Garner: Opinion

Editorial: 540 route decision a formality?

At public information meetings and a public hearing last week it appears to us the public has largely spoken with a single voice regarding the route which N.C. 54, the Southeast Expressway, should take through southeastern Wake County.

The Orange Route has long been the favorite of local government officials and most private residents in the affected area which stretches from Holly Springs to Knightdale. That route has the least human impact of any of the dozens of options under consideration by the Department of Transportation. The Orange Route’s near-unanimous support should be enough for DOT decision-makers and federal funders to accept that route as the preferred option.

It is rare in situations like this for public support to be so one-sided on an issue. Unlike gun control, abortion and other divisive issues in which reasonable people can have a legitimate difference of opinion, the governed have largely spoken with one voice.

We hope this unanimity will put a quick end to the interminable wait people have had to endure as this decision is being made. There’s much to do once a decision on the route is made and every day lost at this point is another day lost before motorists can make use of the kind of highway folks in northern and western Wake County have had access to for several years now.