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Raleigh council puts brakes on Six Forks Road expansion

Posted February 2

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— A $45 million plan to address traffic congestion on Six Forks Road in north Raleigh hit a bump in the road Tuesday.

Between 36,000 and 48,000 vehicles travel on Six Forks Road between Interstate 440 and Lynn Road each day, according to the state Department of Transportation, and city officials want to make the thoroughfare safer, more attractive and friendlier to bicyclists.

After three years of study, city planners have recommended widening parts of Six Forks Road from four to six lanes, reducing the speed limit to 35 mph and adding bike lanes, landscaped medians and extensive streetscaping.

"We wanted to develop an outcome that maximized a benefit for everyone," city planner Carter Pettibone told the Raleigh City Council on Tuesday.

Some City Council members questioned expanding the street at a time when the city and county are trying to encourage people to get out of the cars and use public transportation.

"It makes me wonder to the extent of widening north of Rowan (Street) is a long-term, forward-looking solution," Councilman Russ Stephenson said.

"Why would we back away immediately from a dedicated bus lane on a thoroughfare like this one?" Councilwoman Kay Crowder asked.

Council members also had questions about the timeline and the funding. The project would likely be funded through bonds and could take four to five years to complete.

Because of the questions, the council decided to delay a vote on the project so members can review it more during an upcoming work session.

8 Comments

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  • Ginger Lynn Feb 3, 2016
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    Hello City Council...People in 400000 + houses do not ride the bus. At least not enough them to make a dent. Are all the soccer mom's going to get Johnny and Mary to various practices and activities via the bus? Do a survey sometime.

  • Fanny Chmelar Feb 3, 2016
    user avatar

    "Between 36,000 and 48,000 vehicles travel on Six Forks Road between Interstate 440 and Lynn Road each day"

    "Why would we back away immediately from a dedicated bus lane on a thoroughfare like this one?" Councilwoman Kay Crowder asked.

    Uhm, because a dedicated bus lane will not make a dent in the 20,000 people (2 per car) who use that stretch of road. There aren't enough lanes as it is.

    20,000 people. And "a bus lane!" is the response. SMH

    Want public transportation? Address it before building up yet another area of Raleigh - you know, way before we blow 3 years of taxpayer money on a study to verify that they messed up in the first place.

  • Arthur Raleigh Feb 3, 2016
    user avatar

    The neighborhoods in that area have exploded in the past 10 years. It should be three lanes each way all the way to 540

  • Scott Householder Feb 3, 2016
    user avatar

    @ Linda - Correct! Here is the problem though....permits create revenue, street widening does not.

  • Scott Wilson Feb 3, 2016
    user avatar

    Never fails, Raleigh City council, Socialist agenda moving forward! How Mao of you to think we all want to ride bikes. So will you widen Six Forks with a paintbrush like you did with Falls? always fun to drive that at night!

  • Bryan Ayers Feb 3, 2016
    user avatar

    If you want someone/something else to do the driving, then take the bus.

  • Linda Kerns Kellogg Feb 2, 2016
    user avatar

    It might have been wise to think about the traffic impacts when approving all the building going on. It's pretty obvious there's a disconnect there. It's a mess.

  • Dana McCall Feb 2, 2016
    user avatar

    (SIGH - the only forward looking plan is one that embraces self-driving cars)