540 on-ramp signals pass six month milestone
It has been just over six months since NCDOT activated North Carolina’s first on-ramp signals on the I-540 Raleigh outer beltway in North Raleigh. Since that time, NCDOT has modified how it operates the signals to improve flow and reduce delays on the on-ramps, the adjoining side streets, and 540 itself. While on-ramp signals do not create new capacity, they enable freeways to minimize or delay the onset of congestion by preventing a long line of waiting vehicles from entering a crowded freeway at once. NCDOT and NC State are compiling additional information on the performance of I-540 on-ramp signals as we speak – we will share more information as it’s available.

Raleigh Union Station to be dedicated on Monday 
A regional transportation project several years in the making will become an increasing reality on Monday morning, when Raleigh Union Station opens after a facility dedication ceremony. The capital’s new train station is a collaborative effort of many partners including NCDOT, the City of Raleigh, GoTriangle, the NC Railroad Company, Norfolk Southern, CSX Transportation, and certainly the federal government which provided substantial grants to help fund the station. Union Station will serve as the hub for existing Amtrak service as well as future regional commuter rail and intercity higher speed rail service. Bus routes including future bus rapid transit will also be served at or adjacent to the station. While the facility opens to the public on Monday, some final testing of tracks and platforms will occur during the new few weeks, with the remaining station area railroad construction work anticipated to be complete by late summer. Kudos to each of these key partners, and congratulations to our entire region!

Northwest Arkansas, Central North Carolina – different, yet similar
Last week I had an opportunity to travel to northwest Arkansas – a polycentric region that is less populous than but not terribly different than the Triangle area – and discuss transportation investments for a growing region. The “NWA” area is adding more than 30 people per day from a much smaller population base, so their growth rate is probably even higher than ours. Their community asked very thoughtful – and very familiar – questions about accelerating potential bus and rail investments, enhancing economic growth, and improving quality of life at both a local and regional level. It is always a pleasure to visit a growing community that cares so deeply about its future, and it is an honor to work in our beloved Triangle area as we work together to move our region forward.

Thank you for your investment in enhanced regional mobility through your membership in the RTA business coalition!    

Let’s get moving,

Joe

Joe Milazzo II, PE
RTA Executive Director