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After a very long delay, construction on converting Independence Blvd between Sharon Amity and Conference Drive will start tomorrow night. Construction should be completed by October 2016. With how traffic is already bad on this stretch, I wonder how bad it's going to be like during this construction phase?

 

http://www.wsoctv.com/news/news/traffic/independence-blvd-widening-project/nXM9K/

I thought they had eliminated the busway, no ?

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Some new pics were posted of the I-77 toll project. Also, a newsletter update was posted. Pics: https://www.i77express.com/gallery/i-77-express-construction-works-april-2019/ Newsletter: htt

The darkness on highways/interchanges around Uptown is a bigger pet peeve for me vs. buildings lining the highway. 

Assortment of recent I-77 traffic/construction photos via NCDOT 

Posted Images

I don't think the busway was ever nixed, what was nixed was the spacing/right of way to allow a future BRT or LRT station at Sharon Amity and Idlewild/Conference interchanges. The busway can be easily converted to a reversed HOT/HOV lanes. You probably wouldn't see the busway being active b/c right now it's only being used for express CATS buses that only run during rush hours. 

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Per NCDOT, 

The existing six-lane divided roadway will be widened to include four general purpose lanes and one bus lane in each direction. The proposed bus lane will be constructed in the median and will be separated from the general purpose lanes by two-foot buffers. A single barrier wall will be constructed in the center of the median to separate the opposing bus lanes.

 

That is consistent with what appears on their construction maps.

 

http://www.ncdot.gov/projects/US74WideningImprovements/

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They canceled the idea of the 2-wall busway which was necessary as part of the long term BRT/LRT corridor which has been abandoned.  We did an expensive rebuild of the Wendover/Eastway bridge purely to switch to that 2-wall enclosed transitway, so it is ashame they didn't make the right strategic decisions a decade ago. 

 

Initially, until they can figure out and pay for the changes to get cars out of the uptown end, and handle them well at the Albemarle Rd interchange, these lanes will be only for buses, but will be converted to HOT lanes eventually. 

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This is a state-wide issue, posting here though because it is McCrory, and I also wonder if this is a veiled dagger that will definitely affect Charlotte: McCrory transportation spending changes.  As usual the man takes eloquent great sounding explanations to the next level, but this just sounds like talking around taking money away from certain projects, case in point light rail/streetcars.  I say that because his new "formula" would target projects where stats bear out importance, I do not see much locally meeting the criteria.  Or maybe I just don't trust him.  On the other hand, tracks or a complete highway to ILM might suddenly jump to the top of the list.

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No, that is not a dagger at Charlotte.  For decades, the cities in NC have complained about the formula which divides money to all the divisions in the state.  It causes sparcely populated areas, especially 'down east' to have grandiose freeway plans, including seemingly redundant US64, US264, US70 all seem to serve an area that in the Piedmont would be served by only a single freeway corridor. 

https://connect.ncdot.gov/projects/planning/Planning%20Document%20Library/Intrastate%20System%20Map%20Updated%20April%202012.pdf

 

Regardless of regional competition for funding, we are at a point where a lot of basic infrastructure is now pretty well in place, so for upgrades and further expansion, the cities have long argued that the density and economic activity would result in a far greater return on investment for expansion there.  One issue with the formula that I recall from when I read into it years ago, is that maintenance is by road mile, so a 2-lane road in the countryside would be given the same maintenance allotment as an 8-lane freeway or 6 lane city street.  That causes cities to be perpetually behind on maintenance for streets.

 

Another problem with the formula, is what happened at the Yadkin River bridge in Division 9, which is dominated by Winston-Salem.  They didn't want to prioritize such an expensive project, which would have taken over most of their budget for years, when they preferred to spend the money elsewhere.  It had statewide importance, but could not get prioritized in the division until they got some stimulus loans and finally hit emergency levels for structural risks of the bridges.

 

I sense that if McCrory has turned his back on the value of transit, that they would use this opportunity to make it harder for transit to compete for funds as part of a conservative agenda.  However, if the formula is adjusted to have transit compete against boondoggle freeway projects for rural areas, it may still compete well.  25000 daily riders on the $600m streetcar line is superior to some of these projects planned. 

 

Regardless, the idea that transportation can be prioritized by merit and have an allocation for big picture importance (where people like us in Charlotte might actually use the road in another part of the state)

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^ Re: Streetcar, given how they're allocating to "Statewide," "Regionwide," and "Local," the Streetcar pretty specifically falls into local, so it may still have a tough go at that much funding. It does seem like the Red Line would fall into the "Regionwide" category, though.

