Project Update

On June 5, 2018, City Council scheduled a public hearing in which the Six Forks Road Corridor Study Report and its attendant Comprehensive Plan amendments CP-5-17 were heard. Following the hearing, City Council unanimously voted in favor to adopt the study report and Comprehensive Plan amendments.
 

Next Steps:

  • Coordinate with Department of Transportation and Engineering Services to implement Phase 1 of a capital improvement project for Six Forks Road, as identified in the study report. Phase 1 includes infrastructure improvements for the portion of Six Forks Road between Rowan Street and Lynn Road.

  • The design of Phase 1 improvements is expected to take between 18-24 months. The City plans to select a design and engineering consultant through a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) process in the first quarter of 2019, with a project kickoff shortly thereafter. The design process will include multiple opportunities for public input.

  • Funding for the design of Phase 1 improvements was included as part of the 2013 Transportation Bond. Funding for right-of-way acquisition and construction for Phase 1 was included as part of the 2017 Transportation Bond.

  • Work with the Department of Transportation to prioritize and acquire CIP and other sources of funding to implement Phases 2 and 3 of the Six Forks Road capital project identified in the study. These phases would include improvements for Six Forks Road between Rowan Street and Ramblewood Drive, including bicycle and pedestrian improvements for the bridge over Interstate 440.

  • Surveying will begin in the second quarter of 2019 with community engagement in the fall of 2019.

 Official Position: Six Forks Corridor Plan

After starting the process with the City of Raleigh in 2012 to begin developing a plan for the

busy corridor, we are excited to arrive at a point where a thorough study has been conducted.

The city leadership and staff involved, along with important feedback from residents and

stakeholders combined with the professional design and transportation consultants have

produced a robust and informative study well positioned to provide clear alternatives for the

future of Six Forks Road. 

After reviewing the Guiding Principals of the visioning and briefing documents created as part

of this process, and examining exhaustively the options laid out in the study the MRA has

concluded that the option successfully delivering the guiding principals with the best financial

efficiency is the 6-lane or "goldilocks' option. 

RATIONALE: (In order of Corridor Goals)

Improve Traffic Flow: The corridor's 9 different cross-sections and widths ranging from

52 - 120' make navigation difficult for vehicular and bus flow. Some points along the corridor

carry almost 50,000 cars a day and 80% of the corridor is over-capacity. The capacity of a

6-lane urban section is roughly 50,000 vehicle trips per day - keeping us within capacity until

2040. Typical capacity of a 4-lane urban section is roughly 26,000 vehicle trips per day, which this corridor already exceeds. 

The levels of service (wait time) degrade from existing conditions (instead of improving) with the

4-lane option, for all but one intersection - Loft lane, due to the fact that this intersection will get a traffic signal installed (included in both plans).

Environmental Sensitivities: Both plans weave in additional environmental impact on the corridor

experience. The 4-lane option parkway streetscape dimensions for medians are no longer adequate for

large trees, but plantings of some type will be possible in the 4'-7' medians. The Urban parkway sections

have reduced medians and plantings as well. Both options afford better stormwater treatment than currently

exists. 

Connectivity: Reorganized connectivity with medians and enhanced crosswalks create a predictable road

scape for motorist and pedestrians. Reducing curb cuts and access points will occur in both plans, creating standardized and predictable connections. 

Multi-Modal Accommodations: According to the consultants transportation analysis the existing Right of Way dimension is too narrow to allow for its expansion into a multimodal facility that includes adequate space for

bicycles and pedestrians. We agree and support the additional right-of-way required to create a safe and viable pedestrian, bicycle and transit experience. Highly visible crosswalks with pedestrian refuges, standardized signals, reduction of right-turn lanes, and better alignment of lanes and shelters will enhance the bike, pedestrian and

transit experience. Bus travel will be easier with simplified cross-sections and this options provides minimum

space for future BRT or rail.

Safety: 

Creating a standard lane size, expanding the corridor width to accommodate a growing capacity, and enhancing transit

usage will be critical to producing a safe Six Forks experience. Cyclists will be safer on their own 5' elevated facility, as will pedestrians on separated sidewalks, and when crossing the street the planted medians will provide a refuge. Additionally

getting rid of the right turn lanes that drivers often cruise right thru will help pedestrians feel safer. Vehicular safety will be improved with the elimination of the middle 'island lane' in which many crashes take place. 

Project Cost Benefits Analysis:

Expending $37 million for the 4-lane plan, ignores both traffic capacity and intersection levels of service and is not good

policy or usage of tax payer money. Implementing the 6-lane option, while costing $7 million more, eases congestion

(#1 priority of the plan) while establishing superb multi-modal amenities, addressing safety and does so utilizing environmental sensitive strategies.

© 2019 Midtown Raleigh Alliance, Inc.

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