News | April 8, 2011

SELC uncovers NCDOT’s pattern of manipulating data in favor of costly bypasses

Traffic on US 74 east of Charlotte can be a nightmare. But the state's proposed solution—the 20-mile, $808 million Monroe Bypass—isn't the answer. The mammoth toll road would fuel sprawl, funnel polluted runoff into the Yadkin River basin, and boost air pollution in Charlotte, a city that already fails to meet federal standards for healthy air.

SELC filed suit to stop the project in November, and has since uncovered evidence that the NC Turnpike Authority also tried to manipulate data to play down the number of job opportunities that would be lost by building the Garden Parkway west of Charlotte—another major bypass that would induce sprawl and cost nearly a billion dollars to build, saddling taxpayers with decades of debt.

SELC's legal efforts aim to end NCDOT's cycle of rubber-stamp approvals for costly bypasses and beltways. We are also pushing for less destructive, fiscally responsible alternatives that meet Charlotte's traffic needs, limit damage to the environment, and enhance efficiency in the US 74 corridor.