monsoon

Traffic Congestion and Highway Construction

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Honestly in some ways I’m thankful that Charlotte hasn’t had its freeways (both number of freeways and number of lanes) expanded to the extent that other NC metros like the Triad and Triangle have. I suspect it’s part of the reason that so much density has sprung up along its first rail transit corridor, and I think it has allowed the city to maintain such a dense core downtown, especially compared to many of our peer cities. In my opinion we have already expanded outward enough, and we need to focus on increasing growth in our core. I understand improvements are probably needed for regional freight and commerce, but I don’t think we should promote any more sprawl if we can help it. 

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I think City leaders get that concept, hence the light rail system and its theoretical expansion. I will concede, however, that in any metro area in the US, you do need a certain amount of interstate capacity. I think Atlanta has too much. In general, I think 3 lanes in each direction should be enough to work with. Preferably tolled. Anything beyond that just feeds sprawl.

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I-77 north at I-85 interchange closed to a dump truck having its bed up (like the incident by Duke Energy Center) and caused this huge traffic problem.

https://www.wsoctv.com/news/local/traffic-alert-dump-truck-hits-bridge-on-i-77-lanes-to-be-shut-down-for-hours/823070674

and some WSOC-TV viewer has a video of it happening.  Just saw it on tv. 

Edited by KJHburg
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^ Got stuck in that mess today.  Was only going to be on 77 for two exits, so I didn't check traffic.  Huge mistake.  Took me 70 minutes to get from Arrowood Road to dinner in Southend.  All detour routes were clogged also.  Silver lining...nothing makes you want expanded transit than a traffic nightmare .

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Question: Are you Highway/Transit minded folks ready to vote for higher taxes and/or expanded Bonds for the Transit Lightrail Referendum that's sure to be coming our way in the next couple of years?  Seems like the only way to get the CATS 'Big Bang' off the ground.  Anyone think the Regional Approach (surrounding Counties) will chip in?

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^Mecklenburg doubles its rate, while surrounding counties (likely only Gaston and Cabarrus) start paying at the rate Mecklenburg has since the end of the last millennium. 

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Just from what I see from around the country is public/private is the best option.  Hell seems most new spur or bypass roads in Texas are tolled.  I think NC should go this route.  Like a "middle" spur from Charlotte to Fayetteville and northwest to mountains.  Not sure what state roads that is but certain they can be a tolled road that can be built with minimum tax dollars.  

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7 hours ago, NcSc74 said:

Just from what I see from around the country is public/private is the best option.  Hell seems most new spur or bypass roads in Texas are tolled.  I think NC should go this route.  Like a "middle" spur from Charlotte to Fayetteville and northwest to mountains.  Not sure what state roads that is but certain they can be a tolled road that can be built with minimum tax dollars.  

Tolling doesn't mean public/private. Most toll roads are built and operated by governments, so totally public. Wikipedia says one small section of a toll road in Texas is privately operated, but everything else is operated by various government agencies. 

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Maybe I’m crazy, but I feel like the construction on the 277 interchange doesn’t match the plan.  I feel like he new flyover that wraps on to 77 North is much longer than what is visualized. Maybe I’m looking at this wrong. 

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It was changed to accommodate better merging areas for Graham, and 11th St exits and entrances.  There will be two flyovers merging into the median of I-77 under the new Lasalle Street bridge,

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My question is, what the heck is this? I see this almost every day and I can’t wrap my head around it. As far as I can tell it doesn’t exist in the renderings.

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2 hours ago, AuLukey said:

My question is, what the heck is this? I see this almost every day and I can’t wrap my head around it. As far as I can tell it doesn’t exist in the renderings.

 

I believe it's a foot bridge for construction workers

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I-85 construction in Cabarrus this is looking good and up to exit 63 Kannapolis should be open by end of the year and Rowan county portion next year.   This will mean 6-8 lane freeway from Charlotte to Raleigh Durham the most important corridor in the state.  Photos yesterday.  Photos 1-3

Rest of the photos  I-77 express lanes construction today.   Last photo was not what I wanted but it is pretty neat anyway. 

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Speaking of toll express lanes from the big A to the south 

""The $834 million Northwest Corridor opened last weekend along a 29-mile stretch of interstates 75 and 575 in Cobb and Cherokee counties. It's both the largest highway undertaking in Georgia history and the largest toll lanes project in the nation.  "I have already gotten great reports back from people who have utilized it as to how it speeds up their commute," Gov. Nathan Deal said during a ribbon-cutting ceremony staged at a SunTrust Park parking lot overlooking a section of the new toll lanes.  The Northwest Corridor is the third toll lanes project to open to traffic in what eventually will be a network of toll lanes across metro Atlanta. Toll lanes along I-85 in DeKalb and Gwinnett counties opened back in 2011, followed early last year by the I-85 South Express Lanes project south of Atlanta.  Later this year, motorists will be able to access an extension of the I-85 toll lanes stretching further out into the Gwinnett County suburbs.""

from the ATL Business Chronicle 

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1 hour ago, KJHburg said:

I-85 construction in Cabarrus this is looking good and up to exit 63 Kannapolis should be open by end of the year and Rowan county portion next year.   This will mean 6-8 lane freeway from Charlotte to Raleigh Durham the most important corridor in the state.  Photos yesterday.  Photos 1-3

Rest of the photos  I-77 express lanes construction today.   Last photo was not what I wanted but it is pretty neat anyway. 

