Community

LKN Transportation Commission wants funds to find way back here

The members of the Lake Norman Regional Transportation Commission (LNTC) are asking the state to reallocate more funds back to local Department of Transportation divisions. This would reverse budgeting procedures implemented last year as the state compiled its Strategic Transportation Investments (STI) list.

“The legislation which formed the STI created three tiers – Statewide, Regional Impact and Division Needs,” said LNTC’s Executive Director Bill Thunberg. “As a consequence of that reorganization funds previously allocated to the divisions for small projects were reduced or eliminated, at least for the next five years. Our concern is that the citizens often feel more benefit from these smaller local projects.”

The local projects include addition of right turn lanes, new traffic signals and similar improvements, usually at intersections. There is a process each project has to go through at the division level but they don’t require lengthy environmental reports or studies.

The issue was raised at LNTC’s winter meetings, and Thunberg says their concerns have also been made known to the state’s municipal and elected officials. “There is a group in Raleigh working on the next project prioritization methodology and from what I understand they have heard similar comments and concerns from planning groups throughout the state,” Thunberg added.

A brief discussion was also held concerning recent work done on the Norfolk Southern rail line which runs through the region. The speed limit was down to 6 mph in some portions of the line due to the condition of the ties. “This work was to restore the line to 35 mph freight operations,” said Thunberg. “This has nothing to do with possible future passenger service.”

The Commission is a joint agency of Huntersville, Cornelius, Davidson and Mooresville, and meets monthly at rotating town hall venues. January’s meeting was held in Davidson, while February’s was in Mooresville.

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