ChiefJoJo

2035 Triangle Regional Transit Vision Plan

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This isn't about the Regional Transit Vision Plan per say, but it is a great article on the rapid rise of mass transit use in the US and how even cities like NYC are struggling with the increases. The article also takes a swing at Raleigh (literally mentions Raleigh by name) for not putting the money and resources into developing mass transit: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/25010939/

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“We’re seeing it in a lot of other metropolitan areas where there just [aren’t] viable transit options — places like Indianapolis, Orlando or Raleigh,” said Robert Puentes, a transportation and urban planning scholar with the Brookings Institution, a public policy association in Washington. “They haven’t put the money into it. They haven’t put the resources into it.”

I bet he's been getting the scoop from Bruce Katz, the Brookings Metropolitan Planner who has visited Raleigh several times in the past year or so touting lots of new urban-friendly policies, including transit. At least Charlotte's success with Lynx LRT has gotten the attention of the NC legislature, which--paired with $4 gas--means better prospects for the Triangle's transit future.

As staffer noted, please try to come to the transit forum on June 26. We need to show that there's interest in transit here in the area, so come and tell your friends.

TRANSIT: Is Wake County Ready for it?

A community forum on transit issues.

Thursday, June 26, 7-9:30 pm (sign-in 6:30 pm)

NCSU McKimmon Center, Raleigh

Hosted by the following Community Partners:

WakeUP Wake County, Downtown Housing Improvement Corp., North Carolina Conservation Network, Raleigh-Wake Citizens Association, Sierra Club Capital Group, Society for Women Environmental Professionals, Women in Transportation Seminar - NC Triangle Chapter

Forum highlights:

* Keynote speaker: Carol Coletta, CEO - CEO for Cities and host of NPR syndicated program, Smart Cities, and national urbanism expert

"By choice or by chance. How can transit help us plan for a future of growth?"

* Discussion by community business leaders on how transit can provide economic opportunities for Wake County

* Overview of new proposal for regional transit in Wake and the Triangle

* Charlotte's transit success story, presented by Keith Parker, CEO, Charlotte Area Transit System

The purpose of the forum is to discuss the opportunities and potential of transit in Wake County and the Triangle. Please come learn, ask questions and participate in the community discussion!

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The key issue is what is feasible and what is a vision. IMO Raleigh would have been a model place for light rail or commuter rail. College kids, university workers and "green" research people all sandwiched within 50 miles of each other would lead you to think that it is a no brainer. I guess the saying 40 acres and mule really means something in Raleigh.

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This isn't about the Regional Transit Vision Plan per say, but it is a great article on the rapid rise of mass transit use in the US and how even cities like NYC are struggling with the increases. The article also takes a swing at Raleigh (literally mentions Raleigh by name) for not putting the money and resources into developing mass transit: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/25010939/

Another follow-up on the national level. For the NPR buffs, last week the Diane Rehm Show discussed transit issues on her show. Broad base of people and perspectives. The facinating issue is the discussion of Federal policy towards transit compared to highways, etc. Randal O'Toole from Cato Institute will give you a few laughs of their perspective. Enjoy!

Diane Rehm Show - US Transportation Infrastructure

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Another follow-up on the national level. For the NPR buffs, last week the Diane Rehm Show discussed transit issues on her show. Broad base of people and perspectives. The facinating issue is the discussion of Federal policy towards transit compared to highways, etc. Randal O'Toole from Cato Institute will give you a few laughs of their perspective. Enjoy!

Diane Rehm Show - US Transportation Infrastructure

oh i heard that! very interesting things i didnt even know. it seems more and more the places i go for politics/current events news are starting to talk about transit and transportation issues more and more. hmmmmm.......i wonder why.

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Another follow-up on the national level. For the NPR buffs, last week the Diane Rehm Show discussed transit issues on her show. Broad base of people and perspectives. The facinating issue is the discussion of Federal policy towards transit compared to highways, etc. Randal O'Toole from Cato Institute will give you a few laughs of their perspective. Enjoy!

Diane Rehm Show - US Transportation Infrastructure

Actually, the Cato Institute is awesome. It's a gold mine of great information. From being pro school choice to anti-war. However, Randal O'Toole is not the sharpest knife in the drawer. I don't think he would be able to find snow in Alaska or water in the ocean. I've heard him speak on transit before and couldn't believe they let him in the front door of the Cato Institute, much less is allowed to speak publicly about it.

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The local options funding bill will have a reading in the House Transportation Committee wednesday, according to the N&O. It's an interesting contrast on how the two regions, Charlotte and the Triangle, managed the transit funding issue. Forget about the supposedly "bad" TTA rail plan, or the FTA's moving the goal posts. The lack of viable transit service today is a direct result of the fact that the Triangle's poltiical and business leadership was MIA 10 years ago, and it appears many still do not get the message. Let's hope it passes the committee and moves ahead.

