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INDY Week columnist Bob Geary's Raleigh news & politics blog

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Monday, February 16, 2009

"NOW on PBS" shows missed connections between Obama $$$ and transit in NC

Posted By on Mon, Feb 16, 2009 at 1:15 PM

The television news program "Now on PBS" this week looks at whether transportation funds contained in the federal stimulus package will help mass transit or be sucked up for roads. Case study: North Carolina. The program is an excellent review (about 24:00 long; the last 2:00 is something else) of how light-rail transit is working great in Charlotte (starring Mayor Pat McCrory), but not in the Triangle ... and why regardless of the difference, neither Charlotte nor the Triangle may see any stimulus money for transit. Two reasons for that: 1) the federal transportation money is coming through the state...

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Friday, February 13, 2009

On comprehensive planning, transit and the splatter principle -- II: The buses first approach

Posted By on Fri, Feb 13, 2009 at 2:38 PM

Note, first, that Raleigh adopted its current comprehensive plan in 1989, after the regional rail transit plan was hatched. The ’89 comp plan, in theory, should've stemmed the rampant sprawl and prompted dense developments to occur in close proximity to the planned station stops along the rail line, thus supplying the residents and the destinations (offices, stores) needed to make it hum. [CP, T & Splatter - I: The Back Story] Didn’t happen. Dense developments were allowed to go elsewhere, and so they did, and they never came to rail line, which therefore never materialized. The sprawl, of course, continued...

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How 'bout a rumba?

Posted By on Fri, Feb 13, 2009 at 7:34 AM

Nah. Bad idea. But let's not let the mayor down, jingle writers. "I'm waiting for people to write the music to the R-Line," Meeker said. The launch of the R-Line this morning is a reminder that Raleigh still has no song to sing. No Chattanooga Choo-Choo. Update: Nice post at New Raleigh about the Downtown Raleigh Alliance and its "YouRHere" brand. We may could use that in our tune....

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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Ridin' the R-Line -- starting Friday

Posted By on Wed, Feb 11, 2009 at 11:24 AM

  In between rants about regional transit and why it's not here yet (and why it won't be any time soon), let's pause to celebrate a notable, if small, step forward for Mankind/Raleigh division. It will take place Friday morning, 8:30 am in front of the Convention Center on Salisbury Street. Mayor Charles Meeker will christen the new downtown circulator bus service, nee the R-Line, which will henceforth follow the route shown from Glenwood South to the downtown loop at 10-15 minute headways. In other words, two buses will travel the route, and if it takes them 25 minutes...

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On comprehensive planning, transit and the splatter principle -- I: The back story

Posted By on Wed, Feb 11, 2009 at 10:02 AM

I've told this story before, but not here, I don't believe. When my wife and I moved to the Triangle 20-plus years ago now, we saw something in the local press about growing traffic congestion and we just laughed -- we were from NJ, after all, where they invented congestion. (And sprawl.) Besides which, we had just driven from the northern outskirts of Raleigh to our home in downtown Raleigh (Cameron Park) in something like 12 minutes flat. Congestion? Not so much. Sprawl, though. I soon came to understand that the planners in the region were working on a sprawl-congestion...

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Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Greatest comp plan ever? Next Wednesday, Feb 11, the floor is open

Posted By on Wed, Feb 4, 2009 at 3:35 PM

What was it that Mayor Meeker said about Raleigh's new comprehensive plan? It's only a first draft, of course, and the Planning Department staff is busy considering the comments on it that came in by the Jan. 31 deadline ... a revised draft will go to public hearing in March, with the goal -- well, Meeker's goal anyway -- of speeding it through the planning commission to final City Council adoption in June. Whew. But the mayor said last week, in his State of the City speech, that it's already "a great plan" -- in fact, it's "the best plan...

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