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Re: Raleigh and mass transit 

Mayor Nancy McFarlane wants to force her notion of "mass transit" on Raleigh, where taxpayers paid for a perfectly good streetcar system that was abolished by earlier city managers ("Nancy McFarlane's vision for Raleigh," Jan. 8).

We are a decade or two from self-driving, non-polluting cars which will change the people-moving equation of today. Her plan does not attract enough votes, so instead of rechecking assumptions and reevaluating the risks, she simply wants to force the project. Buses, at least, are flexible in their routes.

And an INDY reader in the letters to the editor (Back Talk, Jan. 22) wishes the McFarlane project would happen so she can more easily reach Raleigh from Chapel Hill. Neither person wishes to acknowledge the hardships and dislocations, the risks and costs of such a project. Costs put over on other people, who have projects of their own.

This is a common oversight in the evaluation of risky business ventures desired by those who manage public enterprises. Government makes a reasonable referee in matters of law, never in calculating the real costs and benefits of business development schemes for the politically connected favored with its payouts. A town is its people. Let these people design and make the town what it needs to be.

Dall Wilson, Raleigh

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