Langley Parkway history sheds light on its future
Let’s finish a (so far) well-executed plan
To the Concord City Council: The column by Dick Lemieux and others from the Transportation Policy Advisory Committee regarding the completion of the Langley Parkway (“Slow down, Concord! Don’t kill Langley plan before vetting it,” Monitor Forum, Nov. 21) has prompted me to write this letter of support for the committee.
As an interested, retired, nonresident follower of this project, I will not be personally affected by the project if completed or not.
But I wish to respectfully remind the council that the parkway has had an important influence on local decision-making for many decades.
This “paper street” has helped formulate master-plan decisions and updates which, in turn, guided subsequent initiatives to invest both public and private money in all parts of the city. To remove the last section of the parkway from the books because there “is no real will” to complete it at this time would disenfranchise those pioneers and investors who made those decisions in good faith that ultimately the roadway and its benefits would come to fruition.
There are indeed many important local issues to be addressed in the last section needed to complete the parkway. They can and should be mitigated, however long it takes.
As an example, I submit the existing southern phase of the completed parkway finally opened in 2008 as Exhibit A. The Langley Parkway was originally conceived as a circumferential roadway beginning with its own interchange with Interstate 89 (at the existing Silk Farm Road overpass bridge) and then running northerly to meet the Penacook Street area as currently envisioned. (Don’t remember the I-89 connection? I invite you to check it out.) Over time, again due to many important local issues in that southern area of the project, the parkway connection was relocated from I-89 to Clinton Street. (This modification you now drive every day worked because only a short section of Clinton Street between the parkway and Exit 2 of I-89 would ever need upgrading in the very, very distant future).
From my observations, that portion of the parkway performs well and as anticipated.
(Gil Rogers of Bow was a state Department of Transportation engineer for 30 years and worked on many highway and bridge projects in Concord.)