Recommendations & Implementation
In order for the development patterns, mix of land uses, and other elements described in this plan to become a reality, several steps should be taken:
- Update land use plan to more specifically reflect the arrangement of uses proposed in this plan.
- Create an overlay zoning district for transit-oriented activity centers in order to encourage the building scales, building relationships, and design characteristics that are envisioned for transit-supportive areas.
- Develop design guidelines to supplement the standards set forth in the overlay zoning district. The guidelines should communicate expectations regarding development’s character and quality and conform to Triangle Transit Authority's (TTA) requirements for Level 2 station areas.
- While ensuring that development follows the small area plan, allow flexibility in its phasing. Though a mixture of uses in future development is desired, the phasing of development should allow for single uses to develop in response to current market demands, as long as future phases introduce other uses that complement first-phase development and create the mixture intended.
- Conduct a preliminary engineering study with input from the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) and TTA to determine the appropriate geometrics for the realignment of South Salem Street. Then, work with property owners and/or developers to implement the new alignment through the development process or through capital improvements.
- Update the Town of Apex Transportation Plan to reflect, at a minimum, the following:
- Grade separation at Apex Peakway and South Salem Street
- Realigned South Salem Street
- Holland Road extension with grade-separated crossing over I-540 south of Apex Barbecue Road
- Potential transit station location
- Revised collector street system
- Modify local street design standards to allow narrower travel lanes and other features illustrated in the plan.
- In the neighborhood area, require a street connection at least every 1200 feet, encouraging more connections where topography and other conditions allow. In the core area, require 1 every 400 to 600 feet, except where NCDOT roadway design standards require greater distances between intersections.
- Require developments to connect to each other and existing streets, and to provide stubout connections to potential future developments.
- Whenever possible, provide driveway access on commercial collectors and local residential streets. When driveway access onto South Salem Street is necessary, use shared driveways to minimize access points.
- Street Design
- Follow this plan’s typical cross sections for South Salem Street, commercial collectors, and residential streets.
- Base horizontal and vertical design features on local standards and the standards in “A Policy on Geometric Design of Highways and Streets” produced by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (1994).
- Arterial design standards should include a design speed of 45 mph. Design speeds for collectors and local streets should be 30 to 35 mph.
- Coordinate with NCDOT and TTA to make the best use of land holdings, which would likely include reserving land that will be critical for future transit-oriented development, leasing it or utilizing it for temporary uses until the market will support the type of development needed surrounding the transit station.
- Coordinate with NCDOT to ensure that the South Salem Street bridge section design accommodates 4 lanes. The adopted Transportation Plan identifies South Salem Street as a 4-lane divided facility connecting I-540 and downtown Apex, while NCDOT shows the planned bridge over I-540 as a 3-lane facility.
- Promote and provide as many vehicular and pedestrian crossings of
South Salem Street and the rail line as possible to maximize
- Coordinate with NCDOT to ensure that design plans for South Salem Street and rail line improvements needed to construct these facilities across I-540 take into consideration the proposed underpass. The construction of such improvements by NCDOT should provide the ability to pass under South Salem Street and the rail line via a north-south grade-separated crossing, as shown on the plan.
- Explore possibilities of underpasses and overpasses in addition to those shown on the plan.
- Though a pedestrian tunnel passing under the rail line at the transit station is proposed in the plan due to current physical conditions, a pedestrian overpass should be considered since it would create the perception of a more convenient connection and increase visibility of the station.
- For the maximum number of I-540 crossings by local streets and greenways, coordinate with NCDOT to incorporate such facilities into design plans.
- To ensure that parks, a school, and other community facilities can be created and integrated into private development, reserve the land that is best suited for these uses.
- Waive resource conservation area (RCA) requirements within a half-mile of the station since they would prevent the intended density and connectivity.
- Pursue the dedication of land for rights-of-way and greenways that are important to the realization of the plan through the private development process.
- Pursue stream crossings without significantly compromising water quality. Vehicular stream crossings should be pursued every 2,500 to 3,000 feet. Bicycle and pedestrian crossings can occur at shorter intervals.
- Explore opportunities for public-private partnerships to make
necessary, transit-supportive infrastructure improvements. Examples
include the following:
- The construction of surface and/or structured parking lots that serve new development as well as transit (park-and-ride lot).
- The construction of critical road connections that also serve as access to new development.
- The construction of public spaces in key locations, such as the formal green in front of the transit station, as an integral part of new development.
- The construction of greenway trails.