9/23: No easy path on transportation tax decision

Moderated by Tom Sabulis

Transportation is key to quality time. Traffic jams can mean missed soccer games, family dinners and PTA meetings.

That’s where next year’s vote on the additional penny sales tax for transportation comes in.

Supporters such as Post Properties CEO David P. Stockert,  say passage will help Atlanta’s business and home life.

Personally, I’m still trying to make up my mind.

Read what we have to say and then comment below

25 comments Add your comment

Road Scholar

September 23rd, 2011
2:32 pm

Jeff: Get over it! They did suspend it for a short period. Besides the SR 400 toll money is being used to fund more projects like SR400 @I 85!

Laurie: Texas has oil, in case you didn’t know, and they appreciate your money from your driving!

Uncle Milton: So how do you propose we pay for congestion relief? Just stay home?

Shar: The money that has been collected does not cover all the costs of the projects already in our long term plan. This will accelerate many of them.$7M for Briarcliff at Moreland too much? And you can do it cheaper and have the same benefits as the state’s plan? Go for it; toll it to recoup your money! And don’t forget to work with the neighborhoods (they’ll love ya”) and remeber to design it to acceptible safety, environmental, and operational standards.

For those who state they pay enough taxes , just stay at home or stop your whining about congestion!

Greg: Are you proposing a road diet by taking two lanes and turning them into a center two way left turn lane with bike lanes on each side? Or are you proposing to widen the roads listed, by buying the homes/businesses on ech side due to the effects of widening???


September 23rd, 2011
1:58 pm

What about simply adding turn lanes, both center and right hand, on:
Cheshire Bridge
North Druid Hills
Ponce deLeon
Do I need to continue?
Are you paying attention Mayor Reed and CEO Ellis?


September 23rd, 2011
1:06 pm

Let me make a point about HOT lanes, too. While I see benefit of having a lane available for those people willing to pay the toll, say, so they aren’t late to their kid’s soccer game, this is an abuse of public taxpayer interest. Say I head off on a Friday evening to visit relatives, and since I’m not a regular traveler over the HOT lane route I cannot legally use those lanes and waste a considerable amount of my VERY limited time stuck in traffic. Who’s to say my interest is less than someone with a transponder paying the toll? I’m paying the same taxes, right? What about the through-traffic? Shouldn’t those people have reciprocal rights for our free access to highways in their areas?

This whole concept is just flat-out repugnant, and we haven’t even begun to discuss the potential for skimming revenues and other forms of corruption and fraud.

Chief Wes

September 23rd, 2011
1:05 pm

“Thank your elders that voted no to MARTA in the 70s for the same proposal.” – Bryan

Bryan – Back in the 70’s, no one knew nor predicted that the population of metro Atlanta would significantly EXPLODE like it has. This city and region has had plenty of growth, but unfortunately much of it has NOT been planned growth. Combine that with Atlanta’s suburban sprawl, the Olympics coming here in 1996 (which contributed to the population boom), and transplants and companies moving here for cheap land and better weather, and major traffic congestion is the result.


September 23rd, 2011
12:54 pm

Agreeing there is a need for transportation improvements and then saying government is the only solution is a completely ridiculous argument. Government zoning, central planning, taxation policies, land use policies, infrastructure screwups, etc. have created nearly all of the problems our region now faces (and federal government polices are responsible for the rest). Giving these idiots $7billion more to waste and give to their friends certainly won’t make any of the problems any better.


September 23rd, 2011
12:51 pm

“Some people aren’t going to vote for ONE project they don’t support? How silly. ” Not necessarily the case for me (many reasons I’m opposed to the tax), but it is NOT silly. Each voter needs to make up their own mind and I would encourage them to vote according to their interests, whatever those might be. That is why we vote.

I expect inner city people to generally favor mass transit, though I consider it to be a boondoggle and open invitation for corruption, fraud, and waste on a grand scale. I expect there will be highway and arterial road projects to serve the outlying areas; however, the projects proposed in my area are long, long overdue, ill-conceived, and in some cases ideologically repugnant. I expect the tax to be justifiable and the funds to be well-managed, which I am convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt will NOT be the case. I will make a personal judgment as to whether or not I believe the tax and projects are serving my interest and the general interests of the taxpayers. At this point in time I’m solidly convinced the tax is NOT serving either my interests nor the general interests of the taxpayers.

Bryan -- MARTA supporter

September 23rd, 2011
11:23 am

One thing I don’t like are all these proposals for light rail. We need more heavy rail. MARTA is a heavy rail system. Save the light rail for the Beltline and maybe cross county routes. Extentions into Gwinnett, Cobb, and Clayton should be HEAVY to move a HEAVY amount of people quickly. Not light so that it stops frequently, doesn’t move a lot of people, and turns them off so that they don’t use the system anyway, just because it is cheaper! You’ll pay more in the long run providing empty light rail trains versus paying for the price for heavy rail but having people actually us it!

Bryan -- MARTA supporter

September 23rd, 2011
11:16 am

Some people aren’t going to vote for ONE project they don’t support? How silly. Others are asking for extensive service to start at the drop of a dime? Really?

If I have 10 projects and don’t like just one, that means I should let the other 9 die and not have nothing? That makes no sense. They you here you want an elaborate system of buses and trains everywhere on the ballot but systems are built in stages. Yeah the Cobb line only goes about a mile or so into Cobb but it’s a start. Thank your elders that voted no to MARTA in the 70s for the same proposal. A line would probably be well past Cumberland probably to Marietta by now. We would only be voting on a short extention from there to Towne Center versus trying to go from Midtown to Towne Center!!

The same with Gwinnett and Clayton. MARTA rail would already be there. We could be working on expanding transit versus just trying to make is what it already should be.

I hope this isn’t doomed but let the people talk on these blogs it probably is. Don’t want to pay for nothing but want everything. Everyone wants a train right at their door step to take them right where THEY want to go. How many times to you here that MARTA goes no where? One, it can’t go outside of Fulton and Dekalb and two where DOESN’T it go within the boundries that it is limited to that you folks want to go?

Most of the people on these blogs make no sense!!

A reader

September 23rd, 2011
10:01 am

I will be voting no. While many of the projects seem worthy I refuse to pay for the Beltline. It is a boondoggle. It is someone’s pet project and will add nothing to the region as a whole. Why should taxpayers in 10 counties pay for a pet project within the city limits of Atlanta?


September 23rd, 2011
9:37 am

I live in Cobb and see nothing to help most of the traffic here. Expand Marta to Cumberland which is about 10 feet into Cobb from Fulton. Great! What does that do for the traffic north of Cumberland? If a comprehensive system of bus routes for major roads were proposed with perhaps Park and Ride lots near routes to downtown then I would vote “yes”. This is the system that Seattle uses and it works for all the suburbs – lots of buses and plenty of parking near the major bus stops. I have ridden it from the northern suburbs to Mariners and Seahawks games when I visit there. Let’s not forget that the transportation tax will pay for a new control tower at McCallum! Will they be directing traffic on I-75 perhaps? McCallum airport may need a new control tower but it does not belong in a SPLOSH designed (it is promised) to help traffic.
It would seem to me a good bus system would be preferable to expanding Marta for many reasons. It would be flexible – adding and deleting routes and buses as times goes on; certainly less expensive than laying tracks and could be up and running and being fine tuned as to routes, times and number of buses long before the first Marta train will run on any new track.
In an area as spread out as Atlanta is the only way to get any significant number of people out of cars is to provide reliable transportation from where they are to where they want to go. Currently I live about 15 miles from the nearest Marta station and the one at Cumberland will be 13 miles. Not much chance of anyone living near me using either one.