Skip to main content

Say what? A completed Garden Parkway could increase traffic on Interstate 85

I had to read this story twice more just to make sure I read this right.

Recent traffic projections by the state show I-85 having more traffic on it in 2030 with the Garden Parkway built than if it wasn't.

Here are the figures:

AADT (Annual Average Daily Traffic) in 2030:

I 85: US 321 to Gaston/Mecklenburg County Line -

With entire Garden Parkway Built - 137,600 vehicles
With Garden Parkway built to US 321 - 139,300 vehicles
With NONE of the Garden Parkway Built - 134,600 vehicles

Opponents of the Parkway see this new data as another piece of their argument in stopping the Parkway from being built.

Story Link:
'Garden Parkway' could actually increase traffic on I-85 --Gaston Gazette

Commentary:
This is definitely an interesting stat if you are against the highway. That along with the comparisons to the troubled Southern Connector in Greenville, SC start to make a persuasive argument - beyond typical NIMBY-ism - against the construction of this toll road.

A few things of note: First, the writer in the Gaston Gazette article fails to mention that the traffic increase on I-85 if the Garden Parkway is anywhere from 3,000 to 4,700 more vehicles per day, depending on how much of the parkway is built. So in reality, the estimated volumes would only be somewhere between 2.2 and 3.5% higher if the road is not built. It's not that much of an increase, but it certainly doesn't make sense.

Turnpike Authority officials say that the Garden Parkway isn't a 'fix' to I-85 traffic or even an alternative, but as said in the article - Its broader goal is to “establish connectivity and mobility across the Catawba River.” Well, wouldn't building a free highway bridge from Belmont over to I-485 do exactly that?

The thing is: the proposed highway is toll because of the cost. I've been reading $1.4 billion to $915 million. And about three years ago, the NCTA doubled the estimates of their original cost findings.

Details likes these makes it very easy to stick by my position that the only necessary part of this project is a US 321 Gastonia Bypass...and that was taken off the table from the original non-toll proposal..years ago.

Comments

Froggie said…
There's a logical explanation for the weirdness. The traffic model is likely taking into account the increased development expected in Gastonia and Gaston County should the Garden Pkwy be built. THAT'S why I-85 traffic is expected to be higher, even with the Garden Pkwy present. Without the Garden Pkwy, there wouldn't be nearly as much push or desire to further develop Gaston County.

Popular posts from this blog

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

Siuslaw River Bridge - US 101 in Florence, Oregon

  As the Oregon Coast Highway (US 101) was being completed across the State of Oregon during the 1930s, a number of bridges needed to be built to cross some of the state's finest rivers. In Florence, Oregon , the Siuslaw River Bridge was designed and constructed to help fill in the gaps between different coastal communities. Built in 1936, the Siuslaw River Bridge is a bascule bridge flanked by two reinforced concrete arches that spans across the Siuslaw River. The bridge and the river get their names from the Siuslaw tribal people who make their home along the river valleys of this part of the Oregon Coast. Today, the bridge provides a vital link connecting US 101 and the Central Oregon Coast to points north and south. The total length of the Siuslaw River Bridge is 1,568 feet, stretching across the river. But more specifically, the bridge is made up of a north approach with eight spans of reinforced concrete deck girder totaling 478 feet in length. There is a main span in three