Government Affairs Update: Comprehensive Plan Update & Six Forks Road Widening


Raleigh Begins Work on New Comprehensive Plan

It is time for the city to draft a new Comprehensive Plan, the cornerstone that provides overarching guidance for the city’s growth and future development over a roughly twenty-year period. Our current Plan comes from 2009 and was most recently updated in 2019.  Since the plan was aimed to get us to 2030, the city is beginning work for the next plan to get us to 2050.

Much has happened since the 2009 creation of the document- beyond adding over 75,000 residents in the city’s boundaries alone (not to mention the population explosion in the surrounding municipalities and county), Raleigh created a brand new Strategic Plan, Community Climate Action Plan, Affordable Housing Goals & Consolidated Plan, and business plans for every individual city department. Since 2009, there have been major sea changes in how municipalities view racial equity, environmental sustainability, Affordable Housing, multi-modal transportation, and remote work behaviors changing office and commuting patterns. The city has reached the point of diminishing returns by revising our current plan, so it’s time for a new one.

In anticipation of mapping future land use for 20+ years, the city will be undertaking a massive public outreach initiative including focus groups, conferences, and strategic planning meetings to gather input. The Raleigh Chamber will be involved in these discussions and more as we work to make sure the business community is represented in drafts of the Comprehensive Plan. 

City Council Approves Six Forks Road Implementation

After 11 years of delay, the city council is finally moving forward with plans to widen Six Forks Road, albeit a much shorter length than originally planned.  The project will add lanes (for six total) between Rowan Street and Millbrook Road, with new eight-foot multi-use paths installed in a parallel corridor to improve pedestrian and cyclist safety.

Key to the council’s decision was the modified plan coming in under the city’s budget (though it’s worth noting that the original cost for a longer stretch of widening was $37.1 million, compared to the current estimate of $56.1). It’s a good example of what happens when a major project gets delayed for review for too long – costs spiral upward, and overall project scope must be reduced to meet fiscal realities. While consideration and study are important to road projects, speed is equally critical to providing infrastructure improvements to keep the city moving forward.

Also worth noting from the decision was Councilman Jonathan Melton’s comments on his vote in favor: while he personally doesn’t support the road widening, he still voted in favor of the project since previous councils had promised the project to their constituents and because designers had been able to add the multi-modal path to the project. The Chamber applauds Melton’s willingness to support the expansion while also working to add new infrastructure to the corridor to serve a more diverse population.

Now that the widening has been approved and the funding allocated, construction will begin in early 2026 and will take two years to complete. 

To learn more about our GA priorities you can visit our webpage.

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About the Author

Kassie Hoffman
Kassie pens down all the news from the world of politics on ANH.