Local News

Proposed Development Near U.S. 401, I-540 OK'd

Posted January 2, 2007

Raleigh's planning commission gave preliminary approval Tuesday to a proposal aimed to help ease growing traffic problems along U.S. Highway 401.

The plan includes the creation of what developers are calling the I-5/401 project—a 260-acre, mixed-use development with 1.6 million square feet of retail, residential and office space. The development will be located near the new section of Interstate 540 and U.S. 401.

Officials said the Highway 401 corridor is one of Raleigh's fastest-growing areas. Many drivers believe the new project would have a negative impact on the area.

"I think it will definitely have an impact," said Jonathon Driver, who has a wine sales route in the area. "I just see more and more growth and development in this area, and I think with this new thing, it's just going to get more and more congested."

Mack Paul with Commercial Properties Development admits traffic will increase in the busy northeast, but added that the proposed mixed-use development will ease the impact.

"People will walk, people will use their cars less than they would otherwise," Paul said. "So, in comparing ours to the type of development that could occur under the existing zoning, our plan could actually have a positive improvement on this corridor."

Transportation planners say traffic is heavy and getting worse along Highway 401 through Northeast Raleigh. In five years, the average rush-hour speeds could slow to 9 mph. That study was done before the I-5/401 proposal.

The project must still receive approval from the Raleigh City Council, which is expected to discuss the proposal at its meeting next Tuesday.

"We're dealing with a lot of assumptions out here, because we don't exactly know how the traffic is going to change, completely," said Eric Lamb with the Raleigh Transportation Department.
7 Comments

Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • Hevans1012 Jan 10, 2007

    *sarcasm* Yes I think we need more shopping centers & housing in North Raleigh!

  • nursevb8 Jan 8, 2007

    Wont' cause more traffic, people will walk? What city is he from, Cary. People won't be walking on 401 to any shopping areas. There is already so much traffic in the mornings and evening that this will only make it worse. When 540 is completed, I won't have much reason to go that way anyway.

  • killerkestrel Jan 2, 2007

    I think it is difficult, in many cases, to deny the proposed use of a property due to the rights of the property owner. But I do think the developer should pay a fee to fund improvements necessary due to the increased traffic. In my experience, similar businesses tend to like to be near each other so they can try to get the others customers, which explains why there are 3 (+1 proposed) drug stores on one corner in my city.

  • Forgetaboutit Jan 2, 2007

    Developers are not concerned with traffic. Their objective is profits. Profits take care of families: Their families. I cannot fault them for that. The responsibility lies with the people who approve this. Quit complaining about developers, focus on the people approving this stuff!!

  • mrsgaskill Jan 2, 2007

    this is just about as funny as putting a harris teeter shopping center across the street from a lowes foods shopping center at 401 & forestville rd. add to that the "largest centex community in the area". tell us again how that's not supposed to cause any traffic issues - on the already jam-packed 2 lane road! have any of these people developing this area ever sat in the horrendous traffic in the morning or evening? money hungry idiots!

  • hollylama Jan 2, 2007

    I live right off 401 and I can't imagine that anything would cause more traffic problems than what already exists.

  • lawpirate is still around Jan 2, 2007

    "However, developers said the new project will not cause increased traffic concerns."
    That's funny!