Dangerous Cary Intersection

The Cary Police Department indicates that the intersection at the end of the exit ramp from US1 south turning onto US64 west is one of the top locations for vehicular accidents in the Town of Cary. In the first 10 months of 2019 there have been 92 crashes (including four hit and runs) in that area.  

This intersection is “right turn on red” for traffic at the bottom of the exit ramp from US1 south turning right onto US64 west. The right-most of the two turn lanes has no clear view of approaching traffic heading west on US64 from Tryon Road.   Almost all of the accidents here were rear end collisions caused by the right-turning lead vehicle (exiting US1) being hit from behind by the vehicle behind them as a result of the lead vehicle stopping abruptly when entering this intersection.

While this in part may be due to the curvature of this exit lane, the larger problem may be that vehicles in the left turn lane limit the sight-line of vehicles in the right turn lane.

While making this a “no turn on red” intersection may seem like the logical solution to this problem, this may result in other complications including longer backups on US1 south in both exit lanes during peak travel periods. Another alternative may be to increase the duration of green lights for traffic exiting US1 onto US64 while still making this “no turn on red” intersection - this may increase delays for thru traffic heading west from Tryon Road.

The Town of Cary traffic engineering department is working with NC-DOT to remedy thus situation and have advised that a plan is already in place to make that intersection a no right turn on red.  Part of this plan calls for lane and intersection changes to accommodate the anticipated additional queuing on the US1 exit ramps. 

The improvements at this location are part of a larger DOT plan for US64 Improvements in Apex & Cary that calls for an investigation of options to improve the flow of traffic in Wake County along US64 and intersecting roadways from just west of Laura Duncan Road in Apex to US1 in Cary. More information about this larger project can be found here

At the present time, the plans to actually initiate the preliminary engineering activities necessary to start these improvements have been temporarily suspended because the NC-DOT needs to control its spending in order to insure that their cash reserves remain above the state-mandated minimum figure of about $300 million. As a result NC-DOT is currently on a spending freeze pending budget negotiations and a timeline to when this project is to be implemented is unknown at this time.

You may read more about this suspension here

,You may also find a list of all suspended DOT programs by county, including Project ID# U-5301 - Apex/Cary - US64 from west of SR1306 (Laura Duncan Road) in Apex to US 1 in Cary here

Earlier this month (Nov 2019) there were media reports that said that some of the suspended projects might have their pre-engineering work resume early next year. The decisions as to what projects to resume will be made on a case by case basis depending on several factors, including when a project is scheduled to start. The NC-DOT is currently trying to determine if that may be the case for this project and no further information is available at this time.

NC-DOT indicated that it is very likely that no final decision on resuming work on specific projects will be made until next year when they know their financial picture is improved and they indicated that preference will be given to the projects that are scheduled to start the earliest or perhaps already had much of the pre-engineering work completed.

During the period before any improvements are made, the Cary Police Department advises drivers that they are the most important factor in reducing accidents and injuries at this location and that many rear-end collisions occur because drivers may follow the vehicle in front of them too closely and do not allow sufficient distance to stop in an emergency including if the driver in front of them stops abruptly and for no apparent reason. Another reason for these types of collisions is distractions from cell phones and GPS, or simply diverting your attention to anything other than the obstacles in front of you.  

Please drive safely and obey all traffic laws and regulations, not only at this intersection but in all of your travels as well – you are the best defense against serious bodily injury and damage to personal property, not only to you but to others as well!,