New Interchanges Not Popular With Some Wake Forest Motorists
Posted July 24, 2006 10:08 a.m. EDT
WAKE FOREST, N.C. — Some motorists say they are confused over a new type of highway interchange in Wake Forest.
The new interchange, called the Single Point Urban Interchange, hooks the new N.C. Highway 98 bypass into the U.S. Highway 1 corridor of Wake Forest and brings all traffic to one single point with one set of traffic lights.
"It's just very confusing," said Jerry James, a driver in the area. "You get up here and instead of going across to the right lane to move through, you are actually just making a loop around the thing. It doesn't reflect that or tell you that. There's no signage that says, 'Continue to go around on the left-hand side of the road.'"
Some business owners just off the new interchange say customers are confused on how to get to their shops and restaurants and that business has decreased since the interchange went in. For example, Rudino's cites an 8 percent drop, and Golf Etc. reports that its business is off 10 percent.
But the North Carolina Department of Transportation says the interchanges save money over time. Fewer lights, officials say, means less maintenance. They also allow more space for backed-up traffic, therefore preventing jams that spread back onto main roads.
With time, engineers say, drivers will get used to it.
More Single Point Urban Interchanges are coming to the Triangle. The next one should go into service in May along the new section of Interstate 540 at N.C. Highway 401.