Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Transit bill 'doesn't include roads'

Before the House Transportation Committee approved legislation cosponsored by Rep. Becky Carney, D-Mecklenburg and a bipartisan coalition of lawmakers to give other counties a way to pay for transit systems such as Charlotte's, Mecklenburg Republican Rep. Ric Killian of Charlotte proposed an amendment allowing local governments to use such funds for roads.
Killian told the committee he was a strong supporter of mass transit and wanted to support the bill, but that transit funds available in Charlotte had done nothing to relieve congestion on area roads. The mass transit system, he said, "simply doesn't relieve congestion."
But other committee members urged the committee to keep the bill for transit. Rep. Deborah Ross, D-Wake, told Killian he had plenty of time left in this session to offer a proposal to amend the law in another committee. And Forsyth Republican Bill McGee, one of four primary sponsors of the bill, put it bluntly: "This is a transit bill that does not include roads." The committee voted down Killian's amendment on a voice vote before approving the legislation and sending it on to the House Finance Committee.

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

Big Surprise. Why would they want to build roads when only 95% of the population uses them.

Anonymous said...

95% uses roads because they have no choice!! This bill will expand mass transit and give people options. The South Blvd Lynx HAS been successful and expansion will as well no matter how badly the naysayers try to discredit it!

Anonymous said...

Sorry, but your statistic is WRONG.

100% of the taxpaying population uses roads in one way or another.

By comparison, less than 2% of the population in Charlotte uses light rail.

And yet somehow, more money has been spent here on light rail in the last ten years than has been on roads.

The "choice" you speak of is one that light rail uses should pay for themselves, not force the other 98% of the population to subsidize.

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Anonymous said...

Anon 8:33 and public transit have one thing in common. Neither of them make any sense!

Anonymous said...

Those pescky naysayers. I'm sorry but if public transit is so great why do most people chose to ride a car? When I drive around Charlotte most of the CATS buses have only a few riders.

Dustin said...

Actually, 100% of the population uses transit, too. Ever appreciated clean, less-polluted air on a beautiful day? Ever had a CATS express bus pass by you while you're waiting in morning rush hour on I-77? Ever bought anything at a store or restaurant where employees got to work via transit? Then you've benefitted from transit.

And why is it that when we make moves to improve the urban environment, you who are in love with your cars complain about having something "forced" upon you? I am tired of having no choices throughout much of this country for an urban, car-free lifestyle that I would like. Stop forcing your lifestyle on me!

@anon 9:53: And where do you usually drive around Charlotte? The outskirts? No wonder buses have few riders; they're only beginning their routes. By the time they reach uptown and other central parts of the city, many buses are standing-room-only, as is Lynx.

@anon 8:33: What doesn't make any sense is this country's love affair with the automobile. The built environment we've created to accommodate the car is not only ugly but inhospitable to human beings. Don't agree with me? Try walking down Independence Boulevard and see what you think then. And cars themselves! Unsafe, polluting machines. And that's only the beginning of the problems with them. I would be fine if I never got in another one. I'll take transit over a car any time I can!

Anonymous said...

I agree with Dustin. I also think it is funny that many of the anti-transit people are the same people who don't want Charlotte to turn into Atlanta. Well I hate to break it to you but the statistics are there and in 30 years Charlotte will be the same size as present day Atlanta. You can't pave your way out of congestion (as Atlanta has proven over and over again and Georgia is finally opening up to the idea of commuter rail) but you can give people a choice not to sit in that congestion every day. Just imagine all of the thousands of people who use mass transit everyday no longer having that option. That equals thousands more cars on the road and traffic and air pollution would be WORSE. If you expand transit, you give more people the option of taking it and therefore thousands more cars are taken off the road everyday. Pro-transit people are not all anti-roads either. Most of us realize you need both in order to have a well rounded, efficient infrastructure system.

Anonymous said...

I don't have a problem with public transit per se, but why can't it be run by a priviate business. The New York subway was run by private enterprise during it's early years. To the people that have a problem with the automobile I feel sorry for you. The automoile has made our lifes way better. I guess you would prefer to ride a horse. Sounds to me you have 19th century thinking!

Anonymous said...

Dustin maybe you should stop forcing individuals to live like you. I don't care that you ride public transit, but I don't want to ride it. It's inefficient and a big waste of taxpayer money.

Anonymous said...

"It's inefficient and a big waste of taxpayer money."

And how is widening or building a new road any different once it becomes congested again? Just because 95% or 100% of people use roads doesn't mean they 1) pay for themselves 2) are ineffecient if congested and 3) a waste of money because the road is congested again.

Just like roads, transit can be inefficient DEPENDING ON THE SITUATION/ROUTE. Express buses and the light rail in Charlotte are not inefficient. I'd imagine some popular regular bus lines are not inefficient either. I don't know where you live but that can also make transit seem inefficient to you as well. To make a generalization that "all transit is inefficient" is simply not true. That's your opinion, not a fact...

I'm not "anti-roads" I'm just pointing out that statements like yours are flawed. The Charlotte area needs transit just as much as it needs road improvements. 70% of people voted in favor of transit so it's time to get over it already.

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:01 your are entitled to your opinion as well. I just don't see how a train that travels up and down south blvd a benefit to the citizens of Charlotte especially when you consider the cost. You talk of options but are we as a community better off when are sales tax increases and the money used to support light rail always goes over budget by at least $200,000,000.

Anonymous said...

"You talk of options but are we as a community better off when are sales tax increases and the money used to support light rail always goes over budget by at least $200,000,000."

So I guess we as a community are better off without I-485 which has been plagued with numerous delays, cost over-runs, and still isn't complete after almost 20 years??? It is a HALF CENT sales tax by the way. Half a cent...

"I just don't see how a train that travels up and down south blvd a benefit to the citizens of Charlotte especially when you consider the cost."

The South Blvd. line is ONE piece of a planned transit system. You have to look at the big picture. If the rail line is expanded as planned up to the University Area you will see an even larger benefit. Same goes for the rail line up to Lake Norman as well as rapid transit in the West and Southeast corridors. As South End continues to revitalize you will see the same thing happen eventually all the way down South Blvd. The same can be said of the extension to the University Area. Of course the economy has slowed things down right now but when it picks up again you will notice more investment along the line. I just don't understand how people can be so short-sighted...

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:56 The good thing is I will vote with my feet and move to SC. By the way a half sales tax is still an increase. I'm just amazed that people in this country have not revolted due to the fact that we are taxed to death! Don't get me wrong I think Charlotte is a great city, but I'm tired of being nickeled and dimed to death!

Anonymous said...

You do know that if you moved to York County, SC (I'm assuming you did) they have a FULL CENT sales tax called Pennies for Progress... but it is for roads so I'm sure you don't mind paying that *rolls eyes*

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the information. Come on do you really have to role your eyes?

Anonymous said...

"Come on do you really have to role your eyes?"

I thought it was nicer than calling you a hypocrite...

Anonymous said...

Hey, I have been called much worse things. You didn't hurt my feelings. But how am I a hyprocite when I choose to live in area that represents my views. I agree that the tax is BS but at least it goes to roads and not public transit.

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