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DigitalSky

Hypothetical Outer Outer Belt

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i was bored, so I wanted to see what an OUTER outer belt around the Charlotte region would look like. This would go throughout the suburbs, and have a roughly 20 mile radius around the city (I-485 has a roughly 10 mile radius around the city).

outerouterbelt8ck.jpg

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This was a serious suggestion back in the early 80's. It was loosely dubbed I-677 and would run through the primary city in each adjacent county.....

For the most part the project is dead, but their have been talks about at least completing a section in SC. I believe this is referred to as the "Carolina Parkway".

Seeing as how expensive beltway roads are, and the growth patterns that they encourage, I would be surprised if the entire project would ever be seriously contemplated......because if they couldn't pull this off in Georgia (land of road building and sprawl) then I don't see how it could ever happen here (though our NCDOT does have a proclivity towards loops) Perhaps after Raleigh get's its 17th belt-loop they may try to add a 2nd here.

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I believe the Carolinas Parkway was scrapped back in the late 80s or early 90s as a waste of money and tool for poor growth patterns. I doubt that the idea would ever be revived, thank goodness!

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Lets just say..IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN!...too much money..too much politics...and too much encouragement to sprawl. York county would say no in a heartbeat, especially the rural areas. :rofl:

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Perhaps after Raleigh get's its 17th belt-loop they may try to add a 2nd here.

:rofl: That's the truth! :P

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As mentioned above, you might see some pieces put together which would resemble. 321 is already a pretty nice freeway connecting Gastonia through Lincolnton to Hickory, and I can see the state upgrading 73 (not shown on that map) to connect Albemare to Lincolnton at 321. This would pass right through the Lake Norman area. I'm sure other less direct pieces may be built as well.

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As mentioned above, you might see some pieces put together which would resemble.  321 is already a pretty nice freeway connecting Gastonia through Lincolnton to Hickory, and I can see the state upgrading 73 (not shown on that map) to connect Albemare to Lincolnton at 321.  This would pass right through the Lake Norman area.  I'm sure other less direct pieces may be built as well.

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Yes, i definitely agree that the point to point highway upgrades will be done, but that there will never be a charlotte-centric loop freeway built outside of mecklenburg county.

Further out, i belive an upgrade of US70 between Statesville and Salisbury, and an upgrade of US52 between salisbury and wadesboro are already on the books to be done when money and studies are compiled. I don't think the upgrades will be full freeway, but will likely be close in the rural areas. If those are done, you'd have an oblong ring of freeway and major arterial highway:

- Garden Parkway (US74.321) connecting the 485 at the airport to 321 north of Gastonia

- 321 between Gastonia and Hickory (mostly finished now)

- 40 between Hickory and Statesville

- US70 between Statesville and Salisbury

- US 52 between Salisbury and Wadesboro, through Albemarle (Hamlet/Rockinham will be just east of wadesboro).

- and US74 between Wadesboro and 485 at Matthews

Also, within that ring will be the upgrades of NC 73 and US 601.

I don't think we'll be seeing any new freeways through greenspace unless they are smaller scale bypasses, handled individually.

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speaking of outer and inner loops, I noticed that on the new 485 western section that just opened up between I-77 and I-85, there is signage that states "outer" and "inner" loop. I think someone posted about this already, either on UP or SSC.

That nomenclature seems a little weird to me. It took me a few seconds to figure out what they meant, but I guess their using these terms in lieu of north/south/east/west directional indicators, since that can be difficult to do on a loop. I wonder if they'll use this "outer/inner" labeling on the rest of 485.

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speaking of outer and inner loops, I noticed that on the new 485 western section that just opened up between I-77 and I-85, there is signage that states "outer" and "inner" loop.  I think someone posted about this already, either on UP or SSC.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Personally, I HATE the use of inner/outer as directional signs for loops.

I'm not sure what alternatives they have, but what about CW and CCW (for clock-wise). Or maybe they could break 485 into 4 sections (77 to 85 could be 485W, 85 to 85 could be 485N, 85 to 74 could be 485E and 74 to 77 could be 485S), and then continue using the east/west, north/south directional markings they have used all this time... that solution would solve the problem of knowing which part of the city you are talking about...

Anyway, for my lifestyle, i just stick with Brookshire and Belk to label my beltway sections, and stay far away from 485.

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I wonder if they'll use this "outer/inner" labeling on the rest of 485.

They are supposed to change the signage for the existing parts of 485 to Inner/Outer. Having lived here most of my life I know what direction I'm going but for out of towners I could see how this would help things as it does get confusing in a loop to have directions. Inner/outer seems like it would be easier.

