Local News

Raleigh council puts brakes on Six Forks Road expansion

Posted February 2, 2016 7:13 p.m. EST
Updated February 2, 2016 7:28 p.m. EST

— A $45 million plan to address traffic congestion on Six Forks Road in north Raleigh hit a bump in the road Tuesday.

Between 36,000 and 48,000 vehicles travel on Six Forks Road between Interstate 440 and Lynn Road each day, according to the state Department of Transportation, and city officials want to make the thoroughfare safer, more attractive and friendlier to bicyclists.

After three years of study, city planners have recommended widening parts of Six Forks Road from four to six lanes, reducing the speed limit to 35 mph and adding bike lanes, landscaped medians and extensive streetscaping.

"We wanted to develop an outcome that maximized a benefit for everyone," city planner Carter Pettibone told the Raleigh City Council on Tuesday.

Some City Council members questioned expanding the street at a time when the city and county are trying to encourage people to get out of the cars and use public transportation.

"It makes me wonder to the extent of widening north of Rowan (Street) is a long-term, forward-looking solution," Councilman Russ Stephenson said.

"Why would we back away immediately from a dedicated bus lane on a thoroughfare like this one?" Councilwoman Kay Crowder asked.

Council members also had questions about the timeline and the funding. The project would likely be funded through bonds and could take four to five years to complete.

Because of the questions, the council decided to delay a vote on the project so members can review it more during an upcoming work session.