Letter to the Editor for September 30
by Staff Writer
Finally, after more than 3 1/2 years, the stigma of a four to six lane limited access, divided highway on top of extending N.C. 73 between Beatties Ford Road and the McGuire Nuclear Plant is gone. Also gone is the estimated $12 million loss in property values caused by the road threat.
After the well publicized public meeting last May, the citizens of Huntersville came forward and made their feelings known on Options 1, 3 and 4 to the Huntersville Board of Commissioners. The town in turn made all of the citizens’ opinions known by posting each and every public comment on the town’s website (www.huntersville.org) for all to read. They are still there for any who wish to read them. The town (Bill Coxe, transportation planner) went to great lengths to keep the citizens informed of progress and upcoming meetings related to the Northwest Huntersville Transportation Study. On July 29, Bill Coxe sent out a personal email to each and every person who had submitted a comment or attended the public meeting in May. He laid out the meeting schedule for the next four months. So far, every one of those meetings has occurred as promised.
On Aug. 23, the Huntersville planning board met, and using a Decision Analysis Model developed at Stanford and Harvard universities, ranked Options 1, 3 and 4 using 41 different measures. The model, the results, and an excellent explanation of it are also on the town’s website. Option 3 ranked the highest (97), Option 1 (82) and Option 4 (77). Option 3 had the lowest cost and the least social and environmental effects. Based on those results, the planning board recommended the concept of Option 3 to the town board.
On Sept. 1, the technical coordinating committee of the Mecklenburg-Union Metropolitan Planning Organization reviewed the work of the Huntersville staff and planning board and unanimously endorsed the concept of Option 3. On Sept. 6, the Huntersville Board of Commissioners voted to recommend Option 3 to the regional planning organization. On Sept. 21, the Mecklenburg-Union Metropolitan Planning Organization voted unanimously for Option 3 and included it in their Thoroughfare Plan and later in the new Statewide Comprehensive Transportation Plan.
Option 3 moves the future alignment of N.C. 73 about one-half mile south through mostly rural woodland from Beatties Ford Road to the McGuire Nuclear Plant. While some may disagree, the majority of citizens support the process and the Option 3 decision. This is an example of government by and for the people.
– Dr. Ken Hotje, Huntersville