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Old 01-05-2009, 06:46 AM
 
104 posts, read 154,054 times
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I think I can start out this post by saying most people here in town know that traffic is terrible - at least it is on the south end where I live/work. 485 is a parking lot and most/all surface roads are jammed solid, especially during any time that is even remotely close to rush "hour". The first Monday after the holidays really drove home (again) how bad it is..

Are there any initiatives being pushed forward to do something (anything) to alleviate the traffic problem? I heard a rumor that the south section of 485 was scheduled to be expanded in 2015 (2015??!) but other than that, is there any glimmer of hope at all?
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Old 01-05-2009, 07:08 AM
 
Location: NE Charlotte, NC (University City)
1,894 posts, read 5,725,602 times
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There is a plan to throw some fixes at 485 in that gummed up area...sooner than 2015 if I remember correctly. But like most large road traffic fixes, the design will not be adequate enough, even in today's terms, let alone the day it gets built. The problem is the growth far out paces the funding and ability to build roads bigger. You're talking easily several hundred million dollars to fix just that portion of 485!

You can thank Pineville for some of the headache down there...if you're looking to put some blame somewhere. Had the light rail been allowed to extend down into their city limits (and maybe beyond), much of that traffic could be replaced by rail riders from park and ride lots.

But remember the squeaky wheel gets the grease. I don't think people that have to sit in that jam everyday are motivated enough to take their concern to elected officials. Charlotte has a surprisingly good citizen input and reaction system (311, for example). It may take a few years (or more with this scale project), but it will get done. You just have to let them know you're fed up with it.
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Old 01-05-2009, 07:50 AM
 
Location: Matthews, NC
14,693 posts, read 23,073,113 times
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Part of the problem with traffic is the way people drive. I really think that it would be money well spent to try to educate people on how to merge, use their turn signals, not break so much, etc. I have yet to live anywhere that has addressed the issue of poor driving and how it affects traffic.

There is a really interesting book you can buy at Amazon.com: Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says About Us): Tom Vanderbilt: Books. The author also has a traffic blog at How We Drive, the Blog of Tom Vanderbilt’s Traffic.
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Old 01-05-2009, 07:58 AM
 
104 posts, read 154,054 times
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Well, for anyone who wants to find all their elected officials:

Geospatial Portal

Just type in your address and look under "Voting".

VERY nice system BTW. I'm impressed.
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Old 01-05-2009, 09:59 AM
 
Location: Uptown CLT (4th Ward)
2,560 posts, read 7,707,956 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rackley View Post
I think I can start out this post by saying most people here in town know that traffic is terrible - at least it is on the south end where I live/work. 485 is a parking lot and most/all surface roads are jammed solid, especially during any time that is even remotely close to rush "hour". The first Monday after the holidays really drove home (again) how bad it is..

Are there any initiatives being pushed forward to do something (anything) to alleviate the traffic problem? I heard a rumor that the south section of 485 was scheduled to be expanded in 2015 (2015??!) but other than that, is there any glimmer of hope at all?

The North side of Mecklenburg is just as bad if not worse than South Charlotte. The traffic in Lake Norman area is HORRIBLE! You can't stop growth or progress and Charlotte is still growing with the economy the way it is. At least in North Mecklenburg there are HOV car pool lanes...something South Charlotte will most likely never have.

They should not be allowed to widen I-485 in South Charlotte until the last 5-6 mile leg is finished in North Mecklenburg...and I am pretty sure the state will not allow it either.
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Old 01-05-2009, 11:05 AM
 
Location: Matthews, NC
14,693 posts, read 23,073,113 times
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Another thing that makes traffic horrible is unsynchronized traffic lights. There are 3 lights in a span of less than a quarter mile near WT Harris and Mallard Creek in the University area. The lights aren't synched so traffic backs up way down Harris.

These are the kinds of things that can definitely be addressed and fixed.
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Old 01-05-2009, 11:09 AM
 
11,836 posts, read 25,432,978 times
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Having developers pay for the widening of secondary roads, traffic lights, etc... would help a great deal. Or it would cut down the number of developments.
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Old 01-05-2009, 11:22 AM
 
Location: NE Charlotte, NC (University City)
1,894 posts, read 5,725,602 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barkingowl View Post
Having developers pay for the widening of secondary roads, traffic lights, etc... would help a great deal. Or it would cut down the number of developments.
Good luck with that. They (the developers) screamed and cried when the City chose to start requiring more strict storm water requirements last July. The developers complained that the average house price would go up something like $40-100k due to the new requirements. Now, mind you, these are the same developers that are building homes int eh Central Florida area (where I'm from) which has FAR more storm water regulation than here...and houses weren't any more expensive (at least not before the '05 boom). Developers must also pay significant amounts of money, or do the work themselves, to improve infrastructure in the area they are developing before they are allowed to open the first house in FL. Money is paid to schools, utilities, roads, fire, and police based on how many homes they intend to build. It's only fair if you ask me. But, I will admit, there has to be a fine line between driving home prices up by requiring too much and just relying on taxes to do the work.

the problem NC has is so many roads are state owned/maintained. I believe we are either #1 or #2 (behind TX maybe) for number of roads maintained by the state. It's something like 90-95% of all roads are state roads. In comparison, we'll use FL again, nearly every incorporated city takes care of their own roads, with few being county and state roads. This allows the smaller local government to assess and address road problems more efficiently...as opposed to Raleigh trying to determine what's the best fix at WT Harris and Mallard Creek. Catch my drift?

But overall, yes, I whole heartedly agree that developers need to start footing the bill for their impacts. As it is currently, they wipe out our environment, build crappy homes (for the most part), over price the new homes (straining our friends and family's finances), and place monumental strains on the existing infrastructure...from there, they take the money and run, sticking future improvements to the collective tax base (you and me) to pay for their impacts.
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Old 01-05-2009, 11:29 AM
 
Location: Matthews, NC
14,693 posts, read 23,073,113 times
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One thing I like about the way roads are set up around here is the fact that you cannot make a left turn onto a lot of the busier roads. I think it save a lot of traffic tie ups on Independence for example.

I believe that I have made more U-Turns since I have been in Charlotte than in all my previous years of driving but I think it is worth it.
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Old 01-05-2009, 11:30 AM
 
Location: Noth Caccalacca
5,554 posts, read 6,668,458 times
Reputation: 4837
Quote:
Originally Posted by bs13690 View Post
Another thing that makes traffic horrible is unsynchronized traffic lights. There are 3 lights in a span of less than a quarter mile near WT Harris and Mallard Creek in the University area. The lights aren't synched so traffic backs up way down Harris.

These are the kinds of things that can definitely be addressed and fixed.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Barkingowl View Post
Having developers pay for the widening of secondary roads, traffic lights, etc... would help a great deal. Or it would cut down the number of developments.
bs13690 and Barkingowl - You're both so right! Unsynchronized traffic lights seem to be epidemic in the area. It seems you go 100 ft and stop every thirty seconds. Maybe they should hire traffic engineers that graduated from UNC or Duke rather than someone's relative, who barely made it out of high school, for the job! The mantra of too many towns and cities is "build houses now and worry about infrastructure later". Housing developers seem to control the agenda too much of the time. They "cry" if they are asked to contribute to infrastructure saying nobody will buy the houses if they cost more! Well, cry me a river!
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