The train got stuck the other night. The crossing arm at Main Street in Carrboro malfunctioned, and it triggered an automatic warning horn, which blared for more than an hour. This unnerved a lot of people.
It also served as a reminder that the University still has a coal burning power plant in a residential neighborhood, and it requires a train and ten miles of track to operate.
The sooner that all comes to an end, the better.
Every now and again, this community rethinks the arrangement and the inefficiency of it all. The use of resources and the poor use of space and right-of-way just smacks you in the face.
The main obstacle to change is that the University has stubbornly refused to consider something other than operating a power plant. As we all know, Carolina has a problem with monuments. The one honoring the Age of Steam Power on Cameron Avenue is one of them.
It’s been a decade since the University released its 2009 Climate Action Plan, which pledged to end the use of coal by 2020 and make the campus carbon neutral by 2050. The headline on the introductory section of the plan read “A Lot of Little Solutions.” In hindsight, that couldn’t have been more accurate.