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CTP Road Recommendations

These are among the road improvements recommended in the draft Comprehensive Transportation Plan.

 

• Upgrade U.S. 421 to a four-lane road west of Boone.

• Replace center lane on U.S. 321/Hardin Street with a median.

• Widen N.C. 105 bypass to four lanes.

• Widen N.C. 194 to four lanes from East King Street to Howard’s Creek Road.

• Limit new driveways and intersections on U.S. 321 between Boone and Blowing Rock.

• Widen lanes on Bamboo Road, Wilson Ridge Road and Deerfield Road to 12 feet wide.



Originally published: 2012-10-11 21:02:30
Last modified: 2012-10-12 10:46:42

Boone bypass recommended again

by Anna Oakes

A Boone bypass is once again on the table as part of Watauga County’s new Comprehensive Transportation Plan.

The public comment period for the draft plan, developed by a steering committee, opened today and continues through Nov. 13. Staff and elected officials from Appalachian State University, Watauga County and the towns of Boone, Blowing Rock, Seven Devils and Beech Mountain met for an intergovernmental meeting Thursday at ASU’s Appalachian Athletics Center to discuss the plan.

Representatives from the county and towns have coordinated with the High Country Council and N.C. Department of Transportation’s Planning Branch since September 2010 to develop the CTP.

The CTP is a long-range, multimodal plan that will include four maps of transportation networks: highway, public transportation/rail, bicycle and pedestrian. The plan will review existing conditions and facilities and recommend improvements.

“There’s got to be some kind of bypass,” said Mike Hall, a member of the Boone Area Chamber of Commerce and longtime proponent of a bypass, also called the Daniel Boone Parkway.

Although some local officials — as well as the Boone 2030 land use plan — have proposed an alternate route for the bypass using existing roads, the committee ultimately determined that a new highway is needed.

The route recommended in the draft CTP would travel south of Boone from U.S. 421, run parallel to Browns Chapel Road, have an interchange at Bamboo Road, have an interchange at Deerfield Road, have an interchange at U.S. 321 near Boone Golf Course, have interchanges at Deck Hill and Winklers Creek roads, have an interchange at Poplar Grove Road and then travel parallel to the N.C. 105 bypass back to U.S. 421 west of Boone.

Other recommendations incorporate improvements referred to by officials as “access management,” which aim to reduce the potential for traffic conflicts.

Practices designed to reduce potential traffic conflicts include eliminating driveways near intersections, installing medians, installing turn lanes, building alternative access ways, interconnecting properties, traffic signal spacing and restricting turning movements.

Meeting attendees were shown a video espousing the merits of access management. The video cited study findings that access management improvements have rarely caused businesses to fail and that businesses experience similar or greater sales after completion of the improvements.

Watauga County last completed a thoroughfare plan in 2002. Thoroughfare plans have since been replaced by comprehensive transportation plans, which include all modes of transportation (e.g., bicycling, walking and public transit) — not just vehicle roads.

To view the draft plan and recommendations, visit http://www.regiond.org.