Ken Larsen's web site - March 7, 2017 DOLRT speech to BOCC by Lisa Brach
As I attend these public meetings it distresses me to hear 2 recurring themes from those who feel that the Light Rail is the ONLY answer to Durham and Orange Counties' public transportation problems:
#1 - that the Light Rail will end the traffic congestion on 15-501 AND
#2 – that the Light Rail will provide better transportation for everyone, especially those in lower income level jobs and situations.
To false assumption #1: ending congestion on 15-501, I would ask, HOW? - when the majority of traffic on 15-501 is either coming from or headed towards I-40? Also, HOW when there are no stops or tracks along Fordham near malls or business facilities? Not everyone on 15-501 is going to UNC Hospital on Manning or Duke Hospital on Erwin.
AS to false assumption #2: Achieving Environmental Justice by providing public transportation for ALL in this county, HOW?-when the tracks cover only 3 miles of Orange County which is 401 square miles in size?!?
[ GoTriangle in their efforts to lure Orange county into this flawed plan tells the public that 1/3 of the stations (6 out of 18) are in Orange County when the reality is that only 4 of the stations sit in Orange County. And all 4 of those stations are located on UNC property. ] The Light Rail does not serve: Carrboro or Hillsborough or Cedar Grove or Little River or Efland or parts of Mebane. It is not even serving all of CH. The Light Rail serves only a tiny corner of Chapel Hill located in an even smaller corner of Orange Co!
This means that Orange County residents will still need a car in order to drive out of their way, while lengthening their commute, just to access the Light Rail.
When you add the extreme tax debt which you will be placing on the backs of ALL Orange County Tax payers, the Light Rail plan is a slap in the face of those who would use and need it most.
Do not WASTE our current and future tax dollars through the year 2062 just to build 3 miles of Orange Co. track. And don't forget the added County debt to cover operation & maintenance which begins upon completion in 2028 - because there is NO Federal or State funding for that portion of the bill.
Do not plunge us into a debt which will last for generations and still not solve our public transportation needs nor our traffic problems on 15-501 or I-40.
It is time to turn to other solutions which offer wider coverage, a lower price tag and a higher percentage of federal funding. BRT offers greater area coverage at a much lower price tag and offers 70% federal funding through the same grant.
(?!?) The Light Rail at 2.5 BILLION dollars just to build and only 50% federal funding – SERIOUSLY? (?!?)
Orange County deserves a plan with true Environmental Justice instead of the short end of the stick (and track)!
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