Your letters, Dec. 22

December 20, 2013 

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Plan now for future traffic

Two comments on Bob Wilson’s commentary in the Chapel Hill News on light rail transit (CHN, Dec. 15, bit.ly/JxSKHy ).

First, he writes, “Light rail doesn't fit our low-density population template. Maybe someday, but not now.” But a dozen years from now when our roads and highways are clogged with cars, trucks and buses, then will be the time. But we can’t then just throw a magic switch and suddenly have light rail to the rescue. It will take years of planning and construction to have a proper light rail system. Now is the time to start.

Second, Wilson argues that no light rail ever comes in on its projected cost. Neither do highway construction nor widening projects.

Ken Thorn

Carrboro

Better than sprawl

Durham and Orange counties have a lot to offer federal grant reviewers who have money to spend and want to drive good planning policy.

We have better “ridership to population” percentages with twice as many public transit riders a day with much less population than Wake. Nationally, we compare well to many higher-density communities as in the rust belt because our population is growing while their population is shrinking. Our light-rail corridor is not as developed throughout so that rail construction will be less expensive as built-out locations, and we have undeveloped “greenfield” stations primed for transit-oriented development, affordable housing, density and increased ridership.

Gambling on a $1.4 billion project with 6,000 new jobs and billions in new commerce is being pursued after years of study with input of more experts than the three the Wake County commissioners brought in to verify their decision. The best way to win the gamble is to continue great planning and increase our ridership numbers by supporting robust public transportation through fare-free bus routes and the “GoPass” program. Otherwise, we might look like Wake, all sprawled out with bumper-to-bumper traffic, choking out new employers, and soon in decline.

Robert Bo Glenn

Durham

Furniture blight

For weeks discarded furniture has been decomposing on Lenark Road at the west edge of the Glen Lennox Apartments property.

Is that part of the deal to encourage razing the apartments? Or is it to prepare neighbors for a large-scale trash center when the “new Glen Lennox” takes over the property?

Right now it is a blight on what has been a beautiful though dated apartment complex.

Carol Reuss

Chapel Hill

Intolerance

There is one major weakness in Pearce Godwin’s argument (“Let’s restore respect in gay marriage debate,” CHN, Dec. 13, bit.ly/1dyLa8O)

He writes, “Proponents have been looked down upon and judged by those preaching love on Sundays while opponents have been called backwards bigots by the very people demanding tolerance.” But look at the two sides. Those, or at least most of those, that are intolerant of gay marriage assume they have a God-given right to impose on others the morality they adopt for themselves, and most, but surely not all, are bigots. It is not intolerant to not tolerate bigotry.

Whereas the pro-gay marriage people want to add a right that they deserve to their lives, the anti-gay marriage folks work to deny people a basic right because they don't believe in the idea. No one that I know on the pro-gay marriage side wishes to take anything away from anyone or force their way of life on anyone; they just want their right to be happy. But on the other side, many work tirelessly, fighting as hard as they can, to deny gay people the right to marry and the benefits that go along with it.

I am completely intolerant of that.

Michael Wainstein

via Facebook

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