Market St. going to 2 lanes?

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Submitted: Thu, 06/12/2014 - 2:19am
Updated: Thu, 06/12/2014 - 2:28am

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY)– If you’ve ever driven down that narrow part of Market Street in Wilmington you know it may be a four lane road but it sure doesn’t feel like one.

That may be changing though thanks in part to a group of concerned neighbors.

“Right now it is not safe,” said Charlie Blanton, President of CPAPA, “So basically people are white knuckling it down the street.”

It feels like it’s not for the faint of heart. The four lane part of Market St. in Wilmington.

“This is about protecting people, “he said, “keeping this neighborhood safe.”

Blanton saying wreck after wreck, enough is enough.

“This is very important right now, as it affects the lives of everyone who drives through,” said Blanton.

The group has organized petition with a plan to take the road back to two lanes. A move that would make the road wider and in their view safer.

Traffic engineers with the City of Wilmington have said that taking the road back to 2 lanes shouldn’t be done until Independence Blvd. connects with M.L.K. Pkwy.

“The problem is that’s unfunded and may not be finished til’ 2030 or 2040,” said Blanton.

We took their concerns to Mayor Bill Saffo. He says making Market two laned there is worth a shot.

“I would be willing to try that for one month just to see what the traffic patterns would look like in that part of Market Street by reducing those lanes from 4 to 2,” said Saffo, “I mean we may all be very surprised that there may be very little impact.”

Blanton wants it done right saying the sinage should, “Tell commuters and travelers way up the road so that they have a chance to avoid the narrow area if they want too.”

But feels confident it’s a road worth traveling.

Mayor Bill Saffo didn’t say when exactly he planned to ask city employees to implement these changes.


  • Bob says:

    Did the writer of this article finish high school? Never says what CPAPA is, then the rest makes this look like a 7th grade D student wrote this.

    “The four lane part of Market St. in Wilmington.” How is that a sentence?

    ” “This is about protecting people, “he said, ” (put the quotes after the quote, not before the next part)

    Blanton saying wreck after wreck, enough is enough. (huh? not a sentence)

    til’ 2030 or 2040, (don’t get what an apostrophe is for, do you?)

    saying the sinage should (signage perhaps?)

    “…have a chance to avoid the narrow area if they want too.” (basic first grade mistake, not being able to spell “to”.)

    “But feels confident it’s a road worth traveling.” (But feels?)

    The writer should not be in journalism; what a disgrace.

  • Guest Reply Redux says:

    Have you any idea how to clean coffee off of a computer keyboard thoroughly?
    The coffee I spewed outta my mouth laughing after reading your remarks :-) 7th Grade was a compliment!
    Besides your hilarious remarks…the idea of doing this to Market St., and Mayor Saffo jumping on an idea (someone else came up with) to cure the horror roads of Wilmington…takes 2nd place in the comic relief department.
    The traffic on Market (from what I remember back when I lived in Wilmington) was like trying to fit a round peg in a square hole. Now…with this hilarious solution at hand…it will be like trying to FORCE a round peg into a square hole…no doubt.
    Saffo is always up for ideas he doesn’t think up. That way…he never takes the blame :-)

  • skewlteacher says:

    Obviously you are more concerned with grammar more than safety. The bottom line is this road is dangerous. Try driving my F-150 down this road with the mirrors a fourth of an inch from other trucks. Even better- try driving a fire truck down this road. My brother is a fireman in the city and it is nearly impossible to navigate. Of course if you’d rather spend your time critiquing the spelling and grammar of others than advocating for safety, hopefully you live no where near the area that rescue personnel has to respond to you- or even worse are involved in a wreck there. I’d hate for them to make sure everything is spelling correctly before they check to see if you are ok in your vehicle- that would be a disgrace.

    This is exactly what is wrong with the world today. Our children come to school for education and parents (probably people like you) are more concerned over stupid things and want to point out everyone else’s flaws. What a disgrace!

