Raleigh to hold public hearing on Five Points traffic safety

The city will hold a public meeting this week to kick off an effort to improve safety and traffic flow where Glenwood Avenue passes through Five Points.

This confluence of streets can be tricky to navigate under the best of circumstances. But nearby residents and business owners say many drivers approach the intersection going too fast, leading to crashes and a general uneasiness for drivers, pedestrians and cyclists.

In one extreme case, police estimate a young man was going 80 mph on Glenwood Avenue last summer when he lost control, hit a utility pole and crashed into three businesses on a Sunday evening. The car plowed through an outdoor seating area for Lilly’s Pizza, which was empty only because the restaurant was closed.

Frustrated by the lack of action by the city since then, Larry Carter recently installed bollards — steel tubes sunk 5 feet in the ground and filled with rebar and concrete — in front of Lola’s, his beach-themed bar and restaurant a few doors down from Lilly’s.

“The city seems to be slow moving on doing anything about the Five Points area speeding and reckless driving problem,” Carter wrote in an email. “So, we thought it necessary to take our own steps to protect our patrons.”

The city transportation department had conceived of the Five Points Glenwood Avenue Study before last summer’s crash. David Knight, the City Council member who represents the area, had requested it because of longstanding concerns among residents and business owners about safety at the intersection.

The study will also create a conceptual design for improving the “streetscape” or aesthetics of the area as well as a plan for connecting Five Points with the Crabtree Creek Greenway Trail, via either sidewalks or a bike path.

The study begins with a public meeting on April 19 in the Hayes Barton Baptist Church Fellowship Hall at 1800 Glenwood Ave. The meeting will begin at 7 p.m.

A car whose driver lost control while speeding on Glenwood Avenue into the Five Points neighborhood in Raleigh, N.C. demolished the patios outside of businesses and landed in Leslie Jandrain’s art gallery on Sunday, July 4, 2021. Contributed by Leslie Jandrain

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Richard Stradling covers transportation for The News & Observer. Planes, trains and automobiles, plus ferries, bicycles, scooters and just plain walking. Also, hospitals during the coronavirus outbreak. He’s been a reporter or editor for 34 years, including the last 22 at The N&O. 919-829-4739,

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