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

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