Local News

Raleigh Mayoral Candidates 'In Sync' With Traffic Light Plans

Posted October 6, 2003

— Many drivers in Raleigh are frustrated over the "stop and go" driving during rush hours. Current Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker and Councilman John Odom, who is running for mayor, say they want to fix it.

"It's very important that while we have timing in our lights, they are not synchronized," Meeker said. "There is a state project, about a $30 million project, to go ahead and have them fully synchronized with a fiberoptic system and sensors under each intersection. The state unfortunately has not funded that."

"They say the synchronization of stop lights will get you home anywhere from 15 percent to 20 percent quicker. That gets more cars off the road, that gets them from idling at stop lights, so it's an air quality issue," Odom said. "It's a big issue to me."

Meeker said Odom is asleep at the wheel on lobbying for funds.

"I've attended two or three dozen meetings on transportation issues in which funding was the primary issue. My opponent has not been any of them," he said.

Odom said Raleigh had money in the bank to work on timing the stoplights, but it came to a screeching halt, thanks to Meeker.

In the last city budget, five councilmembers, including Meeker, supported taking money out of the city budget to fix the synchronization of stop lights. Odom was among those who did not support the proposal.

"We started taking money out of our money that we had allocated for synchronization of stop lights. We allocated $2 million. We took out $1.5 million. That's the wrong direction," he said.

Voters will head to the polls Tuesday to decide the Raleigh mayoral race.

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