Transportation

More North Carolinians are carpooling to work. Jeff Tiberii has more.

Jeff Tiberii: Last year 27-hundred people signed up to be part of the states Share the Ride NC program. The Department of Transportation says there are now more than 31-thousand people who car pool to and from work.

Jennifer Garifo: A big advantage is just a relief on stress; especially people that are in urban areas, sitting by yourself in the car, stop and go traffic.

Commuters in Winston-Salem board a P.A.R.T. express bus bound for Greensboro
Jeff Tiberii

The Piedmont Authority for Regional Transportation is having its busiest year ever. The bus service connecting Winston-Salem, Greensboro, High Point and many smaller communities in the Triad is 9 years old. Yet despite strong ridership P.A.R.T. is in financial trouble.

Voters in Raleigh approved transportation and affordable housing bonds by about two-thirds of the vote.

Triangle Expressway Map
ncturnpike.org

Drivers can start buying electronic transponders for the Triangle Expressway Tuesday, October 11th. The transponders are a means of paying tolls easily. They come in time for the opening of the first section of the Triangle Expressway in mid-December. That's an extension of the Durham Freeway into Research Triangle Park. There will be two transponders to choose from. One is for North Carolina travel. That one will cost $5. The other includes states up and down the coast and is $20. David Joyner is Executive Director of the North Carolina Turnpike Authority.

Several dozen supporters staged a small rally this morning to support the passage of two separate city-wide bonds on the ballot for next week. If passed, the bonds would go to improving transportation and low-income housing. They would total about $56 million and cost the average homeowner about $17 a year. Outgoing mayor Charles Meeker is hoping the historically strong support for bonds in Raleigh continues.

Interstate 95 map
i95highway.com

State transportation officials are looking at ways of raising revenue to modernize Interstate 95. One thing they're looking at is tolling the highway. That's being considered up and down the coast. Greer Beaty with the Department of Transportation says a large-scale study of I-95 started early last year. She says there are a number of things to consider.

The State Department of Transportation has been working on a high speed rail proposal for downtown Raleigh for several years.  Today the public is invited to see an updated plan at the Raleigh convention Center. 

Work crews are making changes to freeways in R-T-P as they build the new Triangle Expressway. The short segment of the Durham Freeway south of I-40 closed for good this week. That section of Highway 147 provided a quick connection to T-W Alexander Drive in south Durham. It will eventually be part of the Triangle Expressway, a toll road running along the west side of Raleigh from Morrisville to Holly Springs. D-O-T spokeswoman Holly Allen says drivers going south on the Durham Freeway should take a detour via I-40.

The town of Chapel Hill is cracking down on residents who illegally park their cars in their front yards. Town officials say citation officers will start giving out tickets for those who violate the town ordinance at the beginning of next month. The issue came to light after residents reported widespread violations in the Pine Knolls and Northside neighborhoods. Rae Buckley of the Chapel Hill planning department says those areas are popular among UNC students who rent houses. But she says lawn parking causes concern for permanent residents.

Transportation issues will be the focus of a series of public meetings this week in Durham, Chapel Hill and Hillsborough. State and local officials are trying to deal with clogged roads and highways with plenty of growth still to come. Andrew Henry is a transportation planner for the Durham, Chapel Hill, Carrboro Metropolitan Planning Organization. He says there are at least two answers to the problem.

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