The air up there
The Raleigh City Council saw there was little opposition to Glen Tree ("Not on the up and up," Nov. 2), so of course the rezoning quickly passed. Compare this to Coker Towers, which citizens mobilized to quash. It's refreshing to see Council recognize that not all development must be in downtown. Glen Tree is nowhere near TTA rail, but that says more about TTA rail than about Glen Tree.
Raleigh's worst traffic is no longer at Crabtree because of retail developments elsewhere and I-540. The spot in the Triangle likely to become the most congested over the next five years is the interchange of I-40 and I-540, appropriately in the center of the Triangle. TTA rail, of course, won't help there at all.
Note carefully that a huge financial investment in Atlanta from 1972 to 1985 for a downtown-centric MARTA and expanded downtown freeways didn't keep most of Atlanta's growth in downtown. Of the growth within the Atlanta city limits, a major focus became Buckhead, which was to downtown Atlanta 40 years ago what Crabtree is to downtown Raleigh today. At least businesses in Buckhead pay Atlanta property taxes.
How can one argue against sprawl here when we fashion ourselves a "Triangle," with a Research Triangle Park of deliberately low density in the center? The Triangle is the epitome of sprawl, and it was so destined as soon as Durham, Raleigh and Chapel Hill established a common economic identity 50 years ago despite their distance from one another. Complaining about sprawl in the Triangle is like complaining about thin air in Denver.
As growth pushes into Chatham and Johnston, politicians and landowners in Wake and Durham now cynically invoke the specter of "sprawl" to keep their share of the pie. It's a ploy that Glen Tree fits quite nicely into.
An "F" on the facts
Thanks for your articles on the attempted take-over by the right-wingers of the Wake County Board of Education. I have been in a running dialogue with the head of Assignment by Choice, and the leader, Cynthia Matson, has absolutely zero grasp of even the most basic facts. This ABC group is not the least bit credible; every number or comment they publish needs to be fact-checked immediately. This organization does not deserve the press they get from N&O, etc.
The proper title of the painting on page 39 of last week's issue is "Spiky Flower" by Robert Olason. His show at Tattoo Devil Studios runs through Dec. 31.