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Carolina Beach trying to resolve 'road diet' problem

READ MORE: Carolina Beach trying to resolve 'road diet' problem
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CAROLINA BEACH, NC (WWAY) -- Last year the Town of Carolina Beach trimmed down it's main road from four to two lanes. The "road diet" for Lake Park Blvd. has caused some huge headaches for people. Today the town council met to talk about possible solutions.

The road diet not only did away with lanes of traffic. It also added a dual purpose turn lane, bike lanes and diagonal parking spaces. Severe congestion problems, safety of bicyclists and small business sales suffering are just a few of the problems the diet has caused.

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"The pure, simple solution to the problem is to go back to the way it was; to a four-lane road and re-stripe it," Carolina Beach resident Leroy Franks said.

But undoing what has been done will come at a hefty price for tax payers.

"If the object is to go back to the four-lane section, the number I've seen is about $500,000," Town Manager Tim Owens said.

Tuesday the Town Council met with a panel of experts, at a cost of about $15,000, to discuss what to do about the problems. Right now they are focusing on less expensive, short-term solutions, like adding directional signage and having police control traffic during high-traffic weekends.

But for one small business owner, the damage cannot be undone.

"Immediately when they implemented the road diet in those first holiday weekends, it was traumatic, and it was catastrophic for us," Alan Gilbert said.

Gilbert used to own an art gallery and gift shop on Lake Park Blvd. He said he eventually had to shut his doors because not as many people were coming in.

A long-term solution discussed is installing round-abouts, which would cost between $200,000 and $500,000.

Though no definite plans have been made on how to solve the road's issues, some short term solutions will be discussed in further detail Tuesday evening. The Town Council meetings starts at 6:30 p.m. with a special hearing around 7:30 p.m. to continue the discussion.

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