01/31/08 — On right track: Planning now is critical for right use of new station

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On right track: Planning now is critical for right use of new station

It might seem a little early to be thinking about how to best use a train station that isn’t even close to being ready to accept passenger trains or anything else wheeling into Goldsboro.

In fact, there is still plenty more planning to do when it comes to returning Union Station to its former glory.

But as Goldsboro officials continue their march toward downtown revitalization, and Wayne County leaders weigh how major projects like this can impact job growth and economic development, thinking past the immediate becomes even more important.

When you have a big project looming — one that could be an economic boon for a community — it is a good idea to dream big and to plan thoroughly for not only the probabilities, but the possibilities.

Union Station could be the link to a new beginning for the city — a chance to draw new residents and business interests and to create a link to future development in Raleigh and beyond.

So now is the time to plan how to take full advantage of its assets and to minimize its challenges.

City and county leaders are continuing to dream big for Union Station. They are getting close to beginning a new study to determine just how much of an influence the new depot could have on transportation options in Wayne County and Goldsboro.

Who knows what we might see come to fruition later if there is some serious planning and promotion before the construction even starts.

Wouldn’t it be nice to see a thriving downtown with lots to see and do, commuting possibilities for those who want a slower pace but who have to work in Raleigh and a thriving tourism business?

That future might be just a few well-thought-out moves away — and now is the time to get firmly planted on that path.

Published in Editorials on January 31, 2008 10:57 AM