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atownrocks

Charlotte Interstates not wide enough?

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Does anythink that the Interstates are not wide enough here. The 485 is only 2 lanes most of the time near Ballantyne, Pineville and Matthews. Some parts of Raleigh have more lanes. Charlotte is not getting enough road funding. Charlotte is going to get big NCDOT needs to step in.

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I do, my gosh the state does a very poor job funding Charlotte considering its size and growth. The planners for 485 did a horrible job. I mean 2 lanes for an interstate in a very fast-growing city is not acceptable. Traffic is horrendous on that southern stretch. I live right near the Providence Road exit. Traffic is bumper to bumper. We definately need a third lane, either that or everyone move Uptown, which wouldn't be so bad, I don't think. :)

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Thank you. Look at Atlanta they have like 8 lanes one each side. Raleigh has 4 or 5, its alomost like the people in Raleigh don't want Charlotte to grow. I don't get it. I 77 has gotten the Car Pool lanes which is good but how about I 85 All of the Interstates need improvment.

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I-85 just got widened, and its pretty much 4 lanes on each side through all of Mecklenburg County. I-485 is just ridiculous... They want to widen it to Johnston Road, but do they not realize that in the afternoon it is still heavy to atleast Providence Road? They are going to have three lanes from 77 to Johnston Road, and then it is going to go back to 2 lanes again, only to create another bottleneck. I think there should be 3 lanes to Independence Boulevard, and eventually around the entire loop...

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If we stop widening roads, then maybe people will ride transit......or live closer to work.....

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If we stop widening roads, then maybe people will ride transit......or live closer to work.....

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

yeah.. i don't think so. It'll just get more congested and people will just want to continue moving outwards

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If we stop widening roads, then maybe people will ride transit......or live closer to work.....

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Yet another reason in-town neighborhoods are so desirable. We are building the slums of tomorrow with sprawl.

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Yet another reason in-town neighborhoods are so desirable.  We are building the slums of tomorrow with sprawl.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Every time I see a subdivision full of homogeneous "snout-garage" single-family homes or townhomes in which the front of the building is dominated by a protruding two-car garage, leaving only a 5 foot space for a recessed entryway, I can't help but think that 15 years from now everyone will look at those homes, realize how UGLY and think "My God, what were we thinking?"

Seriously, look down the street in one of those developments and quite literally all you can see are those two-car garage snouts. In 15 years, nobody's going to want to live in a piece of crap like that. 2/3 of them are going to fall apart within 15 years anyway because they're all so hastily and poorly constructed.

Mr. Corners is exactly right. These are the slums of tomorrow.

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OE, you are right, and really ALL the decisions on not widening the freeways come from local, regional or semi-local entities. The core problem is the state road funding formula, which relies on the 3 larger metros paying more in than they get back, to subsidize the vast and poor rural areas of the state. Charlotte is forced to decide each funding cycle whether to spent its tiny budget on its dozens of needed surface road projects, or spending all the money on its expensive freeways. It always must opt to wait on the freeways, because they are just too expensive, and don't help growth as directly as the surface road changes.

All the bad decisions (too few 485 lanes, only widening 77 to 485 in the north, not widenting 77 in the south until after 2025, not redoing the 77-85 interchange, etc.), even though some may have additional explanations, mostly come down to the structural problem: there will never be enough money in charlotte's budget to meet its needs.

Road capacity is important, just as transit capacity is important. I know freeways contribute to sprawl, but the also contribute to healthy growth, too. I hope the state works out its kinks. "Down East" shouldn't be inventing pointless projects to spend their share when the congested cities must make do. have you guys seen the maps of freeways they are planning in the middle of nowhere? (they are building a freeway parallel to 95 between wilson and goldsboro!!!! and charlotte still doesn't have a freeway connection to wilmington!!!!!).

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Hehe, most of you probably are not old enough to remember one of the 'remedies' used by the NCDOT here in the past.

Sometime in the early 70s, the state and city discovered that Independence Blvd east of the city was not large enough at 4 lanes. It was being over whelmed by traffic. So the fix for this was to repaint the lines to reduce the standard 12 ft wide lanes to just 9ft! This allowed them to squeeze 6 lanes in the space that used to be occupied 4. Quite a thrilling ride.

I don't guess they will revive this fix on 485. :)

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they just did that on 77 between 85 and brookshire. i don't think it is as bad as you describe on independence, though. the lanes are still bigger than 9', i think.

it is all about the money, not incompetence, in my opinion. even the paint situation was an attempt to be clever and solving the problem at a fraction of the cost.

maybe a good place to take this thread would be to discuss funding options, not just examples of where they've cut corners. i've wonder if charlotte should ask for their own tax on gas.

I've also thought maybe they should add an additional property tax in certain parts of the county or region to pay for infrastructure improvements. in east charlotte that might pay for speeding up independence widening (and might incent them to not kill off the property values in that corrido). in downtown the extra tax could go to grid improvements. in north meck, it could go to speeding up 77 widening. in SW charlotte, it could go to improvements in south blvd and others and speed up 77 widening. In far south meck, it could go to 485 widening and adding more grid connections around congested pineville. throughout the city, it could be used to fund changes that support higher density.

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I've also thought maybe they should add an additional property tax in certain parts of the county or region to...

or maybe the state should just give us more money, we should be the flagship of the state. That talk of the Charlotte getting less money is crazy talk, our legislators need to step it up or get out. We are getting screwed.

