uptownliving

Triangle road & traffic thread

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MODERATOR'S NOTE: This will be the new place to talk about road projects in the Triangle. I consolidated many old highway topics into one.

hov_header.jpg

A $2 Million study on what to do with I-40 in Raleigh and Durham has been completed and found that it could take 25 years and $400+ Million to build HOV lanes.

Its good to finally see the Triangle get some bad news from NCDOT, but a 25 year delay seems to be on the extreme side to me...maybe a 5 or 10 year delay that the NCDOT typical puts on projects for Charlotte and the Triad would be fairer.

Details here:

http://www.news-observer.com/front/story/2...p-2650280c.html

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Guest donaltopablo

LOL! 25 years? I don't think it took that long to build out the entire interstate system.

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Charlotte will get its first HOV lanes on I-77 in 2004.

For some reason I thought this project was put off until 2030 completion...ah well.

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That's too bad, because I-40 through RTP area could really use them now. Even with the new I-540 to take some of the Northern Wake Co. commuters off of 40, it still backups. At least a HOV, even if it is just a left-diamond lane, would give some kind of incentive to carpool. The state should make 2 (out of the 4) of the inner lanes HOV-2, if not 24-hr, at least during rush hour.

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25 years!? That sounds like the timetable for road projects in Michigan. LOL. Actually they want to put HOV lanes on I-75 from Aburn Hills south to Detroit, although from what I've seen in other cities, they are a waste of money since few people use them. Money should go to mass transit (light rail), not HOV lanes, IMO.

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Building new HOV lanes is stupid. It's not going to convince people to stop driving (or to stop driving by themselves), because it won't increase congestion in the regular lanes. In fact, if the new HOV lanes were successful, it would decrease congestion in the regular lanes, encouraging more people to drive alone.

They should be doing whatever they can to encourage most new development (all kinds: residential, retail, office, etc.) to be within walking distance of new rail stations, and to get people who do drive to carpool. What they should do is convert on existing lane in each direction to HOV (physically seperate it with a wall if need be). This will encourage carpooling much more than new lanes, because it will not only make carpooling more attractive, but make driving alone LESS attractive.

New lanes only equals new sprawl. My solution may have some growing pains, but in the long-run it would encourage (even force) smarter growth.

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Guest donaltopablo

Lack of retail or residential near the RTP is going to make mass transit difficult even if they do build it. Where do you go for lunch? If you can't walk and the train ride isn't resonable for most peoples lunch times (schedule and/or distance of stops), people still won't ride it.

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I thought I would make a thread for major road projects specific to the Triangle area, since there are a plethora of them going on.

One project in particular really affects me, and will do so for a quite a while it seems. A few weeks ago road crews started surveying US1 between Tryon Rd and Walnut St in Cary. I live off of Cary Pkwy and get on US1 everyday smack in the middle of the surveyed zone. I assumed they were adding at least one lane in the northbound direction and so far they have made tremendous progress. They reduce the freeway every night to one lane and start construction. By daybreak they clear out and bring it back to two open lanes.

I've also noticed how they have cleared a large number of trees off of Cary Pkwy at the US1 overpass, and I've wondered why.

I browsed through the NCDOT website--a very functional site I might add--and found the brief project description. It is quite a bit more involved than I thought:

The project involves the improvement of US 1/64 from just south of I-40 to US 64/SR 1006 (Tryon Road) in Wake County. Construction will begin in January 2005 and is expected to last for about 2 years.

Project highlights include:

Edited by NorffCarolina

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My old company (which did primarily roadway design) put in to get the US1/64 project, but alas, overbid.

This issue brings to light the fact that the triangle has development and infrustructural accomodation of such development ass-backwards. It was just 15 years or so ago that they widened US1 to 4 much past 64! Laughable considering the traffic volume that corridor regularly sees these days.

Take the shortsightedness of allowing a development as large as Wakefield without first improving or finding a suitable alternative to all sleepy two lanes of Falls of the Neuse Road in that vicinity. That place is an absolute parking lot at rush hour because there is no quick way to get into downtown from the north (where is the US 1 bypass??? In my dreams, they demolish Capital Blvd, reconnect the downtown grid system that got gutted by placing Capital Blvd., daylight Pigeon House Branch and extend greenways along it/City Parks, establish a 55mph, limited access bypass in roughly the same corridor, and stop it at the beltline).

I'm sure we all can think of dozens of areas that need desperate attention when it comes to roadway widenings/improvements. Personally, I think that nearly all of the I-440 interchanges are ridiculously done and undersized. They just recently made the left turn lane on Six Forks to inner I440 longer than what seemed like just 200 ft. The Wake Forest Road/I440 interchange is the biggest cluster*&*% in the city.

