On John?s ?Daily Journal? column over at Carolina Journal Online today, offering up suggestings for improving transportation policy in North Carolina, I?d add these thoughts:

??North Carolina is one of only three states that doesn?t let its counties build roads. I don?t know the resulting effects but it might reduce the pork-barreling since Charlotte as a county, for one example, could control its own future with its revenues, growth plans, etc. without the maternalism of Raleigh determining what?s good for Charlotte.

??North Carolina, for all practical purposes, has only one school for civil engineering ? NC State. And like all monopolies, it has gotten stodgy, non-competitive, and behind the times. (Compared to its glories in the 1940s.)

The state DOT is dominated by NC State grads. You cannot find a Georgia Tech, Perdue, Carnegie Mellon, MIT, engineer anywhere. Therefore DOT, who controls every cubic yard of concrete poured in the state and hasn?t had an original thought with its inbred engineering staff since 1955, can be blamed for many of our problems.

To your six-point program, add 7 and 8.

7. Fund larger, more competitive engineering programs at UNC-Charlotte and one or two more sites ? Chapel Hill? ? and prohibit staffing them from other in-state programs. This will fix the current supply problem of lock-step, inbred engineers in five to ten years. (Applies to other engineering disciplines as well ? waste water, storm control, power, mechanical, etc.)

8. Fire the top engineer in DOT and bring in someone from a state with great roads who is a graduate of another school. Give him complete authority to clean house and recruit out-of-state.