The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) is currently developing plans to widen East John Street to alleviate traffic congestion. The project will widen 6.5 miles of East John Street to a four lane road from Matthews to Indian Trail.
The Town of Matthews is opposed to the current design concept and has been working with the NCDOT to improve the design and mitigate adverse effects on citizens and on the character of the town. The Town Board of Commissioners along with Mayor Jim Taylor recently sent a resolution to the NCDOT
regarding design standards.
While traffic congestion is a major concern in the community, it is a top priority for the Mayor and Board of Commissioners to preserve the small town character of downtown Matthews. East John Street runs through the heart of the historic downtown, and if not properly designed the road project could create a major divide between the downtown core and Stumptown Park, Matthews Community Center, McDowell Arts Center and Matthews Elementary School.
The resolution expresses great concern about the safety of all pedestrians and cyclists, and states that all options should be considered to save homes along East John Street.
The NCDOT has a preliminary timeline to begin construction in 2022. More information about the project can be found on the NCDOT website: https://www.ncdot.gov/projects/EastJohnOldMonroe/
In April, the Town of Matthews received a response letter from NCDOT
stating in part: "We believe that we can provide a design satisfying purpose and need, meeting operational expectations, and accommodating pedestrian safety and mobility by partnering with the Town to find the best fit solution with context sensitivity." NCDOT agreed to meet with Town leaders to discuss concerns with the current design concept.
Matthews Mayor Jim Taylor wrote an opinion piece about this issue in The Matthews Mint Hill Weekly: Working Together on Long-Term Traffic Solutions in Matthews
This is an ongoing effort and this page will continue to be updated as more information becomes available.