City Councilman: Walmart Developers May Be Trying To Bend DOT Rules

By: April Davis
By: April Davis

A proposed traffic light on Highway 33 by the site of the future Walmart is causing some controversy in Greenville after a city councilman says he thinks developers were trying to circumvent the normal approval process.

The NC Department of Transportation says a meeting between developers, DOT, and city council to discuss the matter was scheduled for next week, but says developers canceled the meeting.

Greenville city councilman Calvin Mercer says he's glad it was canceled because he felt like developers wanted city council to pressure the DOT to relax its standards and add the light without properly studying how it would affect traffic in the area.

DOT Division Engineer Neil Lassiter says the DOT isn't playing political games, and won't approve a traffic light until it understands how the light will impact congestion on Portertown Road and the recently rezoned property on Highway 33.

"We're looking strictly at the operation of the traffic in that vicinity and also the safety of the traveling public." said Lassiter.

Lassiter says Walmart developers told the DOT they will provide information to address congestion and inter-connectivity concerns, but an exact time line wasn't given.

Calls to Walmart developers about why they canceled the meeting were not returned Tuesday afternoon.

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  • by Col. Colt Location: ENC on Jun 14, 2011 at 07:53 PM
    The DOT cant put up a light untill the correct number of deaths occur at the intersection, then it will take public hearings to see if its is needed. Govt. at work!
  • by get real on Jun 14, 2011 at 07:20 PM
    C'mon Calvin, let them build the new Wal-Mart already. John Day will become richer off this 30 million dollar deal and then Wal-Mart can close the crime invested store on Greenville Blvd. We'll all be better off then.
    • reply
      by cj on Jun 16, 2011 at 09:11 AM in reply to get real
      yeah, except those of us who live by the new location. Keep up the fight, Mr. Mercer. don't let them ruin this part of town!!!!!!
  • by Goober Location: ENC on Jun 14, 2011 at 07:18 PM
    Wal Mart WILL get the stoplight or they will not build. Look around, Every Wal Mart has a light. In Havelock on US70 iwth a state law forbiding any additional lights, they moved one from an only entrance to a subdivision of over 600 homes and moved in front of the Wal Mart under threat of not building if they didn't get the light.
    • reply
      by Eric on Jun 15, 2011 at 03:10 AM in reply to Goober
      Walmart in Washington doesn't have a light. McDonald's does, though. Yep, the city of Washington will stop you from getting to work so somebody can get a Big Mac, or leave after getting one. But one of the three largest employers in town? Nope. Not mad, it's just colossally stupid, though. The McDonald's lot should open into the Walmart lot, and the Walmart lot should get the light. Also, the Hwy. 33 location is a bad idea. It should be in Winterville, out Hwy. 11, past the Sam's Club, off one of the lights out that way. Hwy. 11 is in better condition to take on all that extra traffic. Hwy. 11 is not. It's not a strong residential location, but what strong residential location is suitable for a Walmart Supercenter anyway?
  • by TrafficEngr on Jun 14, 2011 at 07:13 PM
    Because all of the existing lights in Pitt County do such a fine job ....
  • by 33 Resident Location: Greenville on Jun 14, 2011 at 06:27 PM
    Who's Neil (DOT) fooling. Sounds like someone is in Calvin and Marion's pocket. For safety reasons does it not make sense to have the stop light in front of the store. What's happen to common sense these days. DOT needs to stop playing games and start putting public safety first.
  • by Debra on Jun 14, 2011 at 06:12 PM
    OMG just let them put it up already everyone knows they will get there way in the end hey and it's fine with me hope the new Walmart keeps the old one from being so crowded during the day!!!

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