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Old 09-16-2009, 09:43 AM
 
Location: NE Charlotte, NC (University City)
1,894 posts, read 5,951,915 times
Reputation: 1044

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Since the vast majority of us are deeply interested in this subject, I thought I'd post the meeting notices for upcoming public meetings:
----------------------------------------------------------
Join CATS for an Update on the LYNX Blue Line Extension Project

The Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) is planning to extend light rail service from Uptown to I-485 at North Tryon Street. CATS invites you to attend one of the following public meetings for an overview of the proposed project and recent changes. Project maps and plans will be on display.


Tuesday, September 29
6 – 8 p.m.
Sugaw Creek Presbyterian Church, Fellowship Hall
101 W Sugar Creek Road



Wednesday, September 30
6 – 8 p.m.
Oasis Shriner's Center
604 Doug Mayes Place



This light rail project is an 11-mile extension of the LYNX Blue Line with 13 proposed stations, including seven park and ride lots. Construction is scheduled to start in 2012, with service beginning in 2016.
-----------------------------------------------------------

This will be THE place to get the latest facts about the project--read: not filtered or interpreted by the news. These meetings are not sugar-coated promise sessions. They typically consist of City staff members and the design consultants showing the latest plans and graphics, and if available, the latest schedule projections. You'll also be able to ask City staff about the specific details of the projects.

Note, it won't necessarily be the place to grill staff members as it will most likely only be the folks who make the gears go--not the CATS CEO or anyone else who makes policy. With a little luck, there may be a few council representatives in attendance with whom you might be able to strike up a conversation with. In my experience with public meetings, when folks show up screaming and yelling or trying to force their agenda on the meeting, nothing gets done--so if you're one of the minority who opposes the project, this may not be the best place to voice your opinion. Just putting that out there...

In my opinion, the place to voice strong opposition is at a Council Meeting. Questions and concerns about the details and design aspects of the project are fair game at these meetings--trying to derail the project is not as it is simply the wrong people to speak to for that subject.
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Old 09-16-2009, 11:19 AM
 
4,010 posts, read 9,298,355 times
Reputation: 1595
Quote:
Originally Posted by Metallisteve View Post
In my opinion, the place to voice strong opposition is at a Council Meeting. .....
Unfortunately, if you are talking about the city council, then they have limited authority to do anything with directing CATS on the train projects. That is controlled by the MTC which is comprised of the 7 Mecklenburg mayors, the head of the county council, and a rep from the NCDOT. All of these individuals vote on transit policy and CATS is supposed to implement it.

The MTC meets once/month in the government center. The head of CATS reports to the Charlotte city manager. I do not believe the city council has much authority to direct city departments below the city manager level. The city council does get to approve the final budget for any project but given they are getting a County Tax for CATS, there would be an uproar if they used this process to override the MTC.

From an accountability standpoint it's a mess. The county collects the transit tax and turns it over to the city. But the tax is directed by the mayors of each municipality who don't have to ask their city councils for approval for decisions.
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Old 09-18-2009, 01:20 PM
 
Location: The 12th State
22,974 posts, read 60,729,661 times
Reputation: 15002
looky here republican Sue Myrick didn't seek any earmarks this year after she helped CATS get money in the past.

Senate gives $24 million to CATS for light rail - CharlotteObserver.com (http://www.charlotteobserver.com/local/story/954700.html - broken link)
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Old 09-18-2009, 01:26 PM
 
Location: NE Charlotte, NC (University City)
1,894 posts, read 5,951,915 times
Reputation: 1044
Careful Sunny..."republican" isn't needed in front of her name. There's a political forum for that!
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Old 09-18-2009, 01:49 PM
 
Location: The 12th State
22,974 posts, read 60,729,661 times
Reputation: 15002
ok your right representative sue myrick who just happens to be a republican
not that has anything to do with this
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Old 09-18-2009, 10:27 PM
 
Location: Charlotte, NC
7,041 posts, read 13,606,801 times
Reputation: 2325
why would ANYONE be opposed to the lightrail coming up north???
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Old 09-19-2009, 03:41 AM
 
6,545 posts, read 10,689,915 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chicagocubs View Post
why would ANYONE be opposed to the lightrail coming up north???
You don't want to know the answer to that one.

Ride the #11 (North Tryon) bus anytime during the day (or night) and you'll get your answer.

BTW, I agree with you chicagocubs. However, some people in Charlotte do not like their tax dollars being spent on folks that don't pay alot of taxes. I hope this made sense without offending anyone.
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Old 09-19-2009, 05:33 AM
 
4,010 posts, read 9,298,355 times
Reputation: 1595
Quote:
Originally Posted by chicagocubs View Post
why would ANYONE be opposed to the lightrail coming up north???
Obviously they are not opposed to the light rail, they are opposed to spending a well over a billion dollars for this extension given that CATS won't tell us the cost nor any date for building it, even though they have been working on the project full time for over 5 years.

The biggest reason they won't do this is because they know their current design does not meet federal requirements for funding. Without that, they can't get $1/2 Billion from the feds and another $250M from the state. (or more). The project is sunk without that money. Furthermore, they have also said they need another 1/2 cent sales tax added to the already 1/2 cent they are getting now.

So instead of being honest about it, we get endless studies and public hearings. It's a similar issue to the bubble heads on the city council voting this week to spend $4.5M of property tax money on another study of the $500M street car line which has no identified source of funding.
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Old 09-19-2009, 08:20 AM
 
Location: NE Charlotte, NC (University City)
1,894 posts, read 5,951,915 times
Reputation: 1044
The current design and alignment most certainly does meet fed requirements. After they secured UNCC and it's business college uptown, that pretty much locked it in. The NE line will smoke south line ridership numbers and not have any problem at all meeting fed requirements (which is nearly all about ridership numbers).
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Old 09-19-2009, 12:51 PM
 
4,010 posts, read 9,298,355 times
Reputation: 1595
Quote:
Originally Posted by Metallisteve View Post
The current design and alignment most certainly does meet fed requirements. After they secured UNCC and it's business college uptown, that pretty much locked it in. The NE line will smoke south line ridership numbers and not have any problem at all meeting fed requirements (which is nearly all about ridership numbers).
I don't know where you came to that conclusion. The feds justify the line by coming up with a cost effectiveness rating based on ridership vs cost to built. The item you speak of was a test case run assuming the line cost $750M to build with the UNCC ridership added. It just barely passed. Remember they use the criteria of ridership where what can be handled by buses is subtracted out.

Now they up to $1.1B which is still unofficial because they don't know how much it will cost, but there is no equivalent rise in ridership so it won't pass the ridership test now. BTW, the South LRT would not pass either with the rules that are in place now. CATS has made no formal FFGA request to the feds and until they do, the dates are just ink on paper. Subject to change each time they turn on the printer.
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