Member Briefing: January 15, 2021

Here is a brief weekly update from the RTA business coalition — the voice of the regional business community on transportation.

A question for you – about returning to work
Our RTA Steering Committee and RTA Leadership Team will be meeting during the next several weeks to kick-off our advocacy efforts for 2021. One question that is on the mind of our lead volunteers, and the entire regional business community, is the issue of “return to office” (RTO). If you are able to do so, please email Natalie Ridout, RTA policy and member engagement director, with whatever you can speak to re: your company’s RTO plans, timetables, contingencies, potential hybrid arrangements, etc. We recognize that things remain fluid, so anything you can share is fine. If possible, send her a quick note by close of business this coming Thursday, January 21.

Interstate 87 – a renewed push, and an elevated partnership
This week, the NC East Alliance economic development organization held a working group meeting on the I-87 corridor. I provided opening remarks, speaking of the history of RTA’s engagement with I-87, which has become our first north-south primary Interstate in Wake County, and our future Interstate linkage to I-95 north. We have been focused on this corridor for a while, and we have done so in concert with our friends in northeastern North Carolina and coastal Virginia. It will take time, but working together, we will make this linkage a reality. More in this week’s Thursday Thoughts at 3 blog.

I-40 Transit Priority Study underway
RTA has commissioned a pre-feasibility study of the potential for creating an enhanced transit priority shoulder on I-40, our region’s most important freeway. RTA Leadership Team member AECOM is focused on analyzing the opportunity and requirements for expanding the left shoulder, adjacent to the median, and providing for transit priority use at moderate speed (35 – 45 MPH) during congested periods. A particular benefit would be to provide improved transit connectivity from Chapel Hill and Orange County to the rest of the Triangle area including RTP, Durham County, and Wake County. Kudos to AECOM for their work on this initiative, which is a natural complement to the FAST study that will be concluding this winter, as well as the ongoing commuter rail initiative. We look forward to receiving and acting upon the findings when ready over the next few months.

Your membership in RTA provides the strategic approach and advocacy needed to accelerate mobility for our region. Thank you for your investment!

Let’s get moving,


Joe Milazzo II, PE
RTA Executive Director

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