Background and Context
The NC 54 Corridor Study is an in-depth review of the 20+ mile stretch of NC 54 between Old Fayetteville Road in Carrboro and I-85 in Graham. The two-lane roadway is regionally significant as it is one of the few east-west corridors in the area and carries an average of 6,000 to 15,000 vehicles per day. Traffic congestion on the corridor, which is higher than would be expected from the daily level of traffic, is amplified by inadequate access management, heavy turning conflicts, and substantial truck volumes. The roadway also traverses urban, suburban, industrial and agricultural land uses, which makes designing a roadway that accommodates the needs of all users an important challenge.
The goal of this study is to develop a long-term vision for this corridor, including the NC 54 roadway itself and the surrounding communities. This vision is comprehensive, addressing preservation of the areas character, economic opportunity and vitality, environmental sensitivity, and transportation improvements for all users (e.g., drivers, freight, pedestrians, bicyclists).
The study team will review previously planned widening by 2023. We will also consider lower-cost alternatives for more immediate benefits with minimal disruption to existing residents, businesses, the environment, and long-range plans.
An integrated strategy of short-term traffic operational improvements, long-term infrastructure investments, and coordinated land use and market development strategies will be identified to preserve and enhance environmental resources and the economic vitality of the corridor and the surrounding communities it supports.
NC 54 Corridor Study Area
The study is scheduled for approximately twelve months, with draft project proposals expected in the summer of 2018. The study incorporates four public events, which are critical opportunities for citizens to provide input on transportation problems, potential solutions and priorities, important community features to be preserved and enhanced, and outcomes to be avoided. The study team will also meet regularly with key stakeholders to help guide the studys consultants.
Phase 1 Existing Conditions and Market & Economic Assessment - Fall 2017
Phase 2 First Community Meeting and Long-Range Forecasts - Early 2018
Phase 3 Second Community Meeting and Draft Report Spring 2018
Phase 4 Draft Report Summer 2018, and Final Report Fall 2018
Data Collection Underway The study team has completed traffic counts (including pedestrian, bicycle, motorcycles, buses and truck volumes) at critical intersections along the corridor. Data on speeds and variations in traffic by time of day and direction are being analyzed, along with five years of vehicle crash statistics. Field observations and public comments will augment these data to provide additional context.