  • Danger Mouse says:

    FINALLY ! But I ask how many Year’s will this take when they can’t even fill a pothole properly. Good grief !

  • Heimie Schmelter says:

    …by any means. The only “outs” are huge, 400 year solid old oak trees and granite curbing all along the way and they don’t give an inch. Narrow lanes that won’t allow a bus and a car along side without rubbing and zero shoulder spells big trouble if ANYTHING goes awry. BUT, with all of the traffic that flows through there. It would look like the “Road Diet” they tried to implement at Carolina Beach, nothing but total chaos and major gridlock. Since this is also a main artery to gain access to one of the areas major hospitals and trauma centers that could lead to a serious liability problem for restricting emergency vehicle access.

    You can’t make major changes to major traffic arteries like this without very thorough traffic studies and implementing EFFECTIVE solutions to accommodate it. The NCDOT has screwed up enough of our roadways and intersections without adequately using these processes. We don’t need any more…

    Here’s an easy solution.
    1. Prohibit ALL left hand turns between 23d st and 17th st. from 6am until 6pm. Both directions.
    2. SLOW EVERYBODY DOWN! The biggest problem on this section of Market St.! Everybody is trying to beat everybody else out and is rediculous with aggressive driving in a very tight spot. Put automatic radar cameras and inordinately stiff fines for speed violation. Aggressive driving along this route should get your drivers license pulled for a year.

    There! Now see how easy that is?

  • Beachlady says:

    To slow people down, add more stoplights. Market Street from the Pender County line to 16th Street needs more stoplights. This would allow for safe turning onto and off of Market Street. As for the narrow bottleneck portion of Market Street, make the four lanes two with a middle turn lane. More STOPLIGHTS, people! We need them!

  • jj says:

    I remember years ago there was talk about making Market Street from 17th to Kerr Ave one way leaving town and Princess Place Drive one way coming into down. However, the business owners decide it would hurt their busy a would not allow it to happen.

    I think if the PD (Police Dept.) would enforce the speed limit in that area as well as the other roads in the city it would help. Move the speed limit down to 25 MPH (Miles Per Hour)and people will look for others ways to go.

    Also, tried of people moving into the area and not doing their research and complaining about something like this.

  • Timekeeper says:

    I used to drive a large dump truck on Market Street on occasion. Trying to keep my left outside rear dual to the right of the line and not ripping off my passenger side mirror on a tree or sign post was quite a challenge. I know I will be called some names, (local mentality) but I will just consider the source……..the city needs to fire up the chain saws and clear out all the trees between 17th and wherever the road re-widens around Wayne Drive or Covil. The curbs need to be removed and a new, vehicle-friendly 4 lane street (with turn lanes) put in to replace the present roadway that was obsolete 50 years ago. After all, roadways are where motor vehicles are supposed to run, and should be adequate and safe for travel. Fining drivers or restricting travel creating inconvenience for using roadways that they paid for just to protect trees is not the answer. Provide them with a safe road, not a pig path.

  • guesty says:

    I’ve driven larger trucks including dual rear wheel vehicles (F550) and flatbed commercial trucks (Freightliner) and been able to maintain my lane.

  • skewlteacher says:

    I’m not sure what you are implying but I maintain my lane too. I can drive just fine- it’s the idiots that can’t maintain their lanes that are scary. I’d prefer someone not side-swipe my truck, even more so when my two kids are with me. Bottom line is the road is very narrow and dangerous.

  • guesty says:

    Re-read the last 6 words in my other post. Just because you are a bad driver doesn’t mean everybody is.

  • guesty says:

    I didn’t imply anything. If you have trouble driving a F150 through there, maybe you are the problem.

  • Funny says:

    So you were the one trying to run all over me!

  • taxpayer says:

    a state highway and therefore under the jurisdiction of the DOT? If so, then Saffo and/or City Council can’t make any changes…could they?

  • NEW11111111 says:

    Its called the Market Street road diet. It has been proposed for a long time. This previous election city council candidate Derek Bickel mentioned it several times. Check out this link for a petition

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