28 February 2008

Duke's Parkway West

I read with interest today about Hillsborugh Township's request for Somerset County to take over the ownership of Duke's Parkway West. The first thing that struck me is that Duke's Parkway West is only 1.5 miles long. It sure seems a lot longer. Doesn't it go all the way from Route 206 to Auten Road?

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Actually only the section between Route 206 and Roycefield Road is designated as Duke's Parkway. The stretch between Roycefield and the intersection of Auten and New Centre Roads is designated as New Centre Road - and New Centre Road is a county road.

It makes perfect sense for the county to own Duke's Parkway West as well - and not just because it will save Hillsborough some money in snow plowing and maintenance. It makes sense because county roads are supposed to lead to other county roads or state highways. They are designed to be through routes - not roads that morph into local streets or dead ends.

And it makes sense for another reason. Raider - Auten - New Centre - Duke's Parkway is used by residents as an alternative to Route 206. I have been in favor of dualizing the section between the Auten Road School and Route 206 (as well as some day putting an overpass at the Norfolk Southern rail crossing). It seems to me that this would have a much better chance of happening once that stretch has primarily one owner.

Think of it - our own personal 206 bypass - for a fraction of what the other one would cost!

1 comment:

  1. That circulation plan was originally touted as the "Auten Road Loop" and it would have worked effectively to offset some of 206's burden. I think at the time, the Duke Estate was less than cooperative about giving up some control over the roadway that bisects its property. Either way, we effectively have the loop now.