Last week the Durham-Chapel Hill-Carrboro Metropolitan Planning Organization opened itself up to public input at an open house regarding their Comprehensive Transportation Plan, accepting public comment until Feb. 24 and planning to adopt the plan on March 8.
As this concerns our community, the editorial board will take this opportunity to offer our input. Given geographical distance and the communities involved, it seems obvious that Durham, Chapel Hill and Carrboro need to get themselves integrated in the short term while keeping further links to Raleigh, and other communities, in mind for the future.
The Triangle poses a novel combination of challenges to transportation planners. It is, you know, a triangle, not the typical spoke-wheel structure that centers a traditional downtown. The region is also growing. The CTP will be a large part in determining how well this occurs. We are encouraged to see that multiple modes of transport have been considered on the maps displayed: highway, public transportation and rail, bicycle and pedestrian.
Yet, in terms of quality of life going forward in the region, we forward several principles that should govern the specifics of the plan.
First, any public transit system should serve as many people as possible as conveniently as possible. Given the geography and population density of the region, buses would still seem the primary way forward to both run and expand the system: routes can be added, subtracted and adapted depending on the growth the region sees going forward.