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Not so fast, city says of killing parkway

While the Henderson County Board of Commissioners has voted to asked the NCDOT to scrap the Balfour Parkway, the Hendersonville City Council says not so fast.
“I think it’s way too premature to just send the money back,” City Council member Steve Caraker said during a council meeting Monday. As the city’s representative on the French Broad River MPO, Caraker said he’ll ask the board to give engineers more time to come up with a workable route that affects few homes.
“I’d like to let it run its course,” he said of the planning process. “We’ve proven several times with DOT if we continue the conversation, we can alter the project. If we don’t, they’ll just take their money and go way. I don’t like the plans (as currently drawn) because they affect residential neighborhoods. But if we don’t do something in some form or fashion we’re going to end up with another situation like the I-26 corridor.”
Caraker’s position is at odds with the county’s unequivocal demand (on a 4-1 vote) to drop the parkway. Commissioner Bill Lapsley, who is also chair of the MPO, voted no.
“None of them are involved in the transportation process like Lapsley,” he said. “Lapsley is the only that gets it. If they took time to look at it, they’d know there’s room for conversation. I just want to keep the conversation going.”
The NCDOT has altered plans to address local concerns before, he said, citing the U.S. 64 improvement through the Historic Oakdale Cemetery and the Kanuga Road widening.