Earlier this week we wrote about NCDOT’s surprise “Express Design” for US 15-501 around I-40. It really hit a nerve with a lot of people. A lot of you contacted the NCDOT directly and also wrote the Mayor and Council. Indyweek also did a Q&A with us about it.

We’d like to report the Mayor of Chapel Hill, Pam Hemminger, has written an excellent response to NCDOT, voicing the town’s opposition and concerns regarding NCDOT Project U-6067.  You can read her memo here.

We want to thank Mayor Hemminger for writing such a strongly worded and well researched response. Clearly a lot of work and background research went into producing this memo.  We’re pulling out some of the excellent points the Mayor made in the memo:

  • The project was only presented to local jurisdiction staff on May 30th, with a deadline of June 9th to submit comments.
  • The project does not align with the DCHC MPO’s Goals and Objectives included in the 2050 Metropolitan Transportation Plan, which call for reduced car dependency and more multi-modal travel options.
  • The project does not align with the Town of Chapel Hill ‘s Future Land Use Map, which calls for activated street frontages and walkable development in this part of Town.
  • The project does not include transit accommodations along US 15-501, as outlined in the 2022 Orange County Transit Plan’s long-term vision, and the draft Durham County Transit Plan’s vision of studying BRT along this corridor.

We thank the Mayor for preparing this and getting it to NCDOT so quickly and also town staff who provided assistance in researching some of the points made in this memo.

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John Rees lives in Chapel Hill. His day job is an enterprise architect for a big IT company. He was, until very recently, a member of the Chapel Hill Planning Commission and former chair. He serves on...