In the News, Reporting Live on NBC17 and ABC11

I’m excited to report that I was contacted by two major media outlets this week for interviews. Over on the Lineberry Alliance Blogs, I’ve been advocating and blogging about moving forward with the Tryon Road expansion project. Back in February, I coined the term “Garner Death Curve” in one of my first blogs on the topic. I’m not happy with the tone of the branding, but it’s helping bring attention to this complicated issue.

The overview of this situation goes something like this: there is a project plan to expand Tryon Road from Cary to Garner. The last section is in SouthWest Raleigh from Lake Wheeler Road to South Wilmington Street. The project scope includes expanding the road from 2-lanes to 4-lanes with a median and replacing an old railroad bridge. A new development, Renassaince Park, came in and helped get this project going. The plan calls for realigning Tryon Road through Renassaince Park and essentially removing the “Garner Death Curve.”

The problem we face today–there is no money to replace the bridge, but this project remains a high priority for the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT). The developer of Renassaince Park has built out the majority of the infrastructure to realign the road. Recently, safety issues have become a major concern in the area after a fatal accident sparked awareness.

Within the last few weeks, there has been growing interest in seeing the project move forward, due to the fatal September accident. This week, reporter Charlotte Huffman from NBC17 contacted me to do an interview and better understand the situation. We made arrangements to meet near the site of the accident to do a roadside interview. The segment aired on Tuesday evening (Oct 5).

News coverage by NBC 17

After the NBC17 story ran, the other networks started looking into the “Garner Death Curve.” The media is eating up my branding of the roadway and I’m glad that it’s finally getting some attention. We need to get some funding for this bridge from the State and move forward.

On Wednesday of this week, Tamara Gibbs from ABC11 called me and requested an interview. I was on a tight schedule that day, but Tamara and her camera man were able to come over to Centennial Campus to do a quick interview. ABC11 ran their story on Wednesday evening.

News coverage by ABC 11

WRAL5 also ran a story with Renassaince Park resident Mo Johnson, whom I know through SWCAC.

I’m still working on next steps to continue to lead this effort. I’m stoked about the attention that we are getting and I’m appreciative of all the support from everyone. This is an issue that South West Raleigh residents can rally around and help improve our area of town. I just hope it’s sooner rather than later.

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About Shibby

Jason Hibbets is a senior community architect at Red Hat which means he is a mash-up of a community manager and project manager. At night, he wears his cape and is a captain for the Open Raleigh brigade, as well as a co-chair for NC Open Pass. Jason is the author of a book titled The foundation for an open source city--a resource for cities and citizens interested in improving their government through civic hacking. While writing the book, he discovered his unknown superpower of building communities of passionate people. Jason graduated from North Carolina State University and resides in Raleigh, NC with his wife, two kids, two border collies, chickens, lots of tomato plants, and a lazy raccoon somewhere in an oak tree. In his copious spare time, he enjoys surfing, running, gardening, traveling, watching football, sampling craft beer, and participating in local government--not necessarily in that order, but close to it. You can follow him on Twitter: @jhibbets

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