Ken Larsen's web site - Light Rail public speeches at Chapel Hill Town Council meeting April 24, 2017    



8 people spoke against the Durham-Orange Light Rail project (DOLRT). 

Click on name to see video of their speech.



  Members of public  
1 Ken Larsen "Yellow golf balls matter" + the GoTriangle game (Whack-A-Mole)
[home studio version]
2 Molly McConnell  
3 Vivian Foushee  
4 Julie McClintock  
5 Del Snow  
6 John Morris  
7 Diane Robertson  
8 Terry Vance Explains why DOLRT is a boondoggle.  Spot on!
  Town Council members  
  Maria Palmer (0:55) Claims that DOLRT does not risk bankrupting Orange County. 

(1:23) Maria cites the Ephesus-Fordham project ... where the Town Council mortgaged Town Hall to guarantee the loan they took.  She thought that was risky but okay. 

(2:30) She says a local consortium has pledged to raise $ 100M to support DOLRT. 

(3:02) She says we're not arguing facts.  "We're arguing opinions.  People are coming with opinions."  [Ken:  This sounds like, "If you're for DOLRT, you're spouting facts.  If you're against DOLRT, you're spouting opinion."]

(3:16) "If we had light rail today, a person could get from Glen Lennox to the hospital in Hillsborough door to door."  Maria went on to say "If you look at the stations, you will be able to get from Glen Lennox across the street, go to the UNC Medical center, and get on the bus that takes you to the Hillsborough hospital."  [Ken:  There is a bus which runs from UNC Medical Center to Hillsborough, but it only runs at the beginning and ending of 1st shift.  It's the 420 bus.  See its schedule.  It's designed to accomodate workers who work 1st shift ... not people who have a mid-day appointment.]

(4:20) Maria then goes on to say "Nobody is going to give us a billion dollars to do affordable housing.  We can raise the money to put affordable housing near some of these DOLRT stations if we put our minds to it, because we will have the leverage."

(5:10) Maria does not consider DOLRT to be a boondoggle.

(5:44) Maria wants Chapel Hill to compete with Durham and Raleigh for growth.  "Staying competitive means being able to maintain the lifestyle in Chapel Hill ... being able to attract the professors and entrepeneurs.  It doesn't mean I want Chapel Hill to have as many people as Raleigh or Durham."

(6:45) Maria doesn't agree with the attacks that have been made against GoTriangle.

(7:10) "I support light rail, because I believe it's right for Chapel Hill and for the future of our community."
  George Cianciolo George compares DOLRT to the Washington DC Metro.  "Today if someone doesn't use the Metro, they'll spend a lot of time in traffic." 

Ken:  According to the hype, LR is suppose to solve traffic problems. George's own statement proves that it doesn't.  Projects like DOLRT attract growth (which the DOLRT proponents cite as a plus), but growth exacerbates traffic problems.  The only way to mitigate traffic problems is to limit growth via impact fees.  Otherwise, the Triangle area will become the next Washington DC.  Question:  where do teachers and other low income people live in Washington DC?   I expect that they live far away from their jobs.  Gentrification has pushed them out.  If anyone believes that growth is good, they should read about the "Mouse utopia experiment".  [details]

George acknowledges that there is risk to the DOLRT finances.  He also says that 84% of the tax base is residential, so "We trying to encourage commercial growth."  He worries that the commercial growth will be in Wake, Durham, or Chatham and not Orange.  "We need to compete for it."  DOLRT offers a way to do so.  "DOLRT is the first step to connect to the Triangle.  It will connect to Durham County .. which will connect to Wake County.  Eventually Chapel Hill people will be able to get to Raleigh without having to get in their car and get on I-40."

Ken:  George acknowledges that DOLRT is risky, but there is a wide spectrum of risk.  Not all financial risk levels are the same.  Some are minimal; some are suicidal.  To me, DOLRT is close to suicidal.  It will take us until 2062 to pay off the loans.
Donna Bell Wants funds for DOLRT to also include expanded bus service and BRT. 

Ken:  Expanded bus service and BRT should be priority 1.  I'm highly dubious that these plus light rail can be attained with the sales tax money.
  Michael Parker Acknowledges that DOLRT is a risky project.  Sees DOLRT as the major part of a fully built out regional transit system.   Michael sees DOLRT as a series of risks worth taking.

Ken:  Like all DOLRT proponents, Michael doesn't talk about at-grade crossings.
  Jessica Anderson  
  Nancy Oates  




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