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  • skipp2 Dec 7, 2012

    I grew up in Michigan whre this type of configuration has existed for more than 40 years. The traffic flow does not affect businesses negatively. This configuration makes it safe to drive anywhere and may actually help some businesses since everyone is making right hand turns.

  • smcallah Dec 6, 2012

    "Now I live in a neighborhood near Glenwood and Pinecrest that will be affected by this project. Thank God it won't begin until 2020, I'll probably have moved by then!"

    And the light at Glenwood and Pinecrest for people passing through is the biggest waste of time and gas on that stretch of road between Duraleigh and I-540. Good riddance.

  • smcallah Dec 6, 2012

    "It will severely affect the business of any retailer in such a corridor. People will not go to but so much hassle to get across the street or across traffic to get to a store. "

    Apparently you don't know the area of Glenwood from Duraleigh to I-540. There are only a few businesses on that street between those two. Mostly furniture stores, and actually mostly stores you already have to make U-turns to get to.

    That is still the only way to get to the former Circuit City/former CompUSA/current gym that is just down from Duraleigh if you're going towards I-540.

  • unc70 Dec 6, 2012


    When configured as a superstreet, the dynamics of the traffic flow change in lots of ways. In general, those entering from side streets do not encounter the risks you fear in terms of crossing multiple lanes and making a Uturn. In most cases, there are still some stop lights, usually of much shorter duration, that interrupt the main road long enough for traffic to cross lanes and make Uturns. When traffic is lighter, those lights may not be needed -- much like niw with right turn red or flashing yellow left turn signals.

    No claim that these designs are perfect nor that they will solve all the problems. The do allow greatly increase the amount of traffic that can flow freely and for a relatively low cost and without requiring additional right of way.

  • nicolle Dec 6, 2012

    As someone who drives daily straight down Glenwood from west of Brier Creek to down by the mall (so one of those who would "benefit" most), this worries me. As people mentioned, trying to turn into traffic during rush hour and then having to cut across will be dangerous. Turning to make the U-turn is even worse, because people can't speed up until they've completely made the turn. So that's going to mean more slamming on the brakes as people are trying to cut in. On a road like Glenwood, it's going to cause MORE ACCIDENTS. Shaving a few minutes off my drive time is not worth someone getting hurt (as well as it adding a lot of time to other people's drive). Plus, the increase in accidents and fender benders is just going to worsen traffic and make everyone's drive longer. SYNCHRONIZE THE LIGHTS BETTER. That has to be a cheaper and more effective solution. It would also be interesting to see the research on how previous superstreeets have affected businesses (+ or -) along the route.

  • jonnraleigh Dec 6, 2012

    Somehow the good folks who live south of Wilmington toward Leland make the superstreet work for them. Surely we are at least as bright as they are.

  • mmtlash Dec 6, 2012

    taking out the stoplights allows traffic to flow more freely....could be a decent idea here

  • unc70 Dec 6, 2012


    These designs are essentially elongated traffic circles, built mostly within the same rightofway used by the existing street and turn lanes. "Real" traffic circle designs from the beginning would be better, but it's too late for anything except remediation now.

    BTW Many famous traffic circles have interesting uses of traffic lights, too. I am reminded of ones like the Place de l'Étoile in Paris, which is famous for having its own "no-fault style" rules for auto insurance coverage.

  • btneast Dec 6, 2012

    This plan will definitely improve thru traffic on Glenwood, but it will be a disaster for merchants along that section of roadway.

  • unc70 Dec 6, 2012


    I lived in that area some years ago (Foxcroft and Kirkwood). Still go through there fairly often. Before the changes to that intersection, in the mornings you could not go directly from Foxcroft on Dobbins (the access road) and even get on Erwin, much less get on Erwin to turn left towards Durham. You needed to go out the back way from Foxcroft and use Old Oxford to Erwin to Sage. That was why I mentioned Sage previously; no idea if one can now go down Dobbins to the Sage intersection, then turn left.

    We each agree for people passing through, the redesign greatly improves traffic flow through the area. My experience is that the typical trip through that area is 5-7 minutes quicker than before.

  • ForeignDevil Dec 6, 2012

    Wouldn't a roundabout be a better idea?

