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Q&A: 2013 Raleigh transportation bond

Posted September 11, 2013
Updated September 18, 2013

Raleigh voters will decide Oct. 8 whether to fund a $75 million bond for transportation improvements across the city. The city offered this guide to Frequently Asked Questions about the bond.

Q. What proposal will be on the ballot?

A. A $75 million transportation bond will be presented for voter consideration.

Q. How would approval of this proposal affect the City of Raleigh property tax rate?

A. Approval of the $75 million bond proposal would increase the property
tax rate per $100 of valuation by 1.12 cents. That amounts to a $33 annual increase on a property valued at $300,000. The City’s property tax rate is 38.26 cents per $100 of property valuation.

Q. What projects are included in the bond proposal?

A. The 18 proposed projects are as follows:

  1. Roadway project. Six Forks Road Corridor improvements. This project would implement street and transit improvements along Six Forks Road as prescribed in the upcoming Six Forks Road Corridor Plan from Rowan Street to Sandy Forks Road. Length: 1.44 miles. Vehicles per day: 44,000. Funded for design only, $1.6 million.
  2. Roadway project. Widening of New Hope Church Road to a three-lane section from Green Road to Deana Lane. Bicycle lanes, sidewalks and streetlights also would be added. Length: 0.4 of a mile. Vehicles per day: 22,000. $3.65 million.
  3. Roadway project. Hillsborough Street Phase 2. Streetscape improvements and roundabouts would be added from Rosemary Street to Gardner Street. Length: 0.47 of a mile. Vehicles per day: 19,000. $6 million.
  4. Roadway project. Widening of Old Wake Forest Road North to a four-lane, median-divided section with bike lanes, sidewalks, and streetlights from Litchford Road to Capital Boulevard. Length: 1.15 miles. Vehicles per day: 18,000. Funded for design and right-of-way acquisition only, $4.8 million.
  5. Roadway project. New Bern Avenue Corridor improvements. Pedestrian facilities, transit shelters and streetscape improvements would be installed from Tarboro Road to Sunnybrook Road. Length: 1.9 miles. Vehicles per day: 17,800. $4 million.
  6. Roadway project. Rock Quarry Road widening, Part A. This project would widen Rock Quarry Road to a four-lane, median-divided section with bike lanes, sidewalks, and streetlights from Old Birch Road to Sunnybrook Road. Length: 1.19 miles. Vehicles per day: 15,000. Funded for design and right-of-way acquisition only, $2.99 million
  7. Roadway project. Widening of Mitchell Mill Road to a four-lane divided section from Louisburg Road (US 401) to Forestville Road. Bicycle lanes, sidewalks and streetlights also would be installed. Length: 1.46 miles. Vehicles per day: 14,000. $13 million.
  8. Roadway project. Widening of Poole Road to a four-lane, median-divided section with bike lanes, sidewalks, and streetlights from Maybrook Drive to Barwell Road. Length: 0.94 of a mile. Vehicles per day: 13,000. Funded for design only, $881,000.
  9. Roadway project. Tryon Road widening, Part C. This project would initiate design and right-of-way acquisition to widen Tryon Road to a four-lane, median-divided section with bike lanes, sidewalks, and streetlights from Lake Wheeler Road to Par Drive. Length: 1.1 miles. Vehicles per day: 13,000. $4.47 million.
  10. Roadway project. Widening of Sandy Forks Road to a three-lane section from Six Forks Road to Falls of Neuse Road. Bicycle lanes, sidewalks and streetlights also would be installed. Length: 1.29 miles. Vehicles per day: 10,000. $9 million.
  11. Roadway project. Widening of Buck Jones Road to a three-lane section from Farmgate Road to Xebec Way. Bicycle lanes, sidewalks and streetlights also would be added. Length: 1.03 miles. Vehicles per day: 9,500. $4 million.
  12. Roadway project. Widening of Blue Ridge Road to a three-lane divided section with bike lanes, sidewalks, and streetlights from Duraleigh Road to Crabtree Valley Avenue. Length: 1.58 miles. Vehicles per day: 8,900. Funded for design only, $1.37 million.
  13. Roadway project. Blount Street/Person Street Corridor improvements. Road diet/restriping of Blount and Person streets from Atlantic Avenue to Hoke Street. Length: 5.7 miles. Vehicles per day: 8,300. $700,000.
  14. Roadway project. Widening of Pleasant Valley Road to a three-lane section from Duraleigh Road to Glenwood Avenue. Bicycle lanes, sidewalks and streetlights also would be added. Length: 0.55 of a mile. Vehicles per day: 3,500. $3.76 million.
  15. Sidewalk improvements. This program installs new sidewalks Citywide on existing streets. $1.5 million.
  16. North Carolina Department of Transportation project participation. These funds would provide local matches for current NCDOT projects to install sidewalks, bridge improvements, and upgraded noise walls. $10 million.
  17. Streetscape Projects. This program helps retrofit existing streets to improve sidewalks, streetlighting, and street furniture. $1.7 million.
  18. Neighborhood Traffic Management Program. This program would continue funding the City’s traffic calming and speed-reduction efforts on residential streets. $1.5 million.

