10/15/11 270 W, 1 I - + 4 - 4 New Falls of Neuse Bridge Opens

Bridges actually, plural. Two two-lane spans that connect Falls of Neuse and New Falls of Neuse roads. Here's a News & Observer story about this morning's opening, which is the first of two phase to remake Falls of Neuse Road. The next phase in the $25 million project will widen the two-lane road from Raven Ridge Road north to Wakefield. Completion is planned in May 2013. Also in the mix is the planned closure of the older Falls of Neuse Road bridge, just west of the new bridge. It was built in the 1920s. (The dam came decades later, by the way.) The new bridges will shorten travel times for emergency units. Here are some fire station-to-fire station estimates, based on Google Maps. Of course, some routes will also take longer...

    Old Bridge   New Bridge
Station 22 to Station 25 (via Falls of Neuse)   6.7 mi.   ~6.2 mi
Station 15 to Station 25 (via Litchford, Falls of Neuse)   8.8 mi.   ~7.5 mi.
Falls FD to Station 25   2.5 mi.   ~1.6 mi
Falls FD to Wake Forest Station 2   4.6 mi   ~3.8 mi.
Falls FD to Wake Forest Station 1   6.4 mi.   ~5.6 mi.
Falls FD to Stony Hill Station 1   6.6 mi.   ~7.2 mi
Other recent roadway changes have included the alignment of Falls of Neuse Road with New Falls of Neuse Road. This closed a section of Falls of Neuse Road that passed in front of the Falls Fire Department, so a special access road has been built beside the station. Here's a diagram showing everything. Will draw maps for food. Click once or twice to enlarge:

The mutual aid distance to Stony Hill is lengthened somewhat, but I believe the changes benefit the overall. As traffic flow is improved, the response times will be better in many areas (road mileage vs. efficiency).
A.C. Rich - 10/16/11 - 11:18

Updated my chart to include distances from FFD to SHFD #1.
Legeros - 10/16/11 - 11:26

I’m impressed with Google maps. It’s impressive that it’s already current since the bridge has barely been open for a day. I wonder how much E25’s call volume will pick up and how long it will take for CAD to recognize the shorter distance?
RescueRanger - 10/16/11 - 20:49

Oddly, the Google maps directions feature doesn’t yet— or didn’t yesterday— recognize the completed road that their map shows.
Legeros - 10/16/11 - 21:01

Don’t understand how the change on distance is so much greater for Falls than Engine 22 and 25I shouldn’t run any difference in calls. This is also a reason why Falls should still be responding into Wakefield as a second engine on structural calls. Look how close they are…its ridiculous. Raleigh needs to come out of a whole and realize that they aren’t above county help that will save th money instead of hiring and wasting it when they could save it in a contract. It will take a house burning down for the city to realize their mistake.
Dan - 10/17/11 - 02:03

City contract cancelations. Bay Leaf station reconstruction. Incident command decisions at any given fire. If there’s a recurring theme to comments on this blog, it’s something like… reaction to executive decision. There seems to be pattern. A decision is announced or demonstrated through action. Then there’s a flurry of reaction, and perhaps directly correlated to negative reader reaction. (Is that a true observation of mine? Do we see as many response for praise of decisions? Need to check that.)

If we trafficked in truth here, and tossed facts back and forth at each other, the resulting discussions would probably be fine. But we deal in speculation, in perceived reality, in secondhand information, in best-intentioned armchair opinions, and so forth. (Well, not entirely. I mean, fact-based perspectives are offered from time to time. But it’s perhaps more rare than regular.) And all of it too often anonymous, which just raises hackles that much more. There are ways to crack this nut, to provide the most efficient, the most value-added, and the most positive-regarded forum for our fire service conservations. And as I discover them, I will certainly share and/or implement. For now, please bear with me as I occasionally remove comments or close topics for discussion.
Legeros - 10/17/11 - 07:41

I was told to look at this blog to see the new distances. I have not looked at this blog in months, possibly a year. The reason? There is rarely any positive feedback or information that can be educational for firefighting any longer. The discussions turn south and always end up negative. I was a frequent looker on this blog when it began. It in my opinion has turned into a forum for people to comment and talk trash behind a fake name. In my opinion, this blog hurts Wake County Fire Services. It could be used as a learning tool. I see there is people on here that have a bunch of experience that can provide insightful, educational information to the readers. It is unfortunate that people cannot read information on here and have a productive, professional conversation in which to aquire information and network. Everyone is entitled to their decisions. Everyone that knows me knows I have opinions and won’t hesitate to give them to you. But this is not the place to smash each other. The public does read this blog. I honestly feel that brotherhood is not what is once was, at least for some.
Graney (Email) - 10/17/11 - 16:49

Thanks for your input, Graney. You have articulated an issue with this blog that’s been present for ages. And there are really two forums here. First is Mike’s megaphone, and that one’s pretty straight-forward. What you read is what you get. Regular range of topics and types of postings.

The second forum is the comments section. This one’s less regular, less predictable. It can be all over the place, from frequency of reader postings to the amount of detail in conversations to the level of civility. Sometimes, readers stay on topic; sometimes they don’t. The second forum is also the most problematic part of this blog.

There’s been a learning curve on both of these forums. Everybody’s had an education, from myself as poster (and also as moderator/editor), to the readers who post both by name and anonymous, to the lurkers who read but never add their own two cents.

I think the megaphone is pretty well tuned these days. My postings are intended to be interesting or entertaining to the reader, to deliver information and even prompt discussion, and portray emergency services in a good light. I think I am doing okay there.

It’s the “second blog” that’s still lacking. It’s the reader comments that still don’t work as well as they should. And for that, I have regrets. Cue Frank Sinatra, who plays in my head every time I type the “R” word. Or maybe the King, and his cover of “My Way.” Thank you very much.
Legeros - 10/17/11 - 20:21

I too try to educate and inform with facts to the best of my ability since there are so may (Wake Co.) firefighters that read this blog. Unfortunately, many read looking for only controversy. Whatever the cause, my posts will continue to exemplify logic over emotion. It is simply the RIGHT THING to do.
A.C. Rich - 10/17/11 - 20:37

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