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krazeeboi

Regional cooperation in the Charlotte metro area

Regional cooperation in the Charlotte area   32 members have voted

  1. 1. How would you rate it?

    • Excellent
      1
    • Good
      5
    • Average
      16
    • Poor
      6
    • What regional cooperation?
      4

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6 posts in this topic

As central cities' influences continue to spill out to surrounding areas, regional cooperation will be crucial in preserving the sustainability and quality of life of any metro area. There are some metro areas, like Detroit, in which the suburbs seemingly despise the central city. On the other hand there are the Twin Cities and Portland, which seem to be progressive models for implementing a regional approach to better manage growth and appropriately address growth-related issues. So given this, how would you rate the regional cooperation in the Charlotte area? Do the suburban/satellite cities recognize their role in the metro area? Does Charlotte face any special challenges as its metro area spans two states? Discuss.

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I voted average because it appears, to me, that there is a major variance between our surrounding counties and towns and their attitudes and actions associated with being part of this metro area. Some seem to want to be a part of the greater Charlotte area, Lake Norman areas, Davidson, Huntersville, Mooresville, Iredell County, ect. Cabarrus seems to just a bit as well.

Other counties, though I don't think they are anti-Charlotte at all, are just dealing with their own issues (rightly) like Union County, parts of Cabarrus, York. Their growth and sprawl have made them revisit development patterns, infrastructure issues, school crowding, etc. I think they are quite aware, how could they not be, of their connectivity to the city, but grappling with "issues at home" are their focus.

Then there are counties like Gaston and Lincoln which seemingly stay out of most "issues" and debate within the great Charlotte region though they are certainly part of it. At least for me, I don't see much news from those areas relating to Charlotte.

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There is such a difference between Mecklenburg County and the vast portions of the surrounding counties regional cooperation is going to be limited to a few items because politicians in these areas have different agendas, resources, and constituencies. However for the common good of the Metrolina region I think there should be cooperation on the following items.

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  • Transportation - The region is highly dependent upon the NC Legislature giving out its fair share of transit dollars and the region needs to speak in a single voice on the matter. CATS and the MTC also need to do a much better job in its efforts to include the surrounding counties in becoming a part of the regional bus and rail transit system. I think CATS should be completely removed from any decision making process and should be setup so that it has some responsibility to the non-Charlotte governments paying into the system. Without this, buy in from governments outside of Mecklenburg is going to be difficult even though everyone agrees we need better transit than more highways.

  • Resources - Water, Land Use, Energy are all regional issues. As we have seen with the plan to pump water to Cabarrus from the Catawba, there isn't any cooperation on these issues.

  • Pollution - This is a big issue affecting everyone and it requires regional cooperation and like transit, the area needs to speak with a single voice in front of the NC Legislature. Unfortunately we still have the problem where polluting businesses will locate in a county where they want the jobs but the pollution created affects everyone. It's a difficult problem to solve for sure.

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Mecklenburg and Gaston Counties will be meeting at a "Green Transformation Conference" on Thursday to come up with a plan to protect and promote the Catawba River area according to The Observer. It's at Pine Island Country Club on 1701 Stoneyridge Drive. Unfortunately, it costs $50 to gain admission.

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What would be the fesability of consolidating the various MPOs that make up the Charlotte region? I know it would have to be legislated at the state level, but would anybody go for it? This would allow for a more regional focus on transporation issues that would hold more sway than the CCOG 'coffee talk' sessions.

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What would be the feasibility of consolidating the various MPOs that make up the Charlotte region? I know it would have to be legislated at the state level, but would anybody go for it? This would allow for a more regional focus on transporation issues that would hold more sway than the CCOG 'coffee talk' sessions.

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