Feedback Wanted on Parkway Plans

Posted March 25, 2008
Updated March 26, 2008

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— Reducing traffic congestion around Research Triangle Park is one of the many goals for the proposed Triangle Parkway, a six-lane toll highway between the Durham Freeway and N.C. Highway 540 in Morrisville.

But the decision to cut off two connectors to Davis Drive and T.W. Alexander Drive for safety reasons has motorists who use the roadways on a daily basis concerned about what will happen when the roadways close. Some say it will only funnel more drivers onto existing roads.

That's why the North Carolina Turnpike Authority is holding an open meeting from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday and a public hearing at 7 p.m. for residents to weigh in on the plans for the 3.4-mile stretch of highway. Both are at the Sigma Xi Center auditorium at 3106 East N.C. Highway 54, between Davis Drive and T.W. Alexander Drive.

Steve Dewitt with the North Carolina Turnpike Authority said that when the Parkway was initially planned 50 years ago both Davis Drive and T.W. Alexander Drive were designed as temporary connectors.

Toll roads will help make the road project possible, Dewitt said.

"Even if you choose not to take this toll road, people will choose to take it," Dewitt said. "What it will do is take traffic off of N.C. 54, N.C. 55 and I-40 and Davis Drive."

The Turnpike Authority has said it plans to keep both connectors open as long as possible.

For the toll project to move forward, it must receive funding from the General Assembly during the short session, which begins in May.

The Parkway, slated to open in 2010, will have other ramps to Davis Drive near big RTP companies.

Drivers would be billed automatically without having to slow down and pay, using electronic transponders instead.

“This state and every other state is suffering financially. We don’t have the financing needed to build these very expensive projects, and so tolling can help in very strategic areas,” said David Joyner, with the N.C. Turnpike Authority.


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  • DontLikeTheSocialistObama Mar 25, 2008

    I plan to boycott toll roads in North Carolina.

  • SheriffTruman Mar 25, 2008

    This is so funny. I would say it is pretty much too late to change this. Has anyone seen the schedule they propose? Construction is to start this summer.

    Several of us have been trying to get people to understand about the exits being closed for months, but no one cared because they were too busy whining about taxes being too high all day. Well, Taxes pay for roads, so they figured out another way to build them.

    Plus, they will likely never build the next section of Triangle parkway to McCrimmon, so all the bridges they already built will just continue to go over grass.

    The section of road being converted to toll as part of this cost around 60-70 million dollars and came out of the funds for this area's highway money (and of course now we have none). Now they are stealing that to make this a toll and taking away heavily used exits to boot.

    Please if you are concerned, go by there tonight and complain loudly as this is the last chance to do anything (and probably too late).

  • enigma1469 Mar 25, 2008

    patriotsrevenge there are existing roads that serves the needs of the people now. If someone wants a short cut then they should pay for it. When they build a short cut to my house then we will talk.

  • I guess I will just type this Mar 25, 2008

    my bad tarheels don't like edwards, I work in healthcare, just trying to figure out why someone where I live (where it's considered more "rural" in s. wake county) would have to pay for a (the first?) toll road in the state of nc. I'm pretty sure my tax money (however it was taken) paid for the knightdale bypass that was completed without tolls; as I recall 5 years ago when I moved to Fuquay, the entire 540 beltline (all of it, built and future entire loop) was supposed to be completed by now. Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't the 540 loop money get taken by the knightdale bypass, with a little help from the I-40 repaving the repaving project?

  • 050462 Mar 25, 2008

    all of you complaining,go tonite,and voice your opinion,oh i forgot,need to hurry home after that fast food meal,and do usual but whine,and complain.hope they put tolls everywhere in raleigh.start carpooling,and you would not have this problem.

  • wingnut61285 Mar 25, 2008

    I'm confused why most of you complaining about 540. The topic of discussion is the proposed parkway that would extend from 540 to the durham freeway. Having said that I'm against tolls in most cases. Why should I be charged more than I already am. Especially with NC gas taxes so high. As far as the western wake expressway (540) section from 55 in morrisville to 55 in holly springs is concerned, without tolls start date is like 2025 where as a toll road start date could be this year. If it expedites construction then great and I know people will use it. However, keep toll prices low considering most of us would use it at least twice a day. Most other states you can travel a hundred plus miles for about 2 dollars. Maybe something of like 10 cents per exit would be appropiate with a min 25 cent charge. Everyone needs to write a letter to our local government to express your opinion about this issue and give them some alternative options. But be nice or you will be disregarded.

  • OpinionOnEverything Mar 25, 2008

    Eventually, this toll road will extend from I-40 to US-1 or even through all of southern Wake county, whether we think it's fair or not. There just isn't enough tax or bond money to build the Western Wake Expressway and connect the 540 loop all the way around without tolling the new construction. The Triangle Parkway is just a way of easing the toll idea onto the region, setting the stage for a fairly long toll route to US 70 east of Garner. It was never designed to improve commute time to RTP from 540. If people complain that it's not fair to toll one section of 540 without tolling the entire loop, our legislature will find a way around it. Existing federal highways can be tolled if the state legislature and the Federal Highway Administration agree to placing tolls, as long as it's for the sole benefit of construction and maintenance of the highway in question. In a few years time, the entire 540 loop will have a troll and no one will complain.

  • patriotsrevenge Mar 25, 2008

    While we're at it, let's toll the road foetine lives on as well!!

  • likemenow Mar 25, 2008

    the good thing is that the legislation that enacted this group was ratified in part by Jim Black, he of dubious and fraudulent governmental dealings...certainly no taint there

  • likemenow Mar 25, 2008

    "§ 136-89.187. Conversion of free highways prohibited.
    The Authority Board is prohibited from converting any segment of the nontolled
    State Highway System to a toll facility.facility, except for a segment of Interstate 540
    under construction as of July 1, 2006, located in Wake and Durham Counties, and
    extending from I-40 southwest to N.C. 55. No segment may be converted to a toll route
    pursuant to this section unless first approved by the Metropolitan Planning Organization
    (MPO) or Rural Planning Organization (RPO) of the area in which that segment is located."...Can you say "can of worms"? Good, I knew you could