US 70 Corridor Commission envisions converting the corridor to a full
freeway, replacing traffic signals with interchanges and driveways with
rear - or side - access to a connected secondary street system.
The intended benefits of a full freeway are three-fold:
Improve safety of travelers
2. Reduce travel time
3. Attract and retain employment and commercial activity
its March meeting, the US 70 Corridor Commission unveiled the US 70
Access Management Handbook
for consideration of its members. The handbook is intended to be used
as an educational and implementation tool when applying access management
strategies to the US 70 corridor. It provides measures and minimum standards
consistent with the previous planning process along the corridor, and
sets reasonable expectations for protecting the integrity of the transportation
corridor. Included in the handbook is the draft model access management
overlay ordinance—a legal framework for cities and counties to
administer and enforce consistent access management standards along
the entire 134-mile corridor.
to review or download the updated handbook.
THE FUTURE OF US 70
In August 2006, representatives from US 70 communities met in county-by-county
work sessions to create a clear vision for a freeway corridor. With
transportation planners and engineers from Kimley-Horn and NCDOT, the
participants mapped out potential interchange locations and connector
roads that would both improve mobility on US 70 and maintain accessibility
to local roads and businesses. A freeway master plan will be created
as a result of these meetings and build upon the access management plan.
The counties, cities, and towns along the corridor are in the process
of gaining endorsements from their elected bodies for the access management
plan and will work to do the same for the freeway master plan upon its
Short-term improvements recommended will improve regional mobility along
the corridor and reserve the opportunity to build a freeway in the long-term
planning horizon. Retrofitting US 70, though, will have a profound impact
on properties located in close proximity to the corridor. Land use,
building placement, design orientation, landscaping, sign size and placement,
and site access requirements included will need to be re-written. Communities
along the corridor will need to come together for implementing minimum
criteria that protects the intended function of the freeway. More importantly,
these communities will need to act in unison for adopting plans, policies,
and minimum design criteria that move US 70 towards a freeway. In conjunction
with the freeway plan, the local governments are also being asked to
adopt a memorandum of
understanding (MOU) to address land control issues along the corridor.
Its purpose is to serve the first step in unifying state and local jurisdictions
for implementing regulatory tools and policy measures. For more information,
refer to the September
presentation to the Commission.