Monday, August 25, 2008

Wrightsville Beach May Limit Boat Flushing

Thanks to Mindy at the NC Conservation Network for this.

Wrightsville beach has had a problem recently with high bacteria counts in “Banks Channel”, the sound next to Wrightsville. One of the sources of this problem is sewage, usually untreated, flushed from boats.

The town of Wrightsville Beach is beginning the long process to have the area designated as a no discharge zone.

As someone who has spent years sailing, and sometimes swimming, in Banks Channel, I hope the town is successful in cleaning it up.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Density, Growth, and Transit

Below is a comment I posted on Cary Politics earlier this month, concerning transit but also commenting on density and growth:

Some people like density and some people don’t. There are those who like to live in an urban area, with an apartment or condo in a high rise, retail below, and nothing but concrete outside. There are those who prefer a large or small yard, trees, and the ability to open the windows and listen to all kinds of wildlife outside.

I suspect that those of us who choose to live in Cary prefer the less dense. Those who prefer the dense probably live somewhere else, such as certain areas of Raleigh.

There are several problems with Cary becoming more populous. First, it is not the type of place people wanted when they moved here. Second, more people require more water. Unless someone can figure out how to make it rain more, during drought years we won’t have enough water. Third, more people means more traffic. Our roads are already clogged.

Transit is certainly in our future. Presently most of the time I go to downtown Raleigh I ride the TTA bus, picking up the bus at the Cary train station where I can park my car. The cost of the bus ride is about the same as the cost of gas, and parking is free. I expect that there will, in the future, be more frequent bus trips and more “park and ride” locations in Cary. Transit can reduce the cars used by commuters, but will it have much effect on trips for shopping, taking the kids to wherever, etc? Even those of us driving to the nearest park and ride location are taking up space on the roads of Cary.

Transit is ideal for those of us who frequently travel to a relatively compact area such as downtown Raleigh. But how many of the workers in the spread out buildings of RTP going to ride the bus rather than drive? Transit will save money for many of us. It will assist those who for economic or other reasons cannot drive cars. It will save energy and reduce pollution. However, it will do little to solve the problem of congested roads.

We must expand our transit system. However, we also need to consider limits on our growth, and to think seriously about how many more people western Wake County can hold.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Conserve NC

This new blog, Conserve NC, will provide some news and plenty of opinion about environmental issues facing North Carolina. Many of the issues that will be discussed here are the result of growth in certain parts of NC, particularly Wake County and the Triangle. This growth is affecting water supply, transportation, and all other aspects of our lives.

So stay tuned, and please post any comments you may have.

John A. Shaw

Cary, NC