Transportation

Politics & Government
8:44 am
Fri May 16, 2014

NCDOT Spending Targets Roadway Congestion

The state Strategic Transportation Investments law allows NCDOT to allocate revenue for projects based on data-driven scoring and local input.
Credit NCDOT

The North Carolina Department of Transportation has ranked 3,100 proposed transportation projects. They're all vying for a chunk of the $15 billion expected to be allocated in the 2015 Transportation Improvement Program.

NCDOT's Chief Deputy Secretary Nick Tennyson said the department prioritized projects that would alleviate serious, ongoing traffic congestion. For that reason, many of the higher ranked projects are in the Triangle and Charlotte areas.

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Business & Economy
8:52 am
Fri April 4, 2014

GPS Spying? Odometer Fees? NCDOT Considers A Mileage Tax

NCDOT is looking for alternative revenue sources to cover road repairs and upgrades needed to accommodate a rapidly-growing population.
Credit Dave DeWitt

North Carolina's Department of Transportation is considering taxing drivers by the mile to help pay for road construction and upgrades. As cars become more efficient, the gas tax is becoming a less effective revenue source.

The department's Funding and Appropriations Strategies committee – or FAST – has been meeting with leaders and researchers across the state to hear concerns about population growth and potential solutions for insufficient infrastructure.

NC State researchers suggested a revenue model using annual odometer checks or GPS technology to tax motorists.

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The State of Things
11:11 am
Wed March 12, 2014

The Dixie Highway And How The South Was Built

Dixie Highway Road Building and the Making of the Modern South, 1900 to 1930
Credit uncpress.unc.edu / UNC Press

Professor and author Tammy Ingram talks about her new book, 'Dixie Highway: Road Building and The Making of the Modern South 1900-1930

    

Before the 20th century, Southern roads were little more than rubble and dirt. Traveling from county to county was difficult and state to state was near impossible. The Dixie Highway, constructed in 1915, shifted control and funding of road regulations from local government to state and federal authorities. 

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Business & Economy
8:55 am
Thu February 27, 2014

Durham-Chapel Hill Light Rail Project: Where Those Rails Might Go

Federal regulators have given the Triangle Transit Authority the green light to begin developing a light rail line between Chapel Hill and East Durham.
Credit Triangle Transit Authority

The Federal Transit Authority (FTA) has given the green-light to begin the first steps of a 17-mile light rail project connecting Durham and Orange Counties.

The decision authorizes Triangle Transit to begin development on the project, by studying the potential environmental impact of two proposed rail routes.

Triangle Transit has put together this video "fly-through" of the proposed light rail route:

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Triangle Transit
5:23 pm
Mon February 24, 2014

Triangle Transit Is Filming A Soap Opera On Its Busses

A still from the online soap opera, As The Bus Stops

Erika dashes on to the 36-seat passenger bus. She's exasperated, but remarkably well put together. She's young, and afraid.

"Prescott... I'm late," she says, her hand gripping a rail for balance.

"... No you're not." He replies. "With the GoLive Real-Time Arrival System, you'll never be late for the bus again!"

"No..." she says. "I mean... I'm late."

Also, Prescott has an identical twin, Sebastian, who might be the father.

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The State of Things
11:36 am
Tue December 10, 2013

DOT Secretary And SELC Director Debate Bonner Bridge

SELC's Derb Carter (left) and NC DOT's Tony Tata in the WUNC Durham Studios for The State of Things. Engineer Robin Copley adjusts the microphones.
Credit Carol Jackson / WUNC

Derb Carter, director of the Chapel Hill office of the Southern Environmental Law Center and Tony Tata, Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Transportation discuss the Bonner Bridge controversy

The North Carolina Department of Transportation closed the Bonner Bridge last week, leaving Hatteras residents with few options for transportation to and from the mainland. In the wake of the closing, politicians have accused environmentalists of delaying construction of a replacement bridge. Activists say the blame is misplaced and the Department’s delays are at fault. 

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Transportation
8:10 am
Tue November 12, 2013

Wake Transit Plan Gets First Public Look

A 14-mile light rail line is part of Triangle Transit's proposal for Wake County.
Credit Triangle Transit Authority

Commissioners in Wake County are holding their first public discussion about a plan for expanded bus and light rail services.

The board meets Tuesday morning with three transit experts from outside the state.  It's the county's first public meeting about the plan, which Triangle Transit Authority presented in 2011.  Commissioners have declined to bring it up for discussion since then. 

Commissioner Paul Coble says he wants a second opinion.

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Politics & Government
5:50 pm
Fri November 8, 2013

NC Department Of Transportation Won’t Give Local Governments More Input On Project Planning

Credit Dave DeWitt

The State Board of Transportation reiterated on Thursday its decision to lower local governments' voice on spending state transportation dollars.

The 19-member board voted unanimously to split localites' input on projects with the analysis of state transportation engineers who oversee the department's 14 divisions, said chairman Ned Curran. 

“I just can’t accept that one party has better knowledge than the division engineer because this is what division engineers do for a living,” Curran said.

A law proposed and passed by the state legislature this year, called the Strategic Mobility Formula, said the Department of Transportation's analysis would account for 70 percent of the decision on regional projects and 50 percent on local projects. Local input -- including views from metropolitan planning organizations and elected officials -- would account for the remaining 30 and 50 percent.

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Science & Technology
5:11 am
Thu November 7, 2013

Duke Technology Could Yield Quicker Airport Security Checks

Credit redlegs21 via Flickr, Creative Commons

Researchers at Duke University are developing radio wave scanners that could dramatically increase the speed at which travelers are checked at security points in airports.

The scanners, which researchers say could be tested in as soon as 12 months for airport use, were one of the developing technologies that scientists showed three North Carolina congressmen in a tour yesterday of laboratories at Duke’s Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering.

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The State Of Things
11:40 am
Fri October 25, 2013

Bike Fatalities Raise Concerns About Road Safety

A panel discussion on bicycle and pedestrian safety

Two local residents, Ivin Scurlock, 41,  and Alexandra Simou, 40, lost their lives in a hit-and-run incident near Southern Village last month.  North Carolina has one of the worst rates for bicycle and pedestrian fatalities in the country.  

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