Improving Transit Choices

Providing a 21st century transit system
 in Raleigh and the Triangle is the single most important investment we can make to improve the quality of life for all Raleigh citizens. Benefits include:
   ·  spending less on gas and the high costs of automobile 
       maintenance
   ·  spending less time in congested traffic
   ·  having better mobility choices, especially for younger and 
       older citizens
   ·  attracting quality companies that expect a 21st century transit 
       system
   ·  having more compact, walkable growth that reduces 
       environmental impacts, depends less on our existing roads, 
       and reduces the infrastructure costs to all taxpayers of new development

At times it has been an uphill battle, and I have been on the front line since 2003. Here are some examples:

Economic Benefits of Transit Oriented Development (TOD)
Over the past decade, Russ has studied many TODs.  Click here to learn about Market Common Clarendon.

The Big Picture: Regional Transit Planning
I share duties with Mayor Meeker in representing Raleigh at our regional transportation planning organization (CAMPO), made up of elected leaders from Wake and surrounding counties. This group is in the midst of reviewing an important new regional transit plan for Wake, Durham and Orange Counties for the next 20 years. There are many challenges ahead in funding and implementing our plan, but Charlotte’s successful transit system is a good model.

Charlotte's Lesson 
In the fall of 2007, I worked with several councilors to help enlist the Chamber of Commerce and other transit advocates in planning a trip to study Charlotte’s success. More than 50 civic leaders including City Councilors and County Commissioners made a one-day bus trip to Charlotte to learn how they planned and implemented their countywide transit system. Everyone came away impressed with the 70% voter approval of their one-half cent sales tax for high quality bus service and the first leg of their light rail line, which has already sparked almost $2 billion in nearby private investments and new tax base. Our success will depend upon how well we balance funding sources, service benefits  and new private investments throughout the system.

New Transit-Oriented Zoning
As 2003 Chair of the Planning Commission’s Transit & Land Use Committee, I helped draft Raleigh’s new transit zoning rules to promote the kind of high-tax-value redevelopment around transit stations that have been so successful in Charlotte.