Lack Of Outsiders In Raleigh

Raleigh is a great city, but with the NIMBY and YIMBY battles, the issues over implementing transit improvements, building regulations, Media and TV . Among other its native people who are doing studies or people at one of the 3 colleges!!! And while they say Raleigh is in a lucky position there saying it out of there own bias cause they live here IMO. Raleigh needs outsiders in government and transit that come from cities larger than us, and have more experience than they can teach us how to handle things because they’ve been in situations like Downtown South and the OneWake situation or implementation of the Wake Transit Plan. Now don’t go bashing at me that were democracy, oh government works for us not a business i know that, but don’t say I’m not wrong either!!! You thoughts???

I don’t think I’ve ever thought Raleigh was lacking outsiders.


It’s not we just need younger city council members

Agreed. The city council is just a good ole boys/gals club that cater to their backwards *ss old money hick neighborhoods.


“young” with little to no experience with how the real world works is exactly what we need…

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We’ve already learned how “old” with little to no experience has worked out for America, why not change it up with some similarly unqualified youngsters? :roll_eyes:


We have them.:grinning: We just need to KEEP them. Except for Cox. Let’s get him out sooner than later.


No that a good idea, we accepted AOC just fine!!!

And on the Transit committed, and study don’t need to be done by local universities, it need to do out of state firm from larger cities who had this experience before and can get us through it!!!

Yeah but all of them are from Raleigh, even Stormie Forte, and the new city manager I think is a native!!!

imho Raleigh can use tips from as close by as Charlotte. They are killing it with their transit. Set on a vote soon for next 10 year plan (for tax)-while we are doing what? sorry transit is lagging here, for the growth we are expecting


I think this area really lacks real foresight into some sort of cohesive regional transit plan. There are a lot of disjointed entities planning various things but there does not appear to be any broad long range planning that joins the various agencies to a common vision. The examples are just littered through the region.

  • Durham light rail debacle
  • RTP regional transit station being proposed not next to the future commuter rail line
  • BRT is great, but why is RUSBus being built separate from the GoRaleigh Station
  • Commuter rail proposed with infrequnet service except for peak times

And the Raleigh Light Rail that was bound to happen, and every study said we needed I and bound to have it. And they still scrapped it for cost and cause the localities are too scared!!!

And that’s not how the Triangle does them to begin with. Transit agencies around here often send out bids to large engineering firms that specialize in transit planning all around the world.

For example, Kimley-Horn helped with writing the Wake County Transit Plan just like they did for the BART Silicon Valley extension. Likewise, the first stages of BRT planning plus GoTriangle’s short-range transit plan was made by Nelson/Nygaard, the same consulting company as thee ones for parts of Los Angeles’ Vision Zero plan.

Just like @Kanatenah, I agree with your main point that we need better, more unified regional/transit planning. But it’s important to have your facts straight.

Going back to your opening rant, who exactly do you mean by “outsiders in government”? Rather than making a point or starting a discussion, it sounds to me like you just want people to agree with you. I’m struggling to figure out your intent and your argument here, and I don’t want to assume things and stuff words into your mouth :sweat_smile:


Ahh uh, no I meant by there needs to be some people who run from city government who have no experience are were born and raised in other cities and recently moved here. For example, a lot of northerners are moving down here specifically to Ralreih cause they think of us as the midway point between the North and the South (D.C. in the south but for them, it’s snow so) Anyway I’m talking about to get things moving forward. And so I guess Kimley-Horn wrote the original transit plan for Light Rail here in Wake County and all the commissioners did was rant and scrap that project in favor of BRT??? It like even when the experts say this is the path their’s too many scared natives here no willing to take the risk and modify the studies y these pro-companies!!!

As a person who is familiar with using transit, all I want is a good bus system that has frequent routes. I could care less if it was rail. That’s not to say I don’t want rail, but if the choice is getting good frequent bus service or a limited access rail line, I’ll take the bus any day.

I’m very familiar with BART in the Bay Area and have used the subway in NYC, the metro in DC (similar to BART), and the U-Bahn and S-Bahn in Hamburg. I’ve used the ICE Train from Paris to Stuttgart. I’ve used the bus in NYC Q47 and Q10 at LaGuardia and JFK. I do wish we had a good high speed rail though. I would love to make a day trip to Charlotte, Richmond (if they moved their station near downtown), or just take it to DC.

I’m all for light rail transit, but I hate that busses get a bad rep and feel that light rail is overrated. At the same time, I don’t need a big bus shelter. The Lefferts subway stop in Queens, NY has 3 bus routes and a subway stop; There’s only regular shelters there.

