Lake Norman businessman wants 'peaceful protest' for I-77 toll lanes construction

Published: Sep. 2, 2015 at 2:45 AM EDT|Updated: Oct. 2, 2015 at 2:45 AM EDT
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CORNELIUS, NC (WBTV) - If you're sitting inside Prosciutto's Pizzeria, Restaurant and Pub in Cornelius, you can see I-77. Joel Pfyffer owns the restaurant and he doesn't like what he sees for the future if the highway gets the planned toll lanes.

"You're going to have a choke point right here at [exit] 30," Pfyffer said. "You're going to have exits you can't get off and so you're going to hurt local businesses. That's not going to help anybody."

"If I thought it would help, I don't mind paying tolls at all," Pfyffer said. "But the way they have it planned, it's not going to work."

Pfyffer and other residents in Lake Norman say state transportation officials are not listening to residents' concerns, and won't stop the project.

So Monday night, Pfyffer took to Facebook with an idea of a "scofflaw effort" if and when construction starts. He said he would be willing to park his car in front of construction vehicles as a peaceful protest.

In an interview with WBTV Pfyffer said, "I'm just saying there might be a way where we might make it more difficult for them. That's all I'm saying."

By Tuesday afternoon, the post was shared more than a dozen times and had hundreds of likes and lots of comments.

Pfyffer said, "I was awfully surprised by the reaction this morning and even so by reaction in the afternoon."

He said he doesn't have "an agenda except to protect small businesses and the people in this area... us as a community in Lake Norman should be heard."

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