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Carolina Beach business owners, residents excited about ‘road diet’ reversal

CAROLINA BEACH, NC (WWAY)– It’s a diet that failed. The North Carolina Department of Transportation will be reversing the Carolina Beach “road diet” starting Monday.

Business owners and residents say the change is needed to alleviate congestion and to make Lake Park Boulevard safer.

“Yay for four lanes because that will make a lot of difference,” said Amber Mitchell, who works at The Dive Food & Spirits.

The town of Carolina Beach changed the section of North Lake Park Boulevard a couple of years ago to help improve traffic. Business owners say it has been a disaster and they are thankful that it’s changing back from two lanes to a four lane road.

“Tourists do like to come through town and see what we have but who wants to do it sitting in traffic,” said Kathy Weiss, owner of Kate’s Pancake House. “So I’m hoping that now they’ll come back to Lake Park Boulevard and see all our businesses.”

Residents and business owners say although congestion was a huge issue last summer, safety might be an even bigger problem with the current setup.

“I’ve had an employee that’s been hit on his bike by someone pulling out,” said Mitchell. “The bike lane is directly behind where people park their cars. I’ve had pedestrians come out of here and I’ve had a pedestrian get clipped.”

Resurfacing and restriping begins Monday on North Lake Park Boulevard from Carl Winner Avenue to Fayetteville Avenue.

Just like many business owners, Carolina Beach residents are excited for the change as well.

“They need more room, especially for the traffic, especially for the parking, especially for all the little stores and everything on this main road,” said Becky Humphrey.

It was complaints like these that convinced the town to reverse the “road diet”.

“When you make lanes you always need one more lane anyway,” said Reggie Barnes. “If you build three lanes you need four, if you build four you need five you know, but we need all the lanes we can get.”

Work is expected to be done in five days.

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