The Last Word on Life at the Lake; Traffic Jams For All 

It’s difficult to choose the spot with the worst traffic around the lake – I’d guess most people would say Interstate 77 somewhere between the exits of 23 and 36 just based on the sheer volume along that route. The bad traffic on that stretch feels even worse because there’s an empty toll lane right next door that you have to look at while driving along at five miles per hour. For some people, Highway 16 is a nightmare for their daily commutes snarled by accidents or weather. For me, it’s Highway 150. 

I don’t find I-77 so bad since I live in a somewhat less fashionable part of the lake and don’t need to make daily trips to Charlotte. Highway 16 can be a nightmare during peak traffic, which seems to cover most of the day now, but it’s also not a road I have to use every day. 

I live and die by the traffic on 150. This is the road that was supposed to be expanded to four lanes, but the project was pushed back at least a couple years. Neighbors, store clerks and bartenders along 150 all seem to know a bit about the construction, but what I hear often contradicts. I heard that the expansion will require 12 bridges to be built. Then I heard it’ll require only four bridges, but they’re going to have to tear down a bunch of houses and businesses. Then I heard it won’t affect any businesses, but it’s also not going to happen for a decade. In any case, it’s like the cop who pulled me over while I had a Christmas tree tied to the roof of my car said, “Traffic is only going to get worse here for a long time.” 

If you need to drive east on 150 in the morning, you need to wake up early and not slow down for anything. Getting out the door five minutes late can translate to sitting an extra 20 minutes as the stoplight at Perth Road grinds through rows of cars. The same goes for the end of the day. Want to get home from the YMCA without sitting through a dozen light cycles while trying to make a left from Morrison Plantation Parkway onto 150? Well, wrap up your workout early and replace it with the stress of trying to get through the intersection without losing your mind. 

I know they say they’re going to widen 150. One day they might, but we’ll have to deal with a couple years of construction along that corridor when they do finally start, so we may look back fondly on this mess we have now.

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