This N&O story discusses how road funding in North Carolina is based on an antiquated “equity formula” rather than allocated based on need.
The equity formula was created in 1989, under then-Gov. Jim Martin, a Republican, with goals that included ensuring that nearly everyone in the state will live within 10 miles of a four-lane road.
Over the past decade, the county with the fewest people, Tyrrell, has received the most road money per capita. Tyrrell, in Eastern North Carolina, had a population of 4,078 in 2009 and is best known as the last county that Outer Banks-bound travelers pass through before they get to Dare County’s beaches.
Another problem with North Caroilna’s transportation funding is an irrational obsession with high-cost, little reward light rail projects.
David Hartgen, a retired UNC Charlotte transportation professor, faults both state and city leaders for failing to focus spending priorities on projects that will relieve congestion.
Raleigh and Charlotte planners have earmarked too much of their money for big transit investments that will serve only 1 to 2 percent of their residents, he said.
“The problem is the misallocation of the money we have,” Hartgen said.”