Traffic

Holly Springs hopes 'superstreets' will solve growth problems

Posted June 7, 2012
Updated June 8, 2012

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— Holly Springs is booming with two big projects – the addition of an Interstate 540 interchange and a new shopping center – but they are creating both opportunities and headaches for the town.

Town officials say when New Hill Place shopping center opens next year and the link to I-540 opens in December, that's going to double the amount of traffic on N.C. Highway 55 Bypass, the biggest highway in the town.

“We've got to look at how we can move traffic through as quick as possible – 53,000 cars a day by the time that opens up makes a big difference,” said Town Manager Carl Dean.

The I-540 interchange will connect the town with Research Triangle Park and North Raleigh. New Hill Place is nearby at N.C. 55 Bypass and New Hill Road. It’s all good news to Dean, who says the town will get 1,500 jobs and a bigger tax base. But, the growth comes at a cost.

The state Department of Transportation says the answer is a “superstreet,” which is a non-traditional type of intersection in which minor cross-street traffic is prohibited from going straight through or left at a divided highway intersection.

For example, as drivers approach the 55 Bypass from a side street, they'll have to make a right turn, a U-turn, then another right turn to continue on the side street.

Engineers say it's safer and keeps traffic flowing more smoothly. But neighbors, like Jerry Canterbury, say they are worried about delays, pedestrian safety and emergency response times. Holly Springs adding unique intersections Holly Springs adding unique intersections

“We can’t stop it. Let's make the changes that we can to make it as low-impact on the community here as possible,” Canterbury said.

Engineers have been studying ways to improve the design, according to the town. Superstreet intersections will be in place by next year, and Dean said he hopes they accomplish at least one major goal – “making sure it doesn't look like Capital Boulevard.”

New Hill Place’s developer can’t open the shopping center until the superstreet intersections are installed at three spots along the N.C. 55 Bypass between New Hill Place and Green Oaks Parkway. Dean says construction will be a constant on that stretch of the bypass for the next year.

Superstreet

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  • huzjanet Jun 11, 2012

    "Superstreets" are NOT the answer. The DOT should experience the joy of one at the entrance to their subdivision or place of business.We enter our subdivision (which is NOT a thru street to anywhere, just a handful of houses) from HWY64W. There have been more accidents since this change than the 30 yrs. prior. To travel east, we have to turn right (west), travel to the Hwy. 55 exit, sit at that light, followed by another left turn and another light to reenter Hwy. 64 going east. Takes 10 minutes. Our other option is to trave west to Green Level Ch. Rd., make a u-turn at that light where you CANNOT see vehicles approaching in the on-coming lane due to a hill in the road near the light. Many accidents there, also! I recently road in an ambulance with a neighbor who was having difficulty breathing. The driver commented on the time-consuming turns when time is crittical & said the police share these complaints but both go "unheard" by the DOT.Good luck if you need emerg. svcs., DOT!

  • luvmynmls Jun 8, 2012

    Link to all info posted on Town of HS website about Superstreets

    https://nc-hollysprings.civicplus.com/Search.aspx?SearchString=superstreet

    The Superstreet FAQ pdf file shows where the stoplights will be at each superstreet intersection. The existing intersections, where there are currently two stoplights, will have four stoplights when converted to the superstreet design. And with the addition of New Hill Place, two new superstreet intersections are being added, which means four more stoplights. Eight lights total between the 540 interchange and just south of Green Oaks Parkway.

    And the DOT says this design is going to improve the flow of traffic along 55, and the Town is trying to make sure it doesn't look like Capital Boulevard?? How about not developing along a highway that was built as a BYPASS??

  • luvmynmls Jun 8, 2012

    To GovReform: "Why not do both: traffic-lights AND superstreets? ...how much money to improve this needed infrastructure is the developer(s) funding? None?

    #1-There are going to be stoplights, it's a signaled superstreet. In fact, where there are now only two stoplights on 55 Bypass, there will be at least EIGHT when this project is finished. Wonder what the folks who live in Fuquay think about that?? Just what they need, six more stoplights along 55.

    #2-The developer (Kite Realty) is acutally funding the entire Superstreet project. It was required by NC DOT before they would put their stamp of approval on the development. It's also why the Town of Holly Springs is so enamored with the idea, and shoving it down the residents throats with no concern for how it's going to impact those of us who live off New Hill Rd., or the tenants of the business park.

  • janderson176 Jun 8, 2012

    I don't think 540 will be the "fix all" for the traffic headache that is Rt55 and RT1 interchange. IF you drive through the area between 7-9am and 4-6pm you know what I am talking about! It is as bad as LA

  • GovReform Jun 8, 2012

    Why not do both: traffic-lights AND superstreets? It seems to me they together could be compatible. QUESTION: how much money to improve this needed infrastructure is the developer(s) funding? None? What are the real reasons as to why traffic-lights are not being considered? My assumption is that superstreets are less expensive to construct than are traffic-lights at intersections. So is NC DOT having to pay for the required improvements, funded solely by tax dollars? Follow the money.

  • mpheels Jun 8, 2012

    We have one on 15-501 in Chapel Hill that was a God send. The road before was a mess, with a traffic pattern that had traffic coming from 6 different directions at one time, and the lights were arranged so some vehicles had to stop and wait in the middle of the intersection. That stretch of road is much easier to travel with the super street design.

  • ntcrawler Jun 8, 2012

    Coming from Michigan, I read the comments below - some in favor and some against. We used to dread the Michigan U-turns in Detroit when visiting there. However, after reading the NCDOT information on the Holly Springs web site - it is clear they have done their homework. Especially in the area of accident prevention. I was much surprised to read all of the research done. Have to admit, it looks like a good solution from here.

  • wxfreak Jun 8, 2012

    How bout the Super-bout? A roundabout with a traffic signals-there should be a few yield signs as well in random places for extra brake tapping, and dont forget a few speed bumps to keep people from going above 5 mph in the circle (if they're lucky enough to get the traffic lights green-

  • sleepyhead Jun 8, 2012

    I agree with lwt that Michigan lefts would be useful around here. They are much easier to get used to and less confusing than left turn signals with two or more left turn lanes. Do I need to be in the left-left lane? the left-middle lane? or the left-right lane?

  • chivegas Jun 8, 2012

    Great, Michigan Lefts... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michigan_left

    Anyone who's ever been to MI can tell you what a moronic design that is. Add in a bunch of timid Southern drivers, and it's gonna be car wreck city!

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