Cameron Village merchants concerned with proposed traffic change - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

Cameron Village merchants concerned with proposed traffic changes

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City planners want to make Cameron Village more bike and pedestrian friendly. One proposal would reduce Oberlin Road from five lanes to two to make room for wider sidewalks. City planners want to make Cameron Village more bike and pedestrian friendly. One proposal would reduce Oberlin Road from five lanes to two to make room for wider sidewalks.
RALEIGH, N.C. -

Businesses in Cameron Village say proposed changes to the upscale shopping village could negatively affect merchants' livelihoods.

City planners want to make Cameron Village more bike and pedestrian friendly. One proposal would reduce Oberlin Road from five lanes to two to make room for wider sidewalks.

Merchants, however, say drivers make up the majority of their business, not cyclists.

"Nobody is going to bike up sweaty and try on a $300 dress or buy a piece of furniture," said Katrina Ryan, who owns sweet shop Sugarland.

"Even if 10 to 15 percent of our customers decide not to come to Cameron Village because the traffic is too bad and go -- let's say -- to North Hills, that's it," Ryan said. "That's all the profit -- the business is done."

Another possibility calls for the installation of roundabouts at intersections on Oberlin Road, Bedford Avenue, Smallwood Drive and Clarke Avenue.

The city is preparing for approximately 500 apartments that are coming online on Oberlin Road right at Cameron Village. One project, Crescent Cameron Village, is scheduled to open this summer with about 280 apartments

City planners say they hope to have several more meetings with merchants before any decisions are made. Mark Stankus, senior planner for City of Raleigh, says despite merchant concerns, the city anticipates an uptick in foot and bike traffic in Cameron Village.

"There aren't that many today, but in the future there may be more," Stankus said. "With the apartments going into the area, there will be a lot more pedestrians."

If changes are approved, work wouldn't begin for at least two years.

Melanie Sanders

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