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RALNATIVE

Triangle Expressway

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$1.01 billion

remember that whenever anyone says rail travel is too expensive

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$1.01 billion

remember that whenever anyone says rail travel is too expensive

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Never less this a big step for the southern part of Wake county.

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Yeah this road is clearly a subsidization. You could call it "planning" or "forward thinking", but planning for sprawl really is no planning at all....

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Let's just hope that it doesn't become another Garden State Parkway in NJ.

Or better yet, a "Road to Nowhere."

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I actually think the Garden State Parkway is a nice road... does anyone know if NC is going to use EZ Pass or are they going to use their own tag system?

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does anyone know if NC is going to use EZ Pass or are they going to use their own tag system?

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I went to a talk here at work about the Triangle Parkway (my office is very close to this proposed highway.) They specifically mentioned that they were likely to use E-ZPass. I would be certain to complain loudly if they were to use some incompatible system for the transponders, since that's what is used throughout the northeast, and spreading into the midwest.

overview.gif

Ohio is also implementing E-ZPass compatibility by the end of this year, too. South Carolina has a couple of toll roads, and they use transponders that are compatible with E-ZPass, though they aren't a part of the E-ZPass Interagency Group (yet) so their transponders don't (yet) work anywhere else and vice versa. If NC becomes part of the E-ZPass IAG then South Carolina is likely to follow suit as well. You could go from Maine to South Carolina, and use nothing but E-ZPass. You'd have to go to Georgia before you find a technologically incompatible system.

The toll system in NC actually will not have toll booths. If you don't have a transponder, it will snap a picture of your license plate and you will receive a bill in the mail. Tolls collected via photo will be higher, though. Supposedly this will be the first system in the US to do this.

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I really hope they go with E-ZPass just to make it easier on everyone, especially interstate haulers/commuters. I hate it when everyone has to be unique about their own system. Suck it up, swallow your pride, and conform with what all other states are doing. E-ZPass obviously works well for everyone else, I don't see why we shouldn't do the same.

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I also hope they use the EZ Pass system, especially if they decide to toll I-95 in order to make the much needed improvements on that road.

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Sorry if I missed the answer, but when is the Triangle Expressway scheduled to be completed and will the segment about to be under construction continue to US 1 South?

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Both segments of the road are expected to be completed by 2012. It will actually stretch south past US 1, ending at the NC55 bypass near Holly Springs.

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$1.01 billion

remember that whenever anyone says rail travel is too expensive

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$54 million/mile, but it will likely serve anywhere from 100,000 to 150,000 vehicles per day (which means 125,000-200,000 people). The rail transit plan was estimated to serve 7,000 people per day for around $1B. (<$8,000 per daily person vs. >$143,000 per daily person)

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^and I would add that O&M completes the true cost of a road or transit line. I have no idea what the numbers are but initial capital outlay is only part of the strictly financial equation.

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Of course people just throw out numbers like 150,000/day without doing a lick of research. Or worse, as is the case here, most people don't bat an eyelash at the expenditure of $1B+ for yet another new sprawl-inducing highway, including hundreds of millions of dollars in taxpayer money/giveaways. Other than to justify the sales of the bonds on Wall Street and the environmental study, the project had to pass no cost-effectiveness threshold in order to receive it's funding. The legislature just waved a pen, paperwork completed and that was it.

Just in case you were curious, the consultants for the NCTA have the actual estimates for their "drivership" :P .

  • 10-22k in 2012

  • 23-37k in 2020

  • 37-59k in 2030

source of data (20MB).

Notice the 10,000 for the predicted opening year segment of the TriEx near Holly Springs & Apex is actually less patronized than the Lynx Blue Line, which was about 14-15k, and achieved for half the cost ($1B vs $463M). Meanwhile Lynx has or will generate billions of dollars in sustainable development near rail stations that takes trips of the roadways and returns tax base to the local government in a form that requires the least amount of ongoing public services (it's built within the existing city limits), and will provide a guaranteed 25 minute or less commute to Center City Charlotte no matter what the traffic conditions will be in the future, and that's not to mention any increases in gas prices that would drive more people away from driving and onto transit. Basically, the rail line will pay for itself many times over over the course of it's life, and I could go on and on about life cycle cost, air quality, growth management, public health, and many other benefits of transit...

