By Nathan Ham
Now that the public comment period is over for the proposed Highway 105 Superstreet project, the question is now what happens next?
According to local NCDOT board member Cullie Tarleton, the design team, the consultants and other NCDOT officials will review the comments and evaluate the feasibility of those suggestions in around two weeks. They will then meet with Boone town officials and talk about options that might be available.
“DOT is not trying to cram something down anyone’s throat, they will listen to the concerns and take it from there,” said Tarleton. “All of this should occur sometime within the next 30 days.”
A lot of local businesses and residents have voiced their concerns about the proposed superstreet project that will basically eliminate left hand turns on and off of Highway 105 and will instead require drivers to turn right and make U-turns in specially designed “bulb outs” if they want to go the other direction.
“That is a dangerous area and something needs to be done. Part of the problem is that there is just not a lot of space on either side of the road to work with,” said Tarleton.
The Boone Town Council passed a resolution on October 18 asking the NCDOT to take into consideration other ways to improve Highway 105 without having to use the current superstreet plan. Several area businesses also co-signed a letter drafted by the Boone Area Chamber of Commerce that was sent to the NCDOT during the comment period that also asked for other designs to be considered.
“The Town Council for the Town of Boone requests that the N.C.D.O.T. provide design options other than the Super Street concept which we as a Town Council unequivocally oppose. These alternate designs should preserve left hand turns from the center lane in both directions and utilize synchronized signals that are engineered to control speed without constantly stopping motorists, and they should not employ U-turns and “bulb-outs,” allowing Highway 105 to continue to be a business, resident and visitor friendly corridor, while also improving the overall safety of the road, incorporating the safety of vehicle travelers, pedestrians and cyclists,” the resolution stated.