Transportation Reform in North Carolina

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N.C. gov’s proposed budget invests in healthy air and water, clean energy jobs

Governor Roy Cooper has released a forward-thinking budget that will create good-paying jobs and promote economic development and equity in North Carolina, while also curbing statewide climate-warming pollution. The governor’s budget recognizes that...

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Win-win solution for N.C. mountain highway

Last week, the North Carolina Department of Transportation proposed a win-win solution to a problem that has bedeviled highway designers for decades. Originally conceived as a freeway-style highway that would cut through scenic mountains between Chat...

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SELC op-ed: N.C. DOT should look beyond road building to projects that build stronger communities

As the North Carolina Department of Transportation faces multiple challenges made worse by the global health crisis at hand, now is our chance to re-evaluate the value of spending billions to shave mere minutes off commutes when so many other smaller...

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New study evaluates pathways for reducing N.C. transportation pollution

RTI International, a nonprofit research institute, released a report evaluating the impact of four strategies for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector in North Carolina, where transportation is set to become the leading so...

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Join our “Road to Change” conversation

Join us for a second Road to Change event on Friday, Nov. 22, this time with a focus on equity, transportation, and climate change. This event will continue the con versation started at our inaugural Road to Change event this past June, but with a pa...

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SELC seeks transparency from the North Carolina Railroad Company

Today SELC filed a lawsuit against the North Carolina Railroad Company after the railroad refused to produce documents for review under the North Carolina Public Records Act. The suit was filed in Wake County Superior Court and seeks a declaratory ju...

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SELC Seeks Transparency from the NC Railroad Company

CHAPEL HILL, N.C.—The Southern Environmental Law Center today filed a lawsuit against the North Carolina Railroad Company (“NCRR”) after the railroad refused to produce documents for review under the North Carolina Public Records Act.  The suit was...

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Join us at “A Road to Change”

Registration is required for this free event. Save your spot here: selc.link/0625registration. livestream the event HERE

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Local Residents, Hunters, and Fishermen Outraged by Approval of $500M Mid-Currituck Bridge

CHAPEL HILL, N.C.– Local residents from the Currituck mainland and the northern Outer Banks—along with hunters, fishermen, and wildlife enthusiasts from the North Carolina Wildlife Federation—reacted with dismay when the North Carolina Department of...

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Conservation Groups Challenge Deficient Water Quality Permit for $2.2 Billion 540 Toll Road

RALEIGH, N.C. – On behalf of Sound Rivers, the Center for Biological Diversity, and Clean Air Carolina, the Southern Environmental Law Center today filed a petition in North Carolina’s Office of Administrative Hearings challenging the state’s...

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More than 300 acres to be protected to offset harm from N.C. bypass

The Yadkin Riverkeeper, a nonprofit conservation group represented by SELC, in partnership with Catawba Lands Conservancy, today announced the purchase of a conservation easement for a 339-acre property near Marshville, N.C. The purchase is the resul...

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Infrastructure proposal undermines key environmental safeguards

A new proposal put forward by House Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman Bill Shuster attempts to revive the stalled debate over how to address our country’s massive infrastructure needs. Unfortunately, the proposal also marks the latest assaul...

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Court Decision Keeps Reliable Outer Banks Transportation Route Moving Forward

CHAPEL HILL, N.C.--A federal court today ruled in favor of conservation groups represented by the Southern Environmental Law Center defending the North Carolina Department of Transportation’s plan to provide safe, reliable transportation on Hatteras...

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Action needed as legislature sabotages N.C. light rail

The Republican leadership of the North Carolina General Assembly recently passed their state budget, developed as a result of closed-door meetings that barred public debate or amendments. One provision of the closed-door budget could stop all North...

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Senate Democrats’ Infrastructure Plan is a Move in the Right Direction

Washington, DC—Today, Senate Democrats released an infrastructure plan that would establish robust funding for our nation’s infrastructure, including funding to fix, maintain or upgrade existing systems, as well as real investment in rail, transit,...

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Trump’s Infrastructure Plan a Shell Game That Cuts Cleaner Transportation and Gives Away Environment

Washington, DC—The White House is putting forward a reckless infrastructure plan that offers no new federal money for projects, pulls money away from cleaner transportation such as transit and rail, and removes protections that help prevent...

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SELC, elected officials tour light rail route between Durham, Chapel Hill, N.C.

