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Weigh in online on region’s growth

Residents and business people in the Charlotte region have a unique chance to help guide how this region prepares for future growth.
With recent national studies by TRIP and Smart Growth America ranking Charlotte worst in the state for poor roads and traffic congestion, and our region 25th worst for sprawl, it’s prime time for all residents to weigh in on critical questions about how we want this 14-county region to grow over the next four decades.
By taking five minutes to visit to a special website sponsored by CONNECT Our Future — http://ConnectOurFuture.metroquest.com — people can register their opinions on four different alternatives for how the greater Charlotte region might grow over the next 40 years.
The remedy for problems associated with sprawl, traffic congestion, low job growth and more, is a deliberate and intentional growth plan that’s designed with the input of people from all corners of our region.
CONNECT Our Future has been engaging people living and working here over the past two years. It’s a unique process that is identifying what residents believe is important for the future and ultimately will create a regional growth framework based on those priorities.
The alternatives depicted on the interactive website show ways to increase regional transit, preserve open space, offer a variety of housing alternatives and more — as well as the trade-offs that come with different types of growth choices.
The growth framework that comes from the CONNECT process will include resources and strategies that communities in our region can use to achieve the kind of deliberate, cohesive growth that can help us overcome challenges like sprawl, traffic congestion and other problems.
We need people from all types of businesses and all walks of life to use the website to tell us their opinions about the four growth alternatives. It’s a critical part of building a successful regional growth framework — and choosing to grow deliberately, support more jobs, create vibrant signature communities, and enjoy a great quality of life.
Michael Johnson is mayor pro tem of Statesville and board chair of the Centralina Council of Governments.
“My Turn” submissions should be 500-700 words. Send to ecook@salisburypost.com with “My Turn” in the subject line. Include name, address, phone number and a digital photo of yourself if possible.

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