Free Daily Headlines


Set your text size: A A A

LIGHTNING EDITORIAL: No, Highland Lake Road won't be the same (it'll be better)

Cultural Landscape Group: Flat Rock, the anti-Highland Lake Road improvement organization that is running a slate of candidates for the Village Council, is right when it says that Highland Lake Road won’t be as good when the work is done. It will be better.

Caterwauling and slick campaign fliers to the contrary, the evidence is overwhelming that the Village Council over the past 3½ years has worked in the best interest of the village to eliminate or reduce harmful impacts of the project, listened to and responded to the concerns of Historic Flat Rock and the Cultural Landscape Group and negotiated changes that accrue to the village’s advantage esthetically and financially.
The road will not be straightened. It will be the same curving and gently rolling roadway that it is now. It will have 11-foot travel lanes, the same as now, with curb and gutter on the park side and 2-foot wide paved shoulders on the south side. A 5-foot wide sidewalk will run from Greenville Highway along the Pinecrest Church property, linking to a 10-foot wide paved bike-pedestrian trail through the park to the railroad tracks. The project will round the southeast corner so charter buses ad work trucks with trailers can make a right turn from Greenville Highway onto Highland Lake Road without encroaching into the westbound center turn lane. It will also lengthen the stacking lane for left-turning traffic onto Greenville Highway. The project fixes the westbound “suicide lane,” the awkward merger of through traffic from Upward Road with right-turning traffic from Spartanburg Highway. It will provide a crosswalk for walkers from the Highland Lake communities on the south side of the road and left turn lanes at Highland Lake Drive, Highland Park Road and the park entrance. And guard rails made of oxidized steel with wooden supports, which will be prettier than the precious historic aluminum rails we have now. (The village will have to pay extra for the upgrade.)
It’s true, too, that the recreational crown jewel of southern Henderson County, the Park at Flat Rock, won’t be the same once the Highland Lake Road work is done. It will be better. The project improves the entrance and exit for Highland Golf Villas homeowners, who will no longer have to share the road with park visitors because … the project will also provide a new entrance to the park, saving the village roughly $1 million.
The project includes a 10-foot paved pedestrian-bike path through the park, with the village paying 20%.
And it’s true that the project will cost the village money: $48,342. Of course the state will pay the village $85,000 for right of way, tree replacement, trail relocation and drainage work, so the village will net $36,658. Not counting $1 million for the new park entrance.
So, the Cultural Landscape Group is right. The road won’t be the same. It will be safer, more attractive and more functional for a long time. The park won’t be the same either. It will be better. It will have a new bike-ped path, better drainage, a safer entrance, functional access for school buses and more esthetically pleasing surroundings.
Amazing what the road opponents could learn if they bothered to look at the facts.