Category: Transportation / Parking (page 2 of 10)

Transit Makes $en$e Community Summit: What’s in it for Me?

Transit Makes Sense Flyer with reg link oct finalJoin WakeUP Wake County and the Women’s Transportation Seminar of the Triangle for an informative program presenting the direct economic benefits of public transportation investment to business’ bottom line and the local economy.  National, state and local experts will discuss opportunity for return on investment from transit, including expanding the tax base and meeting workforce needs.


  • The Economic case for transit
  • Why business leaders want and need enhanced transit
  • Transit’s contribution to economic success
  • Transit’s value in shaping the future

When: Thursday, November 7th, 4:00 -7:00pm

Where: Marbles Museum, 201 E. Hargett Street, Raleigh

Admission: General Public: $50, DLA Members and WakeUp Supporter $35.  Event registration link.

For more information contact, 919-828-3833

DLA Team’s Downtown Parking Application Wins The NC DataPalooza

As a followup to an earlier post this month, the DLA wants to share that the team behind the parking application, intended to help make parking easier in downtown Raleigh, has won the NC DataPalooza competition.

With a small sum of prize money, the team is planning to continue with working on the prototype and preparing for launch over the next few months.

The team is very motivated about the potential impact it may have on our downtown. We’re also very excited that our application is applicable in many other urban areas and we’re looking into expanding it outside of the triangle.

For more about the application, DLA member Leo Suarez has written about it on his blog.

Parking In Downtown Raleigh May Get Easier Thanks To Open Data

Uncertainty Over Rail Projects Keeps Train Horns Blowing in Downtown Raleigh


Although not well publicized, the city has received a full report regarding the issues associated with creating a rail quiet zone for downtown Raleigh.  While the DLA was briefed that the city was commissioning a feasibility study late last year, we were only able to get our hands on the report a few weeks ago.  This is what we’ve learned . . .



First, here’s the background.

It was way back in June 2009 that the DLA first got involved in advocating with the city of Raleigh to take steps to mitigate train horn noise in downtown Raleigh.  We talked with residents who lived adjacent to the many crossings that require train operators to blow their horns all hours of the day and night.  We met with the city’s Budget & Economic Development Committee in October that year to promote the use of wayside horns to reduce sound levels, and for working with the various government agencies and rail companies to create a a “quiet zone” through the downtown area.  We believe that the DLA’s early involvement likely contributed to the city’s request for the quiet zone feasibility study.

With the prospect of high speed rail, the conversation shifted.

It wasn’t long before all talk of spending money to reduce noise at crossings came to a halt as the high speed rail (SEHSR project) became the focus of conversation.  The easy answer to the issue of train noise disturbance appeared to be a matter of waiting for the quiet afforded by new tracks and grade separated crossings.

We all remember the sometimes heated debate that went on for over a year at public meetings regarding the high speed train route through downtown, and plans for a new regional transit system that included new downtown routes for commuter and light rail projects.

Though there is uncertainty about the future of high speed rail, the answer is still to wait.

Fast forward now to the new Quiet Zone Feasibility Assessment.  It’s several years later, but the uncertainly about the “when” or “if” of the interstate and regional rail projects has never been greater.  Not surprisingly, the report recommends the city “should strongly consider delaying implementation (of a quiet zone) until the timing and certainty of SEHSR implementation is determined”.

DTR Quiet Zone Feasibility Assessment  Existing copy

click to enlarge

The report does offer some interesting information and recommendations on how each of the seven at grade crossings would be treated to eliminate the use of train horns within a downtown quiet zone.  Each of these crossings currently use 2-quadrant gates that require train operators to sound their horns as they approach.  The options to quiet the crossings include the use of 4-quadrant gates, creating a grade separated crossing, or to simply close the street.  Click on the thumbnail image to see an enlarged map showing the location of each of the downtown crossings.

Harrington Street (8 daily trains)

The Harrington Street crossing is located between North and Lane Streets, running directly adjacent to the West at North condo building.  The study recommends the use of a 4-quadrant gate that prevents vehicles and pedestrians from entering the crossing.  However, the DLA has information included in a Triangle Transit presentation from May 2011 that states that this section of Harrington Street (at Lane Street) may need to close to traffic to accommodate a future light rail station.  The possibility of extending Lane Street from Harrington Street to West Street is identified as a means to mitigate traffic problems.

West Street (8 daily trains)

The West Street crossing is located just a few hundred yards south of the Harrington Street crossing, between North and Jones Street.  The report recommends the use of a 4-quadrant gate, but also notes that due to the skew in the tracks the gates could require the closure of the current entrance to the adjacent automotive business that may require the property to be condemned.

Jones Street (12 daily trains)

The Jones Street crossing is located between Glenwood Avenue and West Street, and directly adjacent to the 222 Glenwood condo building along with many popular Glenwood South restaurants.  The SEHSR route would require this crossing to be closed to vehicle traffic, with the acknowledged need to install a bridge for pedestrians to cross the tracks at this active intersection.  Traffic would be diverted to the grade separated crossing at North Street or Hillsborough Street.

