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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Del Burns resigns as Wake schools leader -- in protest

Posted By on Tue, Feb 16, 2010 at 3:59 PM

Wake Schools Superintendent Del Burns announced his resignation at the school board meeting today. It's effective June 30. He can't, in good conscience, continue to do what the school board majority is telling him to. Here's his statement. More than 33 years ago my career as an educator began at Aldert Root Elementary School. And since that time, I've served in a number of positions: as an elementary and high school special education teacher; as an assistant principal and as an elementary principal in magnet schools; as the principal of two high schools; as associate superintendent, deputy superintendent, and now...

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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Triangle Transit breaks the million mark

Posted By on Wed, Aug 26, 2009 at 3:45 PM

Triangle Transit buses carried 1.1 million riders in the fiscal year that ended June 30, up 19%. It's the first year TT's been over the million mark. Is it worth it? The reported farebox recovery rate (money in versus operating costs out) was up slightly, from 11% to 13%, despite the fact -- the agency  (they're trying to bury their old TTA=Authority identity) said -- that over half their passengers ride free or on reduced fares. It's socialized transportation, but so is driving a car on a public thoroughfare. More from the agency below:...

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Monday, June 15, 2009

Sic transit sales tax? Stein remains "optimistic" about the 1/2-cent transit tax

Posted By on Mon, Jun 15, 2009 at 5:32 PM

House passage of an $18.6 billion budget over the weekend, with higher income tax levies on the well-off and a 1/4-cent sales tax hike on everybody, sets the stage for final budget negotiations among House Democrats, Senate Democrats and Gov. Bev Perdue's Democrats. But does the fact that the yawning budget hole is likely to filled in part with a sales-tax increase dull the chances of HB 148, the bill to give Triangle counties the option of raising their own sales taxes by 1/2-cent to pay for transit? When I asked Sen. Josh Stein, D-Wake, he conceded that "there definitely...

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Friday, June 5, 2009

Time for some zip (cars) in Raleigh?

Posted By on Fri, Jun 5, 2009 at 11:06 AM

If they've got them at UNC and Duke, can N.C. State be far behind? (OK -- stop it.) Better question: Is the Triangle's big city big enough for car-sharing a la zipcars? (Update: Per the comment below, there's more than one car-sharing vendor in the land, not just the zippy one.) Topic's on tap June 18, 1 pm, at the Urban Design Center. (h/t: Urban Planet.) Downtown Raleigh Alliance and Triangle Transit also involved: Details below....

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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Luebke, Weiss, House Finance: Yes on 1/2-cent sales tax for transit bill

Posted By on Wed, Apr 15, 2009 at 1:21 PM

In the long-running battle to unlock some local funding for a regional transportation network, two big tumblers fell into place this morning in the House Finance committee. State Reps. Paul Luebke, D-Durham, and Jennifer Weiss, D-Wake, both co-chairs of the panel, voted in favor of House Bill 148, which includes the 1/2-cent sales tax for transit provision. Luebke and Weiss, progressive stalwarts, continue to dislike the regressive sales tax as a way to pay for anything, and dislike is putting it mildly. Luebke's yes vote was cast "reluctantly," he said. Weiss's, she said, "gives me heartburn." Still, their support for...

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Thursday, April 9, 2009

Bill Bell: Can't have regional transit without Durham

Posted By on Thu, Apr 9, 2009 at 4:50 PM

When last heard from (or about), the 1/2-cent sales tax for transit bill was breezing through the friendly confines of the House Transportation Committee, headed for the tougher terrain of the House Finance Committee. With the latter committee scheduled to take up the bill next Wednesday, April 15 (8:30 a.m. in Room 544 of the Legislative Office Building), Durham Mayor Bill Bell yesterday tossed a little grenade into the debate. As reported by the Herald Sun, Bell told a meeting of the DCHC (the Durham-Chapel Hill-Carrboro transportation planning organization) that the bill should be amended to require that all three...

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Thursday, March 19, 2009

Comp plan hearing tonight; what's next?

Posted By on Thu, Mar 19, 2009 at 2:42 PM

      The official public hearing on the draft comprehensive plan (revised) is tonight --  Thursday, 6:30 p.m. at City Hall. It's previewed in the Indy this week, mainly on the question of whether the plan is too promiscuous with its "growth centers" to actually produce any that will amount to the "walkable urban places" everybody says we need. Mitch Silver, Raleigh's planning director, says it's not -- too promiscuous, that is -- and that the metastasizing Brier Creeks and North Hills's of the world will not undermine Raleigh's urban future. Silver recognizes, though, that creating "walkable urban" locales...

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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Chris Leinberger's in the house -- Wednesday, 6:30 pm at Fletcher Theater

Posted By on Tue, Mar 10, 2009 at 12:39 PM

Not to put too much pressure on the guy, but at least three people have told me that Chris Leinberger, a planning geek at the Brookings Institute who's also a developer, is brilliant. He's speaking in Raleigh Wednesday evening, 6:30-8:30 pm, at the Progress Energy Center (Fletcher Theater); check-in starts at 6. It's free, courtesy of your city gummint. Pre-registrations online, s'il vous plait. Leinberger's thing is that the age of suburban development is giving way to the age of suburban as well as urban redevelopment. Nothing novel there, except perhaps the notion that "walkable places" can be hewn from...

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Friday, March 6, 2009

Tracking the 1/2-cent transit tax through the Raleigh "Wye"

Posted By on Fri, Mar 6, 2009 at 11:58 AM

Very interesting meeting at Raleigh City Hall last night on regional transit and the so-called "Mayor's Plan" for the Raleigh-Wake portion of the region. I will say, this thing has a lot of moving parts, some of which are picking up speed -- but enough to run a regional railroad in my or Charles Meeker's lifetime? (We're the same age.) Perhaps. One question I didn't get to ask Mayor Meeker afterward is where to put the apostrophe in the name -- is it "Mayor's Plan" or "Mayors' Plan"? I believe the effort is to make it the latter. But...

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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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