Local News

Chapel Hill Transportation Plan Could Bring Big Changes Down Road

Posted September 14, 2004

— Next time you are sitting in traffic, imagine what it will be like trying to get around the Triangle 26 years from now.

Chapel Hill is planning for its future-- a future it hopes is less dependent on automobiles.

Transportation planner David Bonk says by the year 2030, many of Chapel Hill's main roads will be overwhelmed with congestion.

The projected problem areas are Fordham Boulevard, U.S. 15-501, N.C. 54, Estes Drive. Interstate 40 could see at least a 120 percent increase in traffic volume.

That is why Bonk and the town council are pushing a 20-year transportation plan that offers alternative forms of transportation including more car pool lanes, pedestrian bridges and some kind of mass transit system.

"That would link this community to Durham and to Raleigh," Bonk said of the plan.

Meadowmont Village is what town leaders want Chapel Hill to be more like in the future -- where condominiums sit on top of shops and people have the option of walking rather than driving to their favorite restaurant.

The transition would come at an estimated cost of close to $1 billion.

Town leaders say in order to afford the plan, they will have to raise taxes. Details have not been worked out yet. The town council is set to vote on the plan in a couple of weeks.

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