Also, Triangle Transit is taking comments on it's Short Range Transit Plan, and will have a public hearing next week:

The Triangle Transit draft Short-Range Transit Plan has been submitted to the Triangle Transit Board of Trustees and is now available for public inspection at the Triangle Transit office between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday and on-line at http://www.triangletransit.org/srtp. The Triangle Transit office is located at 68 TW Alexander Drive, Suite 1000, Research Triangle Park, City of Durham, North Carolina.

The Triangle Transit Board of Trustees will hold a public hearing on the draft Short-Range Transit Plan at 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday, June 25, 2008 at the Triangle Transit office. Persons wishing to comment on the draft Short-Range Transit Plan may do so in person at the public hearing. This will be the final public hearing prior to the approval of the Short-Range Transit Plan.

There's some info in the SRTP on existing route performance (express routes are very high performing!), future route expansion (including park & rides), future installations (shelters, bike racks, info, etc).

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The tax-option bill got pulled before a vote could be taken.

It smacks of "Lucy pulling the football before Charlie Brown can kick it", but that's just my opinion.

Why is it so difficult to let local municipalities vote? Between this and the Home Builders Association's assault on the transfer tax, it is difficult to maintain faith in the democratic process.

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Rep. Paul Luebke is frustrating!!! If anything poor and working class people stand to benefit greatly from more transit. It opens up access to more jobs across the Triangle. At the same time, high gas prices are making people cut back on their car trips. Luebke (and others like him) are not looking at the BIG picture here. He's no better than the Locke people who believe that we can outpave growth and traffic...hmmmmm...that's never been tried before...Atlanta, Houston, LA, etc.

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^ I understand lawmakers having issues with this. One, they may just oppose transit. Of course I have a tough time with that, considering the paltry sum that transit gets in NC (~3% of DOT funds). Two, they could be folks like Luebke, who support transit, but don't like the sales tax. Well, that's better, but we've got to quit the talk and get this thing moving. There has been enough talk for 10 years. We have a good, realistic plan, that can be funded and built, and we have a shining example to the southwest that proves it can work in NC. The Charlotte example, combined with $4 gas, and the bipartisan bill sponsors, gave me some cause for optimism that it would pass. Maybe there's still hope for a vote next week.

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I totally agree.

I thought this would be the Triangle's "If not now, then when?" / "If not us, then who?" / "If not this funding source, then how?" capital M Moment, but so far, nadda. And the general assembly will get out of town (summer vacation, campaigning) once the budget is passed, likely in the next ten days or so.

I understand the "tax on the poor" issue of increasing the sales tax, but the positive effects of a stronger mass transit system that increases the accessiblity to more jobs, education, reducing the time penalty of going car-free, etc. outweighs the negatives.

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I kind of think that the Politian's new that they wouldn't even put this for a "do you want to vote" vote, because during election year they didn't even want to seem like they support a tax. I believe that they will put it up for a regional vote next year 2009. IMHO! :)

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Maybe a new movement of "You didn't support improvement of our transit systems...So I'm going to vote for someone who will..." is coming. The Triangle has a growing list of infrastructure needs that going unfunded and could lead to declines in our quality of life which we constantly receive accolades for. I'm tired of voting for politicians...will some LEADERS please stand up!

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Reminder that the transit forum is this Thursday:

As staffer noted, please try to come to the transit forum on June 26. We need to show that there's interest in transit here in the area, so come and tell your friends.

TRANSIT: Is Wake County Ready for it?

A community forum on transit issues.

Thursday, June 26, 7-9:30 pm (sign-in 6:30 pm)

NCSU McKimmon Center, Raleigh

Hosted by the following Community Partners:

WakeUP Wake County, Downtown Housing Improvement Corp., North Carolina Conservation Network, Raleigh-Wake Citizens Association, Sierra Club Capital Group, Society for Women Environmental Professionals, Women in Transportation Seminar - NC Triangle Chapter

Forum highlights:

* Keynote speaker: Carol Coletta, CEO - CEO for Cities and host of NPR syndicated program, Smart Cities, and national urbanism expert

"By choice or by chance. How can transit help us plan for a future of growth?"

* Discussion by community business leaders on how transit can provide economic opportunities for Wake County

* Overview of new proposal for regional transit in Wake and the Triangle

* Charlotte's transit success story, presented by Keith Parker, CEO, Charlotte Area Transit System

The purpose of the forum is to discuss the opportunities and potential of transit in Wake County and the Triangle. Please come learn, ask questions and participate in the community discussion!

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There is also this tommorow! :

The local options funding bill will have a reading in the House Transportation Committee wednesday, according to the N&O. It's an interesting contrast on how the two regions, Charlotte and the Triangle, managed the transit funding issue. Forget about the supposedly "bad" TTA rail plan, or the FTA's moving the goal posts. The lack of viable transit service today is a direct result of the fact that the Triangle's poltiical and business leadership was MIA 10 years ago, and it appears many still do not get the message. Let's hope it passes the committee and moves ahead.

