The Future of transit in Raleigh

Oh okay then, since we don’t have your go-ahead I guess there’s not much to do!

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ive seen reports that there are many more cars on the road and more co2 than ever but 8 years of global temp decline? I’m not a scientist but raleighs trees don’t look any less green.

look…i rode transit for decades. the antiplanner website makes claims that driver cost per mile is less than transit cost per mile with greater flexibility and equity ( iow, a Mercedes or a 1500 dollar 35 year old impala can hit the roads and get to many more places quicker) than transit per dollar…if he is lying i will gladly email him back for being a colossal liar.

i dont know…i rode the bus in Raleigh for 17 years…for most applications a car was almost always more convenient utility-wise.

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People will always take the path of least resistance and one that makes financial sense to them. If parking is free and the roads are largely uncrowded, people will undoubtedly drive. As the city grows, commuting distances and times increase, and if parking stops being a free birthright, demand for alternatives will be more attractive. As of now, that alternative is remote/hybrid working. Not having to drive everyday during rush hour is a big deal to individual employees and it takes cars off the road during peak travel times. It does nothing to create demand for transit solutions in the city, but it oddly has fueled interest in downtown living as employees whose companies are in the Park can choose to live in urban areas without having to worry about the commute on a daily basis.


Not sure what is making you think global temperatures are declining. It’s pretty straightforward the earth is warming quick.


I’m a little mixed on when it comes to public transport. I have always been a complete advocate to public transit as I’ve used the bus quite a bit here and have large experiences using BART in San Francisco, the subway/bus in NYC, and the metro in DC. I have moved onto using my bike and have now moved into an ebike for commuting to work. I still use the bus to travel further, but will bike to the bus. I prefer my ebike because I do get to go where I want to go when I want to. I don’t have to be concerned about the bus schedule for the most part. I do think the bus and public transport is needed in Raleigh, but I’m wondering if we should focus on creating safer streets but keeping/expanding the on demand transit options for those who need it (such as the elderly). If the budgets are completely separate, then I’d still push for more public transit.

Currently I think we should move into making it a priority for allowing varying types of transport including bikes, ebikes, electric mopeds or electric motorcycles. I’ve never ridden a motorcycle since there has always been the idea/fear of being hit by a car. If we were able to make streets safer to where we can feel safe to ride bikes, or mopeds, then this can reduce congestion as they take up less space. Since mopeds and bikes cost less than cars, they would be beneficial to people of all income types.

In terms of trying to reduce congestion with cars by expanding roads: Part of the problem is that people who advocate for cars are expecting to travel large distances at a high rate of speed during peak periods of the day. As a city grows, this should not be the main focus.

One of the most congested places I had ever traveled was 80W between Berkeley, CA to the Bay Bridge toll plaza. During peak periods of time, according to Google, it takes anywhere between 5-14 minutes of time. This means speeds as high as 35MPH and as low as 12-13MPH. If I pick up an off-peak time, it would take between 3 and 6 minutes which is still between 35 and 60MPH. If we keep it at 3 miles, then a difference of 8 minutes should not be an issue even in high traffic. For those who are wanting to travel further, it should be expected that it will take a longer amount of time.

If we look at a different scenario and compare driving and the NYC subway. It would take about 24 mins to go from Jackson Heights - Roosevelt Avenue to Times Square in 24 mins via Subway. This is a speed about 17MPH if the distance is 6.7 miles (I did driving distance). In a car at 8:00AM, the speed is :22-:55 which is between 7MPH and 18MPH.

The point I’m trying to make is here is that even in some of the worst of traffic, the speed is still pretty high. Those who choose to sit in traffic do so on their own accord. We should not be feeding into this idea that you should be able to travel very far very fast.

One thing I might agree with the report is the “implementation of variable priced tolls or other user fees”. The congestion is already a type of “toll” in which it takes more time.


That’s an interesting analysis. I tried a few other variations of a hypothetical rush hour commute to San Francisco’s Financial District, both from further east (like Lafayette) and from points south (like Daly City) or west (like the Outer Richmond) and to my surprise the car time seemed to always beat the train time.

Of course, if everybody suddenly decided to drive, the commute times would skyrocket.

