RTA has successful leadership retreat
You know that the Regional Transportation Alliance has delivered business leadership for more than 15 years to get our region moving faster. RTA held our 17th annual leadership retreat at The Umstead Hotel and Spa in Cary today. Led by RTA chair Bruce Sargent with IBM, the retreat included remarks from NCDOT Secretary Jim Trogdon, Mike Charbonneau on behalf of GoTransit Partners — a new nonprofit dedicated to helping fund transit including the proposed Durham-Orange light rail — and a number of RTA members. We had a great discussion of issues at today’s retreat including the future of Capital Boulevard and the “ideal” travel experience. With a strong action plan in place and a terrific group of RTA members, I anticipate another successful year in 2019.

What is the future of the Durham Freeway?
Several RTA members and staff attended a provocative presentation last week about the potential for removing a portion of the Durham Freeway from downtown Durham. This is a great time to ask this question, given next year’s opening of I-885 which will provide a viable, high-speed alternative around the downtown area in conjunction with I-85. My colleague Natalie Griffith attended the Downtown Durham, Inc. event and she provided a great overview at our annual leadership retreat today. While RTA has no formal position on the potential for the future of NC 147 in downtown Durham, my sense is that the roadway could be altered to help reconnect the community and provide more accessibility to Downtown, and a variety of options should be on the table.

9th anniversary of local option legislation for transit
Last week marked 9 years since the passage by our general assembly of House Bill 148, which incorporated a revision to the “Local Government Public Transportation Sales Tax Act” and enabled counties in the Triangle and across the state to provide locally controlled and funded enhanced public transit services. All three of our core counties — Durham, Orange, and Wake — have passed local option sales taxes and complementary vehicle fees subsequent to successful voter referenda earlier this decade.  This act has been transformative for our region in terms of giving us the tools to enhance transit. We will go from zero to seven new Rapid transit and regional transit corridors within 10 years across our region, thanks to the local and state funding enabled by this legislation. 

Thank you for your membership in the voice of the regional business community on transportation!

Let’s get moving,

Joe

Joe Milazzo II, PE
RTA Executive Director