Skip to main content

EPA: Gaston Parkway - Not a good idea

In reviewing the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the Garden Parkway, the United States Environmental Protection Agency has significant concerns on the environmental impact of the toll road. It also questions in how much consideration various alternative were given.

The DEIS was released in May.

The EPA's concerns are many:
  • "Very Significant" Impact to nearby waterways, and that mitigation for these impacts have not been thoroughly provided and explained
  • More consideration to other transportation methods - including light rail
  • The time savings for commuters range from 0-5 minutes for more than half the project. They fail to see a benefit to commuters in Gaston County and in the study area.
  • Other socio-economic factors - from minority relocation and the impact on poor residents.
The NCTA has received similar responses from the Southern Environmental Law Center, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission.

The Turnpike Authority intends to answer the EPA's and all concerns when they release the Final EIS in the spring of 2010.

Story: EPA cites numerous problems with Garden Parkway ---Gaston Gazette

Commentary:
Immediately, opponents of the Garden Parkway pointed to the EPA's response as more reason why the Parkway shouldn't be built.
“It confirms what we believed — that there are serious problems with the project,” said Bill Toole, spokesman for a group opposing the toll road. “Just as we’ve been saying, the EPA is saying there are far better alternatives that need much more careful thought before they get rejected.”
And honestly, they're right. The road really does not significantly cut commute times for most residents in Gaston County - and the comments from the EPA in regards to the DEIS - show a lot of questions on the environmental impact on the highway.

This just adds to the controversy over the selection of the Gaston Parkway Preferred Alternative by the Turnpike Authority. Many residents have questioned the influence of State Senator David Hoyle (D-Gastonia) on the route. Hoyle, who has been a strong supporter of the Parkway, and his family own about 327 acres of land near one of the proposed exits of the Garden Parkway.

The N.C. Legislative Ethics Committee has cleared Hoyle in any wrong doing in a September 2008 advisory letter.

Former State Senator Robert Pittinger also owns land near the proposed Parkway; however, he abstained from voting on any legislation regarding the road.

Former State Senator, Robert Pittinger, also owns land near the Parkway, but he did not vote on any bills that included the Garden Parkway.

In addition, not all of the municipalities impacted along the route have signed on to the NCTA's preferred alternative. The Town of Belmont supports another routing of the highway.

Back to the EPA, this letter seems to have stung the proponents of the road. The concerns of the EPA has amplified the objections to the route and puts the burden on the NCTA to ease and explain their solutions to the numerous concerns of the EPA and other agencies.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Ghost Town Tuesday; Vineland, Florida; the town killed by Disney

Vineland is a small ghost town located in southwest Orange County, Florida near the junction of Florida State Road 535 and Interstate 4.  Vineland is somewhat unique due to it largely being squeezed out of existence by Lake Buena Vista which is the company town where Disney World is located. Vineland was founded in the late 1800s as Englewood.  The town name of Englewood changed to Orange Center in 1911 before finally assuming the name Vineland in 1924.  Much like the rest of Orange County the community of Vineland was centered around Citrus Grove.  In the case of Vineland said orange groves were centered around Ruby Lake. The end of Vineland came as the Disney Corporation began purchasing parcels of citrus grove land to build Lake Buena Vista.  Vineland fell into a sharp decline in the 1960s but the community managed to continue to exist to modern times.  Much of the street grid of Vineland still exists east of FL 535 but most of the original structures are either gone or falle

Old NY 10 and Goodman Mountain in the Adirondacks

  Old highway alignments come in all shapes and sizes, as well as taking some different forms after their lifespan of serving cars and trucks has ended. In the case of an old alignment of what was NY 10 south of Tupper Lake, New York, part of the old road was turned into part of a hiking trail to go up Goodman Mountain. At one time, the road passed by Goodman Mountain to the east, or Litchfield Mountain as it was known at the time. As the years passed, sometime around 1960, the part of NY 10 north of Speculator became part of NY 30, and remains that way today from Speculator, past Indian Lake and Tupper Lake and up to the Canadian Border. At one time, the highway was realigned to pass the Goodman Mountain to the west, leaving this stretch of road to be mostly forgotten and to be reclaimed by nature. During the summer of 2014, a 1.6 mile long hiking trail was approved the Adirondack Park Agency to be constructed to the summit of the 2,176 foot high Goodman Mountain. For the first 0.9 mi

Oregon State Highway 58

  Also known as the Willamette Highway No. 18, the route of Oregon State Highway 58 (OR 58) stretches some 86 miles between US 97 north of Chemult and I-5 just outside of Eugene, Oregon. A main route between the Willamette Valley region of Oregon with Central Oregon and Crater Lake National Park, the highway follows the Middle Fork Willamette River and Salt Creek for much of its route as it makes its way to and across the Cascades, cresting at 5,138 feet above sea level at Willamette Pass. That is a gain of over 4,500 in elevation from where the highway begins at I-5. The upper reaches of OR 58 are dominated by the principal pinnacle that can sometimes be seen from the highway, Diamond Peak, and three nearby lakes, Crescent, Odell and Waldo (Oregon's second largest lake). OR 58 is chock full of rivers, creeks, mountain views, hot springs and waterfalls within a short distance from the highway. OR 58 was numbered as such by the Oregon State Highway Department in 1940. OR 58 is a del