Q. How were these projects chosen?

A. Projects identified in the City’s 2030 Comprehensive Plan were analyzed and prioritized using metrics that address mobility, safety, congestion, transit needs and bicycle/pedestrian priority. Projects that scored the highest in multiple categories were recommended to the Raleigh City Council, which ultimately approved the list of projects for consideration into the proposed bond package.

Q. Are some of these roads state-owned?

A. Many roads included in the bond package are maintained by NCDOT, however Sandy Forks Road and Pleasant Valley Road are City-maintained streets. Funding for the Neighborhood Traffic Management Plan also would be used exclusively on City-maintained residential streets.

Q. What was the most recent transportation improvements bond referendum held?

A. Raleigh residents last voted on a transportation bond referendum in 2011 when $37 million in transportation improvements were approved.

Q. What has the $37 million in bond funds, approved in 2011, been used for?

A. Projects funded from 2011 bonds that are underway include:

  • Raleigh Union Station design and planning;
  • South/Lenoir Street two-way conversion;
  • Hillsborough Street Phase II streetscape improvements planning and design (from Gardner Street to Rosemary Street);
  • $10 million in City street resurfacing projects;
  • $11.75 million for new sidewalk projects and sidewalk repairs;
  • $750,000 for transit corridor amenity improvements; and
  • Walnut Creek Greenway construction.

Q. When were other transportation bonds considered by Raleigh voters?

A. Five other transportation bonds have been considered and approved by Raleigh voters over the past 29 years. They are: $20 million in 1984; $40 million in 1987; $45 million in 1998; $45 million in 2000 and $60 million in 2005.

Q. Why has Raleigh used bonds to pay for these transportation capital improvements?

A. Using bonds to pay for transportation projects enables the City to spread the cost of these capital projects over multiple years to maintain healthy pay-as-you-go (cash) reserves and to effectively manage rate and tax increases. It also allows the City to fund multiple capital projects at a given time to maintain the City’s transportation infrastructure and to keep up with the City’s growing needs rather than being limited to funding one or two projects at a time on a pay-as-you-go basis.

Q. How can I learn more about the transportation improvements bond referendum?

A. Contact Transportation Planning Manager Eric Lamb at 919-996-2161, eric.lamb@raleighnc.gov or visit raleighnc.gov.

1 Comment

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  • Pseudonym Sep 24, 5:06 p.m.

    Q: Since we're going to raise taxes anyway, why don't we forget about the bond and just pay for road repairs and greenways as we go? That way we save the interest.
    Q: Why isn't growth paying for itself?
    Q: Why can't government ever seem to live on less than it makes?
    Q: How long are we going to force future generations to pay for our stupid mistakes?