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Traffic Congestion and Highway Construction

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13 hours ago, NcSc74 said:

Just completed a road trip from RDU to Boca Raton and back.  Couple of comments and observations about road construction that may pertain to Charlotte.  RDU new terminal or renovation looks great.  We flew in from OKC and were surprised how the airport had changed from years ago. Next observation; TREES and more TREES.  The drive from RDU to 95 we literally saw 10 buildings....Trees block all sight.  Just like 85 and 77, folks driving thru have no idea you are supposed to be in an area with millions of people.  Now I am not advocating the destruction of habitat for vain reasons but allowing drivers to see your city could possibly be free advertisement and also let folks know your region has energy.  Especially when they see cranes.  Just my opinion.  Last observation in regards to the construction pic above; is that all Charlotte gets?  Because from my eyes Jacksonville and Orlando are pouring prbably billions in to road infrastructure.  Its impressive to see.  Again one of those perception things.  I do realize Charlotte has chosen to invest in mass transit and I applaud that but I would like to think  a comprehensive plan for transit an roads could happen.  I dont know maybe someone can answer that.  

Oh, I still dont get I-74.  Will that connect to Charlotte metro cause I don't get why the signage does not mention Charlotte at the 95/74 interchange in Roberson county?

I've heard many people even in Charlotte, that have come from out west and talk about how many trees are here. But RDU takes the cake on trees.  One of the many reasons I dislike Cary so much, is the sheer amount of trees. 

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18 hours ago, NcSc74 said:

Just completed a road trip from RDU to Boca Raton and back.  Couple of comments and observations about road construction that may pertain to Charlotte.  RDU new terminal or renovation looks great.  We flew in from OKC and were surprised how the airport had changed from years ago. Next observation; TREES and more TREES.  The drive from RDU to 95 we literally saw 10 buildings....Trees block all sight.  Just like 85 and 77, folks driving thru have no idea you are supposed to be in an area with millions of people.  Now I am not advocating the destruction of habitat for vain reasons but allowing drivers to see your city could possibly be free advertisement and also let folks know your region has energy.  Especially when they see cranes.  Just my opinion.  Last observation in regards to the construction pic above; is that all Charlotte gets?  Because from my eyes Jacksonville and Orlando are pouring prbably billions in to road infrastructure.  Its impressive to see.  Again one of those perception things.  I do realize Charlotte has chosen to invest in mass transit and I applaud that but I would like to think  a comprehensive plan for transit an roads could happen.  I dont know maybe someone can answer that.  

Oh, I still dont get I-74.  Will that connect to Charlotte metro cause I don't get why the signage does not mention Charlotte at the 95/74 interchange in Roberson county?

The trees are a blessing and a curse.  On one hand they provide screening for many of the neighborhoods along the interstates and highways, they provide numerous environmental benefits,  they can be aesthetically pleasing, the list goes on and on.  On the other hand they do block a lot of the development around the City which makes many cities in NC seem smaller than they really are and they can be a maintenance  headache for NCDOT and other transportation departments.  I think the benefits outweigh the drawbacks.  I think another issue with many cities in the Piedmont and coastal area is their topography.  There are no vistas or hills to crest when coming into many cities to give you that "wow" factor nor are our cities located on rivers that also provide great vantage points when driving around.  The only drive in Charlotte I can think of that gives you that "wow" factor is heading west on Independence Blvd.  right before you reach 277, nothing else really compares except maybe 77 south at the 85 interchange. 

Regarding infrastructure, many people believe that Charlotte doesn't get its fair share of funds from Raleigh.  There is some truth to this but there has also been a lot of improvements over the last several years including widening 85 and 77, completing 485, plus a few other things here and there.  Again, I think our topography plays a roll in how our infrastructure is designed, a lot of our infrastructure improvements do not require extravagantly designed interchanges and such so they may not seem as impressive as other cities but they function just the same. 

Finally, I-74 will not connect to Charlotte.  There are talks about upgrading US-74 to interstate standards and numbering it as an interstate spur but there is no telling when and if that will actually happen. 

