September 21, 2005
The Meadowcreek Parkway has been in the works for 37 years. One sticking point has always been the construction of an interchange at Route 250 and McIntire Road. One local group believes they have found a short-term answer to this long-term problem.
A new study released by the Free Enterprise Forum shows the Meadowcreek Parkway can exist without an interchange on a short term basis.
"At this time, and for the near term, a roundabout, an intersection at grade, will accommodate the traffic," said Neil Williamson from the Free Enterprise Forum.
For years, people have questioned the building process of the Meadowcreek Parkway. State funds have been appropriated for the Parkway and federal funds have been earmarked for the interchange. With both projects not guaranteed to work simultaneously, there is a chance for a traffic nightmare.
"This roundabout [will allow] both projects to move forward simultaneously without holding one up for the other," said Williamson.
The roundabout would be constructed at the intersection of the Parkway, Route 250, and McIntire Road. Stratton Salidis with the group Alternatives to Paving believes the roundabout is not the answer.
"Even if it did make for a clear flow of traffic by [Route] 250, there is still the problem that the Meadowcreek Parkway would actually increase traffic within the city bounds," he said.
His group believes further building of roads will only encourage overdevelopment. He would rather see less roads and more walker-friendly areas like the Downtown Mall.
"The money would be much better spent to facilitate this type of development...instead of sprawl," Salidis said.
This study examined data collected since the beginning of the Parkway, and once final approval moves forward, the Parkway is expected to take between two and four years to build.