Our January 1 issue imagined what the Triangle would look like in 2040, including a series of essays that assessed Durham’s future

MACK CYR says the writers don’t understand how transportation works. “Development follows transportation,” Cyr writes. “I continue to read otherwise intelligent people talk about density as a precursor to fixed-guideway transit. In no other conversation about transportation and development do we argue that we need ‘density’ to support a road, airport, port, etc. The reality is that transportation determines our pattern of development. You build a freeway and an interchange, automobile-dependent development pops up at the interchange. You build fixed-guideway transit, and density follows. Preferably you build it through areas where there is existing development that is already walkable or can become walkable, but you build the infrastructure, and development follows. If you are sitting around waiting for density, good luck waiting. It’s the wrong way to think about mass transit.”

Last week, Leigh Tauss raised the question of whether Raleigh’s buses should become fare-free. “As someone who rode the Raleigh and Chapel Hill buses for four years,” KRISTEN HILL responds, “I didn’t mind paying my monthly pass of $40 or so in Raleigh. It saved me a lot of money rather than paying insurance, gas, and car repairs every year. What the Triangle needs to do is add more bus stops and make public transportation more accessible, especially in lower-income areas as we tend to take public transportation more.”

“You have to build a bus culture,” adds SANDY ROCHELLE. “People need to get over the stigma/fear or stepping outside their comfort zone of riding a bus. We live in a car culture. Most people grew up only riding in a car unless it was a school bus. People want fast and convenient.

Fewer stops, more routes, safe, clean, more lights. Give city and state employees incentives to ride. Work with local big businesses to buy passes for their employees. You just need to get butts in seats, and free bus fare will not do that. It’s a change in mindset and lifestyle.”

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