Skip to comments.Area's transportation future promising on all fronts (Greensboro, NC).
Posted on 08/25/2018 8:17:18 PM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks
You can sum up the Greensboro areas biggest transportation news in several generations with two words: Urban Loop.
Set for completion by 2022 when the last of the Greensboro Urban Loops remaining two legs are finished the projects potential impact is hard to overstate. It will mark the end for a legacy of planning, debate, study and construction that harkens back to the late 1940s.
The Urban Loop is probably a once-in-a-lifetime project, says Adam Fischer, director of the Greensboro Department of Transportation. I dont see any project ahead thats quite on that scale.
Spanning 44 miles when completed at a cost of more than $1 billion, the Urban Loop is such a massive project that its difficult to quantify what gains in industry and population it will bring in years to come.
Fischer said that in the immediate future, many of Greensboros major, new road initiatives will tie into the loop to handle increased traffic flow and whatever other growth the future might bring.
Such related road projects include improvements to the accident-prone stretch of Interstate 40 in southeast Greensboro known as Death Valley, and to sections of U.S. 29 to the Urban Loops north and to U.S. 70 east of town.
On the Urban Loops western fringe, the state Department of Transportation recently opened the newest section of Interstate 73 toward the Virginia line, a project that included a new taxiway bridge at Piedmont Triad International Airport that should open up areas for development by companies with a need for aviation access.
But theres more to transportations future than highway projects. The area boasts a growing network of local and regional transit systems that include those run separately by Greensboro, High Point and Winston-Salem, all tying into a connector service operated by the Piedmont Authority for Regional Transportation.
Greensboro is leading the way in transitioning to a fleet entirely powered by electric engines, which are expected to make drastic cuts in bus pollution, noise and operating costs. Greensboro Transit Authority has 10 battery-powered buses scheduled for delivery in late 2018.
Meanwhile, the authority is putting finishing touches on its Mobility Greensboro 2040 plan that envisions more routes and more buses so that riders encounter the shortest possible wait times.
Of course, Greensboros first claim to transportation fame arrived via the railroad that put it on the map in the late 19th century. Although train service declined through the last half of the 20th century, it has received a shot in the arm lately through increased passenger routes fostered by a partnership between Amtrak and state transportation authorities.
Most recently, improvements allowing for high-speed rail travel have been made along much of the corridor between Raleigh and Charlotte, and more are planned to the north.
Local government also has plenty to offer those who prefer reaching their destination on foot or bike. Greensboro has adopted an aggressive BiPed Plan to better accommodate bicyclists and pedestrians over the next five years.
Officials envision building more than 100 miles of sidewalks and 75 miles of bike lanes by 2024.
Prominent among these plans, the Downtown Greenway partnership between city government and nonprofit Action Greensboro expects to complete a 4-mile walking and biking trail around the center city within the next two years.
And transportation planners increasingly are taking bicyclists into consideration when roads get major do-overs. Fischer said, for example, that the current, 3.5-mile widening of Horse Pen Creek Road between New Garden Road and Battleground Avenue includes bike lanes in both directions.
Greensboro is a neat city. Affordable, nice people, excellent restaurants.
“Greensboro Transit Authority has 10 battery-powered buses scheduled for delivery in late 2018.”
Thanks Tol. I won’d deny the practicality of electric buses, they’ve been around much longer than myself (the ones running directly off power lines). City buses are the ultimate stop-and-go vehicle, which is great for any electric vehicle that uses regenerative braking.
But these are battery, and I can only imagine the battery size in these monsters, probably 5 to 10 times what’s in a Tesla...and, eventually, one of these will light up, and it will be ugly.
So some advice to the cities and the builders of these vehicles - think like airplanes where they have to demonstrate the ability to evacuate in 90 seconds. I suspect a fully loaded city bus would take at least 5 minutes to do the same...but that is a long time in those kinds of fires.
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