by Sam Hieb
We learned last week that Duke University backed off from further negotiations with GoTriangle for the proposed Durham-Orange light-rail route running past its research and medical buildings on Erwin Road. GoTriangle—the organization stumping for the light rail line, will now try to figure out how to proceed without Duke.
In rejecting the negotiations, Duke—according to the N&O—released a report received Tuesday from Vitatech Electromagnetics, which studied the light-rail project and how its magnetic and electric fields might affect Duke equipment in buildings near the planned rail line. Orange County Commissioner Mark Marcoplos, the county’s representative on the GoTriangle Board of Trustees, replied that Duke was “doubling down on a false narrative” regarding the electromagnetics, adding he “resents the fact that Duke University has been such a bad-faith negotiator.” That’s an interesting perspective from anyone pushing a light rail line. Turns out Antiplanner has been paying attention. Under the headline Durham: Forward into the Past, he writes:
Typically, politicians consider the cost to be a benefit. “We invest in infrastructure,” said a county commissioner. “It will be the biggest infrastructure project in the history of North Carolina.” Someone needs to tell her that “infrastructure” is not a race to see who can waste the most taxpayers’ money on obsolete technologies.
Look, I’ve got no love for Duke–generally speaking or on the basketball court. But in this case, I think it’s clear who the bad faith negotiator is in this deal.