This article on WRAL is not only bad journalism, but bad propaganda:
As the Triangle grows, traffic grows, and so grows air pollution.
This is flat wrong. Air pollution over time continues to decrease. "Growing" air pollution is not the same thing as failure to comply with EPA standards for air quality, because air quality standards keep getting lowered so EPA bureaucrats can keep their jobs. Don't believe me? Read this (pdf, page 38) or this.
Currently, the area does not comply with the Environmental Protection Agency's standards for air quality.
Note the conflation? Check this out:
"Our air pollution problems don't come from factories, they primarily come from cars," said John Hodges-Copple, the planning director for the Triangle J Council of Governments, the regional planning group for Wake, Durham, Orange and surrounding counties. "So, whatever we do, transportation-wise, that will have the long-term effect."
We don't need to do anything except wait for cars to continue to gain in fuel efficiency as they have over the last 30 years.
Studies indicate that during the heaviest commute times in the Triangle, nine out of 10 vehicles have one person on board.
So what? I don't take my wife to work with me. Cramming people into a $1billion+ cylinder doesn't move people where they need to go any faster or more efficiently – or with less energy usage – than cars on a street. This trolley fixation is just downright ridiculous.
Trains and buses could help take cars and pollution off the road, but the Triangle Transit Authority's commuter rail plan was put on hold after the federal government declined to help fund it.
By one percent for one year — and at the cost of more than a billion dollars? This light rail thing could have been conceived by a patient in a mental health facility who's not getting enough Haldol.