TO THE EDITOR:
On the Orange County Democratic primary ballot is county commissioner at-large, a race in which the proposed Durham-Orange Light Rail (DOLRT) is an issue. This is an important reason for students and the university community to vote. DOLRT is a proposed 18+ mile rail line with three stations on campus (UNC Hospitals, Smith Center and Friday Center) then on to Duke University and Medical Center, Downtown Durham and NC Central University. County funding of transit projects, including light rail, was approved by 59%-41% in a 2012 Orange County referendum. Candidate Sally Greene, who served 13 years on the Chapel Hill Town Council, is the only one of the three candidates to support DOLRT.
The candidates have widely differing positions. Candidate Brian Crawford said “If there is an opportunity that we can vote to derail this, I will.” (Audio of his speech to a Democratic group). Candidate Noah Oswald has stated “… good light rail projects can benefit major cities and the surrounding urban communities, but this project is not that.” (Candidate statement to Durham Herald-Sun). Candidate Sally Greene has stated “I support the Orange County Transit Plan, of which DOLRT is a part.” (Candidate issue paper).
I support the light rail project, and urge Orange County voters to vote early through May 5 or at their precinct May 8.