by Michael Lowrey
Again. This time for his assertion that the Garden Porkway would create 18,000 jobs. A highlight:
Population growth in Gaston County has lagged behind the rest of the Charlotte region for more than two decades, a fact noted in Connaughton’s report. Connaughton assumes that building the parkway will increase population growth to the state average.
[Federal Highway Administration Major projects engineer George] Hoops questioned that premise: “The Report provides no basis to correlate as to how the Garden Parkway project will transform Gaston County into a county whose population will either grow at the same pace as the State average or the (metro area) average in the future.”
And this really is the big issue. The conclusion that a nearly $1 billion toll bypass is the magic bullet for a small city that isn’t growing very fast requires extraordinary proof, which Connaughton apparently did not provide. Imagine that.