Basic Triangle Details
The Triangle, also referred to as “The Research Triangle” or “Research Triangle Park (RTP)” is located in the Piedmont region of North Carolina, and is anchored by the cities of Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill. The 2000 census marked the region’s population at or around 1,314,589 people. Three major universities are located within the Triangle, Duke University, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and North Carolina State University respectively.
The Triangle’s population is one of the most educated in the United States with one of the highest number of PhD’s per capita. The area’s economy is anchored by leading technological firms, research and development firms, government and world-class universities and medical centers. The economy has performed exceptionally well, with significant increases in employment, earnings, personal income and retail sales, and is projected to keep this growth pattern over the next fifteen years.
The Triangle has also placed high in multiple “best of lists” in categories such as: “Best Places To Live in America”, “Best Place for Business & Careers”, “Best Place to Work”, “Hottest Labor Market”, “Best in Health Care and Availability”, and one of “America’s Hottest Cities” to name a few.
Originally the Triangle name referred to the universities, whose educational workforce and research facilities had historically provided as a major attraction for businesses located in the region. The “Triangle” name was stamped into the public conscience in the 1959 with the creation of “Research Triangle Park”, which had become home to many numerous high-tech companies and enterprises.
Research Triangle Park was created by state and local governments, the nearby universities, as well as local business interests. The land where the park now stands was purchased by Karl Robbins. The park is situated within a pine forest with a land mass of 7,000 acres, with 630 acres reserved for development.
Business & Industry
As of 2007, Research Triangle Park had over 130 Research and Development facilities with 39,000 employees working for a total of 157 organizations. Research Triangle Park is managed by the Research Triangle Foundation, a private not for profit organization. RTP is home to many high-technology companies such as IBM, SAS Institute, Cisco Systems, Nortel Networks, NetApp, Sony Ericsson, and Red Hat to name to but a few.
RTP is also home to many life science companies and consistently ranks in the top 3 in the United States in said field. Some of these companies include GlaxoSmithKline, Biogen Idec, BASF, Merck & Co., and Novo Nordisk. RTP as well as the North Carolina State University’s Centennial Campus in Raleigh support innovation and through universities (including Duke University and The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill).
The Triangle is serviced by road by using one of the three major interstate highways: I-40, I-85, and I-95 along with their spurs: I-440, I-540, and seven US Routes. The Triangle is home to Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU) which provides direct service to 36 domestic and international destinations on 406 daily flights. In 2007, more than 10 million passengers traveled through the airport. It is the second largest airport in the Carolinas behind Charlotte-Douglas International Airport (CLT).
Transportation by bus is handled by a partnering system of multiple transportation agencies that currently serve the Triangle region. Raleigh is served by the Capital Area Transit (CAT) system, Durham is served by the Durham Area Transit Authority (DATA) system, Chapel Hill is served by Chapel Hill transit and Cary is served by their own public transit systems. There is also Triangle Transit which coordinates an extensive vanpool and rideshare program that serves the region’s larger employers and commute destinations.
There are plans to merge all of the area’s municipal systems into Triangle Transit as well as construction of a light rail system to connect down Raleigh and Durham with multiple suburban stops as well as stops in the Research Triangle Park Area.
The Triangle region enjoys a nice subtropical climate, with generally moderate temperatures during the spring and autumn seasons. A typical summer ranges from warm to hot, with occasional periods of drought, which when sever can bring about water restrictions. Winters are cool and wet with highs generally in the range of the upper 40s to lower 50s. Occasional single digit temperatures can be expected in any given winter. The Triangle region receives an average of 7 inches of snow throughout the winter, along with freezing rain and sleet.
The Triangle region has a large number of good restaurants, bars, and nightclubs. The Triangle is also home to three major university sports teams; The Duke Blue Devils, The Carolina Tar Heels, and the NC State Wolfpack. College basketball has a very large following, as can be seen during March madness. The NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes call the Triangle Region home, as well as many minor league baseball teams.
Teachers and Parents Outraged
Teachers and residents in Triangle, North Carolina are protesting against a decrease in funding, eliminating tenure, dropping bonuses for instructors with master’s degrees, and removing the cap on class sizes. This will not only deter new teachers, but have a direct result on those who are already teaching. This will also affect the way our children learn. Kids already feel the tight schedule due to the class sizes; now there will not be a max out on the head count. This also means the school will not have to hire more teachers.
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