Fayetteville City Council members vote to spend the city’s own money on a traffic signal to be installed where the new Whole Foods Market will be built.
The price tag for the light near Masonic Drive and College Avenue $150,000.
City Engineer Chris Brown said local officials determined there will be enough traffic coming from the development to warrant a signal.
“They looked at the existing traffic and the proposed traffic and saw whether it meets the threshold, published criteria that engineers use to determine whether it meets a warrant, and it did,” Brown said.
Some drivers said having two traffic signals so close together could increase congestion.
“I don’t know if it’s necessarily needed,” said Alana Turner, a local driver. “I think that the traffic and congestion is just unavoidable, because we are growing so fast.”
Other drivers said an additional signal will help keep drivers safe.
“I think it’s a good idea especially since so many people travel up and down College Avenue everyday,” said Hannah Lewellen, a local driver. “If the city thinks that it will be best for the drivers, than I for sure agree.”
The two signals being so close together was a concern, but Brown said they will be linked together by radio.
“They have antenna on them, so that they talk to each other,” he said. “They can let the next signal know that a large amount of traffic is coming.”
Without a signal in place, Brown said the area could become a safety hazard.
“When you get traffic congestion, people have to wait a long time,” Brown said. “That’s when they start taking risks, and start taking chances that they wouldn’t otherwise.”
Brown said the next step for the traffic signal is to obtain a construction permit from the state.
In addition to the Whole Foods Market, there are plans to include a 3,000 square foot restaurant and room for close to 24,000 square feet of shops.
According to the developer’s web site, the College Marketplace area is scheduled to open Fall of 2015.