As a Duke faculty member and Durham resident, I'm writing in support of area plans for light rail and in hopes that Duke finds a mutually agreeable way forward with city, county and state officials.
I believe light rail is vital to the Duke and Durham community. Many employees would use light rail to commute and attend campus events as well as use medical facilities. Decreased private vehicle use would help Duke continue to reduce its carbon footprint, in line with existing plans to address climate change. Students would also be able to use the system as part of their educational activities and co-curricular commitments, including internships and volunteering.
My daughter is a U Penn grad, and one of the great things about her time in Philadelphia was the ability to use the robust public transportation system to visit the art museum, enjoy restaurant week, and volunteer in public schools. Support of light rail would also continue to place Duke at the forefront of universities working cooperatively with communities.
Robin Kirk is a faculty co-chair of the Duke Human Rights Center and the director of the human rights certificate program. She is a senior lecturer of cultural anthropology.