I-26 Connector Alternatives

Asheville Design Center: 'Scrutiny Hooligans Is Right On Target'

I-26 Connector Controversy Revs Up:

Controversial I-26 Connector Alternatives Reviewed by Buncombe Commissioners, Asheville Design Center's Award-Winning Alternative 4B Ignored, Commissioners' Special Meeting Postponed Until Jan. 6, Citizens Must Log Comments with NC DOT by Dec. 31, Threat of Lawsuit Looms, Shuford Gives His Two Cents, Mittan Provides Insights

*JAN. 6 PUBLIC MEETING Schedule: The Commissioners' regular public meeting will begin at 4:30 p.m., Tues., Jan. 6, 2009, in Commission Chambers, which is located in Room 204 of the Buncombe Courthouse in Downtown Asheville. The public is encouraged to attend and give comment.

*WRITES ADC'S JOE MINICOZZI in Scrutiny Hooligans: "... Because of the amount of approved plans and resolutions that support the separation of interstate and local traffic (and DOTís own admission that keeping interstate and local traffic together is 'dangerous') selecting an Alternate that goes against this will almost certainly guarantee a lawsuit that will tie this project up for another decade." | On Dec. 21, 2008, Asheville Design Center's Joe Minicozzi took off the kid gloves and spoke against the Commissioners rush to approve an I-26 design that lacks community support. Joining other concerned citizens, Minicozzi spoke out on Scrutiny Hooligans' update concerning the I-26 connector issue. For Minicozzi's complete statement (Response #10): Click Here>

*ASHEVILLE CITIZEN-TIMES GIVES DETAILS of why Buncombe Commissioners canceled meeting on Dec. 23 | Special public meeting is rescheduled for Jan. 6, 2009 | Click Here>

*CHAMBER WEIGHS IN on its I-26 Connector recommendation | The Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce recently posted its recommendation for how the commissioners should vote concerning the I-26 connector | Click Here>

*DEC. 16 FRESHMAN COUNTY COMMISSIONERS HOLLY JONES AND K. RAY BAILEY along with new chairman David Gannt got down to serious work with old-timers Bill Stanley and Carol Peterson in reviewing the controversial I-26 Connector alternatives. The Dec. 16, 2008, minutes of the Board of Commissioners concerning I-26 Connector Alternatives are not available at this time; however, a video of the meeting is online: Click Here>A minutes' entry of a previous commissioner's meeting stated: "Mike Goodson, County Engineer, who serves on the advisory group to work on the alternatives for the I-26 connector project gave an informational update on the project and presented a power point. He focused on Section B with three alternatives. He reviewed the anticipated costs of each alternative. City Council has supported Alternative 4B and the residents are encouraged to log their public comment with the Department of Transportation (NC DOT) before the end of December."

*AFTER THE DEC. 16 MEETING, an Asheville Design Center (ADC) spokesman said that the principal issue revolves around the community being served properly by having an I-26 connector design that separates interstate traffic from local traffic. "That's what the community has stated it wants," the ADC spokesman told DowntownAsheville.com. He said the design being forwarded by the Chamber of Commerce to convince the Board of Commissioners to accept Alternative 3 is missing the point, and may end up slowing down the process should a lawsuit arise to resist a design that runs counter to what the community wants. For ADC's proposed alternatives, Click Here> | Furthermore, the ADC spokesman cited North Carolina Governor-elect Bev Perdue as stating that the NC Dept. of Transportation must change its culture and listen to what the community wants in new road designs. See Perdue's Nov. 24, 2008, transportation report by her transition advisory team. Noteworthy are Sections 5 and 6 that clearly state the need for DOT to listen more closely to community wishes. For example, the ADC spokesman expressed frustration with DOT, and told DowntownAsheville.com that DOT should not simply ramrod its one-size fits-all attitude in designing "suburban highways for urban settings." For Perdue's report: Click Here> | The ADC spokesman told DowntownAsheville.com that the possibility of a lawsuit "brought by someone" is likely if a design that the community wants is ignored by the DOT. | Earlier in 2008, the Preservation Society of Asheville and Buncombe County presented its prestigious Griffin Award to the Asheville Design Center for its community-minded I-26 connector design alternatives: Click Here> |

*SCRUTINY HOOLIGANS RECENTLY PROVIDED AN EXCELLENT UPDATE of the ongoing I-26 connector saga is offered by ScrutinyHooligans.us ("Bailey Joins Old Guard to Ramrod I-26 Design"). The Asheville Design Center spokesman told DowntownAsheville.com that Scrutiny Hooligans was "right on target" with its analysis of what is taking place. | Hooligans mentioned a special meeting by the Board of Commissioner on Tues., Dec. 23 at noon -- right before Christmas, so as to ensure attendance by the greatest number of concerned citizens? | For the Hooligans' Dec. 18, 2008, perspective and reader comments about the wrongful rush by the Commissioners to a decision that could come back to bite them and divide the community, Click Here> 

*SCOTT SHUFORD, a key figure in the Parkside scandal, gives his unsolicited opinion. For commentary about Shuford's opinion at Scrutiny Hooligans, Click Here>

*LOCAL MEDIA PERSONALITY MATT MITTAN ("Take A Stand") provides useful background information about the I-26 Connector alternative. For Mittan's info and additional useful links, Click Here> 

*BUNCOMBE COUNTY MEETING AGENDA PACKET about upcoming public meeting now available. For Buncombe's official meeting details, Click Here>

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