@theFeline. Your statement on Gov. Johnson is patently false, and indicative of the kind of lies Democratic hack media have spread with the goal of scaring millennials back in line. Its disgraceful. Gov. Johnson believes "climate change IS mostly likely happening" and "it IS most likely human driven", both positions that emphatically break from conservative orthodoxy. All it takes is a Google search and enough attention span to read beyond the bullshit CNN, Mother Jones clickbait headlines. It is this kind of lie spreading that are encumbering Democratic reputation these days, particularly among independents and young people.
@ Jim McClarin, I agree: small factions with outside-the-norm-views often get their positions shoehorned into the monopoly party platform through the backdoor. Gov Johnson was the highest ranking politician to come out in favor of drug legalization, 10-15 years before anyone else, at the same time the Clinton's were lobbying for locking more people (of color, effectively) up via their 1994 Crime Bill. Those of us who see the damage of the Drug War's escalation recognize Gov. Johnson's principled leadership, and appreciate the change it has brought us (with more on the ballot Nov 8). We acknowledge elected leaders who envisioned a future where 1/3rd of black men don't have a permanent record just because all the other establishment Democrats and Republicans support this Drug War. While elected governor, Mr. Johnson consistently objected to it, loudly and publicly. He believes the marijuana issue is all but settled, by Christmas is will be legal for more Americans than not. That is the first major win for the people against the states visceral, racist, and elitist Drug War. It is clear which side Mr. Johnson and Mrs. Clinton side with here. And it is clear where they both stood, historically.
Progressives who care more about control than about people, will never discuss Gov. Johnson's leadership. Its why many other "Progressives" are not voting for the Democratic candidate. And why many others now look elsewhere for their "news".
1) Are tired of an interventionist foreign policy
2) Believe the Drug War is idiotic and unwinnable, and that locking up mass numbers of people of color for non-violent crimes is a TERRIBLE idea that has been long championed by your Democratic nominee.
3) Remember that the Democratic party was explicitly homophobic just 20 year ago. Look at DOMA voting records in Congress. Look at the president who signed it into law.
Some Remember this track record of establishment Democrats. That is why so many young people have fled to Mr. Johnson. In various polls of millennials he has been tied with Hillary, which is why the H-> machine has spent so much effort discrediting him with the goal of getting millennials back in line. The thing about millennials, they don't like to be told what to do. This is a real problem for the Democrats.
@john Killeen – I agree that these trends are disheartening. Pretty much 100% of the blame in periodicals like the INDY focus on “greedy” developers, and refuse to look at the city’s role.
In a fast growing areas with limited supplies of land, the primary problem is humongous minimum lot sizes, which signal developers to build maximum house sizes. Why? Because they can sell it. Because people will buy it. And because it’s easier. And, most relevantly, that’s what the zoning codes of every single city in the Triangle signal it is what these cities want.
One of the best models for affordable housing lay in Raleigh’s Dorthea Gardens: beautiful new urban homes built on the tiniest of tiny lots (some lots as small as 1500sf). The houses are actually quite sizable, some three stories, perfect for families with kids. These started selling in the $200k’s, which is very low for inside the beltline and would meet many of HUDs benchmarks for affordable housing.
Yes, Dorthea Gardens shot up in price, because they are so popular. But the model is right there. Developers can build affordably if they are allowed to build densely. If the lots have to be 5000sf minimum, as they are in every SFR residential zoning district in Durham, developers will NOT build affordably. Policy does not allow for it.
Raleigh has great developments like Dorthea Gardens, with lots LESS than 1/3rd the size of the minimum lot size in Durham. And, under the new zoning code in Raleigh, Dorthea Gardens in now non-conforming. So regardless of what civic leaders say, it is the City, not developers, who do not want developers to build affordable housing.
You want affordable housing? Micro-housing? New Urbanist infill communities? Start with your zoning codes. Because your city does not want any of it.
1) You are correct, 8 busses would not provide the same transit benefit. They would provide MORE benefit. 4 busses could run the local path of the light rail (with 17 stops) in the same time (45 minutes to an hour), AND it would allow for 4 express busses to run it 30 minutes (which they already do, incidentally). Rail has NO capacity for express service, one of the many reasons this method of transit was abandoned for obsolescence 80-100 years ago. Do you really think the marginal cost of 8 new buses would cost more to operate than an entirely new infrastructure including a massive maintenance facility, new stations, janitorial staff, possibly a police presence, a new administrative bureaucracy and the energy costs to facilitate all these operations?
2) If you think 15-501 is over capacity, spend some time in Atlanta or DC. At no point (including rush hour) does the drive to Chapel Hill to Durham take more than 30 minutes. 15-501 sucks to drive because it’s ugly, not because it’s over capacity.
3) Car-less households are statistically almost non-existent. You don’t have to like it, but you can’t deny it. A good chunk of the households without a car are wealthy, and have no car by choice. Transit bus sites are all over Durham and Chapel Hill, in close proximity to dozens of sites for affordable housing. Why aren’t you advocating for affordable housing sites adjacent to these bus lines? Why are you so obsessed with the train over a bus?
4) Automobile infrastructure is almost entirely paid by users (and it should be entirely). Gas taxes (which should rise with need, and has not) pay for interstate and state roads, local property taxes pay for local roads. Cars are, by far, the dominant chosen mode of travel for nearly all Americans. Statistically in every metro area (except NYC) less than 5% of passenger miles are by transit, and nearly all of those by bus. In areas like ours, transit caries less than 1% of passenger miles.
5) A substantial portion of development around rail in Charlotte and Portland uses a mechanism of Tax Increment Financing (TIF), which is a subsidy to a developer. There is evidence in Charlotte that the rail mostly relocated growth that would have happened anyway (so new value shouldn’t be confused with relocated value). The grand irony of light rail is how anti-business urban liberals end up arguing for subsidy to wealthy land owner developers under the guise of “society benefit”. If you are determined to bribe a developer to build densely, I don’t know why you’d need a light rail to do it.
Bob and Lisa, what would you rather have:
A) $2,000,000,000 (that’s 2 BILLION with a B) for a 17-mile trolley
B) put the same $2,000,000,000 towards HOUSING, which could build 20,000 units of financially self-sustaining affordable units?
Durham County currently has 110,000 units, so 20,000 units would be just under 20% of the existing stock (much of which is and will remain “affordable” by HUD metrics).
Which do you think is more important?
If y’all are serious about housing, could you explain to us why aren’t you advocating we add 8 buses to run the same route as the LRT (at $500,000 each they’d have effectively the same transit benefit, at 0.2% of the cost), and put the remaining 99.8% to housing?
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Indy Week • 201 W. Main St., Suite 101, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
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