Welcome to the "Red Line Chronicle” – a series of commentaries on Davidson’s looming decision regarding the Red Line Regional Rail project.
This series intends to ask some probing questions about the RLRR endeavor with the hope of inspiring some spirited debate. Now, I know how this works. Asking questions about a project where many people feel passionately is likely to not sit well with some. In fact, I can already hear the accusations of being “divisive and negative” and see at least a few shaking heads as I’m writing this. So, why am I doing it? The answer is simple. This is too important. This project is too big and will impact Davidson too much to not ask some hard questions.
To put it plainly, the Red Line Regional Rail project will potentially change more about Davidson than any decision the Town has ever made. That is not hyperbole, and here is why:
- Over the long-term, the current RLRR plan could require Davidson to commit millions of tax dollars to the project - possibly rivaling even Mi-Connection as the Town’s most expensive decision ever.
- The RLRR risks the Town’s ability to provide the same high quality services in the future without significant tax increases on all if its citizens.
- Finally, the RLRR poses an existential threat to the small town environment so cherished by those who live here.
Over the course of the next few months, this series will look at many areas of this debate that probably would not otherwise see the light of day. When it comes to a massive project with big companies, big money, and big politics, you know there is always a bit more to the story. Here is a sample of some questions we’ll address:
- “Why the rush?” – The timeline and why the project is moving so fast now.
- “As we see fit…” – Why there will be no referendum on this project.
- “Murphy’s Law and Unintended Consequences” – What can go wrong does and what happens then.
- “How much is too much?” – What it will cost Davidson over the long-term.