The Future of transit in Raleigh

If I’m going on 540 in the mornings or evenings I see some pretty frequent traffic

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When I first moved here in 2013 I stayed with my girlfriend(now wife) in Wakefeild and remember taking 540 to RTP for an interview. Might have been the worst traffic I have experienced in my time hear lol. I got a job on Centenial campus and started to dislike Capital Blvd. But really the bad part was between 540 and 440, so I quickly moved to Ashe Ave ITB to get away from that crazyness. This whole thread from @OakCityDylan is so good because it gets people to step back and think… about where traffic is bad and what actually causes that. Ends up most places traffic is bad don’t have a lot to do with downtown.

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My poll on Twitter, while isn’t getting thousands (or even hundreds) of votes is painting the picture I expected. Raleigh traffic has nothing to do with downtown really. You might not like the frequent stoplights driving around or through downtown but it’s not “traffic”. Also, we could do more to discourage people using McDowell/Dawson to get from DoNo to DoSo, we’d be even better off. I used to work in North Hills and lived in the Holly Springs area (Middle Creek). Often times Waze would have me driving through downtown as the fastest route. Yet another indicator the traffic was on the beltway slowing my route options and driving through downtown was less congested.

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A dream of mine for Raleigh would be to reduce car travel lanes on ITB Glenwood Avenue (70) and Capital (401), flipping them for transit and diverting car travel to 440. With the old 440 (western parts) being upgraded, there is no better time than now to reduce the number of vehicles going through the center of ITB and diverting it around the center city. I mean, when you stare at this map, you can see the flows happening.

More pedestrian, transit, and bicycle friendly movement within ITB and the dedicated highway lanes are for fast-moving and heavy (trucks and delivery) vehicles. This would be an amazing “in our lifetime” kind of change that could slowly start to take place.

We would need very strong advocates for this who would be willing to work with and basically project manage NCDOT in order to make that change.

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How about 3 or 4 roundabouts along both McDowell and Dawson coming through downtown. :slight_smile:

You know that would piss some people off but would work miracles for walkability!

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For sure! I mean, if I-540 finishes even less need to pipe so many cars through downtown. I bet the numbers might naturally decline if we did nothing.

Oh yeah, we have a thread for ideas like that too. McDowell and Dawson Streets

Not on twitter (I guess I’m too old :stuck_out_tongue: ) I can only comment on what I see firsthand in my daily commute. I live in NW Raleigh, but commute to just south of the airport in Morrisville. Mornings aren’t really an issue since I avoid 540. However in the afternoon I have kid duty, so I have to take 540 from NC54 to Six Forks every day. I-40 east (sometimes west) going under 540 is always really bad when I leave the office. The daily brake tap/crawl usually begins just before Lumley Rd, and it takes around 20 mins to get to the Leesville exit. It is 50/50 as to if it goes back to “normal speed” or if you continue to crawl farther east bound on 540 towards Creedmoor and Six Forks. Before we moved, my commute continued on 540 to Capital to just north of Durant… that insanity is what convinced me to move across town and closer to work.

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I would say that the collective “we/everyone” has to decide where to put our very valuable time. And trust me, it’s not in Twitter…Lol

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I would also recommend you avoid City Council District Facebook pages. No “valuable” time gets spent there.

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Can’t wait to see how the City Council reacts to Hyperloop…

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They will probably embrace it because:

  1. If you claim that Hyperloop, fully autonomous vehicles, etc are just around the corner, and state (completely without supporting evidence) that these new technologies will be magically cheaper, better, faster to build, and have fewer impacts (noise, right-of-way, traffic) then the next step is to make an argument to put the brakes on anything we can do right now, like better bike/ped facilities, BRT, commuter rail, and high speed rail. Gives further cover for maintaining the status quo for now.
  2. Secretly they know that these “silver bullet” solutions are a long way off at best, most likely won’t pay off at all, or will fall disastrously short of claims, or worst case would involve huge public expenditures while failing to deliver anything actually useful. All of which means that the status quo will have to be maintained forever.
  3. If by some stroke of divine intervention hyperloop does pan out quickly (which it won’t) then they would find some way to turn against it as soon as they realize it might actually happen because of some bogus claim like traffic, shadows, neighborhood character, or “crime”.

The overarching goal is to do everything possible to make sure nothing of consequence actually ever changes, and just about the best way to do that is to get super “excited” about something as nebulous as Hyperloop to the point of writing it into actual plans (while writing other, more concrete, things out.)

It’s just their MO. Nothing should change, EVER.

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I went to the RTA breakfast this morning where the topic of discussion was hyperloop in the triangle. They mentioned it would coexist with existing and future transit since the stops would be 10 to 100s of miles apart which means we would still need BRT, light rail, commuter rail, etc. for intercity travel. They did mention the 4 potential stops would be Raleigh/NC State, Durham/Duke, Chapel Hill and RDU.

Also, I thought it was pretty cool that Virgin refers to the dev loop testing site outside of Las Vegas as operation Kitty Hawk, referring to the wright brothers being first in flight.

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Good luck getting a stop near Duke. Lord knows the ground would shake too much😉.

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I’m on the Amtrak from Charlotte to Raleigh and just reached Durham. About 20 people got on to party in Raleigh. So technically we have a ghetto heavy commuter rail as we speak.

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I’d rather just wait until I can order my flying electric pod from amazon delivered to my home by drone.

We did this several years ago to go to a Fullsteam event. Worked great until the train back to Raleigh got delayed for 3 hours due to flooded tracks (summer rainstorm) out near Greensboro.

Yeah more rail improvements needed. 10:00 PM at Union Station feels like a real rail station when both sides of the platform are used.

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Wow, a whole train car worth of people, shocking.

Very interesting article about a very interesting move by Uber to adopt public transportation in it’s app.

(from the YIMBY mail list)

I think we can learn a lot from Denver. Love that city and wish I could spend more time there exploring.

Dylan

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