WRAL Editorial: A 'yes' vote for Wake and Durham referenda will build better communities

Voters in Wake and Durham counties have opportunities to provide for important community investments and improvements to keep our communities thriving and growing. They should not be overlooked.

In Wake County voters should approve funding, a half-percent local sales tax, for a modern transportation system that will relieve road congestion, triple bus service and expand it to serve more communities. It will develop the commuter rail line to connect all the communities in the Triangle.

Voters will find these questions at the end of their very long ballots but they should not be overlooked and need “yes” votes. Try to travel just about anywhere in Wake County – particularly on major arteries like US 1, I-40; I-440 and I-540 and US 64-264. Even a non-rush hour crash can cause traffic to back-up for miles. 

The need for a comprehensive transit plan is urgent. Wake County is growing by 62 people daily – 22,600 annually. With a total population that exceeds 1 million, people need to be able to more easily get from place to place. 

This transit referendum is Wake County’s chance to catch up with its neighbors with an adequately funded plan that will be coordinated with systems throughout the Triangle. Over the 10-years of the program, the modernization of the transportation system in the region will further enhance its attractiveness for economic development and job growth. 

While the $2.3 billion plan provides for greater investment in mass transportation programs, it also will work along with other spending that is improving I-540, US 1, US 64 and express lanes. 

The 37-mile commuter-rail, linking Raleigh with the Research Triangle, downtown Durham and Chapel Hill, is expected to be completed by 2027. 

The half-cent sales tax dedicated for the transit plan, will raise $927 million over 10 years and be supplemented by $720 million in federal funds, $512 million in bond financing and $112 million in passenger fees.

These ballot issues will spend on needs that will make life better and provide greater opportunities in Wake and Durham counties. Don’t overlook them on your ballot and vote yes to support them.

The above is an excerpt from WRAL that appeared on October 18th.  Read more here.