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The inner/outer idea is great and should be expanded in other cities with beltlines. Too bad Raleigh got rid of the idea on I-440 which was stupid. If i was giving directions for someone on US 1 SB to I-440 from North Raleigh, it would be easier to say " yea, take I-440 INNER to I-40 EAST to Wilmington " instead of " yea, take I-440 EAST(?) or SOUTH(?), ahhhh just dont go to Durham or Cary, go to Garner, Knightdale, direction instead then take I-40 EAST to Wilmington. " Inner/Outer works better in my opinion.

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The inner/outer idea is great and should be expanded in other cities with beltlines. Too bad Raleigh got rid of the idea on I-440 which was stupid. If i was giving directions for someone on US 1 SB to I-440 from North Raleigh, it would be easier to say " yea, take I-440 INNER to I-40 EAST to Wilmington " instead of " yea, take I-440 EAST(?) or SOUTH(?), ahhhh just dont go to Durham or Cary, go to Garner, Knightdale, direction instead then take I-40 EAST to Wilmington. " Inner/Outer works better in my opinion.

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i think many people get the inner/outer signs, and are good with it, but raleigh scraped it because most people didn't get it, and found it confusing. Most people think of roads in terms of cardinal points (north, south, east, west).

In Charlotte, it is particularly confusing because the whole highway is known as the "Outerbelt" while the older loop closer to downtown are known by some as the "innerbelt".

Anyway, i think that the signs are fine, and could help some, but personally i think it confuses a lot of people.

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i was bored, so I wanted to see what an OUTER outer belt around the Charlotte region would look like.  This would go throughout the suburbs, and have a roughly 20 mile radius around the city (I-485 has a roughly 10 mile radius around the city).

outerouterbelt8ck.jpg

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Don't see this happening...

20 miles radius puts the loop right through the lake (and the widest park of the lake at that)....and the state is not going to build a tunnel or bridge over the lake.

The loop would have to swing WAY north....between Mooresville and Statesville to clear the lake.

The State is very concerned with widening 77 through the Lake area because of the enviornmental effects of the interstate and how a 8-10 lane interstate would look over the lake.

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Don't see this happening...

20 miles radius puts the loop right through the lake (and the widest park of the lake at that)....and the state is not going to build a tunnel or bridge over the lake.

The loop would have to swing WAY north....between Mooresville and Statesville to clear the lake.

The State is very concerned with widening 77 through the Lake area because of the enviornmental effects of the interstate and how a 8-10 lane interstate would look over the lake.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

the boundaries were just hypothetical... that's just a 20 mile radius circle, so the outer outer belt would follow close to that.

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I want the whole idea of loop freeways to go away. =( I-540 should never have been extended beyond US 70 - turn US 1 into a decent freeway instead of the monstrosity it has become today. At any rate, I hope 540 is stopped once it reaches the US 64 bypass. It's the biggest engine fueling Raleigh's sprawl, and it must be stopped! It's the PERFECT example of induced demand for freeways. When the segments between Glenwood and Capital opened up, they were deserted at first. But now it's slowly and surely getting more and more crowded as more and more people elect to live in poorly constructed subdivisions out in the middle of nowhere, since the presence of 540 gives it the perception of convenience.

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Most surprising thing I saw on this map was that there is actually a distinct map location called "South Gastonia".  :lol:

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There's actually a west gastonia too, although it isnt noted on that map :D. I've lived here all my life and the only time I've ever seen either mentioned is on as map. It's sort of ironic because if the new road(garden pkwy) is built it will go through both areas. I just wish they would spend the money on some sort of commuter rail line through Belmont and Gastonia. After all, we do send the most commuters to Charlotte every day.

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i think many people get the inner/outer signs, and are good with it, but raleigh scraped it because most people didn't get it, and found it confusing.  Most people think of roads in terms of cardinal points (north, south, east, west). 

In Charlotte, it is particularly confusing because the whole highway is known as the "Outerbelt" while the older loop closer to downtown are known by some as the "innerbelt". 

Anyway, i think that the signs are fine, and could help some, but personally i think it confuses a lot of people.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

As an out-of-towner to Raleigh, I disagree with the inner/outer. Inner/outer was confusing. since I didn't know where I was in relation to everything else in the city. As such, I didn't know which direction inner or outer went. At least with north/south, or east/west, I have an idea of which direction I'm going - other than in a circle.

There seems to be much discussion on wether to use inner/out or the cardinal directions. My solution - use both. And, if it's a complete loop - use all the cardinal directions.

As someone that has grown up knowing how to use a compass - I'm used to cardinal directions. A loop, by definition, shoudl go through all the cardinal directions. Also nice for cars that have a built in compass - now the road will more closely match the compass.

Peronsonally, inner/outer doesn't provide enough clarify if you don't know you're position. Inner on the northside means going east - but on the south side going west. For out-of-towners, it's easy lose track of where one is at. The cardinal directions would then add the that clarify.

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