Member Briefing: May 14, 2021
- May 14, 2021
- Posted by: Joe Milazzo II
- Category: Member briefing
Here is a brief weekly update from the RTA business coalition – the voice of the regional business community on transportation.
FAST study – a catalyst for accelerated change
Earlier this month, RTA and our regional and state partners put together the finishing touches on the year-long Freeway And Street-based Transit (FAST) study for the Triangle region and North Carolina. Today’s member briefing, and this week’s RTA blog, outline some of the outcomes of the innovative FAST study led by RTA, with our funding partners NCDOT, GoTriangle, and the NC Turnpike Authority.
The FAST study has provided a framework and guide for reimagining our primary roadways as multimodal freeways and streets, with several complementary elements including:
- An illustrative FAST network for the Triangle that would complement upcoming bus rapid transit investments
- Two “deeper dive” corridors in Triangle cities, with the City of Durham already commencing implementation
- A statewide implementation playbook that can provide assistance with FAST planning in metropolitan areas across North Carolina
The goal for creating a FAST vision is to advance a mindset that focuses on making freeways and streets “transit-ready”. The FAST study has led to the following actions by NCDOT to institutionalize this approach:
- The NCDOT Complete Streets policy has been updated by the Department to more fully incorporate– and fund–public transportation
- The State Roadway Design Manual is also actively being revised by NCDOT to include “transit advantage” infrastructure elements
The following quote from J.J. Eden, the executive director of the NC Turnpike Authority and one of our funding partners for the FAST study, speaks to both the impetus and opportunity of the FAST vision quite well:
“The NC Turnpike Authority Board and executive leadership believe there is strong alignment between the Freeway And Street-based Transit (FAST) vision and our goals at the NC Turnpike Authority to provide reliable multimodal mobility.
“We are confident that the expanding 540/147 turnpike system in the Triangle can serve as primary FAST network linkages that provide enhanced transit connectivity regionwide, and we are committed to the partnerships to make that vision a reality.”
– J.J. Eden, North Carolina Turnpike Authority executive director
We applaud our longtime Leadership Team member VHB for leading the study, as well as the rest of their study team, which included fellow RTA members Stantec and Catalyst Design.
Thank you to our lead study partners GoTriangle and NCDOT, and all of our local, regional, and state partners, for their support and engagement on the FAST effort — and to every one of our members for ongoing investments in RTA that help advance rapid studies and solutions for our market.
Let’s get moving,
Joe Milazzo II, PE
RTA Executive Director