Skip to main content

Gastonia City Council waffles on Garden Parkway

The Gastonia City Council was expected to pass a formal resolution opposing the controversial Garden Parkway last night. But the announcement never came.

Over the weekend, members of Gastonia City Council began to talk about the prospects of the controversial toll road and offer alternatives.

“I think it’s dead,” said Gastonia City Manager Jim Palenick.

Palenick, with other Council members, put together alternative plans for the annual $35 million in gap funding that is allocated within the state budget for the Garden Parkway.

The alternative plan includes: completion of I-485 in Mecklenburg County, a drastic overhaul of the existing US 321/I-85 interchange, extending Hudson Blvd. west beyond US 321, and establishing commuter rail between Gastonia and Charlotte.

Palenick says that he would approach leaders in the Charlotte region with the plan and hopes that both communities can promote the idea as a region.

"We recognize your biggest problem," said Palenick. "How about if we help you solve it and in turn you help us solve some problems? If we join forces, maybe people will listen to us. Maybe the legislature will make a farsighted visionary approach to this."

But the General Assembly controls where and how that gap funding is allocated, and fears that the General Assembly would not agree with the alternative helped to shelve the resolution, for now.

Story Links:
Gastonia council expresses doubt over 'Garden Parkway', offers alternative ---Gaston Gazette
Gastonia leaders hold back on formally supporting Garden Parkway alternative ---Gaston Gazette
Gaston officials reject Garden Parkway ---WFAE-FM
E-mail: Parkway News - Highest Priority - Call to Action Tuesday, 6pm (Dec 15) - Stop The Toll Road

Commentary:
Opponents of the Parkway were optimistic going into Tuesday's meeting; and if the resolution against the highway passed, it would have been a serious blow to the Garden Parkway's chances.

However, though they were optimistic, the opponents feared that Parkway supporters would "...turn the screws on them." And well, their fears came to fruition. A member of the NCTA Board of Directors who was in attendance at the meeting mentioned how the General Assembly would most likely not re-allocate the funds into the alternative plans.

Bob Spencer, the NCTA board member, said that members of the General Assembly may take the alternative plan suggestion as a slight and did not personally think the alternative plan would be successful.

Nothing like holding $35 million in transportation funding over someone's head to push through a highway that continues to lose support with the local community.

It'll be interesting to see how this political game plays out in 2010.

Comments

Matt in CLT said…
I still think the Garden Parkway is an asinine idea. I like the idea of instead upgrading the 321 interchange. That is a project which would be worth every dime...and given the development in the close proximity of the interchange, a nice piece of engineering.

Popular posts from this blog

New River Gorge National River Area To Become A National Park

Great news for those that enjoy National Parks, West Virginia's New River Gorge Region, or West Virginia tourism.  Included within the Fiscal Year 2021 Omnibus Appropriations Bill signed by President Trump last night (December 27th) is the New River Gorge Park and Preserve Designation Act.   The act will designate the existing New River National River and over 72,000 acres of land within it as a National Park and Preserve. The New River Gorge Bridge will continue to be the centerpiece of the new New River Gorge National Park and Preserve. (Adam Prince, 2007) The river and surrounding land, which was added to the National Park System in 1978, will be our 63rd National Park.   The designation preserves over 7,000 acres as a National Park.  This area will not allow any hunting.  The remaining 65,000 acres of the existing park will be designated as a preserve allowing hunting and fishing. The main attractions to the New River Gorge - whitewater rafting, camping, hiking, mountain bikin

Douglas Memorial Bridge; the ruins of US Route 101 and the Redwood Highway over the Klamath River

Near the village of Klamath in southern Del Norte County, California sits the ruins of Douglas Memorial Bridge which once carried US Route 101 and the Redwood Highway over the Klamath River.  The Douglas Memorial Bridge was a arch concrete span which once crossed the Klamath River.  The Douglas Memorial Bridge was noted for it's unique grizzly bear statues which still adorn the remains of the structure.  Completed in 1926 the Douglas Memorial Bridge was the original alignment of US Route 101 ("US 101") and stood until it was destroyed by the Christmas Floods of 1964.  The Douglas Memorial Bridge is named in honor of G.H. Douglas who was a Assemblyman of the First District of California.  Below the Douglas Memorial Bridge can be seen during it's prime (courtesy bridgehunter ).  Part 1; the history of the Douglas Memorial Bridge The history of what would become US 101/Redwood Highway begins with the approval of the 1909 First State Highway Bond Act .  The First Stat

The Great PA 48 Clearance Sale

It's not often that any department of transportation sells land it purchased.  They are usually in the business of acquiring land for right-of-way.  But in 1982, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation did exactly that.  Offering to buyers land it purchased just 15 years earlier for the never-built Route 48 Expressway. Background: The sale was a result of the 1970s cash crunch the PennDOT experienced.  Many projects were cut back, shelved, or eliminated.  The 'New 48', or the North-South Parkway, which was touted for nearly 20 years as a connection from the industrial Mon Valley to the Turnpike and Monroeville was one of the casualties. In the mid-late 1960s, movement to construct the new highway began with targeting a two-mile stretch of highway from the Route 48 intersection at Lincoln Way in White Oak to US 30 in North Versailles.  The plan was then to continue the highway northwards to Monroeville.  Extension south across the Youghiogheny River and to PA 51 would