Research Triangle Commuter Rail Studied

A 37-mile commuter rail line under study in North Carolina could connect cities Raleigh, Cary, and Durham in North Carolina, but the system will cost a pretty penny, and it will have to succeed where light rail previously failed.

January 15, 2020, 5:00 AM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


Interstate Research Triangle Park North Carolina

Interstate 40 in North Carolina. | Ildar Sagdejev (Specious) / Wikimedia Commons

Richard Stradling reports: "A commuter rail system running 40 trains each weekday between Garner and Durham would cost $1.4 billion to $1.8 billion to build and carry 7,500 to 10,000 passengers a day, according to preliminary estimates from the regional transit agency GoTriangle."

According to the feasibility study released by GoTriangle last week, the 37-mile route studied by GoTriangle would require 34 miles of new tracks to connect Raleigh, Cary, and Durham. Another three miles would use an existing corridor currently owned by the N.C. Railroad.

"The feasibility study from GoTriangle provides the most refined details to date about the commuter rail system proposed by transit plans in both Durham and Wake counties," according to Stradling.

Casting a shadow over the potential of the project to win the financial and political support necessary to succeed is the recent—March 2019—demise of the Durham-Orange Light Rail project.

Tuesday, January 7, 2020 in The News & Observer

The New York Public Library's stone lions Patience and Fortitude have donned face masks to remind New Yorkers to wear face coverings during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Top Urban Planning Books of 2021

Planetizen's annual list of the top urban planning books of the year is here—maintaining a tradition that dates back to 2002.

November 26, 2021 - James Brasuell

Empty Road

The Roadway Expansion Paradox

Motorists want expensive roadway expansions provided that somebody else foots the bill, but when required to pay directly through tolls, the need for more capacity often disappears. What should planners do?

November 28, 2021 - Todd Litman

Moving

Urban Exodus: Data Don't Support the Popular Pandemic Narrative

Americans fled cities in waves during the pandemic, right? Not to so fast.

November 30, 2021 - Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University

A mile marker showing mile zero of the Great Allegheny Passage, which is a bike and pedestrian path that begins in Cumberland, Maryland and ends in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Measuring the Economic Impact of the Great Allegheny Passage

Small communities once dependent on coal, coke, paper, lumber, and manufacturing now have a 150-mile bike and pedestrian path contributing to the local economy.

13 minutes ago - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Houston, Texas

Houston Could End Homelessness With Less Than 2,000 Housing Units

Houston's homeless response program has yielded strong results in the last few years. Just 1,900 new affordable housing units could 'effectively end' homelessness in the city.

1 hour ago - Rice Kinder Institute for Urban Research

California State Capital

Land Use Regulations on a Collision Course in California

The future of planning in California depends on how lawyers reconcile the Housing Accountability Act with the California Environmental Quality Act.

2 hours ago - State & Local Government Law Blog

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Hand Drawing Master Plans

This course aims to provide an introduction into Urban Design Sketching focused on how to hand draw master plans using a mix of colored markers.