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swampfox43

Will they ever clean the I-77 median?

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I just waved goodbye to some dear friends I had not seen in several years. They drove here to Charlotte from Phoenix, AZ, mainly because they wanted to make a vacation out of the long drive and visit cities they had never been to before.

We drove around town to see some of the sights but I made sure to keep them off the interstates, especially I-77 because the section between Tyvola and downtown (and beyond) is a real slap in the face to a city that had prided itself on cleanliness. Just not an impression you want to give a first timer.

The real shocker came when my friend said, without any coaxing from me I may add, that between Phoenix and Charlotte, they did not see a single interstate as trashy and unmaintained (growth & weeds) as they had witnessed driving in on I-77 last week. They were really surprised and the lack of general maintenance given to our interstates. They even said New Orleans had cleaner interstates!! Whoa!

Can anyone explain why it is that Charlotte cannot maintain the trash & weeds along the I-77 median? I know the problem far exceeds I-77. It's basically all the area interstates. Is it a money issue? Is it the state? Is it our "beloved" mayor who rarely ventures out of his Eastover/uptown confines?

Maybe they should start using the overhead "warning" signs along the interstate to aplogize for our trashy interstates. :whistling:

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It is a major dump out there and embarassing. Most of the fault does belong to Raleigh. I really think they believe that anything before Greensboro is not a real part of North Carolina. FoxNews Edge did a story about the problem a few weeks ago and Raleigh basically said that there is no money to clean it up and its not a major priority compared to road safety. Which is an even bigger laugh because so many of our roads are in Third World shape and many lights are out along the interstates and these are the priorities? Ever notice how nice and smooth and landscaped the major highways in the Triangle are :whistling: The difference in cleanliness between the surface streets in Uptown, Southpark etc and Charlotte's highways is jarring but the only way its going to be cleaned up is if you adopt the highway and do it yourself :lol:

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The garbage has to come from somewhere, so some of the blame has to be placed on the shoulders of Charlotte's residents. I have personally witnessed individuals throwing empty bottles out of their cars, and frequently see loose garbage fly out of the back of pick-up trucks.

Smokers do not help either. No one seems to use the ash try in their car anymore. Rather, they use Charlotte's roads as one big ashtray.

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I just came up this part of I-77 this afternoon and it does resemble something that one might find in one of the ex-Soviet republics. 1/2 the lights don't work, the pavement is crumbling, and as mentioned there is trash and weeds everywhere. And considering that just a few miles away the road turns into one of the best looking interstates in the South when it crosses into SC, it makes the Charlotte part look even worse.

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77, 85, 485 are state maintained highways and they are responsible for cleaning them. Every once in a great while, I'll see inmates cleaning parts of 485 near 77, but I think it's probably too unsafe for them to be cleaning the center median of 77. It'd have to involve the closing of the innermost lanes, but I don't see why that's a huge obstacle. I called NCDOT a couple months ago 3 times over the span of 3 weeks because there was a huge dead dog on the inside shoulder of 77S near the Clanton exit. Each time I was told it would be reported, and the second and third times I called, they claimed there was no record of my previous calls and unless it was blocking a lane, it just wasn't a priority. So the dog still sits there and is little more than a floormat with a skull. Just disgusting.

I also noticed that they mowed around some of the 277 interchanges this week and it exposed (and shredded) tons of trash all around the loop. I emailed Parks Helms about the general condition of our state maintained roads about a year ago (mainly the burned out lighting) and he sent me a very nice letter in response telling me they were trying to get Raleigh to do something, but they were fighing an uphill battle. He even included two other letters that other people sent him about the same issues around the same time he received mine. Nothing's going to change... we may as well get used to the sh*t, cuz it's just going to continue to pile up. Nobody in any position of influence gives a rat's ass about it. It's a shame, really.

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We might as well secede to SC.We are close enough. All we are to Raleigh is an ATM with a direct deposit to the state coffers. All we get is neglect in return.

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Well, the city used to go ahead and spend money cleaning up the litter, because the state DOT is too incompetent to do this aspect of their job. But in the past few years, the city has faced a very difficult job in avoiding a tax increase, and one of the items that they had to cut from the city budget was stuff that the state was responsible for. So for the past year, the garbage has just been left to accumulate.

What is sad is that the state has been derilict for years, and if it wasn't for the city picking up the slack, they would have looked as bad as they do now for the past number of years.

