RALEIGH — Triangle leaders are getting a rare chance today to peer into our future. Friday's World Class Region Conference begins a year-long effort to plan for a future we all can live with.
If you're tired of daily traffic jams and urban sprawl, planners say the time to take action is now.
The conference included a virtual reality tour of 3 possible paths of development. The first path is the one we're on. The other two growth scenarios include higher density, mixed-use development along new mass transit rail lines. Rural subdivisions might include smaller lots -- and no cul de sacs.
A panel at the World Class Region Conference offered different points of view on the present and future. From a developer defending past practices?
"We do it the way we do it because you've told us to," developer Roger Perry said. "We develop exactly the way you have allowed us to develop."
From a business man predicting how new residents will react if no changes are made?
"And they will complain because they are helping to happen what caused them to leave their previous location," said Richard Williams, vice president of Duke Power.
Regional Planners place a high priority on reducing the need for cars. Their dream is new communities where you can walk to work or board a train at a new rail station.
Raleigh Mayor Tom Fetzer remains skeptical of the costs compared to the benefits of mass transit rail.
"I don't think these questions have been answered yet and I would encourage all of you to slow down on this whole movement until we find out some real answers to that," Fetzer said. You can read more about this issue in Saturday'sNews & Observer. And Sunday night at 6:30, we'll air a special edition of 30 Minutes on the future of growth and development in the Triangle.