Thursday, March 12, 2009

LRT in North Carolina

This is a great episode of NOW on PBS. It talks about the economic advantages that have helped Charolette when they built their LRT line.

Pat McCrory is the seven-term mayor of Charlotte, North Carolina. He's a Republican... one of the most prominent conservative politicians in a very conservative state. He's pro-life and a proud fiscal hawk. But two years ago, he put his entire political career on the line to build this light rail line in Charlotte. It was the one of the most expensive public works projects in North Carolina's history, costing almost a half-a-billion dollars. And it almost cost McCrory his job.

But much to everyone's surprise, voters backed the transit tax overwhelmingly, the mayor was re-elected and the light rail, now a year old, has turned out to be hugely popular. Thousands more people are riding the line every week than were expected, and big cities like Orlando are sending delegations to see what all the fuss is about. In the heart of the south, where people love their cars, McCrory's light rail line is winning hearts and minds.


Anonymous said...

Being a North Carolinian, transplanted from Philly four years ago, I wanted to clarify a point. Referring to NC as a "very conservative state" is hardly accurate. We have a spit house and senate delegation and a Democratic governor (who soundly beat "prominent conservative" McCrory last November). most importantly, the state was blue in the last presidential election.

It's also a very bike-friendly place. said...

Hi Steve. I have never been, but clearly PBS needs to do a bit of fact checking next time. Thanks for the clarification.