  • NCSUEngineerFC Dec 6, 2012

    This is fanciful, but I've always though it would be cool to pass crossing traffic over a major thoroughfare (i.e. Glenwood) by building an overpass that has a traffic light and turn arrows + acceleration lanes for traffic that wants to merge onto the highway over which it passes. Overpasses are nothing new, but they could be deployed in smaller scale intersections.

    Just a thought.

  • macy Dec 6, 2012

    This is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard.

  • CAROLINA43 Dec 6, 2012

    Synchronize the lights during peak traffic times.

    Excellent point!!!

  • A Pack Fan Dec 6, 2012

    The traffic lights are 80% of the problem. Green light - GO, next light Red - STOP......... All the way into downtown. This has been an issue for over 10 years. Not rocket science.

  • jrbrock Dec 6, 2012


    You're right, the 3rd light wasn't for u-turns (which had their own lane and light), it was for the right turns coming from the other direction. The traffic flow is like this:

    There's a light at the intersection of Erwin and 15-501. Erwin can only turn right onto 15-501. In low-traffic times, you don't need to wait for the light (right on red). In the morning, you generally had to wait for the light.

    Then you drive down to the u-turn light and wait.

    Then you drive back down 15-501 and get caught at the red light for Europa, which is allowing them to turn right onto 15-501. (Erwin used to cross to Europa directly, this is what was eliminated by the superstreet.) It was timed in the morning so that you got caught at this light pretty much every time after making a u-turn.

    I admitted these superstreets benefit the majority of traffic (people driving through), it's just very bad for locals who lose their left-turn intersection.

  • onefortheages99 Dec 6, 2012

    I remember hearing about a plan like this at least 10 years ago. Synchronizing the traffic lights would go a long way to helping.

    The Pleasant Valley area is particularly maddening. The side streets trigger the lights "on demand," meaning you can catch a red light at almost every signal.

  • CLM Dec 6, 2012

    I travel Glennwood twice a day from Brier Creek to 440 and the probelm is not the side roads it is the lights not being Synchronize and the speed limit should at least 50mph. The Superstreet does not sound like a good idea;
    I rather see a 3rd lane all the way down Glennwood.

  • tomfoolery Dec 6, 2012


    The light synchronization is the very first thing that need to happen! You can watch one light turn red as the other turns green, with both intersections having the same number of movements.

    Surely NCDOT has enough traffic engineers on their payroll to time the lights NEXT WEEK!!!

  • experiencemitchell Dec 6, 2012


  • dabink Dec 6, 2012

    Another great plan brought to us by the geniuses that planned the roundabouts on Hillsborough Street.

  • me2you Dec 6, 2012

    Raleigh has some of the most convoluted, strange roads I have ever seen.

  • mlslawter75 Dec 6, 2012

    Have they taken into consideration the school transportation that would need to do this? Hilburn Elementary goes across Glenwood with several kids each morning and afternoon. Making you turns with a bus? And the Lynn Rd interchange? I lived off Duraleigh for 7 years. I traveled that corridor down Glenwood towards Durham and home for work. I am in agreement that there are better things and ideas than this.

  • Just Once Dec 6, 2012

    Well, this is just a forerunner to the switchback intersections you see in New England. Yes - as soon as that is done something else will need done. Growth happens.

  • jrbrock Dec 6, 2012

    heelsgirl, yeah I lived in Foxcroft Apartments which is nestled in the corner of 15-501 and Erwin.

    Now I live in a neighborhood near Glenwood and Pinecrest that will be affected by this project. Thank God it won't begin until 2020, I'll probably have moved by then!

  • unc70 Dec 6, 2012


    What side street are you describing entering the 15-501 interchange? You said you turn right, then uturn with light, then the SECOND uturn light. Don't think you can get the second light, whether coming from Erwin Rd or Europa Dr.

    Traffic flow in that area was helped a lot by the changes in that area, though it is still a problem, particularly the merger of Fordham (Bypass) and Franklin Street. The current work on Sage Rd will help things on the other side (towards Durham); Sage is a better choice if going towards Durham anyway.

    For those of you not familiar with this Chspel Hill example, not everyone is negative. People too easily forget what it was like before the changes were made.

