Traffic

Traffic jam
epSos via Flickr, Creative Commons

Increasingly congested roadways are worrying officials in Raleigh.

The City Council has submitted a "wish list" of road improvement projects to the North Carolina Department of Transportation. It includes a proposal to add lanes to I-540 on the north side of the city.

The council doesn't expect the state to fund the project, so it suggested paying for the 108 million-dollar expansion by setting up tolls on the roadway.

Councilwoman Mary-Ann Baldwin says she knows tolls would not be popular, but she thinks breaking up traffic jams would be.

Traffic jam
epSos via Flickr, Creative Commons

Cheaper gas prices and a recovering economy could mean more people hitting the road for the Thanksgiving holiday this week.

AAA Carolinas says gas is $.07 cheaper than last year, but almost $.30 less-expensive than it was Labor Day weekend. Spokeswoman Angela Daley says 36,000 more people plan to travel by car for the holiday this year.  She says the increase in traffic is most likely a sign of economic recovery.

One of ten posters Raleigh has distributed to residential areas where the city says drivers are speeding.
City of Raleigh

The city of Raleigh has started a pilot program designed to discourage drivers from speeding in residential areas. 

City staff members are distributing yard signs, posters and advertisements along five roads, where they say drivers are more likely to speed.  They include areas of Quail Hollow Drive, Wide River Drive, Oakwood Avenue, Clark Avenue and Ridge Road.

Ramp meter
David Levinson / Flickr Creative Commons

North Carolina's Department of Transportation says it might put traffic signals on Interstate entrance ramps to help relieve traffic jams in the Triangle. 

The lights known as ramp meters allow one car at a time to enter the freeway in order to ease the merging process during rush hours.  NCDOT engineer Battle Whitley says they could help traffic in areas where it tends to slow down during the morning and evening commutes.

Traffic jam
epSos via Flickr, Creative Commons

As the summer begins to wind down, lots of folks will be hitting the road and getting in last trips to favorite water recreational areas this Labor Day weekend. Troopers will be joining forces with officers from the state Wildlife Resources Commission to keep roadways and waterways safe.  First Sergeant Jeff Gordon from the state Highway Patrol says last Labor Day weekend 18 people lost their lives and more than 400 were injured on North Carolina roads.

Traffic Jam
Texas A&M Urban Mobility Report

Drivers in the Triangle spend less time dealing with traffic jams and congestion than most other metropolitan areas of a similar size. Texas Transportation Institute recently released its annual Urban Mobility Report.

The red-light camera program at select intersections in Cary could be eliminated over multiple concerns, among them complaints the system is wrongfully issuing citations. The system is operated by the company Redflex. It collects nearly 90-percent of the revenue from traffic violations captured by the cameras. Town Manager Ben Shivar says local officials have have been less than impressed by the company's performance.

Some Triangle bus riders won't be slowed by heavy traffic thanks to a pilot program starting today. 

Gurnal Scott: The Bus on Shoulder System, or BOSS, is up and running in 12 other states. Triangle Transit is working with the state DOT to find the best way to keep buses moving when traffic on a section of I-40 in Durham County slows down or stops.

Brad Schultz:  One of the things that frustrates transit riders the most is delays in traffic and when they cannot get to their location on time.

The summertime travel season gets underway today. Officials at the State Department of Transportation are suspending most road works for the Memorial Day weekend. Tom Crosby works for AAA Carolinas. He says nearly a million drivers will be on North Carolina roads and highways this weekend, partly because gas prices have dropped from this time last year.

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