Southwest Area Study



Study Area

Facts and Figures

Project Approach

Up and Coming Events

References and Mapping

Related Links


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Study Background

Routes from southwest Wake County and northern Harnett Counties to Cary, Raleigh, and RTP consistently are cited among the most congested commuter routes in the Triangle.  Tremendous growth has occurred over the past decade with 98% population increase since the 2000 census. Studies indicate an ever increasing in-migration of commuters continues to put a heavy directional burden on existing corridors.  In fact, 22% of work trips originating in Harnett County are destined for Wake County and RTP, while only 2.5% of workers commute from Wake County to Harnett County.  This trend is projected to continue. Other influences within the area include a proposal by Progress Energy to increase the elevation of the Shearon Harris Lake Reservoir by 20’ to accommodate the expansion of the existing power plant and the future construction of the southern portion of the Triangle Expressway. 

The dependence of local commuters on regional routes such as NC 55, US 401, NC 42, and NC 210, coupled with potential demand for increased development, results in a conflict between current development, existing neighborhoods, and transportation interests.  Further complicating the matter is the multi-jurisdictional, multi-agency, and multi-modal influences of the study area.  Given these circumstances, a singular strategy likely will not yield a lasting solution.  In fact, regional planners have continued to evaluate multimodal options that include a robust transit strategy with a combination of fixed route bus, express bus, bus rapid transit (BRT), and passenger rail.  However, it’s widely recognized that some of these options are long from being funded, let alone constructed.

In response to these changing circumstances, the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization has commissioned a study to identify a sustainable transportation strategy for the area.  The study process embraces an integrated approach that considers land use, development, environment, and transportation simultaneously.  Despite the complexities of the area, the philosophy and approach for the future plan remains simple – connect people and places through quality choices. 





CTT Meeting
June 6, 2012



For more project info:

Alex Rickard
Capital Area MPO
919– 996-4396

Kara Louise
Louise Productions

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Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc.