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Old 12-12-2006, 06:28 PM
 
1,531 posts, read 6,724,899 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magicmk View Post
I'm another one who yearns for some overhead lighting on 440. After all, most of it IS within city limits, right, regardless of the fact that NCDOT maintains it?
City limits or no, lighting on limited access freeways (like interstates) are in the realm of DOT. The cities can beg/nag/ask for it, but that's all they can do.
Afterall, on most city streets, Raleigh is one of the best lit cities there is.
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Old 12-12-2006, 06:50 PM
 
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Here in Va Beach we have mostly well lit city streets but the interstates are as well for the most part. There are some small stretches that are not but by and large its fairly well lit.
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Old 12-12-2006, 07:07 PM
 
Location: Polish Hill, Pittsburgh, PA
29,608 posts, read 65,584,333 times
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Smile New Highways are Nice, but What About Alternatives?

I know I don't live in Metro Raleigh/Durham (Please don't give me a red dot simply for being from Scranton, as someone on the NJ forum did), but I was just wondering what type of mass transit options you folks have down in that area? Believe me, I've been watching you Census trends; all of North Carolina continues to explode in population growth and urban sprawl annually to the point where I'm thinking that new, multi-lane superhighways aren't always going to be the best answer. Are there plans for an efficient light rail system to connect Downtown Raleigh to Durham, Cary, Chapel Hill, Wake Forest, Apex, etc.? If not, then what about a small subway system of sorts? Better bus service? Carpooling incentives? All I hear about from people I know down in NC is about the "bad traffic." However, if you have no option but to hop in the car when you want to go anywhere, then how is this situation going to improve when thousands of new metro residents are pouring in annually?

Just to give you an example of how expanding highway capacities are not working in our nation overall, I'll use Scranton as an example. I-81, a four-lane highway (two in each direction) runs through Scranton, and it was designed to handle a maximum daily capacity of 40,000 vehicles. Now, around 80,000 vehicles per day utilize I-81 in and around Scranton, and those numbers are only expected to continue to worsen year after year. There are proposals to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to widen I-81 to six lanes (three in each direction) for the entire 30-mile or so stretch through the metro area, but even by the time that is completed, we'll be talking about nearly 100,000 vehicles per day on this roadway, at which point they'll be talking about making I-81 EIGHT lanes! Since it's apparent that you just can't keep on making our interstates wider and wider and wider indefinitely, we need to look at alternatives in our nation to make our roadways less congested and our commutes less hectic. I know a massive light commuter rail system all throughout the Raleigh/Durham area would be quite an expensive undertaking, but wouldn't it be just as expensive as continuing to add additional lanes onto various interstates year after year? Here in PA, Scranton is supposed to soon be getting a commuter rail service to New York City to ease congestion on I-80 in the Poconos and New Jersey.

Then again, no matter what you do, traffic will still be CRAZY! For example, Boston has a very popular commuter train system called the "T" that is very highly-utilized. Nevertheless, we rode the train back and forth between Back Bay and Braintree and saw nothing but miles of stopped traffic on I-93. Aren't you all tired of sitting in traffic so much? If Scranton is much smaller than Raleigh and can have some treacherous rush-hours, I could only imagine how hectic YOURS must be! As for me, I'm going to avoid the hassle altogether in a few years by moving within walking distance of my employer (just like the "good 'ole days")

Any ideas?
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Old 12-12-2006, 07:26 PM
 
Location: Cary, NC
31,536 posts, read 55,195,852 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScrantonWilkesBarre View Post
I know I don't live in Metro Raleigh/Durham (Please don't give me a red dot simply for being from Scranton, as someone on the NJ forum did), but I was just wondering what type of mass transit options you folks have down in that area? Believe me, I've been watching you Census trends; all of North Carolina continues to explode in population growth and urban sprawl annually to the point where I'm thinking that new, multi-lane superhighways aren't always going to be the best answer. Are there plans for an efficient light rail system to connect Downtown Raleigh to Durham, Cary, Chapel Hill, Wake Forest, Apex, etc.? If not, then what about a small subway system of sorts? Better bus service? Carpooling incentives? All I hear about from people I know down in NC is about the "bad traffic." However, if you have no option but to hop in the car when you want to go anywhere, then how is this situation going to improve when thousands of new metro residents are pouring in annually?

