By Mark S. Kenna
June 19, 2013. Among glossing over the budget and discussing carbon monoxide detectors in hotels, the Boone Town Council passed a resolution on Tuesday night adopting the Watauga County Comprehensive Transportation Plan (CTP).
Representatives with the N.C. Department of Transportation and High Country Council Governments spoke on the matter. One of the main concerns with the CTP was the tentative plan of creating a bypass through Boone. Boone Town Council Member Andy Ball was the lone member who voted against adopting the vision plan.
“I think in the long term, constructing a bypass may have benefit in increasing the lifespan of our existing roads,” Ball said. “But it is bad for business in Boone, and therefore bad for our taxpayers.”
Boone Town Council Member Allan Scherlen also questioned what environmental impact the bypass would have.
Daniel Sellers of the NCDOT said the department did not do a “full-fledged” environmental study. The environmental impacts that were documented in the report were not given in specifics.
The CTP is a 30-year laundry list of improvements to roadways, proposed projects and different recommendations for transportation projects: 21 road projects including a Boone bypass and nine minor widening improvements; an appalCART route to run from Boone to Blowing Rock; seven park and ride appalCART potential locations; improvements to 33 roadways to accommodate bicycles and nine multi-use path facilities which includes the Middle Fork Greenway—a path that would connect Blowing Rock and Boone.
Click here for the complete details on the CTP.