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Alliance Adopts Plan to Manage Triangle Traffic

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RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK — Everybody complains about traffic in the Triangle. Now, the group formed to try to do something about it has a solution.

The Regional Transportation Alliance, a group of local business and community leaders, has adopted a 20-point plan covering everything from funding to land use.

Traffic problems continue to grow with the Triangle's booming population. The Transportation Alliance says $2 billion is needed to ease the problems and its Action Plan spells out ways to get and spend the money.

"Some of them are interrelated. Some of them are dependent upon each other for success," says Durham Mayor Nick Tennyson.

The Action Plan calls for major changes in the way theDepartment of Transportationfunds projects; more help from Washington; more efficient commuting; changes in the way we use major highways and possible additional taxes to pay for everything.

"If there are going to be additional revenue sources, then what we have said is that sales tax and gasoline taxes are the ones to consider," says group chairman Smedes York.

The group has considered hundreds of ideas during the eight-week process.

"The message that comes out of this group, at least in my view, was that there are very large, immediate problems that the current mechanisms don't satisfy," says Tennyson.

There will no doubt be lots of public discussion about the proposals. However, the Transportation Alliance must now take its Action Plan to those who can actually make changes.

"A lot of it goes to theGeneral Assemblyin terms of changes, a lot of it goes to the DOT," says York.

The group hopes the General Assembly will act on some of the proposals during the current session.

The Alliance's Action Plan contains no proposals for specific projects. Those must come after groundwork is laid for funding and planning.