Just to give you an example of how expanding highway capacities are not working in our nation overall, I'll use Scranton as an example. I-81, a four-lane highway (two in each direction) runs through Scranton, and it was designed to handle a maximum daily capacity of 40,000 vehicles. Now, around 80,000 vehicles per day utilize I-81 in and around Scranton, and those numbers are only expected to continue to worsen year after year. There are proposals to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to widen I-81 to six lanes (three in each direction) for the entire 30-mile or so stretch through the metro area, but even by the time that is completed, we'll be talking about nearly 100,000 vehicles per day on this roadway, at which point they'll be talking about making I-81 EIGHT lanes! Since it's apparent that you just can't keep on making our interstates wider and wider and wider indefinitely, we need to look at alternatives in our nation to make our roadways less congested and our commutes less hectic. I know a massive light commuter rail system all throughout the Raleigh/Durham area would be quite an expensive undertaking, but wouldn't it be just as expensive as continuing to add additional lanes onto various interstates year after year? Here in PA, Scranton is supposed to soon be getting a commuter rail service to New York City to ease congestion on I-80 in the Poconos and New Jersey.

Then again, no matter what you do, traffic will still be CRAZY! For example, Boston has a very popular commuter train system called the "T" that is very highly-utilized. Nevertheless, we rode the train back and forth between Back Bay and Braintree and saw nothing but miles of stopped traffic on I-93. Aren't you all tired of sitting in traffic so much? If Scranton is much smaller than Raleigh and can have some treacherous rush-hours, I could only imagine how hectic YOURS must be! As for me, I'm going to avoid the hassle altogether in a few years by moving within walking distance of my employer (just like the "good 'ole days")

Any ideas?
Public venues and destinations have been scattered to the extent that linking them with rail will be financially apocryphal.
We enjoy the 5th most sparsely populated state capitol city in the nation. That is another way of saying, "Sprawl."

At least we don't have the snow, salt, and freeze/thaw cycles you enjoy in that area. Can't say I miss it a bit. Family reunion in Tunkhannock next summer will do for me.
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Old 12-12-2006, 08:24 PM
 
Location: Wake Forest, NC
842 posts, read 2,920,450 times
Reputation: 377
Default Speaking as a former PAer

To ScrantonWilkesBarre:
Speaking as a former resident of NE PA (Marshall's Creek) and a current resident of Raleigh, I can assure you that the roads in NC are MUCH better than PA. At least they're building roads in NC....which isn't something that you can say about PA.
I lived in PA for 12 years, and I can only say that I'm astonished at the incompetence of PENNDOT. Some examples...
- US-22 in Allentown. Here's a highway that wasn't repaired since the 1950's (seriously!), and was horribly congested. They tore it up and rebuilt it, but kept it 4 lanes!?! It was the perfect opportunity to fix a major traffic headache, and they blew it!
- US-209 in Marshall's Creek. This road gets backed up for up to 7 miles! It happens every weekend. It can get backed up the entire distance from Marshall's Creek to Bushkill! PENNDOT has done numerous 'studies' on the problem (starting in the late 1970's), but has never done anything about it. Instead, they simply do more studies because by the time they decide to do anything, they need to redo the studies because they're outdated!
- I-476 in Philadelphia (Blue Route). This road should have been built 50 years ago. When they finally built it, they made it only 4 lanes!!!
- I-99 in the middle of nowhere. It's a huge waste of money that could have been spent in so many other better places.

I can assure you that the roads are sooo much better in NC. For example, I-540 around Raleigh is being built with 6/8 lanes, even though it could probably get by with 4 right now. But they plan for future congestion. 'Bad traffic' here simply does not mean the same thing as 'bad traffic' in PA.

