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Add your ideas on NC 54 / I-40 corridor plans


View NC 54 / I-40 Corridor Study in a larger map

Triangle residents are invited to a public workshop in Chapel Hill Thursday evening that will help local leaders set priorities for guiding growth and controlling traffic along the clogged N.C. 54 / Interstate 40 corridor.

The NC 54 / I-40 Corridor Study workshop is scheduled for 5-8 p.m. at the Friday Center for Continuing Education, on N.C. 54 two miles west of I-40.

The corridor centers on the most heavily congested interchange west of Research Triangle Park, and it serves as a busy gateway linking Chapel Hill and southwest Durham.

Traffic counts have grown steadily, with about 47,000 cars a day on N.C. 54. Regional transit plans include a light-rail line along N.C. 54 and I-40, with several transit stops that would be focal points for residential and commercial development.

The workshop is the second of three scheduled for the NC 54 / I-40 Corridor Study. Citizens will be asked to comment on alternative scenarios for guiding growth and traffic over the next 25 years.

How to fix I-40 / NC 54 congestion in Orange-Durham: Workshop tonight in Chapel Hill

The NC 54 - I-40 interchange has the worst traffic congestion in Orange and Durham counties. What to do about it?

Come to a public workshop this evening in Chapel Hill to find out what transportation planners are thinking -- and to give them the benefit of your thoughts.

It's from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Friday Center on NC 54 on the east side of Chapel Hill. For more info call Leta Huntsinger with the Durham Chapel Hill Carrboro Metropolitan Planning Organization, 560-4366 ext 30423 (email: leta.huntsinger@durhamnc.gov). Let her know if you'd like to join a citizen contacts panel for this effort.

Learn about the NC54 - I-40 corridor study online at http://www.nc54-i40corridorstudy.com/

Highway 64 revisited ...


View US64 Chatham-Wake Study in a larger map
Honk if you love that daily drive to work on U.S. 64 through Apex and western Wake County.

And if you're interested in NCDOT ideas for making changes to this road, you should come to a meeting Thursday evening at Green Hope High School in Cary.

(See this week's Road Worrier column with reader comments. Note: the column gave the wrong web address for NCDOT info about the project. Sorry! The correct address is www.ncdot.gov/~us64study/.)

State and local transportation planners will start the session Thursday evening with a presentation at 6:30 p.m. on their proposal to convert traffic signal intersections to "Superstreets," and to ban side-street drivers from driving across or turning left onto U.S. 64.

A group of local residents calling themselves Save 64 is petitioning to stop the DOT plan. Their efforts earlier this year prompted DOT to schedule Thursday's meeting.

It'll be interesting to find out Thursday whether U.S. 64 commuters agree with local residents.

DOT airs plan for speeding the commuter flow on US 64 in western Wake

State and local transportation planners will host a community meeting Thursday evening, July 16, to air their ideas for speeding up traffic on a clogged hunk of U.S. 64 between Cary and Pittsboro.

The event takes place at Green Hope High School, 2500 Carpenter Upchurch Road, Cary, starting with a formal presentation at 6:30 p.m. and ending at 9 p.m.

Read up on DOT ideas at www.ncdot.gov/~us64study/. Click "transportation solutions" and then "short-term improvements" to see what they have in mind. A group of Cary and Apex residents who have qualms about DOT plans have their own website at www.save64.org.

And let me know if you're interested in this. Are you a U.S. 64 commuter? How's the drive? Please e-mail me or call me at 919-829-4527. Don't forget to include your daytime contact info so I can reach you Monday.

State DOT planners propose to turn U.S. 64 into a "Superstreet," installing new-fangled traffic loops at intersections that have traffic signals now. The idea is similar (with differences) to the Chapel Hill superstreet that has virtually eliminated traffic backups on U.S. 15-501 at its intersection with Europa Drive / Old Erwin Road.

Here's how it would work: ...

My left turn, right or wrong

In the further adventures of traffic engineers who design new intersections that look dumb but are supposed to be smart, the Regional Transportation Alliance is hosting a discussion Thursday about something called the quadrant roadway.

Left turns, it is well known, are the scourge of city streets. I turn left, and you wait. Get rid of left turns, and everybody has less waiting.

The quadrant roadway doesn't eliminate left turns, but it moves them out of clogged intersections.  Stay with me on this.

At the main intersection, there are no left turns.  After those green arrows go away, that leaves more solid-green time for everybody else. You stop for the cross street but you no longer stop for left-turners.

So how do you turn left from street A to street B?  You make an extra turn either a block before or a block after the main intersection.

This involves installing extra traffic signals on both streets, but here's the alleged clincher: Even though you go through more traffic lights, you spend less time stopped at red and more time zooming through green.

That's what they say.  Greensboro has one of these odd intersections, and it is claimed to save drivers a collective 150 hours of delay every day.  A few other North Carolina cities are thinking about getting 'em one.

The Regional Transportation Alliance has organized what it calls a solutions forum entitled "Turning Left the 'Right' Way" from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Thursday, Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce, 800 S. Salisbury St., downtown Raleigh. Experts will be in attendance. Information: 919-664-7062 or stephanie@letsgetmoving.org.

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