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home : opinion : opinion June 18, 2021

5/30/2021 7:04:00 AM
GCLMPO Launches New Public Comment Period
Accident May 22nd at Hagers Ferry/N. Pilot Knob intersectionphoto courtesy of Martin Oakes
Accident May 22nd at Hagers Ferry/N. Pilot Knob intersection

photo courtesy of Martin Oakes
Traffic on Hagers Ferry Road has to stop immediately after coming off NC16-business.  Traffic on N. Pilot Knob has the right of way at that intersection, but must yield before accessing northbound NC16-business.  The warning sign about having to yield at the northbound access intersection is posted before the Hagers Ferry intersection and can be confusing.
Traffic on Hagers Ferry Road has to stop immediately after coming off NC16-business.  Traffic on N. Pilot Knob has the right of way at that intersection, but must yield before accessing northbound NC16-business.  The warning sign about having to yield at the northbound access intersection is posted before the Hagers Ferry intersection and can be confusing.

L. Wayne Howard
Staff Writer


 

We received this past week a news release from the Gaston-Cleveland-Lincoln Metropolitan Planning Organization (GCLMPO).

The GCLMPO has established a Public Comment Period to amend the 2020-2029 Metropolian Transportation Improvement Program (MTIP). According to the news release, the documents will be available for review and public comments will be received from June 1 – June 30, 2021.

The news release continues: the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) identifies the transportation projects that GCLMPO and NCDOT plan to undertake over the next ten years. The GCLMPO’s 2020-2029 MTIP is being modified to reflect amendments to the 2020-2029 State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) to include funding for engineering, right of way, construction, implementation, and operations in FY 21 and FY 22 for various Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) projects to improve air quality within nonattainment and maintenance areas across the state.

Additional information, it says, can be obtained by visiting the MPO’s website at www.gclmpo.org. The public may also provide comments during the GCLMPO TCC Meeting on Wednesday, July 14, 2021 at 10:00 am and the Board Meeting on Thursday, July 22, 2021 at 6:30 pm. Written comments may also be sent by mail, email, or fax to the following address:

Gaston-Cleveland-Lincoln MPO
Attn: Randi Gates, Principal Transportation Planner
PO Box 1748
Gastonia, NC 28053
email :randig@cityofgastonia.com
FAX: 704-869-1960

All written comments must be received by June 30, 2021.

A fair question, we believe, is: will my comments make any difference? Based on experience and history, the answer is--probably not.

We took the time to attempt to read and understand the NCDOT's STIP and the MTIP accessed via the GTCLMPO website link. We're no less confused than we were before.

On Saturday May 22nd, there was yet another bad accident at the intersection of N. Pilot Knob and Hagers Ferry roads just off NC16-business. This intersection has been a federally-funded safety project for more than ten years. NCDOT moved the utilities and bought the land for improving the dangerous intersection two years ago. Nothing more has been done since.

Several of our readers have expressed concern over other projects including the widening of the Dallas-Cherryville Highway. "Will it EVER be completed?" some asked, noting that the work has started and stopped on multiple occasions. At least recently work on that project is being done. Those who have had to stop several times for the construction on trips between Cherryville and Dallas can attest to that.

Following the accident on May 22nd, we attempted to get an answer about when something more will be done at the Hagers Ferry/N. Pilot Knob intersection. We're still waiting for one.

It's understandable that many of skeptical when they hear about a new comment period or study. "We've done this before," they say, "and what have we to show for it?" Some who participated in the East Lincoln Mobility Study that began in 2019 and continued last year are now rightfully wondering, did it make any difference? When will it?



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