  • kdawg Dec 6, 2012

    So the 50 cars that line up on each side of Ebenezer and Glenwood for each light cycle at rush hour will need to cue up for a right turn, then a u-turn, before making another right turn, just to cross the street? Yeah, that's going to work in traffic so heavy you can't even make the first right turn. And they are basing this decision on the cluster that is 15-501? Seriously? What is the educational level of the people running NC-DOT?

  • bjrenegar Dec 6, 2012

    If the crowd who "engineered" the Hillsborough St. roundabout is the same crowd working on Glenwood Ave, then I already know this is an idea they got fired up about at an engineer conference somewhere and it will NOT solve any problems with traffic. Yep, these U-turn thingies are springing up around the state. The ones in Charlotte are horrors. The trick is to turn right, then attempt to merge across however many lanes of traffic to get to the left where the U-turn lane is located. On Glenwood, have they even considered how many cars will be qued to get thru the U-turn lane??? What about demanding a couple of TTA buses route on Glenwood to RTP???

  • btneast Dec 6, 2012

    It will severely affect the business of any retailer in such a corridor. People will not go to but so much hassle to get across the street or across traffic to get to a store. If it's not easy to get to from both directions of tradffic, people just won't stop there. That being said, the traffic needs some relief. There are no guarantees on how accessible one's location is into the future.....

  • awomack123 Dec 6, 2012

    I get that the people that live on the side streets will be negaitively impacted. BUT, we have to look at the greater good sometimes. This will be a HUGE time savings for the remaining people on the road.

    Someone made this point already, but better signal syncronization would help short-term, but the volume of traffic on the road makes that only a band-aid.

    My bigest concern is the start date of 2020, and then the price tag of 101 Million! Adding a few merge lanes and u-turn spots will cost that much money??? Really??? Are the u-turn lanes made of gold?

  • wdprice3 Dec 6, 2012

    Everyone that has driven routinely in areas were superstreets have been implemented raise your hands. The rest of you can keep your uneducated opinions to your self.

  • wdprice3 Dec 6, 2012

    the population of drivers down here couldn't figure out a simple 2 lane traffic circle; superstreets are even easier to navigate, but I'm sure these "people" will cause enough problems to have the DOT redo this within 5 years of construction.

  • ohmygosh Dec 6, 2012

    101 million for this. Do you realize how many miles of rural roads could be repaved for this?

  • heelsgirl05 Dec 6, 2012

    jrbrock, did you live off Erwin Rd? I used to go down to Chapel Hill a lot since I grew up in Hillsborough and worked off Erwin Rd at a retirement community. I absolutely HATED having to make 1 right turn, then a left, then another right to go across 15-501!

  • Scubagirl Dec 6, 2012

    So reading between the lines here, it would seem that the DOT is going to push this through IN SPITE of most being AGAINST this.

    It's crazy, by the time they even start things will be so changed something else will be needed....

  • jrbrock Dec 6, 2012

    Nooooo. These superstreets are great for passersby but very bad for the side streets that will be affected. I lived in a neighborhood affected by the "superstreet" in Chapel Hill. Previously it would take up to 2 minutes to turn left onto 15-501 from my neighborhood. After the "superstreet", you had to wait up to a minute to turn right (because of the dense morning traffic), drive down to the u-turn spot, then wait 2 minutes for that light, then drive back the way you came, and often run into the u-turn light for the other way. The whole thing took up to 5 minutes. Taking 5 minutes to turn left out of your own neighborhood is extremely frustrating!

  • NCSUEngineerFC Dec 6, 2012

    And, as others have stated previously, it would be a nightmare to try and cut across several lanes of traffic to the center median and make a u-turn.

  • NCSUEngineerFC Dec 6, 2012

    I live in that neck of the woods and frequently travel on Glenwood avenue. Seems like there are a few less costly things that could be done first, namely:

    1. Synchronize the lights during peak traffic times. I cannot recall the last time I had more than 2 subsequent lights green. Surely all the IBMers we have in RTP could develop an easy algorithm for this.
    2. Resurface/repair the road. The heavy traffic volume combined with the dump truck and 18-wheeler traffic has taken a toll on the structure of the road. Glenwood runs through a very industrial area (I am thankful for the companies and the jobs they provide), but the road has taken a beating.

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