Neighbors Happy as Bus Lane Pilot Projects Ends on Central Avenue

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – A pilot project that created bus-only lanes along Central Avenue is coming to an end next week.

Neighbors expressed frustration about traffic back-ups and confusion over the past six months.

“Hallelujah! It never should have started to begin with,” says East Charlotte resident John Leupold.

He’s thrilled the bus lanes will be going away.

“Probably it was one of the most insane things they ever undertook. It is a hazard. It’s a nuisance,” Leupold says.

Since last October, buses have had sole use of the right lane of Central Avenue in each direction between Eastway Drive and the old Eastland Mall.

“It was just, you know, there’s a light down here and causing like a quarter of a mile back-up,” says East Charlotte resident McCall Moore.

Neighbors say one of their biggest frustrations is people ignoring the bus lane altogether and using it as their personal HOV lane to get around busy traffic.

“There was no community input. And it was just sprung upon us,” says business owner Judson Gee.

Gee owns a business right off Central Avenue and takes the road each day.

“In my opinion, they tried to sneak it in a little bit there during COVID when the traffic count was already down,” he says.

CATS says it will take the data from the pilot project and use it as it considers dedicated lanes for the next phase of the streetcar project.