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City Beautiful 21 » Auto Traffic, Biking, Data, Featured, Public Transit, Walking » Central Carrboro Traffic Went DOWN from 1997 to 2013

Central Carrboro Traffic Went DOWN from 1997 to 2013

More People are Riding Buses, Biking and Walking in Carrboro

More People are Riding Buses, Biking and Walking in Carrboro

Did you know that many traffic counts in Carrboro were lower in 2013 than in 1997? Yep. In 1997, Carrboro was home to roughly 15,400 people. By 2013, the Census reported that number as closer to 20,800.

Despite adding over 5,000 residents and seeing downtown job growth, there were fewer cars on the streets all over central Carrboro in 2013 than there were 16 years earlier!

You can see for yourself by checking NCDOT’s traffic count maps at the end of this post. But let’s take a look at all the counts that went down, and those that went up. Out of curiosity, I also looked up a walkscore at a nearby address.

Traffic Counts from NCDOT that declined between 1997 and 2013

 

W. Main St by Chapel Hill Tire/Akai Hana (4% decline; Walkscore: 83)

1997: 4,700

2013: 4,500

N Greensboro between Short and Poplar: (8% decline; Walkscore: 86)

1997: 15,200

2013: 14,000

Rosemary St at Chapel Hill / Carrboro Town Line: (20% decline; Walkscore: 85)

1997: 10,500

2013: 8,400

W. Main St east of Blackwood: (26% decline; Walkscore: 55)

1997: 5,700

2013: 4,200

West Main between Lloyd and Main/Rosemary Split (30% decline; Walkscore: 91)

1997: 24,200

2013: 17,000

Main St between Greensboro and PTA Thrift (25% decrease; Walkscore: 86)

1997: 12,500

2013: 9,400

West Weaver St between N Greensboro and Center St (29% decrease; Walkscore: 86)

1997: 9,200

2013: 6,500

Traffic Counts that stayed the same Between 1997 and 2013

N Greensboro St just north of Blue Ridge Rd (0% decline/increase; Walkscore: 13)

1997: 6,000

2013: 6,000

S Greensboro between Carr and Old Pittsboro (0% decline/growth; Walkscore: 85)

1997: 12,000

2013: 12,000

Traffic Counts that went up Between 1997 and 2013

North Greensboro St between Morningside Dr and Hanna St: (6% increase; Walkscore:34)

1997: 6,600

2013: 7,000

Hillsborough Rd between Dillard and Greensboro St: (6% increase; Walkscore: 35)

1997: 1,600

2013: 1,700

Estes east of N Greensboro: (11% increase; Walkscore: 65)

1997: 12,600

2013: 14,000

Hillsborough Rd between Pine and Main: (8% increase; Walkscore: 65)

1997: 2,500

2013: 2,700

N Greensboro St between Weaver and Main: (22% increase; Walkscore: 91)

1997: 9,000

2013: 11,000

Jones Ferry Rd between Old Fayetteville Rd and NC 54: (4% increase; Walkscore: 42)

1997: 10,600

2013: 11,000

NC 54 between Old Fayetteville Rd and NC 54/West Main St Intersection: (18% increase; Walkscore: 42)

1997: 15,200

2013: 18,000

So what happened?

Carrboro invested in other ways of getting around. According to the recently released DCHC-MPO Mobility Report Card, Carrboro:

  • Increased sidewalk mileage by 24% between 2005 and 2013, adding 7 miles of sidewalk- making it easier to walk around town.
  • Increased bike lane mileage by 24% in the same period, adding 3 miles of bike lanes
  • More than doubled its mileage of multi-use paths to 3.8 miles in total
  • Had buses go fare free in 2002 on Chapel Hill Transit. Many of the places with declines are along major bus corridors in Carrboro on the F, J, and CW routes.

The Mobility Report Card also describes Main Street in Carrboro as one of the region’s leading “Multimodal Corridors” – places with more than 25% of trips that are not drive-alone trips. Trips on Main Street in 2012 were 57% by car, 6% by transit, 27% by walking, and 10% by bike.

When you give people viable choices for travel beyond the car, they use them.

Source data found here:

1997 AADT Counts – Chapel_Hill-Carrboro-1997-aadt

2013 AADT Counts – Chapel_Hill-Carrboro-2013-aadt

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2 Responses to "Central Carrboro Traffic Went DOWN from 1997 to 2013"

  1. Michael Adamson says:

    That’s really good news. I suppose the incongruous increase in traffic (N Greensboro St between Weaver and Main: (22% increase; Walkscore: 91) was due to the temporary closing of E. Weaver for sewer repairs in 2013.

    The other number that caught my attention is that we only added 3 miles of bike lanes in 16 years. Surely we can do better. I hope there will be a focus on protected bike lanes. I think that would have a transformative effect on the town.

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