DOT officials have laid out a plan before Garner town leaders that they believe will be a temporary fix for the congestion issues along U.S. 401 in Garner. We hope it will work, but more than that, we hope DOT is also hard at work looking for better, long-term solutions to the congestion that fills Fayetteville Road on a daily basis.
Traffic along that stretch of roadway is already nightmarish at times. Residents who live near the highway or use the highway as part of their regular commute have been trying for months now to make the point that additional development will only add to the issues.
Those concerns haven’t stopped Garner’s Town Council from approving new developments.
That puts the onus for preparing for the new growth on DOT, at least in part. Oh, sure, developers will have to widen some roads off the main 401 artery, or add turn lanes, but none of the improvements really help resolve a congestion problem that is bad now and only going to get worse.
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To their credit, DOT has said the synchronized road system they want to install is merely a temporary fix, which suggests to us that DOT knows more needs to be done.
The developments approved by Garner’s Town Council won’t add to the traffic woes in the area overnight, of course. It will take a few years for those developments to mature and for the full impact of the added vehicles becomes apparent.
That buys DOT some time. Garner leaders should begin working with DOT now to discuss what those long-term solutions might be. Like those developments, new roads and wider roads don’t just happen overnight.