“A ticking time bomb of gridlock is on the horizon,” as road construction funding fails to keep up with population and employment growth, according to Ed Johnson, Executive Director of the Capitol Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO).
The sprawl that characterizes Wake County’s growth to date only adds to the problem. The average vehicle miles traveled per day is increasing faster than population or employment, which means residents are asked to pay ever-increasing amounts of money for roads and service that nonetheless keep getting worse and worse. Meanwhile, air quality suffers as cars stay on the roads longer distances and, because of congestion, go slower. Moreover the lack of access to transit in Wake County is preventing individuals on low incomes from accessing jobs.
Regional leaders and planners have acknowledged the need for a comprehensive plan. A regional transportation plan has been developed. Durham and Orange Counties are moving forward with voter approved funding for enhanced plans. However, Wake County remains stagnant and may miss the train if they do not move on transportation planning soon.
Recent news and reports on regional and local transportation challenges:
Transit Signals, News & Observer, November 10, 2012
Connecting Workers to Jobs through Reliable and Accessible Public Transit, Tazra Mitchell, NC Justice Center, November 2012
Road work in Raleigh, on Beltline to cause big headaches, News & Observer, June 13, 2012
Run them and they will ride by Steve Ford, News & Observer, May 20, 2012