Indy Week features Mayor McFarlane’s plan for mass transit, Dix Park and other issues

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If you didn’t pick up a copy of the Independent Weekly to read Bob Geary’s story on Mayor McFarlane’s second-term vision on some of the major issues facing Raleigh, you can read the story on Indy Week’s website here. Here’s an excerpt focusing on Mayor McFarlane’s commitment to increasing Raleigh’s transit options as its population increases:

McFarlane is an ardent transit advocate. Raleigh’s future growth, she says, depends on high-density, mixed-use developments in corridors served by light-rail and bus transportation.

But while Durham and Orange counties have taken advantage of the state legislation allowing them to collect, with the approval of their voters, a half-cent sales tax for transit, Wake’s commissioners have blocked a referendum—meaning Raleigh and the rest of the county is shut out. …

That Wake would refuse to build the eastern half of a regional light-rail system while Orange and Durham build the western half is short-sighted and costly, McFarlane says, because the potential for high-density development around a dozen or more light-rail stations in Raleigh, Cary and Morrisville is “much, much greater” than anything a buses-only system of transit would yield for Wake.

More buses will be the first element of any Wake plan, McFarlane says, and bus rapid transit of the kind the RTA supports can be “adjunct” to the light-rail stations—as it would be, for example, at the State Fairgrounds station, which could connect with buses on Blue Ridge Road and Hillsborough Street.

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