Renew Maple Avenue group calls for transformation of major Burlington corridor

Piedmont Triad News

BURLINGTON, N.C. (WGHP) — Burlington city officials hope a $25 million grant could help transform a 1.5 mile section of Maple Avenue. 

The city council plans to approve a resolution allowing them to apply for a RAISE grant for the Department of Transportation. 

Mayor Ian Baltutis said city officials developed a plan for the corridor based on resident feedback to revitalize the area. 

“This is truly the gateway to Burlington. You plug it in your GPS. It takes you down Maple Avenue and, it’s not a pretty corridor,” he said. 

There have been nearly 2,300 crashes on the road over the past 10 years, and 16% resulted in injuries to drivers, pedestrians and cyclists. 

The plan includes a realignment of the Chapel Hill Road intersection, a roundabout at Anthony Street and sidewalks and bike paths. 

“When you look at this road, it’s an urban highway. There are houses sitting just a dozen feet off this road, and the way it’s designed encourages traffic to move at a high rate of speed, which is very dangerous when you have folks living that close,” Mayor Baltutis said.

He explained the grant would allow them to better address needs of the community, particularly disadvantaged communities.

“There’s opportunities for new types of retail, access to food, access to job retraining access to healthcare, and all of that takes reinvestment in these parcels of land,” Mayor Baltutis said. 

Drivers told FOX8 changes are needed in the area. 

“You have tons of people walking up and down these roads and crossing, and it’s super dangerous and inconvenient to everybody,” Shawn Baker said. 

The city council is expected to approve a resolution which will then approve the grant application.

Mayor Baltutis expects to hear a decision in November. 

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