Bus Rapid Transit in Raleigh


That looks cool. If only there was a way to build it in fewer than 10 years


An aside of sorts, Wade was cut into/onto an existing simple residential street system. It originally only existed between Oberlin and Faircloth with an offset at Brooks. It is an excellent example of kneejerk reactions to zero prior planning. In this case, I think the arrival of RTP turned around the Raleigh rush hour from primarily DTR to RTP…instead of getting people *into Raleigh, all of a sudden they had to get people *out of Raleigh, and Wade’s winding thoroughfare -esque design is just a bunch of bandaids put on a street kids used to play on.


No. Most days there are either four or six freight trains between Durham and Raleigh. Given that Raleigh-Cary is double track and there are two very long sidings between Cary and Durham, there is plenty of capacity on that line.

What happens between Greensboro and Charlotte is a different story.


Interesting article from the N&O about Richmond’s BRT…

Sounds like a good start and something to work from?


I especially like this quote:

Patrick McDonough, the manager of planning and transit oriented development for GoTriangle, was impressed with the Pulse, but said he thinks the Wake County BRT lines in particular will need to spend less time mixed in with traffic. The Pulse travels on bus-only lanes on 42 percent of its route, but McDonough doesn’t think that will be enough in the Triangle, where traffic is worse.

He goes on to talk about some best practices for making the bus even faster than Richmond’s (which one patron already said cut his old commute time by 45%), which is excellent. Improving on what other cities are doing is definitely the right place to start.


Partick is good people, you should follow him on Twitter too.


I’m on the 6 bus on North Glenwood to the mall in rush hour traffic. 55 minutes and the bus still hasn’t reached the mall. I don’t understand why people choose to live in North Raleigh. This bus rapid transit system can’t go online fast enough.


I don’t understand why cities have been allowed to develop in ways that are not conducive to transit and transpiration efficiency. The grid system, was, is and always will be what works. This globular cul-de-sac and high capacity arterial road model is a hellscape.


Need any book recommendations? :wink:


I mean, it was rhetorical, but I’ll still take book recommendations. I’ve long had a book sketched out called “Subdivisions, Office Parks, and Shopping Malls”. Getting all the other insight I possibly an, plus tying in related topics like transit, is part of the big plan.


You know, because of “Murica” and “freedom” and stuff.


The wise acronym of every high school football coach.


its great up here if you don’t have to travel long distances during rush hour.

Suburbia has proven to be the choice of most Raleigh residents over the past 50 years. We continue to build far more SFH units than anything else in this city. Regardless of how much it seems like downtown is growing, greenfield dev is still leaving it in the dust.

But, it is not a choice that is due entirely to “freedom”. The choice is highly influenced by our transportation planning, our zoning and federal loan guarantees which favor new housing.

So its pretty nice up here. I argue that suburbs and financially unsustainable and that it is unfair that the rest of the city props up our land use. But try to see what people like about being up here, otherwise you will never be able to connect with them on a human level or create any policy that moves us forward.

Its great that some folks want to live in suburbia, and there are a lot of nice things about living in a SFH zoned neighborhood. We should argue that there is nothing wrong with wanting that lifestyle, we should just demand that the people that want that lifestyle should pay the full price to support it.


I grew up in suburban Wake Forest and much of my High School’s enrollment lived around Falls Lake. I know them and was immersed for a long time. Having said that, the cul-de-sac and arterial version is not the default SFH suburban model. Why does everyone assume that? Suburban Portland and Seattle are on a grid e.g. Very very large grids. You can walk to the bus station, you can walk to the bakery, and the kids are perfectly safe playing in the street…of the park that is 3 blocks away. There are lots of those too. The effectiveness of the BRT system will be severely hampered by our lack of proper urban layout.


Grid based suburbs seem to have gone out of style around the 50’s. Some cities have very large legacy areas with grid-based SFH neighborhoods. Our examples would be Oakwood, Boylan Heights, Cameron Park. I would argue that default SFH construction these days is based around arterial roads though our zoning largely did away with cul-de-sacs.

I think one things those old neighborhoods had is mixed use - corner stores and offices interspersed. We could reduce the need to take trips if we’d start allowing some small-scale commercial infill in our SFH zones.


In Raleigh they went out of style in 1907 with Boylan Heights. Places like Carpenter Village are trying (tried) the neo village thing, but the neo villages are so disconnected from each other there is little reduction in vehicle trips. Its about the same as pasting a shopping center across the front of any old subdivision. The fastest build out in this area was during an era of complete avoidance of of public transit needs. Now we’re all like, ‘we need better transit!’, but the structure onto which it is trying to be applied is mostly miserable failure and it remains left out of the discussion. Inefficient road structure will support low density stuff (which seems to be primarily what the 'burbs residents are on board for), but it won’t support much higher density no matter how many buses get added. My BRT excitement will always be tempered by the lack of planning on every other front.


I think one thing we miss here is the ‘build it and they will come’ idea. If you look at aerial views of Washington DC before and after the subway was built you can see the vast amount of development and density occurred around the stations. That means they developed after the stations were planned and built. You can see it in Charlotte with the light rail. So, for me, our current structure has very little to do with planning mass transit. If we design the system well, development will be encouraged around the stops. This is why the transit line from Garner through downtown Raleigh and Cary to downtown Durham makes so much sense. Once we start getting increased density around the train stops at these locations then other stops can be added as needed. The buses and uber and scooters help for that last mile so the train doesn’t have to go to every building. To stop the suburban sprawl people have to be given a reasonable transportation alternative. Many will stay in the suburbs but many will want to be near a station.


I’m with you on this. I like to see more transit options, but I fear our commitment to suburban development will mean our transit system will remain anemic no matter how much money we pour into it.


I think this works for light rail. I’m skeptical that it will work for the low frequency commuter rail we’re talking about in our city. I don’t think we’ll get that kind of dev along bus routes.

Without a change in our land use and transportation planning on a regional level, trains would just encourage people to move to the exurbs where they can sprawl without constraint then drive to the train station to get into town for work.


Well. I moved downtown near the train station anticipating that we would get mass transit and my guess is I’m not alone.