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Forums address streetcar project
2 meetings on proposed East-West line
 
Published Wednesday, February 13, 2013 2:37 pm
by Herbert L. White

Want to sound off on Charlotte’s streetcar program? A couple of community forums are offering an opportunity to vent.

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PHOTO/DANIEL COSTON
Charlotte’s streetcar has a starter line that extends from Center City to Elizabeth Avenue. Funding for the rest of the 10-mile project is stalled in City Council.


The African American Caucus of the Mecklenburg County Democratic Party is hosting a forum Feb. 19 at Little Rock AME Zion Church’s Florence B. Gunn Theatre, 401 N. McDowell St. The symposium will start at 6 p.m.


On Feb. 21, the South Charlotte Democrats are hosting a meeting at the Hindu Center of Charlotte, 7400 City View Drive. The forum will be held at Ghandi Hall.


Both meetings are open to the public and all Charlotte City Council members and Mayor Anthony Foxx have been invited to attend.


The streetcar program, which would extend from Beatties Ford Road to Presbyterian Hospital, has been mired in a political tug of war between proponents like Foxx who see it as a key economic development component and opponents on the council who see its cost as too steep for a city recovering from an economic downturn. Streetcar advocates – primarily from east and west Charlotte – pushed for the $119 million program’s inclusion in the city’s capital improvement plan, but that proposal hasn’t gained much traction after the council shot down the original $1.97 billion budget last June and subsequent proposals.


Even N.C. Gov. Pat McCrory – Foxx’s predecessor as mayor – has weighed in with a warning that the state would be less willing to pay for the Lynx Blue Line Extension if property taxes were used on the streetcar.

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