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Transportation Planning And Funding

Position: NCCB1 supports immediate attention to multi-modal, long-range transportation Planning that recognizes the value of our highway system, rail system, airports, seaports, and transit systems and their contributions toward business success, economic growth, and recruitment of now industry. Planning should recognize the continuing benefits and needs of existing transportation systems, and the need to develop appropriate inter-modal systems. A critical evaluation is needed of highway fund transfers to other State agencies. Planning should also include a visionary look at the need for additional dedicated funding sources necessary to assist the growth and maintenance of our infrastructure into the next millennium. NCCBI pledges to work with the newly formed Blue Ribbon Transportation Finance Study Commission as it studies transportation finance issues. Specific dedicated funding sources should be evaluated for the following areas of infrastructure:

        Maintain our current infrastructure at cost-effective levels to provide an adequate level of service to the traveling public.

        Develop, as growth and economic viability allow, mass transit systems, including bus, and rail, focused in critically congested urban areas where the highest potential to achieve sufficient ridership exists to provide a significant reduction in vehicle congestion.

        Implement the approved NC-DOT Transportation Improvement Program at a schedule that will 1) adequately address current overly-congested corridors, 2) allow corridors to develop that are needed for economic growth, and 3) maintain the level of mobility necessary for our citizens. Recognize that funds are needed for both congestion mitigation as well as economic development and growth in less developed areas. These needs should not be mutually exclusive or in competition with each other; both nm<W arc legitimate. Both needs are underprogrammed, under-funded, and, without attention, will deter our state from providing the quality of life, climate for responsible growth, and environmental atmosphere desired by our citizens.

Explanation: North Carolina has traditionally enjoyed a transportation system providing cost-effective, convenient, flexible and efficient movement of people, goods and services throughout the state. The quality of the system is approaching a marginal condition. Improvement of this transportation system is essential to our economic future.

Historically, the traveling public has placed almost total reliance on the automobile as its preferred mode of surface transportation. in most urban and rural areas of North Carolina with dispersed population and work centers, the automobile will continue to dominate as a travel mode. Where population density and common travel patterns exist and potential ridership warrants, other forms of public transportation should be considered. Corridors and right-of-way are best set aside early in the process, In many cases, existing rail corridors may provide the best route and should be preserved for possible future use.

Planning activities should recognize traditional and alternate sources of transportation funding, and capitalize on funding programs of most benefit to North Carolina. The end result of transportation planning and development should be a seamless multi-modal system for people and freight.

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