Raleigh voters to decide on $206.7 million transportation bond

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) - Following a brief public hearing, Raleigh City Council took the final steps Wednesday to place a $206.7 million transportation bond referendum on this fall's ballot.

The bond would fund a variety of road improvement projects across the city and includes a property tax increase. Among the projects: Blue Ridge Road would be widened from Duraleigh Road to Crabtree Valley Mall. In downtown Raleigh, Person and Blount Streets would go from one-way to two-way. Also, Six Forks Road would be improved between Rowan Street and Lynn Road.

To see all the projects, click here. (pdf document)

"We had a recession. We couldn't address those issues, and now we feel that we're in a spot where we can do this," said council member Mary-Ann Baldwin.

The bond calls for a 1.29-cent property tax increase.

The median taxable home value in Raleigh is $195,154. A person owning a home at that value would pay an additional $25.17. This follows tax increases approved last month by the city and the county in their respective budgets. The median homeowner will pay an additional $13.68 in city taxes and an additional $28.29 in county taxes.

"If they already got a tax increase, then when is enough enough?" asked Raleigh resident Vivian Cobb.

Baldwin said the city has nearly a billion dollars in unmet transportation needs.

"Despite the fact that this is a $200 million bond, it's only a fraction of the cost of what we need to get roads built," she said.

She also pointed out traffic is the top issue Raleigh residents have said needs to be addressed.

"The traffic here is terrible. Everybody's always in a hurry. Nobody's patient like they should be," said Cobb.

George Cathey said he's inclined to vote in favor of the transportation bond. He's concerned about the overall quality of the city's streets.

"Some areas have damaged streets and roads, so basically I would rate it kind of low," he said.

Raleigh's municipal election is scheduled for October 10.

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