It all comes back to that ridiculous law that distributes maintenance money evenly between rural divisions and urban divisions. The head of the DOT was instrumental in getting that rule passed, and has been the major reason that Charlotte's roads are in such terrible shape. The rule also distributes maintenance money based on roadway miles rather than lane miles. That means rural 4 lane freeways count the same as 8 or 10 lane freeways like we have here.

The bottom line, the state law and the DOT basically use Charlotte to subisidize the state, and ignore the needs we have here.

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We might as well secede to SC.We are close enough. All we are to Raleigh is an ATM with a direct deposit to the state coffers. All we get is neglect in return.

We'd welcome Mecklenburg County with welcome arms. :)

Speaking of the stretch of I-77 from the state border on through Rock Hill, in the southbound lane it appears as though SCDOT paved a few feet into NC, as the transition occurs slightly before you cross the border.

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The same problem exists in Raleigh/Durham along I-40 and the state responded with the same line that there is no money available for this. The NC Highway Patrol also states they won't give out tickets for littering because they have more important things to do.

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Hmmm... we have no money to improve road conditions... If only there were a way to raise money from the people causing the problem, we may have a solution. If someone could invent a system where offenders were stopped, written some sort of "punishment paper" that forced them to pay the state money... then we could... Oh, heck... it's all too complicated. Maybe in the distant future some scientist will figure out a way.

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How often do the inmate crews get out and clean the road? I drive the stretch from Uptown to the SC/NC border daily, and it seems like they have been out less and less. And as such, there is more and more larger items gathering in the medians and ditches, such as a large sofa chair, various tires, etc.

Also, does NC not have or promote highway adoption by corporations and churches? It is free advertising and a great way to pay back the community by cleaning up the highway (although it is rather unsafe).

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^Usually that's not done for interstate stretches.

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^Usually that's not done for interstate stretches.

This is common in NC as I have often seen the convicts cleaning up I-77 North of the city in the Lake Norman area. I agree with the above that it would be too dangerous on I-77 South between downtown and 485. The road is overloaded and is a constant source of accidents.

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I think he meant that churches and clubs can't really adopt an interstate. They definitely have inmates cleaning interstates everywhere.

That would be at least one reason not to commit any crimes.

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I think he meant that churches and clubs can't really adopt an interstate. They definitely have inmates cleaning interstates everywhere.

That is very true because the public is not allowed to stop on the interstate except for emergencies. The state will not allow the liability to come from volunteer groups, without supervision, to clean up these highways. The convicts are always accompanied by law enforcement that are familiar with how to safely do the job.

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I wonder if the expense cuts by the city were for paying for actual crews to supplement the convict visits, or whether the city was actually paying the costs to get the convicts to come out and clean up. Does anyone know?

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That is very true because the public is not allowed to stop on the interstate except for emergencies. The state will not allow the liability to come from volunteer groups, without supervision, to clean up these highways. The convicts are always accompanied by law enforcement that are familiar with how to safely do the job.

Yeah, I was referring to the Adopt-a-Highway-type programs; sorry for the confusion.

I just saw inmates cleaning up I-77 between Rock Hill and Columbia last weekend.

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I wonder if the expense cuts by the city were for paying for actual crews to supplement the convict visits, or whether the city was actually paying the costs to get the convicts to come out and clean up. Does anyone know?

You know, we shouldn't have to pay for inmates to clean anything. Commit a crime? Fine... now you can repay your debt to society in a constructive and tangeable manner. Not just sitting in a cell playing cards and watching Matlock reruns in the rec room. I'd think there wouldn't be a shortage of low-risk inmates that want to get outside, even if it were to pick up trash along a highway. It doesn't sound bad to me at all...

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It may not be this way, but conceptually, I can imagine that the localities must cover the security costs of having the inmates clean their roads. I have no idea, though.

Also, inmates do get paid for their work, justly. Albeit a lower rate than minimum wage. This is still a civil society regardless of their uncivil behavior.

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We already pay for their "room and board". Maybe we should charge them rent and take their wages back. I honestly think the entire inmate cleanup program could be done solely with volunteers. Maybe I'll write a letter to someone...

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Also, inmates do get paid for their work, justly. Albeit a lower rate than minimum wage. This is still a civil society regardless of their uncivil behavior.

It is also considered a priviledge for the convicts on their best behavior. Doing roadside cleanup is one of the very few times they get to leave the slammer. I supposed that even the side of an interestate is better than being in a cell.

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