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Do I-40 drivers want a Raleigh bypass?

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540 Outer Loop southern and eastern sectionsCommuters and truckers who pass through Wake County on Interstate 40 now have the distinct pleasure of riding a clogged and bumpy Beltline every day.

They’ll have a new option to bypass Raleigh and the Beltline, if the N.C. Turnpike Authority makes good on its plans to finish the southern and eastern sections of the 540 Outer Loop.

If you’re an I-40 driver -- or a Raleigh Beltline driver -- interested in this prospect, I would like to hear from you for a story on Turnpike Authority plans.

Maybe you commute to RTP from Johnston County or points east. Or maybe you live in Raleigh, and you're tired of rubbing elbows with all that rush-hour through-traffic on I-40.

Please e-mail me ( Don’t forget to include your daytime contact info.


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Hey Interested 860 -

Hey Interested 860 - Newsflash: What the governor's got to say just ain't that important, either. Unless she's called from California to tell us they're moving MGM studios to Lizard Lick, don't even bother to answer the phone. Just keep on creeping down 40 and thanking the good lord you don't have to do it everyday anymore.

Tired of paying for uncontrolled growth

Thank Senator No, Jesse Helms, for the initial slow pace of I-40 construction. North Carolina has been a donor state to the fedreal highway trust fund for decades, and "conservative leadership" from Helms, Dole, and Burr have traded our fair share of funds for votes to push their agenda.

Meanwhile, the sprawl in Cary, Apex, Holly Springs, F-V, etc. has been fueled by 540 and 55. Did they pay for the 55 widening and 540 by themselves? Heck no.

Will the tolls cover the costs of the 540 extensions? Again, no. General fund tax dollars will make up the difference.

The problem is growth has gone uncontrolled in SW Wake and NW Johnston County with only real estate brokers' promise of new roads. So people buy in to municipalities that *refuse* to pay for roads (and approve clear-cut subdivisions that maximize developer profit and devasate the natural landscape) then wonder why 40 is so bad.

Developers are already planning to "fill in" every developable square inch in the non-gray area inside 540 south of CaryRaleighGarner on the map above and bulldoze a few miles outside of the loop, so they can buy a house at the beach. Like Maomi, they don't have to *live* in the litter they throw together.

The I-40 bottleneck in West Raleigh (created by people passing through) would still be two lanes with no funding to widen were it not for President Obama's stimulus package.

maomi is right

You pretty much hit the nail on the head.
If I didn't have to work and make money I would stay at the beach as well.
I-40 is a joke. It is the SLOWEST part of my daily commute. DOT you completely blew this one. Most of the congestion could be avoided if people would just do a few things:
(1) Shut up and drive, you are not the governor and your conversation is NOT that important!
(2) When you can go, GO, not like my grandma where moss is growing on your wheels.
(3) Pay attention and be prepared to stop at times.
Remember stay off the damn phone!
It's not rocket science.
The slower you drive the more space on the road you take up.
One more tip, IF you're not in a hurry---stay home or out of the way. That's why they call it RUSH hour!

I-40 and Raleigh

I lived in Chapel Hill for 12 years from 1984 to 1996. I was in the housing industry, specifically I built new homes all over the Triangle area. During those years I watched traffic and congestion grow with frightening speed. It lead me to search for and know every sideroad there was and their hourly traffic conditions in the entire area. Why? Because I could often get from Raleigh to my home in Orange County more quickly on these series of sideroads than on I-40, which took its sweet time getting completed through the Triangle during this time I might add. Near the end of my time as a resident in the Triangle I dreamed of the day when I would no longer have to face that daily buzzsaw of hell. Today I live on the coast of NC, but my wife and I will drive an extra 50 miles north or south to avoid going through the Triangle when our travel plans take us west of Durham. We hate the traffic there. It is dangerous and diffcult to navigate no matter what you do unless you do what we do and simply avoid it altogether. I don't know what makes us think that the highways continuously being built in the Triangle are the answer, but it seems to me to be symptomatic of our society's ills in general. More, bigger faster!! My wife and I don't know why you, the general population, chose to live there the way you do either, especially when we sit on our quiet porch of an evening with nary a speeding motorist in sight. We can't fathom it, but we're glad you live there instead of here. We just wish you'd stay there on the weekends in the summertime instead of bringing your mind-boggling congestion with you to the coast. You see we don't have 6 lane wide beltlines to deal with you down here, thank God. In any case, may God have mercy on you all, and on the rest of us that must from time to time pick our way ever so carefully through that hellish place you call home. We're pretty sure the whole place will be pavement one day and we will be able to go 90 mph from somewhere around Goldsboro all the way out to somewhere on the other side of Winston-Salem.

high horse



I lived in Chapel Hill for short time in the late 1990's, then moved out of town.  I returned here just over a year ago, and was aghast at the increase in traffic, the impeding clutter  of countless new traffic lights,and the endless cookie cutter, treeless developments on what had been farmland, with more commuters added to the roads despite the slowdown in the housing market.

Now, add the visible deterioration of existing roads and the crumbling of infrastructure.  

Still yapping about the railroad?  We already have tracks from Charlotte to Morehead City.  Why are they so little used?

The middle class is shrinking before our eyes.  

Is everything grinding to a halt?


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About the blogger

Bruce Siceloff reports on traffic and transportation. A News & Observer reporter, editor and blogger since 1976, he took over the Road Worrier column in 2003. Lately he drives I-40 with the cruise control set at 68 mph. You can e-mail Bruce, call him at 919-829-4527, check out his Crosstown Traffic blog or follow him (@Road_Worrier) on Twitter.