March 7 Comments to Commissioners

 Light Rail public input March 7, 2017
Orange County Commissioner meeting   

Public speakers who voiced opposition to the Durham Orange Light Rail project (DOLRT)

30 people spoke during the public speakers segment.  6 voiced support for the project; 24 were against it.  All 30 speakers want a robust public transportation system, but the 24 anti-DOLRT speakers claim that that can’t be attained if DOLRT is built.  It will cost too much.  That view was best expressed by Neal Bench.

Here are links to the videos of the speeches of all 24 people who are against the DOLRT:  [This is listed in the order that people spoke.

  1. Dennis Seacrest  Expletives about his property reevaluation + a condemnation of the DOLRT.  You want us to put our money in a 3 mile long rat hole that we will never use.
  2. Alex Castro Jr  DOLRT will hurt the growing senior population in rural Orange County:  1.) Property taxes will go up, 2.) funding for other modes of transportation will go down, and 3.) DOLRT won’t have its first rider until 2028.  Seniors currently have little access to public transportation.  Call me a skeptic, but DOLRT won’t be delivered on time nor on budget.  Cut our losses now.  [text of speech]
  3. Julie McClintock  (CHALT) We want effective public transit.  Thank you for initiating an independent review [by Davenport engineering consulting firm] of the GoTriangle financial plan.  Tonight we petition you to hold a public hearing when their analysis is presented.  This is the largest project ever undertaken by Orange County. We request that the County release the study as soon as it is available.  [text of speech]
  4. Charles Humble  I’ve changed my mind about light rail.  BRT is more flexible and will cost a lot less than DOLRT.  [text of speech]
  5. Brenda McCall  We want better transit now.  DOLRT will siphon money away from better solutions that could be implemented now, and it likely will be obsolete by the time it’s finished in 2029.  [text of speech]
  6. Bonnie Hauser  A sustainable financial plan is needed.  The current DOLRT plan carries way too much financial risk for too long a period of time … until 2062.   [text of speech]
  7. Del Snow  Orange County holds the debt and liability.  GoTriangle’s assumption of 4% compounded growth in sales tax revenue for the next 45 years is a gross exaggeration.   [text of speech]
  8. Alex Cabanes  The DOLRT plan will not give you the ridership you expect.  [Slides & text of speech]
  9. Richard Chady  Current plan does not follow growth  [text of speech]
  10. Steve Tilley  DOLRT will not serve people who live north of I-40, but those people will have to help pay for it.  [text of speech]
  11. Patricia Clayton  (Northern Orange NAACP)  We need more buses in northern Orange County.  Instead, DOLRT will result in our transit money going to paying off DOLRT loans.  [text of speech]
  12. Tony Blake  Affordability, Housing, and Regressive Taxation  [text of speech]
  13. Ken Larsen At grade crossings will result in DOLRT making traffic worse – not better.  They will also increase the liklihood of accidents.  [slide]  [text of speech]
  14. Lisa Kaylie  Trump administration appears to be launching a war against public transportation, and DOLRT may not receive federal funding.  Cut our losses before any more money is wasted.
  15. Lisa Brach  DOLRT won’t alleviate 15-501 congestion, because most of that traffic is heading to or from I-40.  DOLRT will only serve a tiny corner of Orange County.  [text of speech]
  16. Neal Bench  DOLRT will siphon money away from other projects like schools, affordable housing, parks, and senior needs.  DOLRT has taken 93% of the transit tax that was approved in 2012.  [text of speech]
  17. Rachel Phelps Hawkins  (Schley Grange) Economic development opportunity along Orange County sliver of DOLRT will be minimal.  UNC owns most of that.  Adopt a plan that benefits all of Orange County.  [text of speech]
  18. Bishop Victor Glover  Public transportation is vital to help former prisoners land and retain jobs. DOLRT will siphon money away from the regular bus service that they need.  [text of speech]
  19. Sheila Creth  We’re frustrated by misrepresentations from GoTriangle.  [text of speech]
  20. John Morris  GoTriangle has mismanaged the DOLRT.  Orange County has wisely called for an independent financial analysis.  We need a public hearing on that analysis.  [text of speech]
  21. Joan Guilkey  Financial risks of cost overruns of DOLRT will fall on taxpayers … not to GoTriangle … but we won’t see much benefit.  GoTriangle wants to borrow $ 1B.  BRT is a better choice.  [text of speech]
  22. Shannon Stephenson  DOLRT is based on out-dated studies of 15-501.  DOLRT won’t serve Efland and Chatham county.  Some people are hell-bent on DOLRT even though it no longer makes sense.  [text of speech]
  23. Allison Hunter Coleman (Efland)  “We have a cupcake for a bus system.  We don’t have the frosting.  We don’t have the nuts.  We don’t have the sprinkles.”  [text of speech]
  24. Paula Hammer (environmental engineer) Buses are such a flexible form of transportation compared to light rail.  “DOLRT = a sexy fixed-line bus.”  [text of speech]

DOLRT Proponents

links to videos of DOLRT proponents

Commissioner Renee Price’s questions/comments

  1. Question about bus service
  2. Question about credit rating
  3. Question/comment about social justice goals  (unanswered)

Commissioner Earl McKee’s questions/comments

  1. Beginning of Earl’s questions
  2. Tax question

 

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