NC Justice Center has put out their new "At the Crossroads" agenda, which has a number of recommendations for transportation reform. In short, it’s pretty good. Next week Civitas will release its "Blueprint for Transportation in North Carolina". Observers of the political zigzag in North Carolina may be surprised at the overlaps between our respective recommendations.
To point out a couple of points of divergence, Civitas does not buy into "smart growth" and so-called anti-sprawl measures, which we believe are counterproductive when it comes to both environmental protection and urban livability. Of course, we also think light rail as a form of transit is not only regressive, but a kind of fetish that comes at astronomical (opportunity) costs. Nevertheless, while "At the Crossroads" includes smart growth and rail transit as elements of its overall recommendations, these are mostly muted. Their focus remains primarily on changing both the revenue model and the allocation model for transportation funding and construction statewide.
As a note, I believe both the Civitas and the NC Justice Center approaches to transportation reform will also mean a lot to the preservation of beautiful natural spaces around the state. After all, unnecessary roads don’t get built under our common schemes.
NC Justice Center (and, thus also NC Policy Watch) rarely have overlap with the Civitas Institute when it comes to most political issues. Our philosophies are very different. But when it comes down to the future of our state, if we find areas of common ground it becomes necessary to put down our pens-as-swords and extend the olive branch of transpartisan cooperation. This is only my opinion of course, but partisans, politicians, and bureaucrats should pay close attention to both of our recommendations before going any further down that tortuous, crumbling road — built at great cost by the status quo.
Kudos to NC Justice Center.