ChiefJoJo

2035 Triangle Regional Transit Vision Plan

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One thing that you can count on in Raleigh is let’s do a study! Forget the fact that this will be the third study in almost as many years...Lol 

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12 hours ago, orulz said:

This is getting off topic, but NCDOT does have $90 million allocated towards the Crabtree project starting in 2022, which in planning terms is practically tomorrow.

But it's on-topic if the Crabtree project facilitates better bus service in the area. I wonder whether it does. 

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I see where some people on Ridge Rd are oppose to extending Crabtree Blvd and tying it into Ridge Rd and expanded Glenwood/Crabtree Blvd/Ridge Rd interchange. Maybe option would be to cut Ridge Rd out of interchange and tie it to upgraded Varnell St (been a long time but seems Varnell was kind of narrow last time I went over it) to link to Glenwood. Would make the interchange simpler and still keep Ridge Rd access to Glenwood at north end. If Crabtree Blvd could be extended to Glenwood (connect between Brookhaven/Morehead) on north end could take traffic out of the Creedmore intersection as well as Glenwood interchange.

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My objection to the plan, if I have interpreted it correctly, is that going from inbound Glenwood to eastbound 440 still has a tight-radius circle that will restrict cars to 20 mph. The current cloverleaf can back up for a third of a mile with cars doing exactly that. NCDOT and the City are taking the cheap way out instead of building flyovers.  

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The last meeting for this phase of the study is today at the Cary Arts Center, at 5:30PM. I'll be there :)

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Whether it's rural or urban Republicans pushing it doesn't matter. Either way, given the overwhelming Democratic representation for Orange and Durham counties, it's a red versus blue thing. That said, rural legislators of either party (although nearly all rural legislators are Republican these days; hasn't always been the case) have little incentive to see big money going to urban projects.

If Orange and Durham provide 50% of the project cost instead of 40%, is there an issue? The way I read it, the feds want 50% from state and local combined. It may be that the local tax wasn't meant to provide 50%, but that's for Orange and Durham to sort out if the General Assembly forces them to.

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Cross-posting my reply to this from the transit thread in the Charlotte forum.

This is crazy. I wasn't happy about how state share has been reduced from 25% to 10% but it is what it is: what do you expect from an all-Republican legislature.

I could also honestly understand a rule that no state funding can be *spent* until a project has all its local and federal sources in hand. Let the agencies put up their own money during the planning process so the state doesn't pour money into a project only to have it fail due to losing its federal grant application.  This is actually what happened back in 2005 - state money was spent on planning, property acquisition, and even some utility relocation work, and then the project died. As a major source of funding for transit projects, this condition would be understandable as a right-leaning legislature's prerogative (although no such condition exists for most roadway projects). So, if the federal grant application fails, then the money allocated to the project by the state can be reallocated elsewhere - nothing lost on the state's behalf except a few man hours of planning staff time, which would also be nothing unusual since committed roadway projects get cancelled or rescheduled all the time.

But saying you can't even submit for prioritization before all other funding is committed is a blatant attempt to kill all state involvement in transit capital projects. It's so blatant I think it might not be truly intentional, and that even right-leaning legislators would consider an amendment. Possibly the people who drafted that bit don't understand how the New Starts process works.

1 hour ago, ctl said:

Whether it's rural or urban Republicans pushing it doesn't matter. Either way, given the overwhelming Democratic representation for Orange and Durham counties, it's a red versus blue thing. That said, rural legislators of either party (although nearly all rural legislators are Republican these days; hasn't always been the case) have little incentive to see big money going to urban projects.

If Orange and Durham provide 50% of the project cost instead of 40%, is there an issue? The way I read it, the feds want 50% from state and local combined. It may be that the local tax wasn't meant to provide 50%, but that's for Orange and Durham to sort out if the General Assembly forces them to.

I think that taking the state's 10% out would kill the project. They're already leveraging future tax revenues to the max to cover the 40%.

It might be possible with a bond issue and a substantial property tax hike. That would be very, very painful.

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The State of NC has no problem building new roads in eastern NC that are lightly used. while the Piedmont cities are chocking on traffic.

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Yes. Their argument goes like this: eastern NC is in economic despair (and most people would objectively agree). Better roads are an investment that will attract industry or at least remove a reason why industry doesn't want to locate there. If their economy deteriorates further, an ever larger transfer of tax dollars from Charlotte, the Triangle, and the Triad will become necessary so that the eastern counties can provide basic services which they are struggling to provide now. Or to put it differently, do you want everything east of US 1 (except the coastal counties) to become third world?  

Rationale or rationalization... you choose. 

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They just need to apply this 'build it before you need it' approach to other areas and transportation modes instead of being in constant kneejerk triage in the rest of the State. 

Edited by Jones_
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4 hours ago, ctl said:

 Or to put it differently, do you want everything east of US 1 (except the coastal counties) to become third world?  

The other (admittedly unrealistic) perspective is for everything on the coastal plain (other than  beaches, Bragg and ECU) to become farmland and have everybody else become refugees in Raleigh and Charlotte. 

Honestly I think that is a better option, although I do understand nobody wants to leave home.

 

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Qu'ils mangent de la brioche, someone is said to have said. 

Between 1 and 1.5 million people in the deprived areas, depending on how you count. They're not bringing a lot of income or wealth with them. Triangle couldn't possibly assimilate that many without a massive amount of sprawl to build where land is inexpensive. 

And with respect to reuse as farmland, there would have to be a lot of parcel buy-ups and consolidations before big ag could do more than they're already doing. More likely you'd see slash-and-burn in order to plant pine trees... big environmental hit.

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On 5/29/2018 at 12:31 PM, ctl said:

If Orange and Durham provide 50% of the project cost instead of 40%, is there an issue?

Yes, one issue is fairness or equal process. Charlotte (Mecklenburg) only had to provide 25%.  If the State could provide 25% (twice even) for Charlotte, it's pathetic they can't even provide 10% for the Triangle.

Another issue would be the full faith and credit of North Carolina. If the State can change the rules or move the goal post during the game, the market has good reason to re-think doing business here.

 

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The bonds haven't been issued yet, so the full faith and credit argument doesn't work. In any event, bonds for this project would be issued by GoTriangle as Limited Obligation bonds not General Obligation bonds. That said, I don't know of any LOB in this state that has been allowed to go into disrepute.

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