Former Charlotte mayor and U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx was in the Queen City Thursday to talk about growing transportation needs.
Foxx spoke to leaders from around the country at the “Envision America” workshop. He also talked with reporters and was asked about the controversial I-77 toll lane project and if managed lanes are the best way to go.
Foxx said, “I think they have a place, but we know throughout the country, that managed lanes have to be managed well from a public standpoint, and that’s up to elected officials.”
Foxx says state elected leaders are the most poised to make decisions on these types of projects but stopped there and wouldn't address Governor Pat McCrory's role in the process. Some have criticized the governor saying he’s pushing his decision-making responsibility on whether the toll lane project should continue on other elected leaders.
Foxx said, “I’m not going to Monday-morning-quarterback the governor. He’s a grown-up. He wears big britches, so we’ll see.”
Foxx stopped short of saying Charlotte city leaders should push to voters to make the call on whether to fund transportation projects, but he does say leaders must have a plan and he learned as Charlotte's former mayor, that sometimes waiting may be the worst strategy.
He said, “You just have to go and damn the consequences, because you know if you don’t do something, you’re going to get the growth compounding on you, and you’re going to have a worse quality of life.”