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On 5/8/2019 at 2:02 PM, NcSc74 said:

Just completed a road trip from RDU to Boca Raton and back.  Couple of comments and observations about road construction that may pertain to Charlotte.  RDU new terminal or renovation looks great.  We flew in from OKC and were surprised how the airport had changed from years ago. Next observation; TREES and more TREES.  The drive from RDU to 95 we literally saw 10 buildings....Trees block all sight.  Just like 85 and 77, folks driving thru have no idea you are supposed to be in an area with millions of people.  Now I am not advocating the destruction of habitat for vain reasons but allowing drivers to see your city could possibly be free advertisement and also let folks know your region has energy.  Especially when they see cranes.  Just my opinion.  Last observation in regards to the construction pic above; is that all Charlotte gets?  Because from my eyes Jacksonville and Orlando are pouring prbably billions in to road infrastructure.  Its impressive to see.  Again one of those perception things.  I do realize Charlotte has chosen to invest in mass transit and I applaud that but I would like to think  a comprehensive plan for transit an roads could happen.  I dont know maybe someone can answer that.  

Oh, I still dont get I-74.  Will that connect to Charlotte metro cause I don't get why the signage does not mention Charlotte at the 95/74 interchange in Roberson county?

I-74 is broken into segments from Davenport Iowa to Lumberton, NC. It heads north at Rockingham and through the triad before going into Virginia and so on. The US highway 74 runs from Wilmington to Chattanooga. I-74 and US 74 are concurrent from Rockingham to Lumberton. Fun fact, it's the only place that an interstate runs concurrent with a US highway with the same number designation.

74 from Charlotte to Rockingham should absolutely be upgraded to an interstate. I-174 isn't in use currently and would make a ton of sense.

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On 5/5/2019 at 3:36 AM, southslider said:

^The planned 77 toll rates appear to be fair:

https://www.i77express.com/pricing/toll-rates/

Really? Someone living in Mooresville and working in Charlotte paying $13.10 daily is fair? That's $65.50 a week. You don't see these prices in Tampa and hard-pressed to even find them in Miami. But they can finish 85 without tolls. 

Edited by mpretori
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7 hours ago, elrodvt said:

My gosh. don't pay then.

Poster said it was fair. It's not, unless your making big bucks. Nobody cares about the poor anymore. Thanks for the "advice".

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No seriously, there's an extra lane. Others will pay to get on it reducing traffic on the old 2 Lanes. You win and don't pay. But, if you're in a hurry you pay. Don't you agree?

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40 minutes ago, tozmervo said:

Adding free lanes does not benefit the poor of Mooresville. Creating a regional multimodal network that does not force reliance on very expensive cost-of purchase, maintenance, and gas cars will hugely benefit the poor and everyone else 

So adding a insane costly toll road will solve the problem for the poor. Got it.  Let's tax and toll them more into poverty. 

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55 minutes ago, elrodvt said:

No seriously, there's an extra lane. Others will pay to get on it reducing traffic on the old 2 Lanes. You win and don't pay. But, if you're in a hurry you pay. Don't you agree?

You can quote me on this but this project will go bankrupt. Spending $3,000+ a year for TOLLS is INSANE. That's almost 3 rent payments in some areas.  But we have a magical mass transit system that exists from Mooresville to  anywhere in Charlotte. :rolleyes: So much Wisdom! 

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I think it’s reasonable to be upset that a third free lane was not constructed between 485 and Mooresville for many of the reasons listed previously in this thread.  This primary north-south interstate highway through one of the most populous counties in the southeastern US should have been widened to at least 6 lanes in the past, but that ship has sailed.   If the shoulder lane option is ever utilized, that will be a fair compromise considering the past history of this project. The shoulder lane option during rush hour will essentially add a third free lane during the time of day that stretch of highway can best utilize it.  Driver behavior will adjust to the new toll lanes, you’ll see an increase in carpooling, bussing, and people leaving earlier in the day to avoid the tolls or pay lower toll rates.  If you want to know the future of the I-77 toll lanes look no further than the northern Virginia I-95 toll lanes. We Virginians can’t wait until they’re extended to Fredericksburg next year. Guaranteed travel times to the District are within reach, guaranteed travel times to Uptown will be equally appreciated in the future. 

Edited by Seaboard Fellow
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5 hours ago, mpretori said:

So adding a insane costly toll road will solve the problem for the poor. Got it.  Let's tax and toll them more into poverty. 