The Southern Environmental Law Center joined U.S. Representatives G.K. Butterfield (D-1st) and David Price (D-4th) yesterday on a tour of the light rail line that will connect Durham and Chapel Hill. A variety of other local elected officials,...

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Federal court declares North Carolina’s $900M Garden Parkway toll highway dead on arrival

A ruling today by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals on a legal challenge to the Garden Parkway, a proposed toll highway project near Charlotte, N.C., found that it is not a viable project under current funding and planning realities. In ruling...

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SELC endorses plan for improved transit in Wake County, N.C.

Yesterday in downtown Raleigh, community, business, and elected leaders gathered for the official kick-off of the Moving Wake County Forward referendum campaign, designed to fund and implement a new Wake County Transit Plan. More than 60 businesses...

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Right-sizing Asheville highway upgrades

Plans for a major highway project through downtown Asheville took a good turn recently when officials overseeing the project recommended moving forward with a design conceived and advocated by locals. For years, the North Carolina Department of...

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Public meeting to address proposed $2 billion toll road around Raleigh

North Carolina taxpayers, drivers, landowners, families and other interested citizens are invited to discuss alternative solutions to the Complete 540 – Southeast Extension project on March 9th at 6:30 p.m. in Holly Springs, North Carolina. Complete...

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Groups Ask NCDOT to Re-Think $2.5 Billion “Complete 540” Toll Road – Most Expensive in NC History

Chapel Hill, N.C. – On behalf of Sound Rivers and Clean Air Carolina, the Southern Environmental Law Center filed comments with the North Carolina Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration asking that they take a fresh look...

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Word on the Street: Where should the money go? Setting priorities for transportation spending

SELC’s Land and Community Program tackles the growth challenges and decisions shaping the Southeast. This series of posts runs every other week and highlights some of the broader issues driving this work—transportation and land use developments,...

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SELC transportation strategies pay dividends in North Carolina

  All across the South, transportation policy has traditionally favored large, expensive highways. The ramifications of this approach are substantial: open space lost to asphalt, environmental destruction, air pollution—including greenhouse...

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SELC urges North Carolina to expand future DOT funding beyond highways

With the North Carolina legislature poised to weigh in on the next major round of transportation infrastructure funding, SELC and our partners are asking that more than just 3% of the proposed $3 billion in bonds go toward non-highway projects like...

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The final blow to NC’s controversial Garden Parkway?

For the past three years, SELC and partners have been fighting an unnecessary, politically-driven highway project in the Charlotte region that would have polluted the Catawba River basin and increased air pollution in the area. The state's...

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New North Carolina Transportation Funding System

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — The Southern Environmental Law Center welcomed Wednesday’s release of scores for over 3,100 proposed transportation projects under North Carolina’s new data-driven funding formula.  The new approach to transportation spending...

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Transportation Reform Takes a Step Forward in North Carolina

Today's passage of the Strategic Mobility Formula marks the first step towards comprehensive transportation overhaul in North Carolina.  Read details in the press release.

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Transportation Reform Takes a Step Forward in North Carolina

Today’s passage of  the Strategic Mobility Formula  marks the first step towards comprehensive transportation overhaul in North Carolina.  The legislation brings the State’s transportation policy into the Twenty-First century and scraps the...

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SELC Files to End FHWA Stonewalling

As we continue to challenge Corridor K, our attempts to acquire documents from the Federal Highway Administration under the Freedom of Information Act have hit some walls. To rebut NC and TN departments of transportation claims that federal...

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NC Turnpike Authority sued over Garden Parkway Toll Highway

Today the Southern Environmental Law Center filed suit on behalf of Conservation groups in United States District Court challenging the environmental review for the controversial Garden Parkway toll highway.  The Catawba Riverkeeper and Clean Air...

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SELC releases new report: Beyond the Bypass

Rural North Carolina is home to more than a third of the State’s population and is vital to North Carolina’s overall economy and quality of life. Unfortunately, decades of transportation spending priorities have failed to meet the needs of rural...

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Benefit of Proposed Havelock Bypass in Craven County in Question

The state Department of Transportation has presented little or no convincing evidence that the proposed Havelock Bypass of US 70 would yield actual economic benefits that might outweigh the significant potential harm to the environment, conservation...

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Citizens Vote ‘Yes’ for Transit in the Triangle

Citizens in Durham County cast a yea vote for clean and efficient transportation in the Triangle area, passing a new sales tax to support improved bus service, light rail service to Chapel Hill, and intercity rail service to Raleigh. Two years ago,...

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