INC NEWS - [dukepark] East End Connector
bragin at nc.rr.com
bragin at nc.rr.com
Wed Feb 7 12:06:24 EST 2007
i suppose it would help if i actually included the text of the article.
Support growing for East End Connector
City officials plan to push for the project, a bypass around Durham
By C.D. KIRKPATRICK : The Herald-Sun
Jun 27, 2002
DURHAM -- Supporters of the East End Connector, a road that has been on
the books since before the Durham Freeway was conceived and is now
touted as a replacement for the controversial Eno Drive, have
"inundated" Durham elected officials with e-mails urging construction of
the road, said City Councilman Howard Clement.
Durham elected officials serving on the regional Transportation Advisory
Committee asked staff Wednesday to see how it could move on the nearly
$90 million project. Elected officials said they plan to push for the
project, which at its current planning pace might be a decade or more
into the future, if ever funded.
The city’s chief transportation planner, Mark Ahrendsen, said the
project was a quality one and that funding has been the only issue for
The road would connect Interstate 85 and U.S. 70 with the Durham
Freeway, allowing northern Durham traffic to more directly connect with
Research Triangle Park or other points accessible by the freeway.
Elected officials asked if the project could replace the western section
of Eno Drive. Ahrendsen said he felt the two complemented each other but
were not interchangeable.
"I’d be hard-pressed to say one over the other," he said. "I don’t think
one replaces the other; they serve different purposes."
Ahrendsen said to move more quickly on the East End Connector, Durham
officials have three options: Delay other local projects in the state’s
Transportation Improvement Program or TIP, try to find the money in some
other way or persuade state lawmakers to unlock money in the Highway
Trust Fund. The fund has millions set aside for loop projects around the
state, including Eno Drive, and for other projects such as paving dirt
"It’s a funding issue; it just boils down to the money," he said.
Jon Nance, the DOT Division 5 chief engineer, said that the road could
be considered a bypass or turnpike of sorts around Durham, which would
accomplish some of the same purposes set out for the much-maligned
western portion of the proposed Eno Drive, which would run from I-85 at
Glenn School Road to Guess Road.
Eno Drive would track the Eno River to its north and I-85 to its south.
Many oppose it because it could cut through neighborhoods and could be
environmentally dangerous to the Eno River State Park.
"[The East End Connector] is just an extremely expensive project,"
Ahrendsen said. "[It requires] a new interchange with U.S. 70 … crossing
train tracks. It’s still a very important project. It’s just a project
competing for very limited dollars."
Clement, who attended the TAC meeting but does not serve on the
committee, said the project needs to move forward.
"I don’t want to see this just sit there. We have to grease it," he
said. "I have a stack of e-mails."
County Commissioner Ellen Reckhow said that the state’s construction
funding formula for the various transportation divisions around the
state was unfair to Durham because the national travel on Interstates 40
and 85 was counted against it and so the widening projects on those two
roads have sapped all the funds for Durham’s Division 5.
The whole state benefits from those interstates and Durham’s other
projects should not have to be shelved for funding reasons, she said.
"The TAC has known for a while that the widening projects are sapping up
the funds," she said. "It’s because so much money is going for those
----- Original Message -----
From: bragin at nc.rr.com
Date: Wednesday, February 7, 2007 11:59 am
Subject: Re: INC NEWS - [dukepark] East End Connector
To: council at ci.durham.nc.us
Cc: dukepark at yahoogroups.com, inc-list at DurhamINC.org
> Mr. Mayor and City Council members,
> I'd like to add the following article from the June 27th, 2002 edition
> of the Durham Herald-Sun to my original comments. It needs no further
> Support growing for East End Connector
> City officials plan to push for the project, a bypass around Durham
> By C.D. KIRKPATRICK : The Herald-Sun
> Jun 27, 2002
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: bragin at nc.rr.com
> Date: Wednesday, February 7, 2007 10:59 am
> Subject: [dukepark] East End Connector
> To: council at ci.durham.nc.us
> Cc: dukepark at yahoogroups.com, inc-list at DurhamINC.org
> > Mr. Mayor and City Council members,
> > I'd like to thank you for the opportunity to speak once again
> > before you
> > to the issues of traffic calming and pedestrian safety in the
> > Parkneighborhood, and their relation to the construction of the
> > East End
> > Connector, between US 70 and NC 147 in eastern Durham County.
> > I must state that I was both surprised and disappointed at the
> nature> and substance of the discussion on Monday night.
> > When I am privileged to speak for the Duke Park neighborhood, I am
> > speaking for an ethnically, culturally, and economically diverse
> > neighborhood of over 750 homes, through which pass three major
> > gatewaysto downtown Durham: Washington Street, Roxboro and Mangum
> > Streets, and
> > Avondale Drive and Alston Avenue.
> > In short, Duke Park is both a microcosm of Durham, and the front
> > door to
> > the city for many people.
> > It appeared that I was the only person in the room who had a
> > recollection of the 2002 compromise which led to the rejection of
> the> Eno Loop, and the adoption of the East End Connector as the
> highest> priority roadway project in Durham County. My inbox is
> still full of
> > messages from the period between August 2002 and March 2003
> > whichthis compromise was worked out.