Residents of NC: I wouldn't complain about NC roads....you don't realize how good you have it. I have to travel from Holly Springs to RTP every day, and rush hour may add 20/30 minutes to my commute. But at least I know that by the end of this year, I-540 opens up, and then early 2007, NC-55 expansion to 4 lanes is complete, and 2008, Davis Drive is expansion to 4 lanes is complete, by 2010, the Western Wake expressway should be open (hopefully), and by the end of the year, US-1 expansion to 6/8 lanes will be complete. So even though there are traffic problems, NC is doing something about it. In PA, you sit in traffic, all the while fuming because you know that it's never going to get better, because they simply do not build or expand roads up there.
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Old 12-12-2006, 08:33 PM
 
9,558 posts, read 26,385,010 times
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Oh how I wish the Bus service was just a little bit better here. I know we have all heard about the light rail that almost was, but I still think that before we tackle such a big project the tools we already ahve should be used to their fullest extent. I know it is impossible to serve every area with the bus system, but Frankly I just don't see how it is a viable option for more than just a small segemnt of the population here.

Today My car was in the repair shop and I needed to find a bus route that I could take home after work from Peace Street Downtown. THis was my first attempt at riding the bus here and I was genuinely excited about it . My excitment quickly faded when I researched the bus routes and schedules and realized that to taking a bus from Peace Street upt to the Bedford area it would take approximately 2.5 hours to make the 14 mile tip home . This would involve switching buses at Traingel Town Center and then being dropped of on Durant Road by Falls River Avenue and then walking 2 miles to my house . Fortunately my car was done befoire the end of the day so I wass able to take a direct TTA bus that transported me very quickly out past the the State Fair Grounds where my Mechanic is located. I was disspapointed to see that even though I was on the Bus at prime rusgh hour time (5pm) and it went from downtown and along the NCSU campus on Western Boulevard, there were less that 12 people on the bus. It ijust does not seem to be utilized! Very sad
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Old 12-12-2006, 09:19 PM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
11,781 posts, read 27,404,378 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NCHomeFinder View Post
hmmm... let me check my crystal ball.....

Okay, the latest I've seen is the beginning of the year. It was supposed to be October, then in November, they said late December, but all the rain pushed it back. So it'll be a month from whenever you're asking, I guess.

Good news is, they're finishing the surfaces over Capital now, so that is usually close to the end. Sunday, they had the whole thing blocked off with traffic going along the shoulder to pave it through the mall exit.

Maybe you could as Santa for I-540 for Christmas!
I'm impressed with your crystal ball...where did you get it? I got mine in Salem, MA! I'm still trying to get it to tell me if home #1 will appreciate more than home #2!!! Vicki
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Old 12-12-2006, 09:24 PM
 
Location: Polish Hill, Pittsburgh, PA
29,608 posts, read 65,584,333 times
Reputation: 15034
Quote:
Originally Posted by jbognar View Post
To ScrantonWilkesBarre:
Speaking as a former resident of NE PA (Marshall's Creek) and a current resident of Raleigh, I can assure you that the roads in NC are MUCH better than PA. At least they're building roads in NC....which isn't something that you can say about PA.
I lived in PA for 12 years, and I can only say that I'm astonished at the incompetence of PENNDOT. Some examples...
- US-22 in Allentown. Here's a highway that wasn't repaired since the 1950's (seriously!), and was horribly congested. They tore it up and rebuilt it, but kept it 4 lanes!?! It was the perfect opportunity to fix a major traffic headache, and they blew it!
- US-209 in Marshall's Creek. This road gets backed up for up to 7 miles! It happens every weekend. It can get backed up the entire distance from Marshall's Creek to Bushkill! PENNDOT has done numerous 'studies' on the problem (starting in the late 1970's), but has never done anything about it. Instead, they simply do more studies because by the time they decide to do anything, they need to redo the studies because they're outdated!
- I-476 in Philadelphia (Blue Route). This road should have been built 50 years ago. When they finally built it, they made it only 4 lanes!!!
- I-99 in the middle of nowhere. It's a huge waste of money that could have been spent in so many other better places.