Anyway, it implies that even at the margin, people in the Bay Area choose to commute via mass transit for other reasons than speed - perhaps the expense of paying for parking, or the fact that it’s possible to work/read on the BART.


I would definitely add the first hand experience with this. I used to commute from West Dublin/Pleasanton to Powell St.

Parking prices, availability, and bridge toll definitely adds to reasons why people would not drive. You can use the fares as part of tax write-offs (which I did). Working and reading on BART depends partly on whether you can sit or have to stand. Having to sit for 45 minutes after working all day does take its toll on riders. Normally you could find a seat by the time you get past certain stations, but there were days were you were standing for the full ride. Arguably this is no different than having to sit in traffic.

As far as working goes, it’s really not a good idea to have your laptop out while riding on BART. That’s not to say that BART is completely dangerous, but it’s had its issues. Generally San Francisco has had issues with people leaving stuff in cars too, so that’s something that can be argued that driving doesn’t mean less crime. I did have a conflict with someone attempting to steal my headphones. I ended up keeping them and didn’t get hurt, but there was an attempt. On the flip side, I did have a cheap car that was broken into on a day I drove in (had to work at 3AM when BART was not running). Nothing was taken since I never left anything inside. My car was easy to unlock.

By the end of my time in the San Francisco Bay area, I ended up with a 5 mile commute before moving here. I already knew that distance would make a huge impact on travel time. This is why I state that the expectation that travelling far at a fast time shouldn’t be expected. The longer the commute, the longer and more unreliable it will be (due to either traffic delays, car crashes, construction, etc).

Happened to be looking up traffic statistics on NCDOT’s website, which has traffic counts for various roads dating back to 2003, and poked around downtown for a bit. Not many surprises, but look at this trendline for Glenwood south of Jones:
2003: 10,000 cars/day
2005: 12,000
2007: 7,800

2017: 6,700
2021: 5,200

Wouldn’t have guessed that traffic counts are about half of what they were in the early 2000s, given all the construction since then! Doesn’t look like any neighboring streets are seeing double the traffic, either; AADT on most other roads is pretty flat since 2003/2005 (except 2021).

Couldn’t find any quick 2000-2020 stats on DTR growth, but useful to keep in mind whenever someone predicts TrAfFiC aPoCaLyPsE from new construction.


i dont want to get into a global temp thing here too much…I’ve seen recent graphs that show record co2 levels and 8 years of global temp decline. I’m not a climate scientist

i lived in reno for 10 years and experienced i-80 crawl when i had to hop the mountains. I’m all for safer streets AND for many tasks at least even in the historical neighborhoods in raleigh i have lived in an ebike can make a very quick store trip or Chinese takeout etc as quick as car keys and getting a parking space. for example, longview (kinda), Brentwood area, qual corners, north ridge villas…all now with numerous staples within easy bike distance via neighborhood streets…a little bit of exercise and fresh air with it. i still view the otoole website for counterpoint…seems a reasonable thing to do i guess. i have seen figures there still that bring up cost per passenger or mile that still indicated road/car cheaper than road/transit-mode or rail. i just don’t know. with all the new stuff being built still having parking decks it just seemed market wise that even the dense stuff was going to spew out cars in the morning.

i am not sure how much this occurs in other places. if i recall the charlotte amtrak used to have a enterprise rental car across tryon but that was some years back…a tanstit melding type of thing to overcome difficulties. in a similar vein my mom would commute by bus from north ridge to the shopping center across from Costco on six forks…it had an applebees at some time, i forget the name. to get to the library for the blind on capital would have required a cumbersome moore square transfer to send her back from downtown, back north out capital blvd and a doubling of her commute time. she made a deal with a local cab company with a reduced monthly rate to pick her up at the bus stop (a specified time) in the SC parking lot each morning to scoot her down six forks to hodges and a quick right on capital. never had an issue.

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The graphs you’ve seen are wrong. I’m not a climate scientist either, but this isn’t something that’s up for debate. It’s very straightforward.

World on ‘thin ice’ as UN climate report gives stark warning

You can access the UN IPCC’s latest report here, which was just released a few days ago.


Let’s stay on topic.