Thursday, March 30, 2006 8:02 PM
Talking About PoliticsDecember 15, 2005
Filed under: General, Raleigh — Carter Wrenn @ 1:38 pm
Ronald Reagan used to say the closest thing to eternal life on earth was a government program. I’m beginning to think the Triangle Transit Authority is may prove his point.
The News and Observer reports that yesterday Senators Elizabeth Dole and Richard Burr wrote the TTA that the Federal Transportation Administration had “thoroughly examined” the TTA’s light-rail project and “the initiative does not meet the current required standards, nor the former standards.” The bottom line: TTA will not be eligible for federal funding. The Senators added, “the rail project is likely not an option for the region; we therefore believe it is time for TTA to explore other possibilities.”
Did that please the TTA?
Not one bit. It rolled-out old warhorse (and now TTA’s legal counsel) Wib Gulley for a late-night news conference to respond. Gulley said: Not so.
According to Gulley the TTA has discovered it left 132,000 commuters out of it’s computer model – and the new model will give a better chance of getting its hands on federal money. The problem is we’ve heard that before. It’s almost become TTA’s standard response to a no – we have to redo the computer model.
The TTA has been going on for ten years and its proposal has grown from $100 to $800 million. It is a bureaucracy fighting for the government equivalent of eternal life – so that whatever happens it can keep on keeping on at taxpayers’ expense. And it’s got politicians like Raleigh Major Charles Meeker – who is apparently heart-set on light-rail whether it’s needed, justified, and no matter what it costs – helping them.
These folks have been burning through taxpayers’ money for ten years and it’s time they stopped. Senator Dole and Senator Burr gave the TTA some good advice: Move on.
When the federal government – which normally has never seen a pork-barrel project it doesn’t like – says your project is a waste of money, it’s time to give up.
Washington never blinked at $10,000 commode seats or bridges to nowhere. But how Washington says Raleigh’s light-rail project doesn’t make financial sense.
Mayor Meeker, it’s time to give it up. Spend the money where it will do some good – like the Outer Loop or new schools.
4 Comments »
Here’s the real question: Why the flip-flop by Liddy Dole? First she came out - a couple of weeks ago - in support of the project. Now she and Burr seem to be trying to kill it. Maybe Liddy needs to leave the Watergate now and then and visit NC to see what’s going on here.
Comment by Loyal Dem — December 16, 2005 @ 11:22 am
“Here’s the real question: Why the flip-flop by Liddy Dole?”
I thought that Senator Dole’s letter answered that question very well. But then, you have to actually read it to know that.
Comment by Jim Stegall — December 16, 2005 @ 2:43 pm
Senator Dole should come back and try to drive on I-40 during rush hour. At least she wouldn’t have to get out of the car, God forbid.
Comment by Justin — December 19, 2005 @ 10:28 am
Senators Dole and Burr were receiving lots of letters against the project from their republican constituancy AKA the people who pay for their campaigns
Comment by Elizabeth Sall — January 12, 2006 @ 3:59 pm