9/27: Should the Beltline get T-SPLOST money?

Moderated by Tom Sabulis

Mayors from Fulton County cities have been debating whether the Atlanta Beltline should get a major slice of revenue in next year’s transportation special purpose local option sales tax referendum.

North Fulton officials say the Beltline is economic development that won’t relieve traffic. Atlanta’s Mayor Kasim Reed disagrees and says it is a regional project.

Below, Reed squares off with Sandy Springs Mayor Eva Galambos, who says it does not meet tax objectives.

Read what they have to say and then comment below.

35 comments Add your comment

Me-Party

September 27th, 2011
11:07 pm

Yeah, I didn’t consider the conspiracy theory aspect of all this. Wow….

So why don’t we just tax the crap out of road users and make them pay for what they are using, and leave the rest of us alone.

GrumpyT

September 27th, 2011
10:03 pm

The Beltline in an Agenda 21 project. This is a UN folly and it is about control. The Beltline is useless to most in the “region” but we are all being asked to pay for it. I am one of the few NATIVES left in this area and believe that this is a total waste of money. Atlanta is Atlanta, not NY or Chicago or any other high density population center. We are being herded back into the cities. Most southern city dwellers came off of (maybe a generation or two removed) a farm or out of rural area. Look behind the “Green Mask”! You are all being used. Old Man Bear Pig is lying to you and everyone else. If you want the Beltline, write a check. Don’t ask the rest of us to pay for it. The “Watermelons” have pulled the wool over your eyes and you aren’t even able to recognize it.

Me-Party

September 27th, 2011
9:02 pm

Good points that transit should go somewhere – but it’s absolutely impossible to make it go somewhere, and everywhere, all at once, the first time, every time – it has to be built in pieces. You have to start somewhere (JUST like the interstate system had to start somewhere…. it was built in pieces over very many years – and didn’t go anywhere for a long time)

As for the Beltline, it is the beginning of a network of light rail (I’m talking about the transit piece – not the parks, etc. that seem to bring such an uproar) Yes, the Beltline does go places, like Piedmont Park, Grant Park, the Westside Reservoir park (OK, lots of parks ), Piedmont Hospital, Lindbergh Center, Old 4th Ward park, etc. This doesn’t include all the residential developments that are in the area, and the commercial and entertainment venues. Parks are where festivals and concerts happen – they are big destinations. That’s where people both inside and outside the city like to go – and it’s a pain getting to them. With the Beltline transit, you can ride MARTA to a Beltline connection, change trains, and get there, or ride a bike for that matter…

There are planned neighborhoods that already exist along the beltline, that contain both residential and commercial development. There are plenty of folks living there that are planning to ditch their cars, much like you can do in other major cities. That gives road space for those that don’t have the option. I’ll agree the density will struggle to support the endeavor, but do you remember how dense Atlanta was 50, or 100 years ago? Not very! When MARTA was organized, the region had 1.5 million folks (1970 ish)… now 5+ million. Peachtree Station was a suburban RR station, built about 100 years ago… now it hides at the junction of Buckhead and Midtown.

Now let’s go ahead 100 years – can you imagine the city without an alternative mode of transport? The city expects to add millions of folks – and if the all just drive cars, getting anywhere will be impossible! Do you want to do that to your children or grand children? Do we start building that future now, or do we do like politicians like to do and kick the problem down the road into the future?

If you let the city choke and die, the region will absolutely die with it. There are numerous examples of this around the country, and the world…. Is this the legacy of the current population of the region? Solving regional problems with a totally localized focus is small thinking.

Now back to the Beltline – if you look at the Atlanta Regional Commission transportation studies, the transit piece of the Beltline is integral to the network of light rail in the region. That’s a fact, and you can look that up on their web site. The ARC represents all the governments in the area, and uses professional planners to help determine what will help make the region successful. To say the Beltline is just something for inside the city – think about it – do the people outside the city often go inside the city for events and things? Yes. Now do the people inside the city travel in a similar manner outside the city for events? Usually not. So the onus is on the central area to have great ways to get around. Not that the ‘burbs don’t deserve good stuff too – but they absolutely don’t have the density of residents and destinations that are in the city. The city, to survive, needs to have good transportation.

The Beltline will be built for all to enjoy and use, with or without the TSPLOST – but it can be much better, and finished much quicker with it.

Mama Says

September 27th, 2011
6:33 pm

this entire argument is proving the very problem with government and the tax system. Government does not look at the needed real improvements it looks at political district improvements and seeks tax revenue to enhance the re-election chances of the person in that districts political office. If the elected politicians really considered this a regional project when it was done we could get on light rail in Stone Mtn and get off at the Atlanta race track in Henry County. It would truly be regional then, right ?. But instead we have to watch fights about my district needs this and my district needs that. Build a light rail system that runs along the interstae system, when that reaches max ridership start building the connections to other areas, like the parks and out lying cities. Make it a real regional transportation system not a light rail in Atlanta and wider roads everywhere else ! Pass legislation which provides truth in taxation so the money HAS to go to the purpose it was raised !

Build The Outer Perimeter!

September 27th, 2011
6:33 pm

These funds would be used much more effectively if applied to building the Outer Perimeter!