DO Transit!

The Durham-Orange Friends of Transit had its first organizational meeting last night. I had received no fewer than NINE separate invitations to go, so I figured I'd show up, especially since two of them were from completely separate elected officials, and personally extended to me directly (Ed Harrison and Alice Gordon).

I did learn a good deal about the half-cent sales tax, and why we need it and need to support it. The legislature has given the local governments permission to enact a 1/2 cent sales tax, the revenue of which will be put toward transit. It is very likely, however, that this will not be enacted until 2011 in any of the Triangle counties, since a 2-cent sales tax will sunset at that time, and it would instead be a 1.5-cent lowering instead of raise it 1/2 cent in 2010 then lower it 2 cents in 2011. Write to your local gov't officials - Aldermen, Town Councilors, County Commissioners, and tell them you support the 1/2 cent transit tax.  The revenue would go toward planning for and implementing light rail and more buses and bicycle and pedestrian facilities (bike racks, bike lockers, bike lanes, sidewalks, off-roadway paths, etc). This is, by the way, how Charlotte got its train.

There are plenty of ways to get involved - sign the petition, go to the meetings, join the group on Facebook, support the 1/2 cent tax among your friends and neighbours, join your county or city advisory boards. This last is particularly important, because I know at least for all of the boards in Orange County, there are openings, and I'm pretty sure the same is true for most of the city boards as well.  Being on these boards is the best way to get your voice heard, because the advisory boards help the staff draft the assorted Transportation Plans (Comprehensive, Long Range, TIP, etc).  The elected officials rely on the advisory boards and the Plans to decide what gets funding priority and the like.

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Hey Bryn. David Neal already started a thread about this at http://www.orangepolitics.org/2009/11/building-support-for-transit-beginsMaybe you could post this as a comment there and join forces? I already front-paged his, so I don't want to overoad people with too much transit at once. ;-)

 

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