The poll was taken for the Regional Transportation Alliance — judge accordingly, but the questions seem reasonably straightforward. Traffic congestion is NOT the number one concern in the Triangle. That said, three out of four favor a rail-transit system for commuting and/or a combination of rail and better-bus transit. More than half are even prepared to pay for it via a 1/2-cent sales tax for transit. (That last figure dropped from almost 57 percent to barely 51 percent when the ante was upped to 3/4-cent for better transit AND schools.)

‘‘Nearly 60% of voters in the western Triangle counties of Durham and Orange would be willing to support a half-cent sales tax to improve transit offerings,” said Paul Fallon of Fallon Research and Communications of Columbus, OH. “While the support is conceptual since the respondents were not reacting to a specific package of bus and rail investments, that is still strong support given the ongoing sluggishness of the economy and the presence of the existing temporary sales tax.”

(More from the RTA below the fold.)


Triangle Transit is holding public forums (workshops) beginning next week to explain its latest thinking and get public input on what a regional transit plan should look like and where it should go. The forums are part of a process required before the TTA can apply for federal funding under the New Starts grants category. The schedule for the forums is here.

I kept hearing that the new plan would have more station stops than previous plans. Yup. I count 16 in the Orange-Durham corridor, some of which would be potential stops for a Bus Rapid Transit system rather than light-rail stops. In the Wake light-rail corridor plan, 20 stops are listed.

A possible Durham-Wake commuter-rail scheme running from downtown Durham to a station at Greenfield Parkway, southeast of Garner, would use some of the same stations as the light-rail system, but not all of them.

* commuter-rail = less frequency, moves faster, fewer stations, service mainly at rush hours;

* light-rail = greater frequency, moves slower, stations every mile or so, service at all/most hours;

I was told that this list is subject to change right up to the first forum — and may well change later as a result of the forums. With those caveats, here t’is:

Potential Rail Stops: Triangle Regional Transit Plan

Orange-Durham corridor: (looking at BRT and LR)
• Mason Farm
• Hamilton
• Friday Center/Meadwomont/Woodmont
• Leigh Village Station
• Gateway
• Patterson
• South Square A or B
• LaSalle
• Duke Medical
• 9th St
• Durham
• Buchanan
• Dillard
• Allston Ave

Wake LRT Corridor: 18 miles, 20 stations, 15 vehicles, 29-32 mph ave, 34-41 minutes travel time, 4350 park and ride spaces, 51 bus bays
Stations: (about 1 mile apart, all on the NCRR corridor)
• Cary Parkway
• NW Maynard/Cary
• Downtown Cary/Depot — shared w/commuter and Amtrak
• NE Maynard
• West Raleigh (just east of I 40, NC 54) — commuter rail and large park and ride
• Jones Franklin/Western
• State Fairgrounds
• Gorman/Hillsborough St./Meredith College
• NCSU/Dan Allen
• NCSU/Pullen Rd. – commuter rail
• West Morgan St.
• Downtown Raleigh — commuter rail too; 2 alternatives: follow Morgan St. to Harrington St or West St. (will operate as a streetcar for about 1/3 of mile, where cars can travel along with LR) OR go over Boylan St. Bridge (creating a Union Station w/ high speed rail) OR going towards South St/Amtrak station and then north up Salisbury
• Government
• Peace St. (paralleling Atlantic)
• Whittaker Mill
• Six Forks/Atlantic Ave.
• New Hope Church Rd (between Atlantic and Old Wake Forest Rd)
• Millbrook Rd.
• Spring Forest
• Then either to NE Regional Station (where 540 goes over rail corridor) OR to Triangle Town Center (big park and ride)

(Boylan Bridge — until agreement reached with railroad, have to show only option of a bridge OVER Boylan Bridge, but hope to go under it)

Durham-Wake Commuter Corridor: (looking at commuter rail; some overlap with LRT stations)

37 miles, 12 stations, 15 vehicles, 43 mph ave., 51 min travel time, 4400 Park and Ride, 40 bus bays
Stations: from Durham to Greenfield Parkway southeast of Garner