> > For example, this editorial in the Herald-Sun, from January 20,
> 2003.> states:
> > Last year, Durham Mayor Bill Bell worked out what we
> > have dubbed the compromise of 2002. Bell persuaded
> > different groups that are normally opposed on the Eno
> > Drive issue to agree on a schedule for building
> > several traffic projects in the eastern part of
> > Durham. At a recent meeting of the regional
> > Transportation Advisory Committee, several community
> > members expressed doubt that the state Department of
> > Transportation would honor the compromise.
> > The DOT could make a lot of Durham residents happy,
> > and help move this process along, if it would send a
> > signal that it will honor the compromise. The final
> > Transportation Improvement Plan, which we hope will
> > include the compromise, still needs final federal and
> > local approval. Local officials also will negotiate
> > the final TIP with the state DOT.
> > Under the terms of the Bell compromise, the East End
> > Connector, joining U.S. 70 with the Durham Freeway,
> > would come first. U.S. 70 then would be widened to the
> > Wake County line, and Interstate 85 would be widened
> > from U.S. 70 to Red Mill Road.
> > After those projects were completed, the Northern
> > Durham Parkway (formerly Eno Drive) would be built.
> > The parkway when finally completed would run from U.S.
> > 70 at the Wake County line to Glenn School Road north
> > of Interstate 85, then run along Old Oxford Highway
> > and Snow Hill Road, ending finally at Roxboro Road.
> > Durham is long overdue for transportation links in
> > this part of the city and county to support industrial
> > and economic development and residential growth. This
> > compromise would get the process started at long last.
> > Durham needs to present a unified front on this
> > compromise, and the DOT needs to honor it.
> > +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
> > This news report followed at the end of March:
> > The Senate bill enshrines in state law a new route, called the
> > NorthernDurham Parkway, which was hammered out over months in a
> > compromisebetween Durham leaders and residents and state
> > transportation planners.
> > The Northern Durham Parkway arcs eastward from Roxboro Road, which
> > bisects the county north to south, turns south to cross
> Interstate 85
> > and continues down to I-540.
> > "Boy, is that great news!" said Ellen Reckhow, chairwoman of the
> > DurhamCounty Board of Commissioners, when she learned of the
> > vote.Gulley's bill amounts to a list of improvements that will
> relieve> traffic congestion in northern and eastern Durham, she said.
> > It is to be built in seven segments, in a specific order. The first
> > segment to be built under the compromise is the East End
> Connector, a
> > one-mile segment connecting U.S. 70 to the Durham Freeway. It would
> > provide a quick route bypassing downtown on the way from northern
> > DurhamCounty to Research Triangle Park and I-40, supporters say.
> > The bill erases the old, long-resisted route called Eno Drive, which
> > drew a semicircle around the top of the county, starting from
> > 70 in
> > the east and ending in Orange County in the west. The northern
> part of
> > Eno Drive went close to the Eno River -- too close for the taste
> > theEno's defenders in the Eno River Association, who said the
> > wouldharm the river, its tributaries, the park, wildlife and nearby
> > neighborhoods.
> > ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
> > As I said, I was completely surprised to hear from an entire
> community> that the East End Connector was news to them. I was
> further surprised
> > that not one member of City Council, several of whom were part of
> the> process by which the "compromise of 2002" was achieved, spoke
> to this
> > issue. Is it truly possible that this community was ignored
> during the
> > creation of "the compromise?" If so, how was that allowed to happen?
> > These meetings went on for literally months at a time. This issue
> was> discussed at City Council, County Commission, various TAC
> > andin civic and volunteer organizations throughout Durham for
> > of 2002.
> > It was front page news throughout that time frame. How is it
> possible> that a major stakeholder in the process was not invited
> > participate?
> > I was also disappointed to see this turned into a racial issue, and
> > extremely upset to find myself being cast into the role of
> > personifying"white privilege." When I represented the Inter-
> > Neighborhood Council on
> > the Durham Walks oversight committee, my main priority was to ensure
> > that the process was structured in such a way as to enable all of
> our> neighborhoods to benefit from these upgrades, not just those
> > had the
> > time and resources to successfully petition the city to move up the
> > list. I am tired of and frustrated by a process that continually
> pits> one neighborhood against another instead of identifying our
> common> interests (in this case, making all of our roadways safer
> for all
> > of our
> > citizens) and making those our highest priorities.
> > I am disappointed that not one member of City Council spoke to
> > issueof the compromise of 2002. I know that in addition to the
> > Mayor, several
> > Council members were involved in reaching this consensus. If a major
> > stakeholder group was not invited to participate, someone from
> Council> needed to step up and take responsibility. If the
> residents of the
> > areato be impacted by the East End Connector were in fact invited
> > to the
> > table five years ago, that needed to be said as well.
> > Those of you who were on Council in 2002, and worked so hard with
> the> various members of the community to create "the compromise"
> need to
> > stand up for the work you did back then.
> > Barry Ragin
> > 1706 Shawnee St.
> > (the views expressed above are my own, and do not necessarily
> reflect> the views of the Duke Park Neighborhood Association, nor
> any of its
> > members.)
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