I can assure you that the roads are sooo much better in NC. For example, I-540 around Raleigh is being built with 6/8 lanes, even though it could probably get by with 4 right now. But they plan for future congestion. 'Bad traffic' here simply does not mean the same thing as 'bad traffic' in PA.

Residents of NC: I wouldn't complain about NC roads....you don't realize how good you have it. I have to travel from Holly Springs to RTP every day, and rush hour may add 20/30 minutes to my commute. But at least I know that by the end of this year, I-540 opens up, and then early 2007, NC-55 expansion to 4 lanes is complete, and 2008, Davis Drive is expansion to 4 lanes is complete, by 2010, the Western Wake expressway should be open (hopefully), and by the end of the year, US-1 expansion to 6/8 lanes will be complete. So even though there are traffic problems, NC is doing something about it. In PA, you sit in traffic, all the while fuming because you know that it's never going to get better, because they simply do not build or expand roads up there.

True. PennDOT is among the most ill-conceived state transportation agencies in the U.S.! Currently, I-81 is at the forefront of everyone's minds and is riling people up on local message boards and making local media headlines because "emergency repairs" on the crumbling bridges near Exit 175 has had this busy link between Scranton and Wilkes-Barre down to ONE LANE in BOTH DIRECTIONS every other day or so for several months now. We're all beginning to ask ourselves "Why can't they just replace the bridges altogether or fix them APPROPRIATELY?" We're given the old sob story about "limited funds." Really? Is that why a multi-mile stretch of State Route 92 between the Falls area of Wyoming County and West Pittston in Luzerne County, an already smooth road, was recently resurfaced at what cost to taxpayers?

As for me, I live in the 'burbs midway between Scranton and Wilkes-Barre and need to access both cities on a regular basis. I live quite literally 1/4 mile from the Exit 175 onramp, which is convenient, but then I end up later than ever from becoming stuck in gridlock due to unscheduled (yet not surprising) bridge repairs. PennDOT can never seem to do anything properly the first time! If and when they re-establish the commuter rail link between Scranton and Wilkes-Barre, I'm hopping on it!
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Old 12-12-2006, 09:29 PM
 
Location: Polish Hill, Pittsburgh, PA
29,608 posts, read 65,584,333 times
Reputation: 15034
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeJaquish View Post
Public venues and destinations have been scattered to the extent that linking them with rail will be financially apocryphal.
We enjoy the 5th most sparsely populated state capitol city in the nation. That is another way of saying, "Sprawl."

At least we don't have the snow, salt, and freeze/thaw cycles you enjoy in that area. Can't say I miss it a bit. Family reunion in Tunkhannock next summer will do for me.

No offense to Raleigh, but I just don't like "sprawl." I'd like to live in the type of neighborhood where you could WALK to just about anything and everything, from work, to your childrens' schools, to church, to restaurants, pubs, nightlife, shopping, movies, etc. (This is why I'm moving into downtown Scranton from this cul-de-sac in a few years---the compactness and walkability attracts me). I've been to Raleigh once before (Way back in 1994), and even then it didn't strike me as a well-defined, easily-navigable, walkable city. I'm not saying that's a "bad" thing; it just makes owning a car all the more ESSENTIAL, and if you're tiring of driving 300+ miles per week (as I am), then you might eventually long to walk someplace again (as I am).

Also, I love winter! So far, Scranton has not yet had its first inch of snow though, which is VERY unusual, and daily highs have been in the 50s. Where's the snow?! I don't want to have to decorate a palm tree on Christmas! LOL!
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Old 12-13-2006, 04:28 AM
 
9,558 posts, read 26,385,010 times
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I think the NBC show "The Office" has ruined my impression of Scranton PA. When I think of Scranton, PA all that comes to minde is a inept paper company and Hooters Restaurants!
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