Hopefully, the city/NCDOT have come to grips with the fact that this is not a sleepy town anymore. It's a big city that requires bigger infrastructure.

Edited by capitalapts

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Yeah that Six Forks interchange has always been a real debacle. For a while it seemed that the merge lanes onto Six Forks north AND south from the Inner Beltline were way too short and I actually went out of my way to avoid them during the day. And Wake Forest Rd is a cluster-freak for sure. :P

I don't like what they did with the Western Blvd-to-US1 south exit, it really caught me by surprise the first time I got on it after the reconstruction. The previous arrangement was designed for speed--one could enter the ramp at a decent speed and then swing to the right or left to merge onto US1 north or south (respectively). They changed it so now the exit off of Western is extremely tight--and you can't really see it coming!

Another major problem area is the US1 and I40 interchange in Cary. That cloverleaf is way over capacity the morning and needs to be completely redesigned. I'd like to see some flyover ramps. If there was sufficient space I'd like to see an interchange like US70 and I540 or something. I heard at one time it was slated to be rebuilt, but never heard a date or a design.

Every morning traffic going north on US1 slows down to a few MPH climbing the cloverleaf onto I-40 west. A similar situation exists in the evening for westbound I-40 travellers trying to get on US1 south.

Also, traffic merging from I-40 east to US1 south in the evenings has to play a dangerous game, merging left across 2 lanes in only a couple hundred feet whilst dodging southbound US1 traffic trying to move right across 2 lanes to get on Walnut St. In the rain and at night it seems very dangerous and it always makes me nervous. Essentially it is a mass of people trying to trade lanes all within a short distance and at speed.

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It seems 7/8 out of 10 times i drive on US 1&64 between Cary Parkway and Buck Jones/Walnut St exit, its always backs up then your moving again. Again on US 1 between Western and Wade Ave. Again, these parts of US 1 are likely the oldest freeway alignments in Wake County.

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I work for NCDOT, and I know one of the engineers working on that project. They are totally reworking the Walnut St interchange so that you will no longer be accessing Walnut from US1 south where it currently is--there will be a new loop ramp that will access Walnut from the west/south side across from the Borders SC I think. It will be a big improvement for the Buck Jones/Walnut/US1 ramp intersection. I hadn't heard about the ped bridge location, but near cary pkwy sounds about right. The CAry Pkwy interchange will add 2 loop ramps for left turning traffic ( so they will not back up on the bridge). Overall US 1/64 will be widened to 8 lanes with a median barrier (like 440). It is a design-build project, so it should go fairly fast, compared to traditional contractor-bid projects.

Here's a link to follow the progress.

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This is a much-needed transportation improvement, but I'll still be cynical about it because of what's bound to follow: MORE SPRAWL. The article in the N&O is already talking about how some guy wants to build a 600 home subdivision on a soybean farm in the middle of nowhere. There is also going be a "big box farm" with a Super Target, etc. at the US64/I-540 interchange.

It won't be long before 2/3 of Johnston and Nash counties have been clearcut and replaced with snout-nose starter homes and McMansions.

Everyone have your party hats ready? Whoopee.

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It won't be long before 2/3 of Johnston and Nash counties have been clearcut and replaced with snout-nose starter homes and McMansions.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I agree although thats happening already as we speak. I was on NC 42 from US 301 to US 1 recently and ive noticed the sprawl in Johnston County. Once the US 64 Knightdale bypass opens, Rocky Mount will boom like crazy along the western extents of the city as well as Wilson.

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i'm glad to hear this is finally almost finished. that bypass was a LONG time coming.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I go to Wilson twice a week, I can't wait! I'm so sick of Knightdale I don't know what to do. This will cut at least 10 minutes off the trip and during rush hours possibly 20 minutes. Right now, it takes me 45 minutes to get from the beltline to southeastern Wilson County. I will be taking the trip Friday so I will let u guys know the exact time now! I'm thinking about 35 minutes!!

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Okay, the thread on TIP projects in the North Carolina forum got me thinking that it might be nice to do something on a more local level. So, if there are any roads/paths/sidewalks/railroads around the triangle that you think need improvements, this is the place to post it!

