2021 Streets and Sidewalks Bond

Apex voters supported the Streets & Sidewalks bond with a 71% approval rate during the November 2021 general election.

The bond referendum, for an amount up to $42 million, will be used solely for street and sidewalk projects.

  1. Walkability
  2. Connectivity
  3. Reliability

Blue PinPedestrian Projects

    • Estimated Cost: $9 million
    • Accelerates completion of sidewalk and crosswalk construction and enhancements to provide pedestrian routes to Apex schools
    • Improves railroad crossings and completes sidewalk gaps along two gateways to downtown Apex
    • Removes a barrier to pedestrian travel by completing a sidewalk gap along a major roadway

Project Descriptions

Safe Routes to School Sidewalk Projects

In 2018, an initial analysis of all sidewalk needs to provide safe pedestrian routes to every school in Apex was completed based on analysis of existing facilities, travel patterns, input from school officials, crash data, traffic volumes, and the availability of alternate routes. Each year, the Town is able to address a few of the needs identified. The approved bond funds will drastically accelerate this process. The specific projects and priorities will be refined and adjusted over the life of the bond based on updated analyses, changing travel patterns and conditions, completion of projects by development, and grouping projects so that they can be completed as efficiently as possible to leverage public funds. 

The latest information about safe routes to school projects that are underway or have recently been completed is available on the Transportation Projects page.

Post-Bond Approval Updates: May 2022

  • Follow-up meetings were held with 16 school principals in August 2021 – January 2022. The purpose of these meetings was to:
    • Summarize the previous conversation with the principal
    • Share the Town of Apex’s approach to addressing safe routes to school needs through the 5-Year Capital Improvement Program and the potential Streets & Sidewalks Bond
    • Share status updates on identified needs
    • Gain insight into current conditions
    • Identify current pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure needs
  • Principal Meetings – Key Takeaways
    • Confirmed many of the previously identified needs
    • Projects that are underway are still a priority
    • Some additional needs associated with development build-out were identified and captured in the Town’s Pedestrian Needs Inventory
    • Staff conducted two site visits and two pedestrian studies following the principal meetings

Click the image of our interactive map below to view all of the sidewalk needs that were identified as part of the safe routes to school analysis. If you have a safe routes to school sidewalk need that is not included in the map below, please complete this online form

NOTE: The satellite imagery on the interactive map was collected in 2021. 

Safe Routes to School Map  Opens in new window

Downtown Railroad Crossing Pedestrian Improvements 

These two projects include the addition of sidewalk across CSX railroad tracks as well as installation of gates and associated railroad equipment upgrades at Center Street and at Chatham Street. Improvements at the crossings would go toward the Town’s Quiet Zone eligibility for the S-line track in Downtown, to be re-evaluated following the project completion.  This project also includes sidewalk along E Chatham Street from S Mason Street to the cul-de-sac.  

Pictured below: Center Street Rail Crossing Map

downtown rail 1

Pictured below: Chatham Street Rail Crossing Map

downtown rail 2

W. Williams Street Sidewalk

The project would complete gaps in sidewalk along NC 55, connecting from the sidewalk in front of Beaver Creek Commons shopping center, crossing the US 64 ramp, connecting across the bridge over US 64, and extending to the intersection at Vision Drive. These sidewalk gaps impede pedestrian travel along a major thoroughfare and are unlikely to ever be completed by development or other projects.

Pictured below: W. Williams Street Sidewalk MapWest Williams Sidewalk Map

  1. You've Asked
  2. Bond Financing and Repayment
  3. Project Timeline

How was the 2015 bond funding used for the SW Peakway connection?

The 2015 Transportation Bond included the Apex Peakway grade separation (bridge and loop) at South Salem Street, which is currently in right-of-way acquisition phase preparing for construction. So far, funds from the 2015 bond have been used toward design, permitting, and right-of-way acquisition. Some funds still remain for construction, but the newly estimated construction cost has exceeded original estimates, and the 2015 bond is no longer sufficient by itself. That is the reason for including it in the 2021 Bond Referendum - to make up the funding gap between original planning-level estimate of construction and the current estimate. Some reasons for the increased cost are higher-than-average construction cost inflation in recent years, James Street intersection improvements, expanded bridge and loop capacity, altered wall design to reduce structure footprint adjacent to homes, enhanced decorative elements, and enhanced/expanded pedestrian facilities compared to original expectations.

How were the projects chosen?

Bond projects were selected based on many factors, including the results of:

  • Citizen Satisfaction Survey – The 2020 survey of citizens identifies management of traffic and overall maintenance of Town streets as top priorities.
  • Advance Apex: The 2045 Transportation Plan – Advance Apex prioritizes the three major roadway projects proposed for bond funding and completing sidewalk connections that create safe bicycle and pedestrian routes to schools.
  • The Downtown Master Plan and Parking Study   – The Downtown Plan recommends creating multimodal connections to downtown, including improving pedestrian crossings over the railroad at Center Street and Chatham Street. 
  • Internal processes including staff and Council ranking of Capital Improvement Program projects, and formation of Council strategic goals

Will the tax increases disappear and revert to current levels after bond is paid for?

The incremental tax increases are being applied specifically to cover the cost of the bond projects. So in theory, after the 20-year debt service is paid off, and if all other economic factors stayed the same as they are today, then there would be no need for the continued 3 cents in tax rate. However, there is no way to predict or guarantee the tax rate that far out.

Why don’t developers pay for these projects?

The Town has limited legal authority to require the construction of transportation infrastructure with development projects. Generally, new development can only be required to complete construction of bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure within their site and along their roadway frontage. This can result in gaps in sidewalks and other facilities. Right-of-way dedication for roadways on the Transportation Plan can typically be required, but construction of roadway improvements must be related to the traffic generated by a new development based on the technical analysis of traffic engineers and often tied to private development through zoning conditions approved by Town Council. The Town of Apex does not have authority to collect transportation impact fees.  

How does Apex’s current tax rate compare to other municipalities in Wake County? 

Apex’s 2021-2022 municipal tax rate remains one of the lowest in Wake County at .39. To see the 2020-21 rates for all Wake County municipalities, view this document.

How will the passage of the bond affect other Town services?

Other town services will be maintained and/or progress as normal. The purpose of the bond authorization is to provide funding specifically for transportation capital projects. The associated tax rate increase will cover the required debt service for the bonds, therefore not affecting the financial resources already planned for other town services.

How will the Town’s AAA bond rating be affected by this bond?

The Town’s Finance Director does not anticipate that the AAA bond rating will be impacted by the referendum.

How will the bond affect the Town’s ability to issue debt in the future?

The Town’s Finance Director has indicated that this bond should have no impact upon the Town’s ability to issue other debt in the future.