Michael Grass | Government Executive

Fayetteville Street in downtown Raleigh, North Carolina, the commercial center of Wake County. John Wollwerth / Shutterstock.com
Fayetteville Street in downtown Raleigh, North Carolina, the commercial center of Wake County. John Wollwerth / Shutterstock.com

A nationally recognized transit planning consultant didn’t have many answers for a large gathering of local elected officials, civic leaders, community activists and residents gathered in a crowded convention center ballroom in North Carolina’s capital city for a “transit kickoff” meeting on Monday night.

There were no grand visions, no lines drawn across county maps showing where new bus lines might go or where a future light rail line might be built.

In fact, Jarrett Walker, the Oregon-based planning consultant and author of the blog and book Human Transit who is working closely with Wake County on its new transit planning efforts, barely mentioned the term “light rail,” instead talking about transit in more generic terms.

That’s not to say there won’t be a light rail line or commuter rail system, like the ones proposed in a Raleigh-area 2011 transit plan that didn’t go anywhere. Read more