Local News

Expert: Raleigh Can't Just Build Roads to Help With Growth

Posted February 8, 2007

The city of Raleigh must grow smarter and include some transit system other than roads to help accommodate the region's growth, according to a national public policy expert.

"I cannot see a metropolis succeeding in the 21st century without a state-of-the-art transit system," said Bruce Katz, vice president of the Brookings Institution and an expert in demographic trends and transportation reform.

Despite unsuccessful attempts for a regional commuter rail in the Triangle, Katz believes a rail, along with dense development, is needed for Raleigh's transition into a large 21-century city.

"If you don't change how you are growing, you are going to have a lot of hurt, environmentally and fiscally, down the line," he said.

City-planning leaders realize missed opportunities, and as a result, are updating the city's comprehensive growth plan for the first time in 20 years.

"It's a blueprint of how we want to see ourselves over the next 20 years," Raleigh Planning Director Mitch Silver said. "It will look very carefully at our transportation network, our downtown, density and how we are going to push forward with parks, roadways and schools."

As for a regional commuter rail, the Triangle Transit Authority and other groups are now working on a new regional transit blueprint.

The goal is to identify future corridors along with possible transit modes within each corridor, such as rail, high-occupancy vehicle lanes or bus lanes.

Planners could identify a new corridor as early as this fall

Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • Crumps Br0ther Feb 9, 2007

    Detroit built a monorail system many years ago when the corrupt Mayor Colman Young was in charge. Raleigh should research other cities to see how it worked out for them. Oh! Thats right they did that already with the convention center, spent all that money to go to Boston, another city that believes building white elepahnts will attract people

  • Ladidada Feb 8, 2007


    Boo hoo hoo, yeh just sit back and do nothing while the entire industrialized world forges ahead.

  • usnn Feb 8, 2007

    the idiots who keep crying about the rail system need to realize: Rail works when the residential areas are packed close together, and the employment centers/industrial/commercial areas are packed close together. The system will >NEVER< work in Raleigh. Yeah we're getting more population, but the residential areas are often very spread out. Sure you'll have some dense apartment complexes, but you can't put a rail stop every few miles to pick people up, it'd take forever to get anywhere. And then how are the people going to get around???? Drive 10 miles to a rail station and park your car. You get off at a stop closest to your job, then what? Call a taxi to go another 5-10 miles and repeat later on to go home>? Raleigh's wasted millions and millions on rail, and it's fricking stupid.

  • Ladidada Feb 8, 2007

    Nonprogressive conservatives will fight this again until we are in a state of growth emergency.

  • martini Feb 8, 2007

    It is a state-of-the-art transit system or the next road going in front of your multi-million dollar home. Liberal or not it is just common sense or will you b*tch about anything.

  • Red Feb 8, 2007


  • BRUCEY BABY Feb 8, 2007

    Maybe we can have a transit system that connects Raleigh with Chapel Hill, then all the liberal wanna be's can teach us how it is done right...Oh, i forgot, better check with John Edwards first and that loon state senator from orange county,,they might not like it...