Let's get rolling on Wake transit

September 4, 2013 

Wake County Commissioner Paul Coble now says county officials should bring in outside experts to review modern transit proposals that he personally has helped to prevent from proceeding. Coble has long been opposed to light rail, which is going to be an absolute necessity in the near future to move people around the growing Triangle.

What’s the source of his opposition? He has indicated in the past that he doesn’t think there’s enough density in the area to make what he thinks would be an expensive light-rail option popular. With a forecast for more growth, that’s an ever-weakening position.

A few observers are more than a little suspicious of Coble’s suddenly revived interest in transit and are wondering what he’s up to. Whatever Coble’s motivations, it’s good to see the longtime skeptic of mass transit finally open to listening to ideas. It’s way past time to get moving and to quit talking about mass transit, and it’s appalling that Durham and Chapel Hill have moved ahead with transit plans while Coble has stifled planning in the county that should be leading the way.

Is he seriously waiting for the Triangle’s major streets to turn into parking lots before he’ll reckon that maybe it’s time for some transit alternatives?

If Wake waits and holds up regional progress, the construction of a light-rail system, for one example, will be much more expensive than it would be if started now.

Why should the county play catch-up when it could get ahead of the transportation curve for a change? This train needs to leave the station, and it can if Coble gets on board.

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