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Opinion Letters NCDOT needs your opinion on comprehensive plan

DO YOU or someone you know and care about live on any of these roads?

NC 28 from Sanderstown Rd. to Swain Co., US 64 to Highlands, Walnut Creek to Jackson Co., Buck Creek Rd., Elijay Rd, Snow Hill Rd. to Leatherman Gap, Burningtown Rd., All main roads to Highlands.

These and many other rural roads in Macon County are slated for widening by the NCDOT unless YOU speak up and say “NO!” Now. Have you been told by an official that a road cannot be widened if it is designated as a Scenic Byway? You have been lied to and deceived. Macon County's Scenic Byways are slated for widening. (Check out the plan at: www.regiona.org/Macon_CTP.htm and look under the DRAFT Problem Statement – Detailed Explanation of Projects (PDF) - pg. 20.)

Now is your chance to speak up as the Macon County Comprehensive Transportation Plan is now rapidly nearing its final draft stage and this will be your last chance, in the next few weeks, to effect the plan before it is approved by the CTP Committee. Now is the time to stop unnecessary road projects, specifically define a dangerously permissive and vague project proposal or ensure that a desperately needed project is considered.

Please attend the “NCDOT Public Workshop” on March 24th at Franklin's Town Hall from 4:30 to 7:00 PM.

Please tell the officials at the meeting what road projects the community needs or doesn't need. (NCDOT road projects in Macon County have historically been sub-contracted out of the county; Therefore road projects in Macon County do not necessarily create more jobs in Macon County. ) Once a road project is listed on the DOT's Transportation Improvement Project (TIP) list, it could be very difficult to stop the project even if the project is unnecessary and the resulting increase of speed is detrimental to safety and well-being. The CTP plan will essentially give NCDOT “public support” for their projects. DO NOT allow the State to widen your road as they are currently destroying NC 28 North between the town of Franklin and Sanderstown Road with excessive widening and turning and passing lanes. “Improvements” and “Minor Widenings” are vague euphemisms for wide swaths of destruction. We all know the road to ruin is W I D E. The NCDOT could widen your road to a minimum of 12 ft. lanes with 8 ft. shoulders...That's 40 feet wide!

Please speak up now to preserve the rural heritage of Macon County by demanding that these country roads be well maintained and not widened; Protect what makes Macon County unique NOW before it's too late. If you can't make it to the “Public Workshop” on Thursday, please write and call County Commissioners Ronnie Beale or Bobbie Kuppers, who are both on the Macon County Comprehensive Transportation Planning Committee, and/or any other CTP Committee Members you may know:

Kim Angel, Brian Burch, Joe Cooley, Verlin Curtis, Trevor Dalton, Dennis DeWolf, Pam Forshee, Karl Gillespie, Mike Gruberman, Jack Morgan, Sissy Patillo, Derrick Roland, Ed Shatley, Sharon Taylor, Mark West (Please forgive me if I missed any one.)

Or call and write (for your records) Ryan Sherby (the Regional Planning Officer) and Joel Setzer (NCDOT Division 14 Engineer) and tell them what you think.

Thank You for your time and consideration.

Sincerely, a concerned citizen who is tired of NCDOT's lies, games, and deceptions.

Heather Gunn


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