Wake Traffic Growth Is 'Go,' but New Roads Are 'No'
Posted September 25, 2007 7:52 p.m. EDT
Raleigh, N.C. — Wake is one of the fastest-growing counties in the state, but it has no new state road projects in the hopper right now. That is why one business organization is pushing for funding from the state Legislature for more roads to handle the ever-rising number of vehicles.
“You look out to the next 10 years, there are some real challenges. The next five years, we don't see anything in the pipeline − and that should be a concern to everyone,” Beau Mills of NC Go! Said Tuesday.
NC Go! is an organization of business leaders who want to see more transportation funding. Mills said Wake County’s situation shows what can happen under the current state road-funding formula.
It is a rapidly growing urban area without major new road construction in the state’s Transportation Improvement Plan.
“Right now, our state Legislature has no plan for that, and that's the real impact of what we're trying to get out there. If you don't look forward and try to solve problems, they're not going to solve themselves,” Mills said.
NC Go!, many taxpayers and even some legislators themselves blame the transportation stagnation on the General Assembly, but some representatives say they have some ideas for alternatives.
“There are ways that you could adjust the formula so that urban areas would get more than they currently do, but that would (still) be a far cry from the amount of resources that we need,” state Rep. Dan Blue, D-Wake County, said.
One idea, Blue said, is local option transportation taxing districts. The arrangement requires legislative approval, but it would be one way for Wake County's growing population to provide millions for roads it would use, Blue said.
Charlotte imposed a half-cent sales tax add-on for transportation in the early ‘90s. Money raised that way is funding a commuter rail system.