Also, Triangle Transit is taking comments on it's Short Range Transit Plan, and will have a public hearing next week:

The Triangle Transit draft Short-Range Transit Plan has been submitted to the Triangle Transit Board of Trustees and is now available for public inspection at the Triangle Transit office between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday and on-line at http://www.triangletransit.org/srtp. The Triangle Transit office is located at 68 TW Alexander Drive, Suite 1000, Research Triangle Park, City of Durham, North Carolina.

The Triangle Transit Board of Trustees will hold a public hearing on the draft Short-Range Transit Plan at 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday, June 25, 2008 at the Triangle Transit office. Persons wishing to comment on the draft Short-Range Transit Plan may do so in person at the public hearing. This will be the final public hearing prior to the approval of the Short-Range Transit Plan.

There's some info in the SRTP on existing route performance (express routes are very high performing!), future route expansion (including park & rides), future installations (shelters, bike racks, info, etc).

I want to go to both, especially the TTA thing since I work right down the street! But have a dentist appointment on Wednesday so I have to get work done early, and have to make up for lost time on Thursday, killing the McKimmon Center event. Bad timing on my part, but I made the appointment months ago.

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The transit forum last night was a big success. There were about 300 people (had to bring in more chairs and ran out of surveys), among them various elected officials and other local leaders--from the top of my head...

Raleigh: Mary Ann Baldwin, Thomas Crowder, Russ Stephenson, James West

Wake Co: Joe Bryan, Lindy Brown, Kenn Gardner, Harold Webb

Others: Neal Hunt, NC Senate, Mayor of Wake Forest, and I noticed several candidates for elected office... Cary would have had a contingent, I am told, but for their council meeting last night... I'm sure there are some community leaders that I missed.

Here's the local media coverage:

WRAL story

video stream of the event in it's entirety

WTVD story

NBC 17 story

Carol Colleta (CEO for Cities) and Keith parker were particularly impressive. John Hodges-Copple of the Triangle J COG made a short--but informative-- presentation that summarizes what led to the local STAC proposal. Again, you can see it all on the WRAL link above.

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I referred to this on the initial post. Triangle Transit begins new service from Wake Forest to Downtown Raleigh Monday, July 7. They are also providing a cirulator service (530am-730pm M-F) within town. Amazing. W-F gets a real bus circulator before Raleigh!

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So the Wake Forest bus route started on Monday. There was an article in the N&O on Tuesday profiling a couple of the riders and their reasons for riding.

Has anyone here rode the WF bus yet? I wonder how the ridership is.

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So the Wake Forest bus route started on Monday. There was an article in the N&O on Tuesday profiling a couple of the riders and their reasons for riding.

Has anyone here rode the WF bus yet? I wonder how the ridership is.

not yet but i plan on riding as soon as i dust off my bike and get it in working order. (my office is still about 1mile from the closest bus stop)

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I previously posted this in the North Carolina Intercity Transit thread, but since this is centered around the triangle, I'll post it here too.

Here is a map courtesy of a poster at orangepolitics.org of the service that NCRR is studying for the Triangle and Triad areas:

ncrr2.gif

There are 4 lines under consideration:

Raleigh-Greensboro

Goldsboro-University Station (State University Railroad junction near Hillsborough)

University Station-Carrboro

Burlington-West Greensboro (and beyond)

We have to remember, though, that this is just NCRR deciding on their own "this is what we want to study." They are determining the infrastructure needs and therefore the cost to get this done in terms of double track, sidings, and crossovers. No study to date has been done to determine if this is actually the best or most efficient way of serving commuter travel needs in the region, and nobody has talked at all about funding yet either. NCRR does have some revenue with which to improve their physical plant as they see fit, but nowhere near enough to implement a bold plan like this. Presumably this would be contingent on local, state, and perhaps some federal money as well.

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I'm somewhat curious why the buses follow Atlantic into town rather than staying on Capital. Are travel times on Atlantic better? That might be the case, because there is a lot less commercial development on Atlantic (presumably due to the lack of an interchange at I-440.)

CATs also has no service on Atlantic, and Atlantic is closer to the route the north Raleigh rail line will take, but then again the express bus doesn't stop anywhere along Atlantic so it's not like they're trying to build a ridership base or fill in the gaps in the CAT network.

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I'm somewhat curious why the buses follow Atlantic into town rather than staying on Capital. Are travel times on Atlantic better? That might be the case, because there is a lot less commercial development on Atlantic (presumably due to the lack of an interchange at I-440.)

CATs also has no service on Atlantic, and Atlantic is closer to the route the north Raleigh rail line will take, but then again the express bus doesn't stop anywhere along Atlantic so it's not like they're trying to build a ridership base or fill in the gaps in the CAT network.

I would assume its because they can get to DTR faster via Atlantic than Capital. Capital is absolutely ridicioulus in the morning (I know from driving it everyday) and sometimes the light you are waiting for will turn green at least once before you get to pass it. I usually spend about 20 minutes per 3 miles on Capital on many days.

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