East side community leaders: delay Independence, go ahead with I-485
The state Department of Transportation says local planners will have to choose between speeding up completion of I-485 or staying on schedule with converting Independence Boulevard into an expressway. Some east side community leaders say they're more than willing to let I-485 go first. WFAE's Lisa Miller has more: Heather Ferguson with Charlotte East Community Partners understands the irony of the situation. "Usually we're using our voice to try and bring activity and money and attention and investment to our part of town," says Ferguson. "But in this case because there is no plan in place to protect the businesses during the next phase of widening, we'd rather postpone it" The City has been slowly widening Independence Boulevard for several years. That's made business difficult for stores which are now harder for customers to access. Ferguson says at this point delaying further expansion of Independence would be good news. But City Councilwoman Nancy Carter who represents that part of town disagrees. She told the Charlotte Observer the widening of Independence should go ahead as scheduled. It's not clear how long Independence would be delayed if planners pick I-485 over the boulevard.