RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – People who live in Raleigh’s Five Points neighborhood are far too familiar with the sound of car wrecks in their neighborhood but the city is making efforts to improve traffic here.

In 2020, a motorcyclist was killed in a wreck in the area. On July 4, 2021, a driver traveling 80 miles per hour crashed through patio furniture and into one of the businesses.

“Several people could have died if it hadn’t been closed. People come speeding through here,” said Steve Barberio who lives in the area.

The intersection is complicated. There are five roads – Glenwood Avenue, Fairview Road, Whitaker Mill Road, Glenn Avenue and White Oak Road – with varying traffic volumes meeting in the middle.

The lack of stoplights in the area means drivers can pick up speed for longer lengths of time.

Barberio often sees wrecks firsthand.

“I, oftentimes, find broken mirrors and taillights and so forth pieces in my yard. Pretty much every weekend there’s some chunk of a car,” said Barberio.

Cars crashing into front yards or into utility poles has become a common sight during his time in the neighborhood.

“You never know when the next one’s going to happen. You can hear them when they happen, you run outside,” said Barberio. He always hopes the wreck isn’t in his yard but, “I’m expecting it,” Barberio said.

The city of Raleigh set aside $325,000 last year to study the area for possible solutions. That study is now getting started. The city has laid out three main objectives for the meeting.

The first is to come up with a new design for potential intersection improvements within a few hundred feet of the meeting. The city also wants to redesign the streetscape using community engagement. Finally, planners want a complete analysis and functional design of a sidewalk or neighborhood bikeway between the Crabtree Creek Greenway Trail and Five Points.

CBS 17 obtained crash data from NCDOT within a quarter-mile radius of the intersection. In the last 5 years, they recorded:

  • 295 crashes
  • More than $1 million in property damage
  • 83 injuries
  • 1 death

“Cars get confused because there are many streets coming in at one point,” said area resident, Jeff Engle.

Engle and his wife hold a tight grip on their grandkids when they walk through the neighborhood.

“You really do take your life in your own hands trying to get across into the commercial district. This is residential on this side and commercial on that side,” said Engle.

The city may consider speed reductions or even a traffic circle.

“That can be even more complicated sometimes,” Engle said. “You need some kind of traffic calming solutions.”

For those who live in the area, anything is better than what we have now.

“How many people have to die before they do something about it?” asked Barberio.

Because Glenwood Avenue is owned and operated by the state, any changes or improvements the city wants to make have to be approved by NCDOT first. The study is expected to last 12 months.