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But interestingly, not to stray off topic far, they were only pursuing city funding not state funding for the streetcar.  But yes, the Red line would be regional.  You would kind of wonder, though, whether special corridors like to the airport might be considered state-wide considering the larger import of that connection, such as for large events, etc.

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Frankly roundabouts are a much better solution for most intersections, as long as they are not excessively high volume.    In Europe, especially Britain, they are ubiquitous. 

 

I know it took people a while to get used to the roundabout in first ward.  Drunkards and/or dumbasses would drive straight through on the dirt before they planted the magnolia trees.   It is a fairly low volume street, so it wasn't too bad, but when I used to live there, I used to be annoyed about all the buses that took Davidson to the maintenance garage, so they had that airbrake tshhh-tshhh-tshhh noise a dozen times as they weat around.

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the roundabouts at exit 30 headed into Davidson seem to work pretty well. they seem to otherwise be scattered around inside neighborhoods, like on park rd in dilworth (which solved a weird intersection geometry), elizabeth, a couple of "lite" roundabouts on selwyn

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They usually keep traffic moving, which is why Davidson and Mooresville have been partial to them in newer construction.  I like that Poplar Tent Rd and Hwy 73 off i85 are being turned into superstreets, which act somewhat as a long roundabout with u turns.  Traffic will keep moving and hopefully congestion will decrease significantly without the intersections.

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That reminds me there was planned to be a 3-sided roundabout installed by the Morrison YMCA in Ballantyne (at Bryant Farms and Community House).  I see now that portion is under re-design and moved to a new "Phase 2", due to changes required by the Community House bridge over 485.  I have no idea why that bridge would impact a street that is 1.5 miles south of it, but whatever, I'm no engineer.  Maybe they're expecting increased traffic and the roundabout won't work?

 

Project page:

http://charmeck.org/city/charlotte/epm/Projects/Transportation/Roads/Pages/Community%20House.aspx

 

I think this was the originally planned roundabout:

http://www.thecharlotteweekly.com/wp-content/uploads/12.30.11-SCW-Roundabout.jpg

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How abundant (or successful) are roundabouts in Charlotte? NCDOT, Matthews, and Mint Hill are planning on converting the intersection of NC51/Idlewild to a roundabout in 2014:

 

http://www.matthewsminthillweekly.com/news/2013/04/roundabout-coming-to-idlewildn-c-51-intersection/

 

As long as they're single lane roundabouts. The sorta two-lane roundabout on Hillsborough Street at the N.C. State bell tower failed miserably.

 

http://www.newsobserver.com/2012/07/30/2232181/hillsborough-street-roundabout.html

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As long as they're single lane roundabouts. The sorta two-lane roundabout on Hillsborough Street at the N.C. State bell tower failed miserably.

 

http://www.newsobserver.com/2012/07/30/2232181/hillsborough-street-roundabout.html

I do get sketched out driving that in heavy traffic when visiting there, though I think its just a problem of us hardly ever encountering them, not a bad design. 

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That's for SC rednecks in their pickup's to curse Obama for his stoopid policies of roundabouts for no reason. :alc:

 

In Clearwater Beach, they have a painfully difficult 2-lane roundabout that is high volume during beach traffic.  People seem to hate that most of the time, but I think most people have gotten used to it and even figured it out. 

 

I'd say in almost every case I have seen, it is a much better experience than waiting for traffic lights to cycle.

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That's for SC rednecks in their pickup's to curse Obama for his stoopid policies of roundabouts for no reason. :alc:

 

In Clearwater Beach, they have a painfully difficult 2-lane roundabout that is high volume during beach traffic.  People seem to hate that most of the time, but I think most people have gotten used to it and even figured it out. 

 

I'd say in almost every case I have seen, it is a much better experience than waiting for traffic lights to cycle.

oooh I've experienced that roundabout in Clearwater Beach, while it is extremely busy, it actually works if you're in the lane you're supposed to be in. At least those drivers there know how to follow the lane markings and arrows. I was in Winston-Salem a few years ago, there's a roundabout near the NC School of the Arts and Salem College, people there didn't know how to stay between the lane markings or follow the arrows. 

 

Roundabout at freeway exits/entrances at I-485 interchanges seems to work pretty well, 

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