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

California State Route 190; a Trans-Sierra Highway that could have been

This past week I decided to take a small scale road trip on California State Route 190 from CA 99 east to the unbuilt section over the Sierra Nevada Range.  While I was in for what turned out to be a fun drive following the course of the Tule River watershed what I found researching the back story of CA 190 was one of the most complex and unusual stories of any California State Highway.  Given that I had a ton of older photos of the eastern segment of CA 190 in the Mojave Desert of Inyo County I thought it was time to put something together for the entire route. The simplified story of CA 190 is that it is a 231 mile state highway that has a 43 mile unbuilt gap in the Sierra Nevada Range.  CA 190 is an east/west State Highway running from CA 99 in Tulare County at Tipton east to CA 127 located in Death Valley Junction near the Nevada State Line in rural Inyo County.  The routing CA 190 was adopted into the State Highway system as Legislative Route 127 which was adopted in 1933 acc

I-73/I-74 and NC Future Interstates, Year in Review 2022

Another year over, already? 2022 turned out to be quite the year if you are a fan of new interstate routes, and it wasn't bad for some long standing favorites. As per the tradition, I will review what happened with I-73 and I-74, and then the other new and future interstate routes in North Carolina... Work continued on the one segment of I-73 under construction, the I-73/I-74 Rockingham Bypass. As of the beginning of December, work was getting close to being 2/3 complete at 60.1%. Progress could be seen from US 74 on constructing of the future interchange at the Bypass's southern end. Here's a look from US 74 East in September from Google Maps Street View: Here's a photo from US 74 West taken last week by David Gallo: Work is now scheduled to be completed in October 2025, though the road itself could open earlier that year.  Progress on I-74 earned more publicity in 2022 with the opening of 7.5 more miles of the Winston-Salem Northern Beltway from US 311 (Exit 49) to NC

Interstate 605

Interstate 605 is a 27.4-mile freeway located in the Los Angeles Metropolitain Area.  Interstate 605 begins at Interstate 210 near Duarte and terminates at the Interstate 405/California State Route 22 junction to the south near the boundary to the city of Long Beach.  Interstate 605 is known as the San Gabriel River Freeway and has three unconstructed miles which would extend it south to California State Route 1 near Seal Beach.  Much of the corridor of Interstate 605 was built up from what was the original California State Route 35.  The blog cover photo is taken from the July/August 1964 California Highways & Public Works which featured the initial segment of Interstate 605 to open between Whittier Boulevard and Peck Road  Part 1; the history of the San Gabriel River Freeway and Interstate 605 The origin of what is now Interstate 605 begins during 1933 with the addition of Legislative Route Number 170 (LRN 170) to the State Highway System.  The original definition of LRN 170 was