On Monday evening, 11/5, NCDOT held a "Citizens Informational Workshop" on the Smith Level Road "improvement" project. Turnout was, to be kind, sparse. Now we enter the "public comment and public hearing" phase, the last stop before the asphalt meets the roadbed. The current DOT project plan for Smith Level (the section between Rock Haven Road and the Morgan Creek bridge) could best be described as resembling MLK Blvd.
Does the Town of Carrboro really want a multi-lane monstrosity within the town limits? Aristotle had a phrase for DOTs proclivity to seek to relieve congestion by adding travel lanes: reductio ad absurdum. At a moment of fatigue (discussion on this issue began back in 1986) the Board of Aldermen gave DOT the green light to continue planning based on the current project plan. Now here we are.
Two actions seem to be required to turn this project from boondoggle to actual improvement:
1. Pressure brought to bear on DOT from state legislative/executive officials on the fiscal absurdity of spending twice as much on a project Carrboro doesn't want, instead of one it does.
2. Pressure brought to bear on the BoA by citizens who agree with action 1 above, and who place a higher value on safety, walkability, and quality of life than an extra lane or two, or three, of asphalt.
A petition to help apply some of the above, and which expresses support for the two-lane road cross section Carrboro fought for "back in the day" is linked below.