Traffic

Connector would reduce commute time to RTP

Posted December 9, 2009

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— The Regional Transportation Alliance has a new top freeway priority in the Triangle for 2010 that would reduce travel time from Interstate 85 to Research Triangle Park.

The Triangle Connector to Interstate 85 would be the final piece of roadway that would create a stoplight-free connection from U.S. Highway 1 in southwest Wake County to I-85 in Research Triangle Park.

Connector would reduce commute time to RTP Connector would reduce commute time to RTP

The 1.5-mile Triangle Connector would connect N.C. Highway 147 to U.S. Highway 70.

"It will allow the Triangle region as a whole – Raleigh, Cary, Chapel Hill, Research Triangle Park – to connect to Interstate 85," Joe Milazzo, executive director of the Regional Transportation Alliance, said.

The stoplight-free route would start at U.S. 1 in southwest Wake County and run along the state's first toll road to Interstate 40, then from I-40 to U.S. 70.

Construction on the toll road is expected to be complete by 2012.

The group also discussed the importance of improving air service out of RTP and the need for a regional transit system.

As for the timing for transit, Milazzo says that depends on the economy. A new transit system will likely require a half-cent sales tax increase, which must be approved by voters.

23 Comments

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  • manofjustice Dec 11, 2009

    I live in the eastern part of the state and I can honestly say that where I live, the roads are awful. However, it is a rural area and I understand that the Raleigh area has a lot more people and therefore should have more roads. I would like to see a transit system to connect the Raleigh/Greensboro/Winston-Salem area.
    garrettsmom

    I am in total agreeance with you and I would also like to see a connection with that area in the Oxford/Henderson area also.

  • wakeconative4ever Dec 10, 2009

    I live in the eastern part of the state and I can honestly say that where I live, the roads are awful. However, it is a rural area and I understand that the Raleigh area has a lot more people and therefore should have more roads. I would like to see a transit system to connect the Raleigh/Greensboro/Winston-Salem area.

  • noreplytome2 Dec 10, 2009

    The state needs to STOP putting pavement down every dirt road that *might* see a few bicycles a week, and focus on long term objectives. The US-1 widening through Cary will be WORTHLESS once the 540 connector is created. That it, unless the dozen or so folks from New Hill want to cruise up to Crossroads...

    Hunt stole from DOT funds, and that became status quo. Ol' Bev sure won't change that either. The problem is the DOT and it's contractors. Doing shoddy work, then expecting you and I to pay for it to be repaved 2,3,4 times.

  • OpinionOnEverything Dec 10, 2009

    "Here we go again - Raleigh wants a road and Raleigh gets the road they want and in a very short period of time. Other areas in the state that need new roads wait for 50 or 100 years to get the roads or the state agrees to build bridges and grade the road but pavemnet will not be installed until some time in the future. How dumb is that - when you finally get around to paving the road you will have to repair the work that they have already done and spend more money - again but wait I forgot it is not Raleigh so everthing is ok."

    You obviously have no idea what's happened over the last several decades with new loops and road widening going on at record pace down east in towns that are shedding population and jobs. The Triangle is far behind on road capacity in response to growth because certain eastern representatives have been busy funneling highway money to their districts when there is far greater need in the urban areas that seeing the most growth.

  • OpinionOnEverything Dec 10, 2009

    "I see Johnston County is left out again. I-85? What about 40? Or even 42/40? You sold the county to the developers - now how about a way to get to work?"

    I suppose you work in RTP? If not, living in Johnston county was a choice made by tens of thousands of newcomers to the Triangle, either for reasons of affordability or the location of new schools. Developers react to market demand, they don't create it. Expecting to live 40+ miles away from work, in a new subdivision far from work, with the right demographics, and not have to pay for the cost of infrastructure such as new roads, is the reason why the state is nearly bankrupt. NC has the second highest mileage of state-maintained roads in the nation, and for the last few decades been one of the fastest growing states. At some point, the system is strained beyond gas taxes and spending from the general fund. Tolls are the only other way to make up the difference, unless you want your county property taxes to do the work.

  • southrnarchitect Dec 10, 2009

    Here we go again - Raleigh wants a road and Raleigh gets the road they want and in a very short period of time. Other areas in the state that need new roads wait for 50 or 100 years to get the roads or the state agrees to build bridges and grade the road but pavemnet will not be installed until some time in the future. How dumb is that - when you finally get around to paving the road you will have to repair the work that they have already done and spend more money - again but wait I forgot it is not Raleigh so everthing is ok.

  • mpheels Dec 10, 2009

    We need to look beyond the light rail-centric transit system and think of ways to use the infrastructure we have with little to no construction required.

    Use existing rail lines with minimal connector construction to offer frequent train service between downtown Raleigh and Durham. Add an extra bus-only lane here and there to highways and set up a bus rapid transit system, so buses can travel between a few hub destinations without stopping and without traffic. Expand and rearrange the existing local bus routes so they actually go where people want/need and make it easier to get from home/work to a hub. Make better use of park and ride lots - people from outlying areas will still need to drive, but drive less.

    I live in Chapel Hill, but my parents are in Raleigh, and I spend most holidays there. I would be more than happy to spend $5 on a rapid bus trip to RDU and another $10 in cab fare to their house if it meant not driving on I-40 during rush hour on a Friday before a holiday.

  • bopeace1999 Dec 10, 2009

    I see Johnston County is left out again. I-85? What about 40? Or even 42/40? You sold the county to the developers - now how about a way to get to work?

  • nc1state Dec 10, 2009

    Ok. So how about paying some attention to US1 in Northern Wake county. What a mess...

  • macdaddie4 Dec 10, 2009

    I am not a transplant from the North. I have lived in the Raleigh, Cary area for 50 plus years. I will never throw any money into a basket on a toll road for the SW Wake County connection. If you can pave I540 around N. Raleigh w/o toll booths you can do it on this side as well. Don't have the money for this. BS, the legislature had it but misspent it on other stupid ideas. So I will not spend any on this toll because I have already help pay for it once.

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