Hargett Street (10 daily trains)

Hargett Street has two crossings, one for CSX trains and the other for the Norfolk Southern.  The crossings are both located within the Boylan Wye, between Boylan Avenue and West Street.  As with the Jones Street crossing, the SEHSR route would require this section of Hargett Street be closed to vehicle traffic, and likewise, the use of a bridge to provide a pedestrian connection to West Street and to the new Union Station.  Traffic would be diverted to nearby grade separated crossings at Morgan Street.

Martin Street (4 daily trains)

There is no public street at the Martin Street crossing, which is surrounded by industrial lots, and property owned by Triangle Transit.  Only a low volume of cars cross the tracks to access a parking lot on the west side of the future site of Union Station.  As part of the Union Station design plans, this crossing will be grade separated.

Cabarrus Street (15 daily trains)

The Cabarrus Street crossing is located between Harrington and Dawson Street.  The report recommends the use of a 4-quadrant gate.  However, plans for Union Station which call for the relocation of the nearby Amtrak Station and the extension of West Street could significantly reduce traffic at this intersection.  The report therefore includes an option to use less expensive wayside horns at this crossing, thereby placing it outside the downtown quiet zone area.

What’s next?  

In the early days of the SEHSR project a time frame of 2015 was talked about for the start of high speed trains traveling through the city, rushing between Washington DC and Charlotte.  Today the time frame as noted in the report is “indefinite”.  Along with the lack of any real progress on the Regional Transit System, the uncertainly will continue to push back the day when trains no longer blast their horns through downtown.

We commend the city for doing the study, acknowledging that the day will come when passenger trains bring needed public transit options to our city, and we will see but no longer hear the freight trains.

But the DLA is curious.  Many of us live downtown and have learned to accommodate noise that at one time disturbed our sleep.  Is the train noise like distant sirens that wake visitors, yet pass beneath our consciousness, having become used to the routine?  We acknowledge that living in a city is sometimes a process of learning to live in close proximity with others, for the good and sometimes for the challenging!

Let us know what you think.  Is this still the issue it was in 2009?  Or have you blended into the rhythms of the city, willing to wait for what the future brings?

Designing the Peace Street Corridor: A First Friday (May 3rd) Exhibit

Context MapIn collaboration with the City of Raleigh’s Urban Design Center, Landscape Architecture and Architecture students from the College of Design at North Carolina State University will present their conceptual designs and ideas to revitalize Peace Street from Glenwood Avenue to Person Street.

What: Preview the Designing for Peace Exhibit – Peace Street Corridor

When: May 3rd from 6:00-9:00pm

Where: City Museum located at 220 Fayetteville Street #100 Raleigh

The corridor project will include designs for a new bridge at the intersection of Capital Boulevard and Peace Street, a transit stop (for future light-rail), a 15-acre park along Pigeon House Branch, bus shelters, public art and street renovations.

Students are asking the public to take a few minutes now to answer this survey, so that the results will be available during First Friday opening at City Museum. You are also encouraged to forward the survey link to community groups that might have an interest in the renovations along Peace Street.

Survey link:


For more information contact Carla Radoslovich Delcambre, NCSU Department of Landscape Architecture, Ph: 919.538.8739, email:


Safe Ride Home – Striving to Keep Our Community Safe

In 2007, two friends decided that there was a need for a designated driving service in the Triangle. Though this plan was hatched over multiple beers and lots of laughs, it soon became a very serious commitment. After adding some lawyers into the discussion, Safe Ride Home (SRH) was born in January of 2008. Since then, SRH has provided over 5,000 rides totaling over 54,000 miles to local community members. The company employs drivers, dispatch workers, and a marketing team who feel passionate about working together toward the common goal of providing reasonably priced, fun, and effective designated driving services.

I’m Katy Cordell, the Marketing Director of SRH.  My husband and I have worked for SRH for 18 months and I can say that this job has been one of the most rewarding experiences I have ever had. The pay is okay, the tips are good, and the memories and stories are hilarious. As great as my experience has been it was not until I met with Jim, from DLA, that it dawned on me how amazing this opportunity has been and the huge number of lives that we have potentially saved.

SRH works on a pretty simple model. We take reservations via the internet, text message, or phone. When you call us we assign a team to pick you up. Our teams consist of a “driver” and a “chaser”. Our team will reach out to you to ask where you are parked and what you are driving. The team will arrive promptly and your adventure will begin! The driver will ask you to sign a contract and will then drive you home in your own car! When you arrive home, you can pay the driver with cash or credit. Then you go inside and get some rest and our driver heads out to their next call with the chaser that has followed you and the driver to your final location.

The service is available 7 days per week and is reasonably priced at just $3 per mile and a $10 delivery fee. Our drivers are experienced and are sure to make you laugh during your ride home. We are even experts at locating your car in the huge number of parking garages in downtown and navigating the busy streets of Raleigh.

Try the service out and spread the word. Remember, it is not okay to drink and drive and there is now an affordable, easy alternative!

SRH Logo - FinalSafe Ride Home, LLC

(919) 520-4496

1-800- 488-8150




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