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While you make your giving decisions this Christmas Season, I hope you'll keep the Civitas Institute in mind.

We're here every single day, fighting for small, accountable government, and working to diminish the influence of the liberal Left in our state.

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New Rules of the Road: A Transportation Blueprint for N.C.

The growing disconnect between transportation spending and performance underscores the need to bring real reform to a failed system. The facts speak for themselves:
 
• South Carolina’s overall road performance ranks 2nd nationally, while North Carolina ranks 31st.
• North Carolina has 2,365 structurally deficient bridges – worse than 37 other states.
• A recent $2.5 million, 400-plus page report by the consulting firm McKinsey & Company concluded that the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) is too political. Also, the study concluded NCDOT managers waste time and priority construction projects are delayed.
• In 2007 alone, three transportation officials were convicted on public corruption charges.

A New Vision

Reforming North Carolina’s transportation system requires embracing a new vision – a vision for a 21st Century Good Roads State. To realize this vision, we need a transportation plan that will: prioritize, localize, streamline and reform.

Introduction – 21st Century Good Roads State

Prioritize - Make congestion, road quality and safety the top transportation priorities

- Replace the state’s Equity Distribution Formula
– Distribute transportation funds based on congestion and road condition
– Make system safety and maintenance top priorities
– Expand cost-effective, efficient public transportation

LocalizeEncourage counties to take control of their own transportation needs and budgets

- Shift more planning and taxation authority to counties
– Raise and distribute transportation revenues locally
– Recognize the unique needs of local areas and take advantage of local planning expertise
– Encourage counties to experiment and innovate

StreamlineIncrease efficiency, eliminate waste and save taxpayers money

– Streamline the bureaucracy at NCDOT and eliminate political patronage
– Fund high priority projects first
– Reasonably limit environmental impact assessments to prevent construction delay
– Encourage public-private partnerships, and private investment with public oversight
– Improve traffic flow through continuous system upgrades and congestion pricing

ReformBring accountability, transparency and fairness to our transportation system

- Give NCDOT employees a percentage of every dollar they save taxpayers
– Give project heads more authority, as well as more responsibility for success and failure
– Create more competitive and open bidding processes for transportation projects
– Reform the board of transportation by limiting the number of members to five and requiring specific expertise to serve on the board, bipartisan appointments, and full disclosure of campaign contributions
– Reduce or eliminate discretionary funds
– Punish ethics violations with fines and firing