Ken Larsen's web site - December 5, 2016 BOCC meeting - DOLRT proponents


12 people spoke in support of the DOLRT.  Here are links to their videos:


# Click on name to see video Summary + Ken's Comments
1 Olivia Tracks Lives in Chapel hill.  DOLRT has the potential to promote the type of high density mixed use development in this area as it continues to grow ... as it is projected to do in the coming decades.
2 Anthony Alexander Lives in Chapel Hill.  Interns at the Southern Environmental Law Center in Chapel Hill.  Is a millennial who doesn't own a car.
3 Ramona McGee Attorney for Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC), a 501(C)(3) non-profit organization working to protect the natural resources of the Southeast.  They work on a wide range of environmental groups across the state advocating transportation issues.  We urge you to sign the non-binding letter of intent.

DOLRT represents a smart forward thinking transportation investment that will result in environmental benefits and a better transporation network for the region.  SELC has been a proponent of this project because of its potential to encourage smart compact land use in Durham and in Orange County as opposed to car oriented sprawling land use that disturbs natural areas and contributes to local air pollution.

We want to clarify what is and is not being asked of you tonight.  You are being asked simply asked to collaborate with GoTriangle in identifying different funding options.  The BOCC is not being asked to raise taxes.  The BOCC is not being asked to make any financial commitment tonight.  That ask will come later [audience laughter], and you'll have ample time to consider it.  Right now this is a non-binding MOU.

In order to keep DOLRT eligible for federal funds, GoTriangle needs Orange County's non-binding agreement to identify new funding sources [to make up for NC lowering its project commitment from 25% to 10%]
4 Gary Saunders Is an engineer who lives in Chapel HIll. Has been using the GoTriangle system since 2005 to get from Chapel Hill to Raleigh.  Orange County has been growing at 1.12% per year in population growth.  In about 60 years the population of Orange County will be double what it is right now.  That means you have to provide double the road way, double the infrastructure to move people from point A to point B.  The bus system plus the DOLRT will not solve all the problems, but it is a start.

Recently spent 3 weeks in Italy and saw their public transportation system.  It was pretty remarakble.  It was a combination of a bus system and a tran system.  The population is a little more dense over there, but they have limited land space.
5 Tom Farmer I've been a GoTriangle commuter since 2009.  I'm already enjoying the increased bus service brought on by the 1/2 sales tax. We're part of the 3rd most sprawling metro area in the country as our traffic continues to outpace our road capacity.  We waste nearly 10 million gallons of fuel being stuck in traffic.  Our annual congestion cost is $ 700 per commuter per year.  Our largest regional employers are experiencing parking issues and bus congestion.  Light rail is a wise investment in efficient transportation and access to jobs for residents of Orange County, but it's a vital investment in future tax revenue.  Without light rail, we lose the ability to attract good people, good businesses, and good jobs as our economy stagnates as we become mired in traffic.  DOLRT is the anchor of an extensive transit plan.  It reaches all the way out to Garner with commuter rail in Durham.  It includes an 8 train a day Amtrak station in Hillsborough + BRT on MLK Boulevard. It includes a new regional bus service for Mebane and Durham.  It includes enhance service for the Hillsborough circulator.  It includes enhanced service for rural Orange County, and it includes enhanced service from Hillsborough to Chapel Hill.  If you want a vibrant future for Orange County with an expanding tax base, you need to support DOLRT.  It is long passed time to get off the asphalt.  Either we invest in efficient transit, or we lose our ability to compete with those regions that do.
6 Tanya Gesa Has lived in Carrboro for 9 years.  Lived in St. Louis and watched the growth of its Metroline.  It now serve 53,000 riders per day and is still expanding.  Public transportation benefits our communities, our environment, and is a wise investment for Orange County.
7 Cor Rademaker Lives in Chapel Hill and teaches urban planning at UNC.  Previously he was vice president of the third largest metropolitan public transit company in the Netherlands.  Today I've heard a lot of discussion about the costs and hidden costs of DOLRT.  I didn't hear anything about revenues and hidden revenues.  A rail line has a lot of revenues.  It takes a lot of cars off the roads.  You don't have to invest any more in parking spaces.  There's also the economic influence of a rail line.   A rail line has a large economic influence.  If we connect DOLRT to Wake County, it would have large benefits to our economy.
8 Dave Laudicina Has a Chapel Hill address, but doesn't live in Chapel Hill.  Dave regards DOLRT as the first leg in a Triangle and beyond regional transportation system.  He thinks it will link [in the future] Raleigh, Cary, RTP, Hillsborough, Burlington, Greensboro, and High Point ... permitting people to commute between any of those places on a daily basis. 
9 Katie Lang Is a car free Orange County resident.  I rely on transit.  I care about bus and rail, and we need both.  We have a lot of transit needs.  Light rail is just one of them.  BRT is just one of them.  More delays sends a message of failure to the FTA.  Think of your future generations.  Light rail will help us connect our region.
10 Vijay Sivaraman Has been a resident of Carrboro for the last 12 years.  Is a professor at NCCU.  DOLRT can help connect trains all across the Triangle.
11 Alison Stuebe Is a physician and an Associate Professor at UNC School of Medicine.  I've lived in Orange County for 8 years.  I also ride the bus every day.  I live in Meadowmont, and the bus that I ride runs every 80 minutes in the middle of the day.  That's a real hassle if you have to get your kids from school.  When the light rail is built, it'll run every 20 minutes and every 10 minutes at rush hour.  One of my neighbors gets the 703 bus every morning and rides it to the student stores and run across to the Franklin Street to get the 405 to get to her job as a social worker at Duke.  That's an hour and 10 minute commute ... which will be a 25 minute commute when DOLRT gets built.  There will be 20,000 people who will ride this train every day.  Things that are valuable cost money.  We need to make an investment in the future of our County to give better access to our hospitals.  Once the DOLRT goes on line, buses will be freed up to serve other parts of Orange County.
12 Cala McAdam Carrboro resident.  Attracted to move to Orange County because of the promise of light rail.  A community which values transit supports citizens of all income levels.  It supports residents of all physical ability levels.  A region that prioritizes rail is one that ensures affordable housing and travel costs for residents across the region in the long term.  Exploring funding options is the least that we can do as a county.  Please sign the MOU.






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