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Posted: 6:39 p.m. Friday, Feb. 15, 2013
By Jason Stoogenke
CHARLOTTE, N.C. —
Charlotte City Council members said the next Lynx leg toward the University area was supposed to be the priority. They don't want the streetcar project costing them that. City Council's Michael Barnes is beside himself. "It's hard to believe. Very hard to believe," Barnes said. Crews were supposed to break ground on the light rail extension to the University area this year. The city wasn't even supposed to think about the streetcar project until closer to 2030. Barnes said Mayor Anthony Foxx and some council members want the streetcar sooner and are willing to go outside the usual process to get that done. So now the state is saying if Charlotte has money to spare for the streetcar project, it must not need state money for light rail. Without that money, the next Lynx leg is probably dead. Barnes said it was never supposed to come to that -- a choice between Lynx and the streetcar project. "All of my elected colleagues have said for years that they are fully committed to the blue line and I think we need to see if people are going to stand behind their word," Barnes said. Dwain Byrum, who owns a NoDa salon, is worried too. "It wouldn't just benefit me in a selfish way. But I believe it would benefit Charlotte with the activity and the growth," Byrum said. For eight years, he's been counting on the light rail extension coming by his business.
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