About the Study

Study Updates

Phase 1 - Data Collection – Complete — The project team collected traffic counts (including pedestrians, bicycles, vehicles, and transit buses) along the corridor and at intersections. Data on speeds and variations in traffic by time of day and direction were analyzed, along with ten years of vehicle crash statistics (including pedestrians and bicyclists). The team also analyzed transit service boardings and alightings along the corridor. Field observations and public comments from the interactive map and survey augmented these data to provide additional context.

Phase 2 – Existing Conditions & First Public Workshop — Complete - The project team displayed the results of the review of existing conditions at a community open house in Carrboro. The open house was complemented by an online survey and interactive map. From this Phase, the project team confirmed the corridor’s lack of adequate pedestrian and bicycle facilities, perceived unsafe locations, and conditions where motorists, transit users, and people walking and bike felt most unsafe. This information was incorporated into the improvement locations in Phase 3.

Phase 3 – Improvement Concept Development & Future Year Analyses — Complete — With the data from Phase 1 and public feedback from Phase 2, the project team developed and tested numerous concepts to improve pedestrian and bicycle mobility and safety along the NC 54 corridor. The concepts included additional pedestrian-oriented lighting, sidewalk extensions, bus stop improvements, transit route realignments, median improvements, changes to signals and signal timing, shared use paths, and grade separation of pedestrian crossings, among others. The results were reviewed with the project team for effects on the mobility and safety of all users of NC 54.

Phase 4 – Second Public Workshop & Improvement Concepts - In Progress

Background and Context

The NC 54 Bicycle and Pedestrian Corridor Safety Study is a year-long analysis of how vehicles, transit, pedestrians, and bicyclists use NC 54 and how to make it safer for all users. This approximately 4.5-mile section of NC 54 is a four-lane partial access-controlled highway that carries between 18,000 to 45,000 vehicles per day. It is a unique section of roadway between an urban-to-rural transition in the west near Carrboro and an area of increasing congestion and complex lane configurations to the east towards Chapel Hill. Multifamily housing, recreational facilities, schools, and transit service are along the corridor, too, and that creates a challenging environment for pedestrians and bicyclists to safely use the roadway and access transit.

Project Objective

The goal of the study is to develop a consensus framework and vision for NC 54 that uses a systems-based approach to address multimodal safety and mobility through short and medium-term improvements (immediate to 10 years). The project team will work with community, institutional, and agency stakeholders to build upon the area’s related studies and plans to develop a consistent strategy to improve safety, mobility, and accessibility. The project team will work together in four (4) primary areas to:

  • Assess existing multimodal travel conditions and development within the corridor
  • Synthesize and summarize short and medium-term traffic and safety impacts
  • Develop and plan strategies for multimodal safety improvements within the corridor, from immediate to up to (ten) 10-year implementation timeframes
  • Conduct public outreach initiatives through the planning process, including presenting the recommended strategy to NCDOT and local elected officials

Study Area

The study area is the 4.5 miles of NC 54 from Manning Drive in Chapel Hill to Old Fayetteville Road in Carrboro. Interchanges, intersections, communities, and land uses alongside the roadway are included. See the map below for an illustration of the corridor safety study area.

NC 54 Bike Ped Safety Study Area

Schedule

The study is scheduled for approximately twelve months, with draft improvement concepts expected in late summer of 2019. The study incorporates two public workshops and tools, such as interactive mapping and a survey, for citizens to provide input on transportation problems, potential solutions, and priorities. The study team will also meet regularly with key stakeholders to help guide the study’s consultants.

Phase 1 – Data Collection & Outreach Tools - Early 2019

Phase 2 – Existing Conditions & First Public Workshop - Spring 2019

Phase 3 – Improvement Concept Development & Future Year Analyses – Summer 2019

Phase 4 – Second Public Workshop & Improvement Concepts – Late Summer 2019, and Draft Report – Fall 2019