When I saw the SMN headline Truman Parkway extension to open Feb. 28, my very first question was: “Of 2014?”
The Truman has been delayed for so many years — even decades — that it seems almost unimaginable that it will actually open soon. (What do you want to bet there will be a delay this time too?)
I’m thrilled that the road will be opening, though I fear that it will get more traffic right away than some are expecting. There are lots of us who live in the downtown area and work pretty far out on the Southside, or vice versa, who will immediately begin using the Truman for at least one leg of our daily commutes.
Depending on the exact time of day, my drives from Thomas Square to and from Armstrong can range anywhere from a calm and easy 15 minutes to a pretty irritating 25+ minutes. I still might take White Bluff and Middleground in the mornings occasionally after the Truman opens, but my afternoons leaving Armstrong will almost certainly be on the Truman.
There has been speculation that the opening of the final leg of the Truman will flood a portion of the Southside with traffic, but I’m not so worried about that. I think the vast majority of drivers arriving in the extreme Southside via the Truman were folks who were headed that way no matter what. I expect certain stretches of Abercorn to be much less congested through the day, and the Truman’s final leg should also alleviate traffic on some other major streets, like Whitefield Avenue and Montgomery Crossroad.
It’s going to be interesting to see.