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yes, having charlotte keep what it already collects would be good, too. but they still need the piedmont cities to subsidize the rural areas. i think many people move to the cities like charlotte, in part, because it is so easy to get to the ocean and mountains for vacations. but you're right that the equation needs to be reconfigured to better meet the cities' needs.

have you guys ever seen the report that used to be on CDOT's website, that they were going to lobby the general assembly for? it was a host of structural changes to DOT's financing structure to be more fair to the cities. i hope some change is made, because it is bordering on ridiculous.

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Cities should provide its residents choice. Not everyone wants to live in an urban setting, thus the suburbs.

485 widened to 6 lanes?....The city should go ahead and widen it to 4 or 5 lanes both ways. Its inevitable that the city wont stop growing. Why spend 5 years adding 1 lane both ways just to need 2 more 5 years later?

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The current funding formulas are rooted in the days when most of the state lived in the rural parts. I believe they still basically insure that for every dollar that gets spent in a city, a dollar gets spent in the back woods. So basically for the last 50 years, NC has been paving pig paths with nice 4 lane highways.

Another problem is the shear politics of our road building system. The NCDOT has an excessive number of board members that are appointed as political favors by whoever is ruling the state government at the time. And we operate the second largest DOT in the entire country. This system really needs to be overhauled, but in doing so you take away an important piece of "pork" from the Governer. I can't imagine there are enough votes in the legislature to pull that one off as any rural legislator is going to lose out if the current system is changed.

One would imagine the population of the Triangle, Triad & Charlotte would give us enough votes to make change happen. But these areas always split their representation between the parties which effectively neuters their influence. In NC politics, the "party" comes before anything else.

BTW, the NC gasoline tax is the highest or second highest in the country but look at the state of the road system. That alone should indicate there is terrible rot in the system.

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That high gasoline tax allows us to have the 2nd most miles of state maintained roads in the country......Texas having the most. Though state politics due dictate that a lot of the money be wasted in rural parts of the state to help out their favorite hog farmer.

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Cities should provide its residents choice. Not everyone wants to live in an urban setting, thus the suburbs.

  485 widened to 6 lanes?....The city should go ahead and widen it to 4 or 5 lanes both ways. Its inevitable that the city wont stop growing. Why spend 5 years adding 1 lane both ways just to need 2 more 5 years later?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I totally agree with you on that.

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I totally agree with you on that.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Unfortunately what would spawn based on that policy is NOT giving the residents a choice, but everyone being subjected to air pollution caused by out of control sprawl. Atlanta's metro through the 1990's enforced this policy of giving the people what they wanted - extra lanes, and it has caused the mess Atlanta is in. Traffic has not decreased but increased - caused by expanding development further out as well as job centers - so there is no longer a simple suburb to city center commute. In northern Fulton County along GA 400, traffic is as bad north bound as it is south bound. Lastly, due to the air pollution and the GA DOT proving to the EPA that there has been no real plan to control traffic - they curbed federal highway funding to the metro area.

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You should have heard the platform that the party primary challenger to the mayor was.......stop rail and divert the money to roads. We will not meet air quality standards in a few years, so we need to build as many roads as possible now before the money dries up.......

I am not making that up.....this was his primary running issue (and that building the arena Uptown was irresponsible).

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freeway congestion has been a major reason people are choosing to live in uptown charlotte.... so that would seem to support the correlation with suburban freeway capacity and sprawl.

Transportaion capacity (including freeway) is important to healthy economies, but so many people are willing to participate in wasting the capacity by living tens of miles away from their workplace.

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The current funding formulas are rooted in the days when most of the state lived in the rural parts.  I believe they still basically insure that for every dollar that gets spent in a city, a dollar gets spent in the back woods.  So basically for the last 50 years, NC has been paving pig paths with nice 4 lane highways. 

Another problem is the shear politics of our road building system.  The NCDOT has an excessive number of board members that are appointed as political favors by whoever is ruling the state government at the time.  And we operate the second largest DOT in the entire country.  This system really needs to be overhauled, but in doing so you take away an important piece of "pork" from the Governer.  I can't imagine there are enough votes in the legislature to pull that one off as any rural legislator is going to lose out if the current system is changed. 

One would imagine the population of the Triangle, Triad & Charlotte would give us enough votes to make change happen.  But these areas always split their representation between the parties which effectively neuters their influence.  In NC politics, the "party" comes before anything else. 

BTW, the NC gasoline tax is the highest or second highest in the country but look at the state of the road system.  That alone should indicate there is terrible rot in the system.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Great point. The simple thing is that the NCDOT is backwards and has no clue how to operate a road system in major urban areas.

Why doesn't Charlotte/Raleigh have the number of electronics message boards that Atlanta has that tells you estimated travel and alternate routes?

Why are we just getting HOV lanes? (We should have had them 5 years ago)

Why isn't 85 and 77 at least 8 lanes through the northern part of the Metro area (Concord, Mooresville? (And why is Salisbury getting an 8 lane highway??)

Why is 77 just 6 lanes through the heart of Charlotte?

Why doesn't the NCDOT allow the city to clean up state owned roads to make them more attractive (ie 49 in the University area)?

NCDOT needs to hire some people from more urban areas.

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A large body of people need to get together and force the government to take action on its irrisponsibilities. I a tired if people coplaining about the roads and not trying to do anything about it. Lobby the state legislature, protest, beotch about it and show off until something gets done! Less talk more action!

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