Bus Rapid Transit in Raleigh


Where did you see that the plan to convert Blount and Person to two way?
It’s still listed on the Transportation Projects map and listed as in programming.


It was a specific question asked of the DT Ral Transportation Plan presenters at the Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Committee meeting this January. Since final routes have not been formalized, no reason to cancel existing plans.

But we should be aware that planners preferred alternatives and preferred street cross-section puts those 2-way conversions in jeopardy.


and just to point out - The West St Cycle Track is still on that project map, and it too has been taken off the table.


The BRT plans mostly affect Wilmington and Blount, while Person would/could still get the two-way treatment.


I assumed they haven’t gotten around to rmoving the West St cycle track was bc it just shifted a street over and I hadn’t heard or seen anything about Person/Blount. It would be really disappointing for those two conversions not to happen. The conversions of Lenoir/South completely transformed those two streets (Although I believe they’re utilized far less than Person/Blount)


I believe you’re correct. But would the city proceed with only 1 of a a 2-way conversion pair? Would that unbalance the traffic flow?


The current plan being talked about plan is to move the West Street cycle track over to Harrington - but at last report they haven’t surveyed the newly affected businesses or notified NCDOT - which will have to approve of all the signal designs over their roads (sat in their lap for months when the plan was still West St.). Council will also have to approve of the funding shortfall. I’m less optimistic today about the West St/Harrington/whatever st cycle track than I was a year ago. BRT is likely to exhaust Raleigh’s tolerance for removing car travel and parking lanes.


What data, anecdotal or otherwise makes you think that there are really high pedestrian counts?


Yeah, all of this above^


We had our last Advisory Committee meeting yesterday and I wanted to report in with some high level details. It’ll, of course, be made public soon once they polish it off.

In short, the Downtown Transit Plan Advisory Committee is going to share a 3-phase approach.

The short-term plan consists of submitting for funds for all 4 BRT routes with the East portion down New Bern planning to go online first, ~2023. This is because this portion is the least complicated and has the least impacts. It’s not that the others won’t get started but rather, since we can only get federal funds for 1 line at a time, we stagger them based on the anticipated timeline for approval. Therefore, New Bern line is first.

The mid-term plan consists of the West and South plan. The South plan has more refined routes but no decision was made whether it would be Saunders or Wilmington Street.

The Long-term plan consists of Capital Boulevard to the north and leaves even more alternatives on the table. Will it cross and come down West Street? Will the West Street extension play a role? Will it connect to both RUS and GoRaleigh?

All of this also comes with a bike and streetscape plan, identifying streets that should have tier 1 (buffered lanes) and tier 2 (paint) bike infra.

Once the presentations and docs are out, let’s discuss but my personal feeling was that the plan left too much to decide down the road. Maybe I’m naive to the process and maybe leaving things open is beneficial, lets us be agile as we get closer to things, but I was hugely disappointed in seeing a huge majority vote for this plan, saying it was ready for council.

More as soon as those docs come out.


@dtraleigh Thank you!!! :grinning:

Also, are you able to confirm that all 4 of these routs are actually “part of the street” and will go along “with” traffic or have their own designated BRT lanes? Or a little of both?


You’ll definitely see downtown streets have dedicated lanes. For example, expect Morgan from Wilmington all the way to WakeMed down New Bern to have the rightmost lane as a BRT lane, removing parking in the downtown blocks.

Same for Edenton, from WakeMed all the way to Blount (or almost Blount cause it’ll need to make a left turn down Blount to get to GoRaleigh)


Awesome! Thank you!

Having a dedicated lane to me is about the best way to improve transit options, no matter the form. imho (Bus, Rail, etc.) :grin:


@dtraleigh any discussion on TOD zoning or zoning around New Bern? Is the plan to get this approved then think about that? Wondering what people are thinking about the connection between the land use around that corridor and transit.


Past a certain point, choosing a specific route, where/how to put bus stops etc. becomes less of a design problem and more of an engineering problem. Since that’s the next step in the FTA’s Small Starts program anyways, I don’t think the BRT system is supposed to be that defined at this point in the game?


Absolutely no discussion on this topic during this advisory committee. Not even a mention of it.


Yeah, a TOD overlay or some of other zoning tool should be used to increase density and redevelopment along the New Bern route. Redevelopment is already set to take place near the intersection with Raleigh Blvd. (College Park, Hawkins Street).


FTA small starts/new starts mandates the NEPA process be followed, which in turn mandates an alternatives analysis that considers all reasonable alternatives must be put before the public and considered openly. (Unreasonanble alternatives can be screened out.) The outcome of this process is a “Locally Preferred Alternative” or LPA. So no decision from among reasonable alternatives can be made behind closed doors or in committees before the EIS/EIR is complete, or else it would have to be reconsidered again.

Basically they have taken it as far as they can per the process that must be followed to secure federal funds. Once reasonable alternatives are identified, it is best not to go ahead and make a premature choice and start putting resources behind it since the environmental study process might cause this decision to be overridden anyway.

Federal funding means red tape and a slower process. No way around that.


Thanks @dtraleigh! I think the East and South plans have the most potential to be “transformative” in terms of development There’s a lot of underused space on both corridors. If it’s really going to start seeing service in 2023, we can expect developments to start popping up beforehand in anticipation.


It will be interesting to compare the development around BRT stops compared to light rail. It’s amazing the growth of the areas near light rail stops in Charlotte.