Ken Larsen's web site - Traffic Issue on Farrington Road


Developers keep building and traffic keeps getting worse.


Below are a couple of screen shots from my car's dashcam early on the morning of Thursday September 15, 2016.  I was heading to a doctor's appointment in south Durham on route 54.


It's 7:50 AM, and I encounter a long line of cars heading south on Farrington Road.  There's no accident up ahead.  They're all waiting for the traffic light to change.  It's 0.50 mile from the white truck to the traffic light.

January 30, 2017:  I learn from nearby resident Lisa Brach that Farrington Road is backed up like this every weekday during rush hour (7-9 AM and 3-6 PM).  Traffic has been steadily growing over the last 10 years.  The proposed DOLTR (Durham-Orange Light Rail project) will exacerbate this traffic, because the DOLTR will cross Farrington Road at an at-grade level ... not a bridge! ... at this very curve ... just behind the last truck shown in this queue.  [see red line on this picture]

Lisa also told me that a 3 story ROMF (Rail Operations and Maintenance Facility) with accompanying rail yard will be built on Farrington Road to support the DOLRT.  [map]  The ROMF is slated to have 110 to 175 employees and will run 24 hours/day.  All the light rail cars will go to the ROMF every night around 12 midnight to be cleaned and have maintenance until 5 AM when they will head out to begin their routes.  The second and third floors will house all the computer systems and people who will be "driving" the system during the day.  This ROMF plus a new development called Leigh Village and its DOLTR station will add lots of traffic to Farrington Road. 

It should further be noted that DOT plans to change the intersection of Farrington and route 54 so that Farrington becomes a bridge over 54.  Drivers heading south towards 54 will have to turn right/west and loop around to go east towards the I-40 entrance.

(November 15, 2017) At a GoTriangle meeting on the ROMF, I learn that Farrington Road will NOT be expanded to 4 lanes. I regard that as a mistake.
6 minutes and 21 seconds later I finally get to make my left turn onto route 54.  That's an hellacious amount of time to wait in traffic.

I used to take Farrington Road when I worked at IBM many years ago.  I never experienced this kind of delay.


This intolerable traffic will get worse when Alexan Apartments and Ephesus-Fordham are built out.  Many Chapel Hill people from that area will work at RTP and will take Ephesus Church Road and Farrington Road to get to I-40 and points east.  Things will become even worse if the 17 mile Light Rail connector between Durham and Chapel Hill is approved.  It will swing just west of Farrington Road will certainly spur intense growth in this area.  Today's half mile queue of cars could easily extend to a mile or more.  That would be truly awful.  It's only 1.36 mile from Ephesus Church Road to route 54.  Then, the bottleneck would spread onto Ephesus Church Road.


The Durham buildout of all their plans for dense residential behind and across from Creekside Elementary School (Leigh Village, etc.) will make it even worse.  Two 7-story office buildings will likely be built on the current site of the Farrington Road Baptist Church [details].


Durham-Orange Light Rail Project (DOLRT) will exacerbate Farrington traffic


The DOLRT project will put an at-grade crossing on Farrington Road.  This will be a disaster for traffic as barriers will be lowered and remain lowered for 50 seconds for each train crossing.  There will be 150 such train crossing each day!  DOLRT really needs to have level separation (aka a bridge) across Farrington ... as depicted in this photo-shopped version of Farrington Road:



(November 15, 2017) At a GoTriangle meeting on the ROMF, I learn that no effort is being made to fix this issue.  Farrington Road have an at-grade crossing.  I regard that decision as another mistake.


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