The North Eugene Street closure debacle gets more confusing, convoluted and distressing as more information emerges.

One of the major issues brought to light at the Jan. 4 Greensboro City Council meeting was that the Greensboro Department of Transportation (GDOT) failed to respond to the questions and concerns of business owners after a meeting was held on Dec. 20, purportedly to get their input.

As it turns out, GDOT also failed to respond to an email from Downtown Greensboro Inc. President Zack Matheny also requesting information on the city’s plans for North Eugene Street.

Matheny’s first email to GDOT Director Hanna Cockburn and Assistant City Manager Kim Sowell was sent on Dec. 14, 2021, requesting information about a possible traffic impact analysis that may be required for the development of the southwest corner of North Eugene and Bellemeade streets, Carroll Ballpark South, by The Carroll Companies, which also owns this publication.

Matheny received no response to that email and sent a second email on Jan. 6, 2022, requesting a response.

Cockburn responded on Jan. 6 with an email stating that a traffic impact analysis may be required depending on the total square footage and uses of the proposed Carroll Ballpark South development.  Cockburn states that a traffic impact analysis is used “to identify locations for new roadway or driveway connections when proposed and if changes to the roadway network are required – this includes turn lanes, road widening, signals, signal timing crossing, etc.”

The North Eugene Street closure is for water and sewer line replacement and to streetscape the two blocks just south of the proposed Carroll Ballpark South development.

Matheny in his response states, “DGI’s recommendation would be to have the city perform traffic impact analysis on any streets prior to design of new streetscape.  This seems to be the logical approach to understanding what is needed for the center city grid, versus having “one-off” traffic studies while the city is putting forth two large parking decks to promote vehicular traffic, as well as the city investing in major streetscape only to be potentially ripped up shortly after completion depending on what a new development traffic impact analysis would show.”

Matheny also questions a statement made by Cockburn that “Parking decks in and of themselves don’t generate trips.”  Matheny states, “My understanding is the primary purpose of a parking deck is to attract vehicles, thus trips.”

Finally, Matheny asks that the North Eugene Street waterline and streetscape project be put on hold.  He states, “This is concerning on numerous levels and I hope we can address these concerns quickly.  In addition, it seems the N. Eugene project needs to be halted to ensure the City is performing the most appropriate construction with regard to future growth.  We all went through this project on Eugene Street a few years ago, made promises to never do this again, held a party for the reopening of Eugene Street, only to come back and do it again because growth was not taken into consideration.”