I'll kick things off:I want NCDOT to do TIP U-4437, AKA improvements to the Hillsborough Street/Blue Ridge Road/Beryl Road intersection by the fairgrounds ASAP. The plan that I like the most is Alternative L-8. It calls for lowering the railroad tracks, raising Blue Ridge Road slightly, and building a bridge. Beryl Rd will pass underneath Blue Ridge Road without ever having an intersection. (click the image to get a PDF) u4437.jpg

Next, I would coordinate with this project to make a number of improvements to the same Beryl/Hillsborough corridor roughly half a mile to the east:

1. Close the railroad crossings at Beryl Road (substandard geometry) and Royal Street (lightly used). At this point, there will be no grade crossings on the TTA/NCRR between Powell Dr west of the fairgrounds and Cabarrus St in downtown Raleigh.

2. Build a grade separation at Method Rd, directly opposite the onramp to the beltline.

3. Connect Beryl Road through to Royal Street and Hogan Lane, making a continuous frontage road along the railroad tracks

4. Extend the Rocky Branch Greenway with a tunnel under Gorman Street and then another one under the railroad tracks, and finally cross Hillsborough Street just at the main entrance to Meredith College, where it can connect to the Reedy Creek Greenway.

5. Reconfigure the Royal Building's parking lot to use some of the old Royal St right of way, so their net loss of spaces from the greenway and the TTA rail line is not too severe

Here's a diagram that I made in Adobe Illustrator (click for PDF):

method.jpg

Here's the key:

Blue RR tracks = TTA

White RR tracks = NCRR/SEHSR

Green = new grade separations

Red = roadway to be closed

Yellow = roads

Orange = multi-use greenway trails

Purple = Royal building parking lot

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Improve the US 1 corridor between NC 55 and I-540.

Im aware of the widening between 64 and the beltline so thats a good start.

I know this is too radical and not something NCDOT would do but i would either" jersey freeway" US 1 between the beltline and 540 and/or install jughandles, removing left turns at traffic signals. Since there is no north-south limited access road north of raleigh to henderson, it is impossible to build a freeway below 540 but north to the Henderson bypass, it is still possible to upgrade most of US 1 with minor relocations like in the town of Kittrell.

For those who dont know "jersey freeway" and "jughandle"

Jersey Freeway - a boulevard allowing direct business access with or without service roads with only grade seperations, no traffic signals. NJ 17 in north jersey is a prime example of this.

Jughandle - a 90/180 degree circular ramp that facilitates u turn or left turn movements by prohibiting turning off the highway along at-grade intersections. US 17 in Charleston is a good example of this. jughandles can also utilize existening neighborhood streets.

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Jersey Freeway - a boulevard allowing direct business access with or without service roads with only grade seperations, no traffic signals. NJ 17 in north jersey is a prime example of this.
There are also two prime examples of Jersey Freeways here in the state that I can think of: Capital Boulevard immediately north of downtown Raleigh, and Independence Blvd for several miles out of uptown Charlotte.

But you're right; similar to the old US-64 through Knightdale, US-1 north of Raleigh has become so overrun with stoplights that a "smooth trip" is nothing more than a pipe dream.

Considering how much trouble Charlotte has scraping the money together to make a freeway out of Independence, I doubt this project will be completed any time soon. Nevertheless, at least the 2.5 miles between the beltline and the Louisburg Road split should be somewhere on the DOT's priority list.

I also like the jughandle idea. Perhaps some of the big box retail centers and their parking lots could be sacrificed for "a good cause."

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i wish they would fix the exit 293 (i think) going towards sanford where all the road construction is going on in cary on us1-64. There is a potential for a wreck every i time i exit off to go towards crossroads or cary.

badintersection.bmp

the vehicles entering 40 west from 64 are trying to merge left while at the same the traffic getting off to us1-64 is merging right at the same exact time. Then once you get on us1-64 you have less than 2 seconds to merge into the left lane or you will get right back on I-40. Its the biggest piece of S*** design!! I dont know who designed it, but they should go to jail for all the wrecks, traffic, and headaches they caused.

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I agree to the exit 293 exit loop. Everytime I succesfully make it to the right lane I say a silent prayer to myself.

As far as Capital Blvd. is concerned. There is a definite DOT plan to upgrade it to expressway status in the future. I don't know how they plan to do it. But it is on the books. Maybe some sort of way the North/South Center lanes that are constant and go straight ahead with now turning allowed.

While the two exterior lanes on either side would allow turning.

I think that 540 Should be finished as fast as possible especially in the western wake area. It has done great things to improve travel time across northern wake county. (One of the best things DOT has done lately.)

Also I think that they should go ahead and 4 lane New Hope Rd. From Beginning to the end. It's inevitable that they will have to do it at some point anyway. That road can be the worse especially at the 64/Newbern intersection.

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