Beyond that, what problem has the existing 540 solved that we think this extension will solve? Last time I was on I-540, all I could see was more traffic (approaching 100k cars/day), more subdivisions & strip malls (that use to be farms and open space), and a future promise of one day widening the loop that was supposed to solve the congestion on our first loop (Beltline). 540 won't solve any problems and we all know it. Let's just stop trying to pretend it will. People say we don't want to be Atlanta, but as for as I'm concerned, this region just took another another HUGE leap in that direction.

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$54 million/mile, but it will likely serve anywhere from 100,000 to 150,000 vehicles per day (which means 125,000-200,000 people). The rail transit plan was estimated to serve 7,000 people per day for around $1B. (<$8,000 per daily person vs. >$143,000 per daily person)

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Looking at the thread, it says $800 million over 30 years.

And that's for a project that's longer, so the cost per mile is quite a bit lower. Plus it's the hardest part to build. The first section of any rail system will be the most expensive. You need to build more sections to achieve the real network benefits of the system. As more stops are added to it, the cost per passenger mile decreases.

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Beyond that, what problem has the existing 540 solved that we think this extension will solve? Last time I was on I-540, all I could see was more traffic (approaching 100k cars/day), more subdivisions & strip malls (that use to be farms and open space), and a future promise of one day widening the loop that was supposed to solve the congestion on our first loop (Beltline). 540 won't solve any problems and we all know it. Let's just stop trying to pretend it will. People say we don't want to be Atlanta, but as for as I'm concerned, this region just took another another HUGE leap in that direction.

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We shouldn't finish the loop. Ideally we would abandon 540 wherever it is and transfer all the funds to the construction of rail projects, assuming that was somehow possible. I'm sure the only place that money could go, bureaucratically speaking, is other highways though.

The likelihood of this happening is pretty close to the likelihood of the US Senate passing an amendment that disbands the US Senate.

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We shouldn't finish the loop. Ideally we would abandon 540 wherever it is and transfer all the funds to the construction of rail projects, assuming that was somehow possible. I'm sure the only place that money could go, bureaucratically speaking, is other highways though.

The likelihood of this happening is pretty close to the likelihood of the US Senate passing an amendment that disbands the US Senate.

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Some very good points, jojo, but some problems, too

Of course people just throw out numbers like 150,000/day without doing a lick of research. Or worse, as is the case here, most people don't bat an eyelash at the expenditure of $1B+ for yet another new sprawl-inducing highway, including hundreds of millions of dollars in taxpayer money/giveaways. Other than to justify the sales of the bonds on Wall Street and the environmental study, the project had to pass no cost-effectiveness threshold in order to receive it's funding. The legislature just waved a pen, paperwork completed and that was it.

Just in case you were curious, the consultants for the NCTA have the actual estimates for their "drivership" :P .

  • 10-22k in 2012

  • 23-37k in 2020

  • 37-59k in 2030

source of data (20MB).

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People have come to assume that government will give them a four lane, six lane or eight lane road in time if they move out onto that two-lane road. This is precisely why the people in Apex and Holy Springs are aghast at the loss of their apparent entitlement. Roads following development is not an f##$ing law of nature. Its a pattern of human decisions common in the last 60 years.

The math is simple even for a five year old. In a given width of travel space, mass transit moves more people. Currently that corridor also does so for less fuel. I am not sure what mpg a car needs to get before that math washes out but many negative effects of cars remain regardless of of the mpg achieved.

Roads support less density. In the current mode of employment centers/subdivisions/shopping malls, commute times must exceed that of rail at some point.

The impervious surface is so incredibly high, that DOT has its own General Stormwater permit. There is a whole page dedicated to it. This of course amounts to almost no real anything beyond some erosion controls during construction. Every drop of oil that comes off your oil pan, ends up in your water supply.

The creep of sprawl, while keeping down land prices in a city core, raises them in the surrounding countryside. This makes nearby farming operations unfeasible and in time could raise the price of food. (8th paragraph).

Time spent driving is not spent, sleeping, reading, with your kids, exercising......there is nothing positive at all about time spent in a car...except maybe listening to NPR....

Even if fossil fuels are reduced, the materials needed to build new cars for each commuter far exceeds that needed to build trains to carry the same number of people.

To the folks who maintain that this lifestyle is their freedom of choice, I agree only to the point that government is under no obligation to pay for that lifestyle. In fact, your average libertarian should be quite against building 4-lane roads as well as rail. Government...if it assumed that it should be providing transportation (which I do), should be making the best investment, taking into consideration every thing that such a decision impacts (see my short list above).

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