One-way traffic pattern on Cherry Street goes into effect Nov. 15
A new traffic pattern in downtown Black Mountain will go into effect Nov. 15.
Cherry Street, a one-block road near the center of town that connects Sutton Avenue to West State Street, will be converted to a northbound, one-way flow.
Aldermen voted in August to make the change after a pair of traffic studies recommended the move, citing improved safety for pedestrians and drivers.
The studies were initiated after a group of business owners approached town officials in the spring of 2018 and asked them to consider making changes to Cherry Street, a popular destination during the town's busy season.
Aldermen commissioned a study by J.M Teague Engineering, which examined the options of converting the road to a northbound or southbound flow, or leaving the existing two-way pattern.
The firm suggested converting Cherry Street to a one-way, northbound direction.
Aldermen deferred, as they awaited the results of a second study examining parking and circulation in the downtown district by Traffic Planning and Design Inc. The firm began its study in May and echoed the J.M. Teague recommendation.
Alderman unanimously passed a resolution adopting the new pattern in August, but the town delayed its implementation while staff met with Cherry Street business owners.
Merchants expressed a desire to convert the road to a one-way, southbound flow or keep the existing two-way pattern. Town officials could not accommodate the southbound request, citing potential traffic disruptions caused by westbound drivers turning left onto Cherry from West State.
The town also referred to safety concerns, cited in both studies, facing pedestrians crossing the north end of Cherry Street and suggested extending the sidewalks to reduce the distance of the crossing.
Parallel parking will remain on both sides of Cherry Street, but the length of the spaces will be increased. Left turns onto West State Street will continue to be prohibited, meaning all Cherry Street traffic must turn right at the intersection.
The town placed a digital sign, informing drivers of the upcoming change, at the north end of Cherry Street.