• Research Report

    Charlotte’s LYNX Line: A Preliminary Assessment

    posted October 5, 2008 by Dr. David Hartgen
    Dr. David Hartgen analyzes the Charlotte LYNX Line, finding, among other things, that final LYNX construction costs are about $521.9 million, about 130 percent above the initial estimate ($227 million), operating costs are about $9.22 million/year, and revenues are averaging about 31 percent of operating costs.
  • Research Report

    Fiscal Transparency in N.C.: Surveying state and local governments

    posted May 13, 2008 by Joseph Coletti, Chad Adams
    Citizens don’t have the ability to easily track how state and local governments spend their tax dollars — but they should. Budget information isn’t available online in easily searchable databases, but it should be. Citizens shouldn’t have to make special requests to obtain budget information.
  • Research Report

    Bond, School Bonds: School Bonds Will Leave Taxpayers Shaken Down, Not Stirred

    posted October 25, 2007 by Dr. Terry Stoops, Daren Bakst
    Elected officials in Durham, Gaston, Macon, Mecklenburg, and Moore counties are asking voters to approve school construction bonds that will increase an already high tax burden on low and middle income homeowners in these counties. Local governments have failed to implement the full range of school facilities alternatives and strategies that could accommodate enrollment growth without imposing additional taxes and long-term debt on taxpayers.
  • Research Report

    No, Fix the Roads First: How N.C. has taken transportation out of transportation policy

    posted October 17, 2007 by Daren Bakst
    The Minneapolis I-35 bridge disaster and the poor condition of North Carolina’s bridges should be a wake-up call for policymakers to set sensible priorities for transportation policy. N.C. has 17,782 bridges, of which 5,082 (29 percent) are deemed deficient by the federal government. N.C. ranks 32nd in the nation in percentage of deficient bridges — 10th worst in total number of deficient bridges.
  • Research Report

    Pender County doesn’t need a land-transfer tax increase

    posted September 26, 2007 by Joseph Coletti, Dr. Terry Stoops, Dr. Michael Sanera
    The Pender County commissioners are asking voters to approve a 200 percent increase in the real estate transfer tax on November 6. But the county has about $23.3 million over and above its base budget to meet its needs.
  • Research Report

    Better Instruction, Not More Time: A longer school day and year will be North Carolina’s next education fad

    posted July 31, 2007 by Dr. Terry Stoops
    There is no consistent relationship between in-school instructional time in mathematics and a nation’s average score on an international mathematics test. Researchers from Pennsylvania State University concluded that there was no statistically significant correlation between instructional time in math, science, reading, and civics and test scores on international assessments of those subjects.
  • Research Report

    Traffic Congestion in North Carolina: Status, Prospects, & Solutions

    posted March 18, 2007 by Dr. David Hartgen
    Traffic congestion is defined as the delay in urban travel caused by the presence of other vehicles. This study reviews traffic congestion in each of North Carolina's 17 metropolitan regions. The study determines the magnitude of present and future traffic congestion; the extent to which present plans will relieve or merely slow the growth of congestion; how traffic congestion affects the state's economy; and actions for significantly reducing congestion in the future.
  • Research Report

    Livable Streets, Dangerous Roads: Traffic Calming Endangers the Lives of Those in Need of Emergency Services

    posted November 20, 2006 by Jenna Robinson
    As the Triangle grows, motorists face significant increases in traffic congestion. City and county planners are hired, in part, to suggest plans that will alleviate this congestion. Unfortunately, they are doing the opposite. Based on city staff recommendations, city councils in Raleigh and neighboring cities have fallen victim to the latest planning fad: traffic calming. This seemingly worthwhile goal has significant detrimental consequences, including increased traffic congestion, more deaths due to slower emergency vehicle response times, and unnecessary costs to taxpayers.
  • Research Report

    Riding the Eminent Domain Rail: Triangle Transit Authority Is N.C.’s Case Study in Eminent Domain Abuse

    posted September 21, 2006 by Daren Bakst
    The Triangle Transit Authority (TTA) has been seizing private property for a rail system even though the necessary federal funding has never been secured. In late 2005, as it became clear that the rail was likely a dead project, the TTA still condemned land even though it meant forcing people out of their homes and businesses. TTA’s eminent domain abuse, however, may reach a new level. Through a possible public/private partnership, TTA may start using the already seized private property, and acquire additional private property, for economic development reasons. Unfortunately, current N.C. law may allow for these Kelo-type takings.
  • Research Report

    Conquering Traffic Congestion in the Capital City: More Effective Solutions Than Light Rail

    posted August 14, 2006
    For over fifteen years, the Triangle Transit Authority has pursued a regional rail for North Carolina’s capital region, to no avail. At the same time traffic congestion in the Triangle has worsened, with other viable alternatives largely being ignored. Recognizing this, it is important to understand the causes of congestion in order to develop workable solutions to the problem.

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