Municipography, Capital Boulevard and a Transit Tax

Municipography is a summary of current issues going through the Raleigh City Council and other municipal departments in the city. The point is to try to deliver any video, photos, and text associated with the discussions happening at City Hall or elsewhere. Since this is a downtown Raleigh blog, the focus is on the center of the city.

I recommend email readers click through to the website to see the embedded video.

This week, there was action at both the city and county level. Heated comments took place at the Wake County Commission meeting over a tax increase that would support expanded transit options in the county. Raleigh city staff presented the Capital Boulevard Corridor Study, a vision to remake the area from Peace Street all the way to I-440.

Capital Boulevard Corridor Study

City staff presented a general overview of the Capital Boulevard Corridor Study as well as some of the data gathered and citizen feedback. After some light conversation, the city council moved it to the Comprehensive Planning Committee for further review. An endorsement of the plan is needed before August to align with the NCDOT’s plans to design new bridges for Capital Boulevard at Peace Street and Wade Avenue.

Councilors briefly mentioned the topic of the at-grade intersection at Capital and Peace so I expect more conversation about it at the committee meeting. Still, city staff has added some excellent reading as an appendix to the corridor study and breaks down the metrics of measuring an intersection’s effectiveness. They explain the advantages and disadvantages of each interchange design including one type of at-grade proposal.

Wake County 1/2 Cent Sales Tax For Transit

On Monday:

In a 4-to-3 vote along party lines, members of the Wake County Commission Monday turned down a proposal to consider a transit plan and a half-cent sales tax referendum for this November’s ballot.

Commissioner Erv Portman presented the motion, at the very end of a meeting during which more than 20 people spoke in favor of putting the referendum on this November’s ballot.

Although Monday’s meeting agenda included no mention of the sales tax for an expanded transit plan in the Triangle, the topic dominated the public comment period.

Commission Votes Against Debate on Transit Sales Tax via Raleigh Public Record.

To hear/watch the public comment period, jump over to the Wake Board of Commissioners meeting agenda for June 18, 2012.

The needed 1/2 cent sales tax increase to secure a source of funding before transit in Wake County can be expanded has now been kicked down the road again. Durham County has approved it and is waiting for Orange and Wake Counties to do the same before they start collecting.

Orange County votes on the 1/2 cent sales tax increase this November.

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  1. Council members better wake up. Spend the extra money to make Peace at grade level. That rendering on Link Pece site is EXCELLENT. DOT shoulkd NOT be a final decision maker for ANY City project that wants to make neighborhoods more accessible and user friendly. NC DOT has to be (of all the states I have lived in prior to my 22 years in Raleigh), the most laughable group. ”

    “If they get away with puttting a new overpass over Peace Street, each city council member and Wake County Commissioners name should be on a plaque (bigger than life)stating how THEY prevented productive progress linking this Peace street to downtown and the lack of vision they had for this project and neighborhood.

    This cities vision is getting very old and pathetic (ODOM, BONER, WARD and Coble, wow, time to move to Florida – this is a high tech, young city, your vision is old and outdated – even Boner for a younger guy and in his 40’s)

  2. Although I’m in favor of a grade intersection at Peace and Capital; I think citing the reason as a good looking (and unofficial) rendering is ridiculous.

    After an analysis with all criteria, if they determine that a bridge is needed, then so be it. My problem with their analysis though, is that their assumption was to continue Capital Blvd functioning as it does today (as an expressway). It is this basic assumption that I take issue with.

    If we are going through all this work to improve the area, why just replace it with the same thing except with a few buildings bulldozed to make a park and a few U-turns? It’s just more of the same rather than thinking outside the box.

    Yes, the proposal as laid out should definitely have a bridge over Peace, but if you create a street grid system and provide more alternative routes, then that changes the traffic pattern and might make the grade intersection more feasible.

    I saw an interesting presentation of the topic on the internet: google “freeway removal and waterfront redevelopment”. Most cases the DOT did not agree with the plan of action for the cities, but it turned out successful anyway.

  3. Agree.

    The rendering is nice but not, IMO, a likely depiction of what such an intersection would look like. For one, the entire area northwest of Peace/Capital is a 100 year floodplain, and not likely to be developed ever. If you want my best guess of what it would look like, take a look at the intersection of Wake Forest and Six Forks (by the Costco.) I truly think that this is a WORSE outcome for pedestrians and development than a well-designed overpass/interchange.

    If you want to talk about completely tearing out Capital Boulevard south of Peace Street and replacing it with a grid, then maybe I can get on board, but I just don’t see how that can happen without spending hundreds of millions of dollars to buy property, relocate railroads, etc.

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