If you already live in Mooresville and work in Charlotte, it's highly unlikely you're living below the poverty line.

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14 minutes ago, southslider said:

If you already live in Mooresville and work in Charlotte, it's highly unlikely you're living below the poverty line.

More wisdom, like the  magical mass transit system that exists from Mooresville to  anywhere in Charlotte!

36 minutes ago, Seaboard Fellow said:

I think it’s reasonable to be upset that a third free lane was not constructed between 485 and Mooresville for many of the reasons listed previously in this thread.  This primary north-south interstate highway through one of the most populous counties in the southeastern US should have been widened to at least 6 lanes in the past, but that ship has sailed.   If the shoulder lane option is ever utilized, that will be a fair compromise considering that past history of this project. The shoulder lane option during rush hour will essentially add a third free lane during the time of day that stretch of highway can best utilize it.  Driver behavior will adjust to the new toll lanes, you’ll see an increase in carpooling, bussing, and people leaving earlier in the day to avoid the tolls or pay lower toll rates.  If you want to know the future of the I-77 toll lanes look no further than the northern Virginia I-95 toll lanes. We Virginians can’t wait until they’re extended to Fredericksburg next year. Guaranteed travel times to the District are within reach, guaranteed travel times to Uptown will be equally appreciated in the future. 

Property taxes in the Lake Norman area  are not insane like it is in Charlotte.  Some people who could not afford the high taxes, moved to tax friendlier areas. This drew money away from Charlotte. Solution: toll I-77 and essentially put a $3,000+ annual tax on those people. They actually removed lanes by converting the HOV lane into a toll lane.  

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13 hours ago, mpretori said:

They actually removed lanes by converting the HOV lane into a toll lane.  

All identifiable High Occupancy Vehicles (HOV3+) vehicles with a HOV3+ NC Quick Pass transponder and at least three occupants are entitled to use the express lanes for free.  I believe the only difference if my memory serves me correctly is the former HOV lane was HOV2+  

Edited by Seaboard Fellow
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The main reason to toll 77 is the crossing of Lake Norman. You could only fit one more lane without significant environmental impact to the lake. If we want that lane to last, it has to be managed.

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31 minutes ago, Seaboard Fellow said:

All identifiable High Occupancy Vehicles (HOV3+) vehicles with a HOV3+ NC Quick Pass transponder and at least three occupants are entitled to use the express lanes for free.  I believe the only difference if my memory serves me correctly is the former HOV Lane was HOV2+  

If you plan to use that, as I do, make sure to get the special transponder. Essentially it's a little larger with a switch you move to indicate you're in a 3+ vehicle.

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1 hour ago, southslider said:

The main reason to toll 77 is the crossing of Lake Norman. You could only fit one more lane without significant environmental impact to the lake. If we want that lane to last, it has to be managed.

I don't know what DOT experience you have, but I have never in my life heard this. 

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In a attempt to create a shoulder lane, CRTPO(Charlotte) is voicing opposition because "it gives the perception there is a problem with the express lanes".  They are the same ones that voted in the $3,000 annual toll lanes.  CRTPO knows more than the transportation secretary or NCDOT apparently for a non-municipality road :rolleyes: 

 

https://www.wsoctv.com/news/local/ncdot-may-convert-shoulder-into-traffic-lane-on-portion-of-i-77/941130168

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9 hours ago, mpretori said:

I don't know what DOT experience you have, but I have never in my life heard this. 

It's true. 77 can't ever be widened again across the lake without environmental impact.

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6 hours ago, Sigma said:

Personally, I love the concept of the toll lane. It's completely optional, will relieve some traffic, and the people who live in Iredell and commute to Charlotte (who are causing the stress on our infrastructure) pay for it.

 

Comparing I-77 from Mooresville to Charlotte to I-85 is not a reasonable comparison either.  I-77 from Mooresville to Charlotte is 90% bedroom commuters.  I-85 serves the fifth largest megaregion (17.6M) in the country and IMO should be a minimum six lanes from Birmingham (I-20 I know) to Richmond.

Right. No one uses I-77 coming from Western PA., Ohio, W. Virginia, Virginia or So. Carolina...it's all LKN commuters. GMAFB.

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