In the wake of the Durham Orange Light Rail Transit project’s recent collapse, many are left asking the question, “What’s next?”
This question, along with the broader demand for transportation in Chapel Hill and Carrboro, was the backbone of Tuesday's event at the CURRENT ArtSpace. NEXT, an interest group comprised of residents and communities leaders seeking to improve quality of life in Chapel Hill and Carrboro, sponsored the event, the first of its Sustainable Community Series.
“We’re having our first meeting next week since we discontinued the light rail, so we don’t have a very well-defined new plan yet,” said Mark Marcoplos, an Orange County commissioner and speaker at the event.
Marcoplos named several alternatives to the light rail, including greenways and bus rapid transit, a bus system with a dedicated lane. Regardless of the system implemented, he said connecting Chapel Hill and Carrboro to the rest of Orange County and surrounding areas is crucial.
Part of this focus on connectivity is to provide an equitable experience for residents, something NEXT said is a top priority. Besides transportation and equity, NEXT’s other key issues include affordable housing, diversity, education and the environment.