HIGH POINT, N.C. (WGHP) — Construction on Penny Road in High Point has neighbors concerned about the traffic volume.
People living along Penny Road say the development has outgrown the two-lane road in the area.
Developers are looking to add more residential development, meaning more congestion on the busy road.
Frank Szilvay has been part of the Nottingham Community near Penny Road in High Point for more than a decade.
He has watched the area transform.
“It’s changed a lot, “Szilvay said. “Across Wendover, they developed that area tremendously, and then they added apartments behind us, and traffic flow is considerably more now than it had been.”
High Point city leaders approved even more residential development along Penny Road.
Developers plan to build nearly 330 apartments and 41 single-family homes on a site across from Florence Elementary School.
All that will add to traffic problems.
“It’s a hard road to get onto…school buses have a hard time getting out there. There’s nothing but a stop sign for the people entering the road,” Szilvay said.
The developer wants to expand the project and is proposing to have 112 apartments as well as another project on an adjacent property to the south that could include another 145 multi-family units.
Despite the congestion, the North Carolina Department of Transportation, which manages Penny Road, has no plans to widen it, and some drivers say that’s a mistake
“You’re increasing the traffic flow, and you’re not engineering anything better for the traffic flow, which is an accident waiting to happen,” Szilvay said.
“The city has submitted projects to NCDOT to try to widen Penny Road,,,when we submit, they go to a scoring process with the state, and it did not score high enough currently to receive funding from NCDOT,’ said Greg Venable, who leads High Point’s Transporation Division.
He tells FOX8 the High Point Metropolitan Planning Organization has supported widening the road to four lanes, but it’s determined by factors like safety hazards and traffic volume.
Right now, the state won’t widen the road.
“It’s kind of the cart before the horse,” Venable said. “It’s like if you want to have all this congestion. The development is good, but it brings congestion. You have to have that to have your projects score higher. These projects don’t just compete here. They compete at the state.
Neighbors like Szilvay hope something will be done to help the traffic flow in the future.
“If they would put a stop light in, an extra lane, almost anything,” he said.
Venable says there will be some traffic improvements to Penny Road once Pallidum South develops and the city extends Samet Drive into the site.
He plans to submit another plan to widen Penny Road this summer to the state.