To be sure, there will always be more needs than resources to meet them, but planners should put this project at the top of their list: The town of Wendell desperately needs a second east-west route through town.
Wendell Boulevard, with its limited stoplights, can be a mass of traffic most any time of day. The problem is, of course, exacerbated at the usual times: work rush hour and school drop off and pick up times.
Motorists driving from Point A to Point B in that town have no other options but to file on to Wendell Boulevard to get from one side of the town to the other. Even those passing from north to south must navigate their way across the busy road.
DOT engineers and people of that ilk have formulas they love to use to determine how high the need is for road widenings, alternate routes and so forth. Regardless of what the numbers say, the more practical get-in-the-car-and-drive-it-for-yourself test would suggest to most people who have to use that road, that another alternative is needed.
Wendell officials have known this need exists for many years. They have mapped out an alternate route that runs north of Wendell Boulevard, but the town hasn’t done a good job over the years of protecting that corridor from development, meaning it would be exceedingly expensive to build that road now as it is mapped out.
The much anticipated development of Wendell Falls - whenever it happens - would create at least part of a new east-west route south of Wendell Boulevard, but even that project would only resolve part of the problem.
The Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, conveniently known as CAMPO, has embarked on a study of the needs in northeastern Wake County.
And, while we are sure there are significant needs in fast-growing towns like Knightdale, Wake Forest and Rolesville, we can’t see a more pressing project in the region than uncapping the pressure cooker that is Wendell Boulevard.