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View Poll Results: Would you favor a sales tax increase to fund transportation?
Yes- for development/faster rollout of light rail 12 26.09%
Yes- for completion/widening of I-485 2 4.35%
Yes- for both 12 26.09%
What, are you kidding? 20 43.48%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 46. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 07-28-2008, 02:57 PM
 
Location: NE Charlotte, NC (University City)
1,894 posts, read 3,923,728 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jinksto View Post
Given that I have no intention of ever using light rail and have no use for 485 I voted "no" to the poll.
I'm curious as to whether or not you mean the currently installed light rail, or any light that ever gets installed anywhere (presumably, your front yard--with a Thomas The Locomotive version on the front that can talk to you).

There never was any "battle" with the light rail nay-sayers...it was a land slide vote, no contest. 70% against the recall and 30% for it. It was a case of a few activists that someone erronously let have a voice and cause this county to waste time, money, and effort on an unnecessary "vote." And to further stick it to the nay-sayers, the light rail has performed like a champ and put up ridership numbers never imagined for this early in the game. Granted, it had some pretty big budget issues, but if you ask me, Tober should have had his head put on a plater and served to the public since he was ultimately responsible for it. That certainly does not mean the project as a whole is bad.

All that said, if you want to see what a metro region looks like without any mass transit direction and an ignorant resistance by the public to help pay for mas transit, look at Orlando. Light rail, high speed rail, and commuter rail plans have all been shot down by voters...there's a quasi-private/government bus system that will take you about 6-8hours to get across the region at any time of the day IF it even coems your way...and you've got one of the country's worst highways (I-4) being funded by federal and state dollars to be "fixed" which is already a failing design before they even started work!!! If you want to sit around waiting for the state or feds to come in and fix it, be prepared to wait 10+ years.

You have to give some to get some...and in our fortunate case, we're gettign a lot for a miniscule tax, if you ask me. We're getting a lot in the form of a well thought out plan for mass transit in our region. It's tough to feel like you've gotten something when all there's only a 1,000 page report to flip through, some crafty brochures in PDF format online to summarize everything, and a light rail line that *seems* to service only a small wedge fo the region, but we've got what every metroploitan area of 500,000+ citizens would kill for: a proactive plan. We're not gridlocked like Boston became and had to tunnel under the city to get any sort of relief. We're not jammed like LA is and have no option of solving the problem. We're not built out like Atlanta with an undersized 16-lane interstate feeding our downtown. We've got options with small pressure releases in place (a working bus system and the start of a light rail line) to keep us sane until the full plan is in full swing. That is priceless and is a huge reason as to why our city is so desireable. The argument goes round and round on these forums...some folks gripe that there's too much traffic in Charlotte while someone that moved here from somewhere else laughs at the "traffic" we think we have. The truth is that our commute is piddlesome compared to other regions of comparable size...and we're trying to act now to keep it that way!

To relate this all to the topic of this thread, yes, I'd be more than willing to pay an extra 1/2 cent to speed things up. I'm a relatively impatient person when it comes to seeing the whole project through. 2030 seems like an eon (eon = very long amount of time) from now! I'd rather see us in full swing by 2015-20, plowing ahead of every major metro in this country. Not to mention, getting it done sooner will save untold fortunes in costs with the way construction cost inflate every quarter of a year.
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Old 07-28-2008, 03:03 PM
 
Location: NE Charlotte, NC (University City)
1,894 posts, read 3,923,728 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anifani821 View Post
...I would be very interested in seeing if we could get some projects finished up around here if we considered toll roads...
Toll roads are not the answer. They end up being perpetual funding sources for themselves, and that's it. elected officials see them making money and think "we can just eliminate any funding at all to those roads and have them pay for themselves." Meanwhile, the initial intent of the toll (to fund other projects) goes right out the window. You'd think this wouldn't happen since everyone would know the purpose of the toll roads...but I guarantee you it will be the first to get it's funding axed during hard budget times or when we get an over-zealous politician that thinks they have an ingenious plan to save the City money. The underlying plan of the toll is conveniently forgotten and we're left with a road that gets jammed up due to toll booths and we have to pay to drive on it!

Again...case in point: Orlando. Want to drive from an outlying suburb of Orlando to downtown and back everyday for work? That'll be $5+ please.
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Old 07-28-2008, 03:14 PM
 
Location: Cornelius
3,665 posts, read 6,455,200 times
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I voted "are you kidding" as well. Govco isn't responsible with the funds as it is, so raking in more tax money won't solve the problem. Just like schools--govco is always wanting more money to throw at the public school system, and money is never the answer. We need financially responsible leaders, not more taxes.
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Old 07-28-2008, 03:19 PM
 
Location: NE Charlotte, NC (University City)
1,894 posts, read 3,923,728 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carolina_guy View Post
...We need financially responsible leaders, not more taxes.
You're spot on with the first part. The hatred for the 1/2 cent tax was misplaced...it should have been directed at council to fire the person in charge of the budget for the light rail. Why hurt the region by canceling the tax and sticking everyone with a train that no one can pay for or operate???

