Draft 2020-2029 MPO TIP open for public comments

The draft 2020-2029 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) is now open for public comment. Comments may be sent to mpo@landofsky.org or 828.251.6622 through October 23, or made in-person at the French Broad River Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) Board meeting on October 24 at 1:00 p.m. at Land of Sky Regional Council (339 New Leicester Highway, Asheville).

This draft is planned to go before the MPO Technical Coordinating Committee (TCC) and Board at their October meetings. The TCC will meet on October 10 at 11:00 a.m. and the Board will meet on October 24 at 1:00 p.m. More information is available here.

An ArcGIS map of all the draft TIP Projects can be viewed at the link here.

The TIP is a federally mandated document that outlines transportation investments to be made in the MPO planning area, which includes all of Henderson County, most of Buncombe and Haywood counties, and parts of Madison and Transylvania counties.

One thought on “Draft 2020-2029 MPO TIP open for public comments

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  1. I am a resident of Hendersonville, NC, one of many that will be impacted by the MPO’s plan for NCDOT to complete the design, take private property by eminent domain (2020), and commence construction (2023) of project R-2588B, which extends between SR191 and Boylston/280 and Mountain Road. The project includes widening the roadway to five lanes in Mills River and 4 lanes in Hendersonville with limited and inconvenient access. The current roadway is one lane in each direction, with turn lanes at key intersections and facilities.

    This is a rural area with agriculture, and residential housing. Twenty-eight commercial businesses operate along the project footprint. We have recently completed a survey of these businesses and found a very high percentage (nearly 90%) of the 25 responding entities were OPPOSED to the NCDOT’s plans. Currently, there is minimal commercial truck traffic using this stretch of SR191. Why attract more such traffic to our rural environment and in proximity to two public schools and several churches. The rural nature of our area, with extensive wooded habitat, is what made the area attractive to my wife and I, when we commenced construction of our home in Carriage Park in 2013 and moved here in 2014. The same can be said of many other area residents, if not the majority. We DO NOT want a major highway at our front door.

    The extra traffic that will result will reduce road safety, based simply on increased use. Road noise is already excessive and will only worsen. The new highway construction and operation will impact air quality, storm water runoff/quality, surface water and groundwater quality, and area wildlife due to urbanization and road kills (deer, bear, bobcat and numerous other species of small mammals and reptiles). Note that no environmental impact assessment or adequate noise surveys have been completed or released to the public. The widened highway passes along the frontage of both a high school (West Hendersonville) and a middle school (Rugby). One reason the project was touted was to reduce traffic congestion at the start and end of school days. Yet a NCDOT project completed this past summer has essentially eliminated this congestion; further relief (if needed in the future) could be easily achieved by providing a drop-off lot on currently available land at both schools, this without expending $79.9 million. Further, the project will lessen the value of private property along the full project footprint. I strongly suspect there will be considerable legal push-back related to the eminent domain takings and in response to diminished property values to those in the area. Expect a legal uproar when the public comes to better understand the project as currently planned.

    I ask that the MPO/NCDOT/Henderson Count re-evaluate the need for the proposed “one size fits all” design mentality historically and currently followed by the NCDOT. We believe a better “Smart Development” approach is warranted, one that properly considers the opinions and suggestions of those that will be most heavily impacted by the proposed roadway construction. Furthermore, simply improving SR191 with new paving, improved drainage, and proper shoulders, bikeways/sidewalks would improve safety, without permanently destroying the rural nature and aesthetics of our area, the lifestyle of our residents, or citizen/child safety. Doing so would also avoid the negative health, safety, and environmental impacts noted above – not to mention reducing the project cost immensely. Lets get smart and use common sense.

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