Inconsistency #3: Trusting NCDOT (part 1)

Is this the beginning of NCDOT’s plans to widen other roads in Flat Rock such as Greenville Highway and Little River Road?

The Flat Rock village council says in part, “No. Any rumors of widening other roads in Flat Rock are simply not true.”

We will look at this FAQ over several posts. In this post, we’ll consider the Transportation section of the Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP). The mailed print version of the Flat Rock village council FAQ on the N. Highland Lake Road project mentions that the Transportation section “starts on page 13 and runs to page 15.” The online version does not mention any page numbers.

But the Transportation section of the CLUP, while it does start on page 13, runs to page 16.

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Page 16 shows the existing and future planned sidewalks, future planned trails, and future planned multiuse paths on village roads, including Greenville Highway, Little River Road, Rutledge Drive, West Blue Ridge, and Highland Lake Drive.

Whether or not the road bed itself is widened, it is necessary in order to develop sidewalks, trails, and multiuse paths to take property from somewhere. The footprint of the road and its supplemental parts, including sidewalks and multiuse paths, can only become wider.

Will the road bed itself become wider? Maybe or maybe not (that’s our next post), but the entire roadway area will become wider with the addition of sidewalks, trails, and multiuse paths.

The year 2004 was the last time the village community as a whole was asked their preferences on this type of development. At that time, Flat Rock residents were split 50/50 on whether to develop more sidewalks and trails, and were 52% opposed to adding bike lanes in the village. Their top two road concerns were preserving the visual quality of roads in the village and the problem of speeding. The N. Highland Lake Road project will damage the visual quality of that road (mature trees cut down, possible retaining walls on the south side of the road, curves removed) and will increase the speed of traffic (wider lanes, dampened curves, turn lanes, absence of trees).

So if the last time the village citizens were asked their preferences, they were evenly divided on adding sidewalks and trails and opposed to bike paths, where did page 16 originate? As CLG:Flat Rock wrote the village council recently:

Decisions on matters that will fundamentally alter the village deserve input from the entire community. The Cultural Landscape Group:Flat Rock is asking the village council to conduct a survey of the Flat Rock community this year so all citizens will have a chance to express their preferences on these important issues.

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