To the Editor:
Jackson County Commissioners are ranking road improvement projects in the County’s Comprehensive Transportation Plan (CTP) at their meeting April 18. Here are some reasons why I feel commissioners should follow the example set by Sylva to leave the 107 Connector (Sylva bypass) off their priority list.
First, the N.C. 107 feasibility study given to this county by NCDOT did not include any of the congestion management solutions provided by the Transportation Task Force and imbedded in the CTP. Also, the DOT’s own modeling showed that the bypass would not relieve congestion on N.C. 107, and that congestion is caused by land use.
Second, when developing the CTP the Transportation Task Force was only asked to look at traffic counts and traffic projections. We did not consider and discuss any of the economic, environmental or community impacts of our decisions. I recommend that this community’s leadership study and understand these impacts before they endorse the NC107 connector. The Task Force was not asked to look at the economic impact of diverting traffic from one of our main commercial corridors. The Task Force also did not discuss the impact, location or footprint of the cloverleaf overpass required by the bypass.
Also, a final consideration regarding the Transportation Task Force’s decision-making process is that we included the developments at Legasus and Balsam into our traffic forecasts, and those have since slowed down. Another area of growth included in the traffic counts that has also slowed down was the projected growth of WCU.
If you also feel that the N.C. 107 Connector should be left off of the priority list, contact the commissioners before their April 18 meeting. For more information visit Smartroads.org.