By Joseph Hamrick
Herald-Banner readers were staunch in their opposition to the proposed Blacklands Turnpike, which would be constructed from just west of Greenville to Lavon in Collin County.
Nearly all of the 44 responses said the project would have a negative impact on the community.
“A completely unnecessary project which will cause loss of private property, decreased quality of life for those in it’s path, and an unmanageable increase in traffic on Hwy 78,” Dena Rathbun posted, adding that the reason some people support it is because they stand to make a profit from it. “If you disagree, please SAY something, out loud, sign the petition and attend the public meetings because the people making decisions need your input.”
Most readers who cited against the toll road gave a few reasons against the project; including the possible use of imminent domain, the other free roads such as Interstate 30, Highway 66 and Highway 380, and a possible non-compete clause which would mean that any free road close to the toll road would not be able to be improved to be better than the toll road.
“This toll road is not planned for the greater good, but the people that can quickly profit from the project,” Deidre Hankins Mead posted. “This toll road may not be faster and comes at great expense for everyone. The very real threat of a non-compete clause, which would prohibit any improvements along I-30 and possibly SH66 and SH380, is to doom our growth for 30-50 years.”
Another often cited reason is the tax burden residents believe would follow.
But according to the Greenville City Council, the Hunt County Commissioners Court and Public Werks, no tax dollars will be used to build the potential road.
There were a few posters however, who were supportive of the road.
“If Greenville ever wants to prosper then YES there needs to be Tollway and hopefully along with that comes a Rail,” Micah Fletcher posted. “Why do people out here not want to grow and build the economy? It’s the only town of it’s size not prospering and growing in the Downtown area.”
The Facebook page Notollroad also chimed in on the subject.
“There are many reasons why this is a bad idea,” the site posted. “All the proponents of the toll road claim it will bring economic growth to Greenville and the surrounding area. A lack of roads running through Greenville is not the reason for the slow economic development of the area. There are more roads running through Greenville than Rockwall or McKinney. Greenville has IH30, 380, 66, 69, and 34 just to name a few. Adding one more (a tolled one at that) is not going to solve Greenville’s economic issues.”