Transportation Planning efforts within the Town of Wake Forest are handled within the Planning Services Divsion of the Department of Planning.
Why Develop a New Transportation Plan?
Since 1990, WakeForest has experienced significant population growth (more than 118%). The town has added new businesses, expanded shopping opportunities, and developed more venues for entertainment, but not without cost. While these increases have provided positive growth for the community, they have also increased traffic on the roads, adding to existing congestion and new traffic pressure points throughout the town. As the pace of growth continues within the town and in surrounding areas, accommodating increases in traffic will become increasingly important in order to maintain the mobility of WakeForest's citizens.
The Wake Forest Transportation Plan identifies specific and general transportation system improvement recommendations and strategies to help accommodate growth in travel demand, while supporting a diversified transportation system that considers not only the automobile, but also the cyclist, the pedestrian, and the transit patron. A plan that does not consider implementation is faulted from the start. With this in mind, the Wake Forest Transportation Plan includes discussion on strategies, methods, and sources of funding for implementation.
WakeForest has an adopted Land Development Plan (adopted in 1985)and a Land Use Management Plan (adopted in 1997) as well as a Greenway and Open Space Master Plan (adopted in 2002). Recommendations in this transportation plan consider each of these plans.
The study area for the plan is WakeForest's urban services area (USA): the area that can be expected to be served (in the future) by services from the town. This is also an area in which WakeForest can reasonably be able to create change.
People today drive more often, make longer trips, and own more vehicles than ever before. In 1969, households made an average of 3.83 trips per day, in 1995 that number rose to 6.36 trips per day, an increase of 2 ½ trips per household or 66%. This is despite the fact that average household size has decreased from 3.16 to 2.63 persons per household since 1969.
Transportation planning has become a more inclusive process that builds on strong citizen involvement. Historically, transportation planners did not think that the public would either be interested in or understand long-term planning studies and issues.
Citizens have an intimate knowledge of the places where they live and travel and the transportation problems they encounter. To make sure that the Wake Forest Transportation Plan considered citizen concerns, while also keeping the community's best interest in mind, a Citizen Advisory Group (CAG) was formed and engaged early in the planning process.
The first task undertaken by members of the CAG was to generate a list of the characteristics that they like in WakeForest and would want to retain in their community. Likes included the small town charm, convenience, attractiveness, and overall atmosphere of WakeForest. The committee members agreed that they wanted to retain each of these things while also promoting a plan that would put a variety of land uses within easy reach of WakeForest's citizens.
Vision & Objectives
Keeping in mind the elements that make WakeForest a special place, the CAG envisioned the future transportation system. To guide the overall development of the transportation plan, objectives were developed that include:
Develop a plan compatible with future land use plans and adjacent jurisdictions' plans
Create a plan that accommodates community growth and its related traffic increases
Create a system of interconnected streets (thoroughfares, collectors, and local streets)
Preserve future transportation corridors
Maintain and improve roadway safety
Relieve existing congestion on key roadways
Create interconnected bicycle and pedestrian networks
Provide and plan for future transit service expansions
Provide more downtown parking
Minimize cultural and environmental impacts
Retain old growth trees throughout the town
The Board of Commissioners adopted the Transportation Plan Update on July 20, 2010.
Transportation Planning Manager