|Click for Video if the reference escapes you.|
It's commendable that this meeting occurred though it would have been much, much better if it had been allowed before the contract was signed for commercial close of the project. Davidson Mayor, John Woods, squashed that from happening back in June saying the "only experts reside at NCDOT", so a meeting could not be had without them present.
Keeping with the letter of that sentiment, there was NCDOT representation at last week's meeting. Former Charlotte City Councilman and newly minted NCDOT District 10 Director of Outreach and Community Affairs, Warren Cooksey, was on hand to support the State's Plan. The other main speaker was LNTC Chair and Mooresville Jewelry Store Owner, Bill Thunberg. (You may remember Mr Thunberg as the person who cast the tie-breaking vote that brought Mi-Connection into being when he was Mooresville's mayor.)
With these "transportation experts" in the room, Davidson's Board got an in-depth briefing that appears to have given very little new information.
- Davidson will get a new bridge over I77 wide enough to accommodate bike lanes. That was known already. In fact, this is already incorporated in the Exit 30 small area plan updated last year. Readers can decide for themselves if 50 years of tolls is a reasonable price to pay for 2 bike lanes.
- Davidson still does not have an access point to the new HOT Lanes that is convenient for the town. That was known as well when the Cintra proposal was initially released. Why this was not fought for by the previous Davidson Board as a requirement for town support for the project is maybe the bigger question, but it is nice to know that the town will be pursuing it now - if it's not too late.
- Commuters still don't know how much it will cost to use the HOT Lanes, but we are once again assured that there will be public hearings. But there will be public hearings. But there will be public hearings.
Promoters of this project just don't get it. Reflexively saying there will be public hearings on the cost to use HOT Lanes is making them all sound like Nigel Tunfel in the mockumentary Spinal Tap when he says with confused concern
"...these go to 11?!?"
People want real answers now, not promises of some future action that might give them those answers later - after it's too late to turn back.