects are prioritized.

A redeveloped South Main Street would improve our image to visitors entering town from the West Waynesville exit, it would help attract new businesses and would be an incentive for existing businesses to update their buildings.

We will keep you informed about future public hearing for the project. We encourage residents to be actively involved in the process and let NCDOT know the importance of widening the road and making these improvements. Until these projects can be completed, we hope drivers will be courteous to one another in traffic and keep an eye out for pedestrians crossing the road.