I'm certainly not for aimlessly adding more taxes. Adding a temporary tax to speed up the development of the transit system: sign me up.
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Old 07-28-2008, 03:21 PM
 
Location: Cornelius
3,665 posts, read 6,455,200 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Metallisteve View Post
Toll roads are not the answer. They end up being perpetual funding sources for themselves, and that's it. elected officials see them making money and think "we can just eliminate any funding at all to those roads and have them pay for themselves." Meanwhile, the initial intent of the toll (to fund other projects) goes right out the window. You'd think this wouldn't happen since everyone would know the purpose of the toll roads...but I guarantee you it will be the first to get it's funding axed during hard budget times or when we get an over-zealous politician that thinks they have an ingenious plan to save the City money. The underlying plan of the toll is conveniently forgotten and we're left with a road that gets jammed up due to toll booths and we have to pay to drive on it!

Again...case in point: Orlando. Want to drive from an outlying suburb of Orlando to downtown and back everyday for work? That'll be $5+ please.
Toll roads seem to be the answer in Texas: Dallas Morning News | News for Dallas, Texas | Latest News (http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/dn/latestnews/stories/031107dnmettollroads.3a7e57c.html - broken link)

Texas - Expediting Road Construction With Toll Financing (http://www.innovativefinance.org/news_innovations/01122004_texas_expediting_road.asp - broken link)
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Old 07-28-2008, 04:14 PM
 
1,877 posts, read 2,930,005 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carolina_guy View Post
I voted "are you kidding" as well. Govco isn't responsible with the funds as it is, so raking in more tax money won't solve the problem. Just like schools--govco is always wanting more money to throw at the public school system, and money is never the answer. We need financially responsible leaders, not more taxes.

I completely agree with you on fiscal responsibility. What I am asking about, is an additional 1/2 cent to be spent locally on speeding up/ adding to our region's transit solutions. Given the overhelming success of the Blue line, I suspect you'd find similar, and perhaps greater ridership on the northern spur. But, we're looking at at least 5 years before it's ready.
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Old 07-28-2008, 04:56 PM
 
5 posts, read 6,845 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Metallisteve View Post
I'm curious as to whether or not you mean the currently installed light rail, or any light that ever gets installed anywhere (presumably, your front yard--with a Thomas The Locomotive version on the front that can talk to you).

[A lot of great points deleted for brevity, good post]
.
I meant, any light rail, anywhere. I spent 8 years riding mass transit on one of the best systems in the nation (Metra/CTA - Chicago) and would never submit to that again. From unmanaged children to the twit with the cell phone that doesn't realize that she's just told 120 people about her "infection" to the late night drunks to the outside sitters (you know, the ones that get on first and sit on the outside of the seat so you have to beg to be let in) to sleepers who stretch out across five seats... I don't miss any of it and will never live anywhere that I'm required to ride mass transit on a daily basis.

That said, I like the rest of your argument... so maybe I'd consider paying for it for the purely selfish reason of getting others to use it and freeing up the highway for my personal use.

By the way, Thomas is cool... what do you have against Thomas?
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Old 07-29-2008, 07:24 AM
 
Location: NE Charlotte, NC (University City)
1,894 posts, read 3,923,728 times
Reputation: 980
I completely understand your apprehension about riding transit. I just recently started riding the bus to work after months of the same apprehension. I've been to Chicago and have seen the same thing...been to NYC and SF as well...all the same. I would venture to say the thing that will keep us different will be the age of the system. We're WAYYYY behind in the game of transit compared to other metro's...but that may turn out to be a good thing. It's a little more costly, but we can sit back and think about it before moving our pawns.

And Thomas was needed to get the talking train in the post...how else will it ask you nicely to get onboard???
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Old 07-29-2008, 08:05 AM
 
62 posts, read 98,530 times
Reputation: 53
I wouldn't vote for a tax increase until the state starts funding road projects appropriately. Funding to build 4 lane roads in the middle of nowhere when you have the transit problems Charlotte has is criminal. Put the money where the people and cars are! Th Charlotte area has gotten short-changed for way too long.
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Old 07-29-2008, 12:18 PM
 
Location: NE Charlotte, NC (University City)
1,894 posts, read 3,923,728 times
Reputation: 980
Quote:
Originally Posted by IndianTrailDude View Post
I wouldn't vote for a tax increase until the state starts funding road projects appropriately. Funding to build 4 lane roads in the middle of nowhere when you have the transit problems Charlotte has is criminal. Put the money where the people and cars are! Th Charlotte area has gotten short-changed for way too long.
While I agree with being frustrated at the injustice toward our city, I completely disagree that we should wait for it to be solved politically. Don't get me wrong...I do think it should be solved and retributions made, but in teh mean time, I still need to get to work and go places. Let's fix it now while we simultaneously stay on the state's case to make things right.
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