Ask anyone in Charlotte-Mecklenburg what issues are most important to them and you'll get a short list, things like the economy, the environment, housing and transportation. They're all areas where we face challenges. But what about solutions? I asked three Charlotte community leaders where they would start in 2023.
Solving the Charlotte region's lack of funding for public transit and non-automobile transportation is the top priority for Shannon Binns, the founder and Executive Director of Sustain Charlotte. The nonprofit organization's education and advocacy efforts focus on "smart growth." That includes pushing for diverse housing and transportation options.
Binns said he would like to see local officials finally secure a "permanent, significant source of funding" for transportation infrastructure, such as a proposed one-cent sales tax for mobility in Mecklenburg County. Charlotte City officials have suggested the tax as a way to help pay for the proposed $13.5 billion Transformational Mobility Network - a two-decade plan for transit, roads, and pedestrian and bike facilities.
"We need an ongoing source of funds to be able to build a diverse, sustainable transportation system that keeps up with our rapid population growth. We haven't done that, and traffic is getting worse," Binns said.