Transit investment key to future success in Chapel Hill & Carrboro

{Cross Posted from Chapel Hill News}

 

Chapel Hill Transit bus

If you boarded a Chapel Hill Transit bus back in February, you might have been greeted by someone with a clipboard asking you to answer a few questions about your ride. The results of this survey were just released and include relevant and interesting findings as we think about the future of transit in our community.

These survey data tell us quite a bit about who rides Chapel Hill Transit. Most riders (88 percent) were somehow affiliated with UNC, and 93 percent of those surveyed were taking the bus to get to college or work. A majority (68 percent) ride the bus five days a week while another 21 percent use it three or four days a week.

Why Chapel Hill Doesn’t Have More Startups, in One Chart

In early 2015, UNC-Chapel Hill released an extensive report about the business startups and spinoffs that faculty, students, and alumni have created. This report quantifies the impact of these businesses: 150+ businesses, 8,000 jobs created, and $7 billion in annual revenue for the state of North Carolina.

But what this report doesn’t detail is the direct impact of these startups and spinoffs on our local economy here in Chapel Hill, Carrboro, and Orange County. There’s a pretty simple reason for that: Few startups coming out of UNC stay in our community.  So why can’t Chapel Hill foster a local startup scene when other college towns, like Boulder and Cambridge, have gotten national attention for the startup economies they’ve developed in their own communities?

Carrboro Police Department is now on Orange Politics

Officer D here; this is my first post on Orange Politics!

For those of you who don't know me, I'm a member of the Carrboro Police Department's Community Services Division.  One of my primary assignments is to create, organize and complete Community Oriented Policing (COPS) initiatives.  Our current major COPS initiatives are the Police Department Open House (next event--June 22nd from 6:30 PM to 8 PM) and the Citizen's Police Academy (September 10th, all day).  Current ongoing initiatives are Coffee with the Cops, Kava with the Cops, Neighborhood Forums, Pizza with the Police and other similar events.

I'll be periodically posting officer profiles, announcing major events and attempting to keep people posted on what's going on with the Carrboro Police Department!

Let's make sure all voices are heard

Arrive to the meeting a little early. Sign up with the clerk. Take a seat. Wait. And wait. And wait. Hours later, the governing board arrives at the agenda item of your interest. The presenter takes to the podium to introduce the topic to the board and the community. After some back and forth between board members and the presenter, the mayor finally announces the start of public comment and begins calling names off the list. Three minutes per person, loosely enforced (if at all). On controversial topics, this can go on for hours, all under the guise of public engagement.

We Need Civility in Public Discourse

Tensions can run high in local issues, but lately the state of discourse has reached a sad low. When being the loudest person in the room and the most passionate advocate for your opinion becomes the objective at a public meeting, it’s a sign of a broken dialogue and a complete breakdown in civility.

Our state of uncivil discourse has been a long time coming. In Chapel Hill, the discussions around Ephesus-Fordham, Central West, Obey Creek, Charterwood, and other planning processes and developments foreshadowed where we are today, with outbursts, disruptions, and other tactics being used to derail conversations and suppress diverse viewpoints and opinions. Now, in Carrboro, discussions about the construction of a multi-use path from Winmore/the Landings on Homestead Road to Chapel Hill High School have seen a return to a lack of civility.

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