Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

monsoon

Traffic, Freeways and Road Construction

Recommended Posts


We went to Charlotte today (South Park and Concord Mills Mall) and that is no lie...traffic was like that EVERYWHERE!!!

They had a race going on, a concert, and some sort of furniture convention. I thought we would never get back to Spartanburg. We left at 5:30 and got back around 8 or so. We took some backroads and even they were backed up. It was absolutely horrible. <_<

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Plus 85 has only two lanes heading towards that area. They need to finish that crap soon. Also, what is the deal with 485? Are they ever going to open the section that connects to 85 west of Charlotte?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That is one very large backup for a metro area of that size! Grand Rapids, MI has only about 100,000 less people in their metro area than Charlotte has in theirs, and I have never seen traffic even 1/3 as bad as that there! This looks like another case of NCDOT planning at it's absolute best. LOL.

Normally at this point in my post, I would point out how traffic jams in metro Detroit are much worse, and blah blah blah blah. But if I do that, the traffic will just get even worse than it already is, so I'm just going to leave it at that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the only hope for inbound 85 morning traffic is for DOT to improve access to the grid between sugar creek and 77. Based on some of the limitations to widening 77 intown that have been referenced in the observer, it is safe to say that 77 will never be able to accommodate all the traffic coming inbound on both 77 and 85.

If the DOT improved Stateville, Graham, Tryon, and maybe added a few more grid connections, like extending Church and College Streets to 85. There would be enough options to prevent everyone from having to squeeze onto 77.

In my opinion, there is no hope for this traffic to improve given the current structure of state road financing and NCDOT. Currently, Charlotte's taxes subsidize the rest of the state. Thankfully, the legislature has recognized this structural problem, and has setup a Blue Ribbon Commission to work with the urban areas in the state to help solve them. I really think some of the recommendations being discussed are sound and could prevent some of the wasteful spending monsoon referred to.

http://www.charmeck.org/Departments/Transportation/Home.htm

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am very proud of NC and CLT for building and [soon] opening the first HOV lanes in the Carolinas, as it is a chance to start changing the lifestyles of the commuters in Meck county and just outside of it.

However, I-77 is a symbol of how litle NC transportation law supports Charlotte. I don't think it really is a matter NCDOT being more generous to raleigh or east nc and being incompetent in funding, designing and building, although they are. But the law basically uses Charlotte to subsidize much of the rest of the NC system.

I77 is a perfect example because it has not trans-regional importance to NC. It gets people from the Great Lakes and Virginian Appalachia to Charleston's ports and I95. The only portion of the road that gets much intra-NC usage is in Mecklenburg county, and to lesser extent in Iredell, south of I40.

in Mecklenburg, though, I77 is the most congested freeway in the state of north carolina by a very long shot. 77 between 277 and 485 in pineville is 3 lanes/direction, but isn't schedule to be widened until after 2025. That means the road will stay exactly like it is right now for 2 more decades. Can you imagine living in Charlotte in 2025, with hundreds of thousands more residents and commuters, but i77 being the same exact road? How about with all those drivers then and then suffering through 2-4 years of widening construction. The cost is already estimated as something like 1.5-2 billion dollars, can you imagine the actual costs after 20 more years of growth along the corridor?

The reason: Transportation money is capped to prevent spending too much in one place, which only hurts the large cities, and especially charlotte. If i77 were widened now, almost ALL other projects would have to wait until it were completed before highway money. The representatives of this area keep delaying that pain far into the future because the other projects are so desparately needed, too.

In the northern half of the county, a similar debacle has occurred. The money cap makes it impossible to widen 77 all the way past the lake towns, and the 85-77 interchange would be extremely expensive to replace. With such a small budget for the widening that is soon to end, NCDOT loved the fact that Rea figured out how to squeeze the extra lanes into the existing 85-77 interchange. Even if they realized the bottlenecks at 85 and 485 (i'm sure they did), it didn't matter because the funding system doesn't allow for it.

This project will not solve any problems, but will at least alleviate some of them. Until structural changes are made to NC road funding laws, charlotte's projects will continue to fall short.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Luckily the state is currently looking at their funding system for road projects, debating whether it is actually a good system or not. One thing I am thinking though, is that since 77 isnt going to be widened again for so long, it might force people to actually ride the train on south Blvd, you know? Or if we are very lucky, more people might ride the express buses. taht still wouldnt change traffic.....but I am sure more people would resort to public transit with traffic that bad. The traffic on 77 isnt too terribly bad, at least it is moving, even though slowly.....at least it moves. IN Chicago your on the expressway and you are just stopped, not moving anywhere!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Today the HOV lanes opened in Charlotte. I captured this webcam shot a few minutes ago, people are using the new lanes already!

dot_121704.jpg

On another note, I also saw these two women with their arms full of big shopping bags. Shopping?!?! In DT Charlotte?!?! :P

ccity_121704.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

6News did a test of the HOV lanes today during rush hour. 2 people left Presbyterian Hospital at the same time and one used the HOV and the other did not to get to Birkdale Village...the woman who used the HOV took 30 min to get to Birkdale. The guy who did not use HOV took just over an hour to get to Birkdale.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

6News did a test of the HOV lanes today during rush hour. 2 people left Presbyterian Hospital at the same time and one used the HOV and the other did not to get to Birkdale Village...the woman who used the HOV took 30 min to get to Birkdale. The guy who did not use HOV took just over an hour to get to Birkdale.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

The Northbound HOV is half as long, so i'd bet southbound HOV is even more worth it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is a pretty good view of uptown charlotte from the south flyover bridge on the new hov lane.

I think someone should take a picture of it... :whistling:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.