Local News

Your Voice, Your Vote: Candidates Differ on Transportation Solutions

Posted September 28, 2000 7:00 a.m. EDT

— This election year, many voters in North Carolina say traffic congestion is one of their biggest concerns. What can North Carolina's next governor do about it?

Voters want something done about urban sprawl and traffic congestion. The candidates for governor disagree on how the state should approach the problem.

"We are not doing what we can by way of encouraging high density use of the inner cities that we could. We are not encouraging mass transit. We don't have bus lanes. I like bus lanes, they work well," says Democratic candidate Mike Easley

"I don't see the state or the governor, as deciding where people live, and deciding that, look, in my wisdom, I know that you ought to be living in the center of the city of Greensboro, you should not live in the suburbs. I don't look upon that as the role of government to make that decision for our people," says Republican candidate Richard Vinroot.

The candidates also disagree on mass transit as a state-sponsored solution to the impact that auto emissions have on air quality.

"The best steps we can take, clearly are the emissions -- auto emissions and the fossil fuels," Easley says. "That's going to require some form of mass transit."

"I can't imagine the small percentage of people who will ever ride buses and trains relative to those who grow up in this state wanting to drive their cars," says Vinroot. "It's not going to change in the foreseeable future, and I'm not as governor going to come in and do something that's just foolish and wasteful."

The candidates do agree on one transportation issue. Both say toll roads are a viable revenue option.

Look for more on the candidate's positions on transportation issues Sunday in theNews and Observer.