It’s always exciting when opposing groups can come together to advocate for the same much-needed improvements in Chapel Hill.
We, as you might recall, are big fans of Bus Rapid Transit and Chapel Hill Transit’s planned North-South Bus Rapid Transit route (NSBRT) along MLK and S. Columbia.
The NSBRT buses will travel in dedicated lanes and traffic signals will sense and adjust to them. That will allow transit vehicles (and riders!) to bypass traffic, even during the most congested times of day.
We’ll also get an off-road multiuse path along both sides of the route along MLK. This will make MLK more comfortable, safer, and enjoyable for anyone on foot or on wheels.
Everyone is FOR this project!
Previous transit investments in Chapel Hill have not been without their challenges or detractors. The Durham-Orange Light Rail (DOLRT) sparked Wars of the Roses-level battles that pitted neighbor against neighbor; brother against brother; signs against signs against signs against signs….
CHALT is one of the biggest proponents of BRT and that makes us so happy!
We don’t want to return to those days.
That’s why we are SO EXCITED that the NSBRT already has considerable community support — even among strange bedfellows of groups who are often on opposite sides of local politics.
For example, Chapel Hill Alliance for a Livable Town (also known as CHALT) has been one of the biggest proponents of BRT in Chapel Hill. Surprised?
We were, too!
In fact, CHALT doubled-down on their support of the NSBRT in several of their 2017 newsletters, point out that it would serve as an “affordable and efficient” alternative to the DOLRT.
WE AGREE THAT THE NSBRT IS GOOD.
We also agree that, as CHALT notes in a series of articles from the DOLRT era, it is extremely important to let your local (and state!) elected officials know (early and often) that you support the NSBRT. Which is why we are pleased to announce our FIRST EVER ever collaboration with CHALT in support of the NSBRT!
… OK, it’s not officially a collaboration yet, but we definitely think it’s going to happen because we are so aligned with CHALT on this:
- Here’s the BRT in CHALT’s mobility recommendations for Chapel Hill
- Here’s a letter from CHALT founder Julie McClintock stating “Buses are better!”
- Here’s the Smart Transit for Orange County website that McClintock and colleagues launched during the light rail issue where they link to a bunch of articles stating BRT is a “better option” for our region
- Here’s CHALT-endorsed candidate Adam Searing noting “moving along construction of our North/South corridor bus rapid transit route is critical during the next Council term” (Question 2) and that “BRT is a “better way to move UNC employees who live outside of town in to downtown” (Question 3)
- Here’s CHALT-endorsed candidate Hongbin Gu tweeting in favor of BRT as “a new standard in public transportation”
We are so happy that CHALT feels strongly in favor of the BRT because they’re really good at getting people motivated to advocate. And we feel strongly about this project too — keeping the BRT in limbo isn’t good when thinking about the future of Chapel Hill.
Let’s work together to get this project funded!
How you can help
- Email the Mayor and Council (firstname.lastname@example.org) and let them know you support the project and that the Complete Community initiative should better integrate this important investment.
- Tag @unc and @uncmedcenter on Twitter and ask them to provide financial support for this project.
- Write a letter to the DTH or the News and Observer
- For goodness sake, VOTE! Especially for candidates who support investing in multi-modal transportation!