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Speaking of toll express lanes from the big A to the south 

""The $834 million Northwest Corridor opened last weekend along a 29-mile stretch of interstates 75 and 575 in Cobb and Cherokee counties. It's both the largest highway undertaking in Georgia history and the largest toll lanes project in the nation.  "I have already gotten great reports back from people who have utilized it as to how it speeds up their commute," Gov. Nathan Deal said during a ribbon-cutting ceremony staged at a SunTrust Park parking lot overlooking a section of the new toll lanes.  The Northwest Corridor is the third toll lanes project to open to traffic in what eventually will be a network of toll lanes across metro Atlanta. Toll lanes along I-85 in DeKalb and Gwinnett counties opened back in 2011, followed early last year by the I-85 South Express Lanes project south of Atlanta.  Later this year, motorists will be able to access an extension of the I-85 toll lanes stretching further out into the Gwinnett County suburbs.""

from the ATL Business Chronicle 

I saw the signs for the Northwest Corridor when I was in the ATL for Labor Day, reminding people to NOT enter the road yet.  I'm still not convinced it is going to ease the congestion that is on 75 on any given day at any given time.  The Peach Pass is now being extended up 85 into Lawrenceville/Buford and it just epitomizes urban sprawl to the nth degree.  Just 5 years ago, there were still woods in the median and on both sides of the interstate past the 985 junction.  Now, it is on its way to be looking like any set of exits in Gwinnett County.  Just makes me glad I live here as opposed to there.  There isn't enough money in the world to get me to sit in that traffic 5 days a week!

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My question is: Are they planning on lighting up the Cabarrus County section of the widening of 85? At least through Concord/Kannapolis. Driving through Salisbury, it feels like you're in a much bigger town. Suddenly you have 8 lanes of traffic, completely Lined with streetlights through Salisbury. 

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I believe that NCDOT is requiring Lighting along I-85 at each Major Interchange/Exit.  I don't believe they'll be lighting on the I-85 Mainline between exits.  

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This is a major benefit to the density and connectivity plans that Charlotte has been pursuing.  Charlotte somewhat came from behind in that we did not have a huge population pre-WWII to have some of that density already built.   However even if the designs aren't ideal in many cases, the apartment growth in the last decade has dramatically improved the density of our intown "center city" neighborhoods.   So a lot of the lifestyles that are being lived are more urban, where many activities and friendship circles and nightlife and daily activities are on transit lines, or are quite close to each other.   

If I am going uptown to Southend, I will consider if alternatives are worth my time.     A car trip 2 miles is not as impactful as a trip 10 miles, but then I will consider if parking or traffic will be a concern at that time.   Then I consider carpooling, which is often what I do, making it a car trip 2 miles for 2-3 people.   Uber-lyft is helpful if time and safety is important (drinking) but money is not (It isn't really worth it to pay $10 for a 2 mile trip unless you're tipsy or hurried).    Next I consider biking, firstly if b-cycle is worth it from a station point of view, if I feel like making a round trip adventure on my personal bike that I would never trust to leave locked out for too long, or if there is a Lime-Spin handy if my trip is no where near a b-cycle station.   Scooters I haven't yet factored in, but are good for similar cases, but where laziness and travel time are a factor.     Lastly I consider transit and walking.   

 

For games, it is so important that the stadium is in an urban center where all the parking and road networks are already built for weekday commutes, but also that you have residential density and the bike and pedestrian and transit options.  It is all a symbol of great progress on the subjects we talk about here constantly for decades. 

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On ‎9‎/‎23‎/‎2018 at 2:13 PM, kermit said:

Anyone doubting that Charlotteans would embrace alternative transportation only needs to walk around BoA stadium just before game time. Before kickoff today I saw:

  • Every scooter  in town
  • Bikes (although not a ton for game goers)
  • Pedicabs
  • Golf cart jitneys (every one full of solo cup-holding riders)
  • Every kind of ride share (but no ‘real’ taxis)
  • Informal dollar vans (that is what it looked like)
  • Bar shuttles
  • Tens of thousands of peds (about half of whom were properly pickled)

I didn't actually see any CATS buses but I suspect they are largely irrelevant on game day given the demographics of ticketholders. I know the Blue Line carries a few thousand game goers but the West Line should certainly increase that number.

All these modes were put into action to move roughly the same number of people into uptown as work there on a normal weekday. It appears that slight constraints on parking (e.g. market based pricing rather than our normal subsidized system) and some street closures have a massive impact on mode share, even in Charlotte. Reducing auto dependence aint rocket science.

9CB2AAD4-6699-4B8E-A0C7-33388D4632F5.jpeg

Oh, Charlotteans certainly do have a history of embracing alternative modes of transit (in a way that most other Sunbelt cities don't).

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What's the status of the highway lighting project? I was in town recently and noticed 77 south seemed mostly fixed but only till slightly passed Remount Rd. It's still pitch black through uptown and around 277.

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