Part of Milburnie Road in East Raleigh will close for six months on Monday while the city replaces water and sewer pipes, and when the street reopens it won’t look or feel the same.
New curbs will narrow Milburnie at most of the intersections between Colleton Road and Chatham Lane. New island medians, planted with small trees and shrubs, will reduce the width of the street between the intersections.
These new “traffic calming” measures are designed to keep drivers under the 35 mph speed limit.
“Milburnie is a wide road; there’s really nothing slowing people down,” said Han Nguyen, the project manager for the city. “When we create narrower lanes, with islands and bump-outs, people will have to slow down to navigate through.”
The traffic-calming makeover is being done at the request of residents along Milburnie. Becky Buff, who has lived on this stretch of the street most of her life, says drivers go so fast that it’s difficult to get in and out of her driveway and that she worries when her grandchildren play in the front yard.
“I’ve always been scared of them getting close to the road,” she said. “Because people fly down this road. It’s like a speedway.”
The city allows residents to petition for traffic-calming measures on their streets. After determining a street is a good candidate, the city then conducts surveys and public meetings to make sure there’s widespread support. Options include new stop signs, medians and speed bumps, like the ones on nearby North King Charles Road.
Buff lives close to North King Charles and says she prefers the city’s plan to narrow Milburnie.
“People are still flying down that road and don’t realize there’s a bump there,” she said. “It almost sounds like a crash when their car hits the ground.”
Starting Dec. 3, Milburnie Road will be closed between King Charles Road and Chatham Lane. A detour will shift traffic to Glascock Street, where GoRaleigh buses will make stops as well. Parking on Chatham Lane will be restricted between Milburnie and Glascock while the detour is in place.