The Sept. 16 editorial “N.C. budget could hinder local light rail” left some points to address.
“Why is this a partisan issue at all?” At ground level it isn’t. Community voices have united from left, right and center to question the folly of the Durham-Orange rail plan.
“What is it with (leaders’) antipathy toward light rail and commuter rail?” I’ll ask one better: What is it about the phrase “light rail” that makes municipal planners giddy with uncritical thinking? Anyone involved in the recent process could see they were calculating backward toward a preordained conclusion. The plan’s serious shortcomings were an inconvenience to brush aside.
“Residents approved a tax to pay their share.” Yes, but the referendum was for “transit” – it never specified rail. For a much smaller investment, our region can establish a dedicated Bus Rapid Transit system that is far more scalable and flexible.
In the end, the editorial got one right: “Local officials ... should not give up the campaign for productive and farsighted transit alternatives.” Amen.
We should all be glad the legislature appears to have saved us from a wasteful and shortsighted one.