I also think we need to make car pool/HOV lanes. I don’t think driving is going away anytime soon. With all the people who work in offices (pre-COVID) it would be a good incentive to carpool. Personally for me, I work DTR and only live 5 miles right next to a bus line that goes downtown. A carpool lane wouldn’t help me, but I think it would be good for the region.


As a rule of thumb, I agree that it’s important to have a wide variety of people sit in a representative democracy. I think that’s true for people of color and gender minorities, and I think that’s true for people fo different backgrounds and walks of life. And I’m having a hard time imagining a reason to say otherwise (that isn’t dumb).

But in the context of light rail in Raleigh (which has its own thread)…

I mean it feels that way, yeah, but history says it's more complicated.

Before Raleigh’s light rail stint, TTA (now GoTriangle) tried to build Greater Triangle Regional Rail using state and federal grants. It got canned, though, because the FTA decided it’s too expensive and depended on funding sources that weren’t guaranteed.

The idea with light rail was to pick up where the Regional Rail study left off. This meant TTA had to restart from scratch, know how to pay for their project before they apply for federal grants, and make light rail make more financial sense. Piece of cake, right?

Now, why don’t we make it even more fun by electing rural legislators who are openly hostile to mass transit, and make it nearly impossible for transit projects to get state aid?

“Can’t Raleigh just raise their own money to fund their own transit stuff?”, you ask? Durham County did it in 2011 and Orange did the following year, but Wake County residents couldn’t make the same commitment and were stuck with smaller budgets.

“Could Raleigh have done something wrong last time that we didn’t pick up on this time?”, you say? Wake County tried to get neutral, outside observers to comment on what City Council approved at the time. Their most vocal reviewer didn’t have very kind words to say despite his pretty pro-transit resume.

So by the time Wake County wrote its transit plan in 2012, Raleigh was stuck in a situation where they:

  • wanted a Big Sexy Transit Project that could cost billions of dollars
  • only made a tiny fraction of their income from fare box revenue
  • could not rely on state grants for that Sexy Project
  • did not have a dedicated tax to fund the Sexy Project
  • may or may not get federal grants for the Sexy Project even if they figured out all other funding sources

As far as Raleigh and Wake County were concerned, only the things in bold were possible and acceptable to change. I don’t know about you, but I can’t think of another way out aside for what really happened: the county eventually pulled the plug in 2015, and finally passed a dedicated tax a year later.

As a final reminder, the regional rail and light rail projects were treated solely as transit projects. This means social contributions like artwork, parks, affordable housing, and transit-oriented developments were all afterthoughts in those projects (if mentioned at all). The FTA’s rating for the old regional rail project reflects that, of course, and this happened before socioeconomic inequity became taken more seriously in urban development projects across America. This weakness, too, got thoroughly addressed in the current BRT project.

In light of all that, who were “the experts”? Do all transit experts have the same opinion about what’s in the best interest of Raleigh? Are you assuming all local politicians act the same? Do you know anything about GoTriangle’s new CEO? When you start to dig more into the past and present of transit in the Triangle, I think your narrative of “Experts vs Locals” makes less and less sense.

TL/DR: it’s not like the only thing that happened in the world of Raleigh’s unbuilt light rail is that it got shot down for being too expensive. Rule changes, harsh financial realities, and changing expectations by society meant Raleigh’s fling with light rail is over -and it’s since moved on.

Same, for a good bus system (and it’s nice that the Wake Co. Transit Plan specifically focuses on that).

As for the carpooling bit, let’s put a twist on this thread’s title! Once the pandemic is over, depending on how social distancing sticks around as a thing, could we somehow encourage more people to carpool so that we can reduce the number of strangers (“outsiders”) stuck in traffic in our commutes?


I don’t think a majority of people will leave their individual cars unless they have strong incentives:

  • HOV/Carpool lanes to save time in traffic
  • Lack of cheap parking wherever they are going
  • Higher gas prices

I think given the ability to save time itself would be a good incentive. When I worked at Perimeter Park, I discussed the ability to carpool with a few coworkers. Considering we would all need to meet up and then ride together would actually increase our time and would not be as convenient since we have to wait for everyone to show up and then sit in the same traffic as everyone else.

Currently in the San Francisco Bay Area, gas prices are still over $3/gal and places that are charging over $4/gal. I don’t think our gas prices will hit that high. I’m trying to remember what the gas prices were before the pandemic.


There needs to be a real or perceived crisis in order for there be enough political will to affect overall transportation strategy away from our use of personal cars. During this pandemic, any crisis that has been building has certainly waned with more people working from home. Post pandemic, don’t expect a return to traffic levels that existed prior to March.

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Please explain the complicated-ness to me!!! Link and articles will be appreciated!!!