Letter to the Editor: Environmental Impact Statement is clear


The Daily Times
Originally published: September 01. 2010 3:01AM
Last modified: August 31. 2010 8:57PM


Dear Editor:

The letter in Tuesday’s (Aug. 10) Times needs to be countered by some facts. It is not true that “most of the opponents to the Pellissippi Parkway Extension own property in the extension area.” As president of CAPPE, I can attest that fewer than 5 percent of our members own property in the path of one of the proposed routes, and only about another 10 percent live near enough to be directly impacted by the highway. I live in Walland. Our members live all over Blount County and beyond, as do hundreds more who have signed petitions and spoken out against the PPE.

Why do we oppose it? Because it’s wasteful. TDOT’s Draft Environmental Impact Statement makes clear that the proposed highway will not relieve traffic congestion or improve safety on our existing roads. The benefits of building a new bypass around northeast Maryville have never been demonstrated, and the estimated cost of doing so is excessive. The PPE will remove farmland from production and pose threats to our water quality. It will hasten the suburban development of more land in the lower Little River valley, paving the way to the Southern Loop and higher taxes for everyone.

The future of Blount County is exactly what we care about. We want our grandchildren to enjoy the fruits of well-planned development. Some farmland and green space should be saved for the future. The infrastructure we build, such as roads, should serve a useful purpose. And we do not wish to burden our grandchildren with more debt through ill-planned transportation decisions.

Sincerely,

Mike Cook
CAPPE president
1008 The Loop Road
Walland, TN 37886