10/16: A HOT flash in the pan?

The AJC Editorial Board

Are HOT lanes a flash in the pan? Let’s hope not. While it’s understandable that metro Atlantans resent a no-gridlock toll on a road they’ve already paid for, HOT lanes have proved their worth in other states. Georgia shouldn’t exit, Andre Jackson writes for The AJC Editorial Board.

Gov. Nathan Deal writes that “while I share the frustration of commuters regarding our early experience with HOT lanes, we are all frustrated when we miss a business appointment or a child’s baseball game because roads are jammed. I am focused on reducing congestion in order to get Georgians moving.”

And the Rome News-Tribune weighs in on the HOT lanes, too.

Read the full accounts of what they have to say and comment.

41 comments Add your comment

dekalbcountyga

October 18th, 2011
12:19 am

@gore

Once you get over the hump, it turns out that you pay a lot lower effective tax rate than the $100-$200k/year crowd. Nothing wrong in spending a few bucks out of that on a quicker ride.

Thank you, middle class. You think you’ve made it, but actually you’re paying for it.

Daemon

October 17th, 2011
3:38 pm

Idiots!!! I saw this coming the day before the first day of rush hour. What used to be an easy weekend drive was filled with lines of drivers in the passing lane. This congestion is only going to cause more frustrated drivers, road rage and longer drive times for 95% of the population. I don’t know about you but increasing 5% of the population’s travel times and reducing 95% of the population travel times doesn’t seem to balance out quite right.

Marié de la Sweetbottom Plantation

October 17th, 2011
11:05 am

Let ‘em eat cake.

gore

October 17th, 2011
11:04 am

An American Patriot
October 17th, 2011
10:25 am
@dekalbcountyga
October 16th, 2011
4:10 pm
“My time is worth much more than that and I’m glad to pay it.”

Right there is the reaction the government is counting on. If enough people like that acquiesce each time the government squeezes them before long we’ll all be paying double and triple for the things we’ve already paid for with our taxes.

An American Patriot

October 17th, 2011
10:25 am

@dekalbcountyga

October 16th, 2011
4:10 pm

If your time isn’t worth $5 to save 30 mins, then what are you whining about? My time is worth much more than that and I’m glad to pay it. It isn’t good for the economy for you to be getting in my way anyway, so please stay in the slow lanes.

Thanks.

May the “Bird of Paradise” fly up your nose :)

sdc

October 17th, 2011
10:20 am

There is nothing “great” about greed!! I will not be purchasing a peach pass based on principle. What’s next??? Charging to drink water out of water fountains at public parks???

jm

October 17th, 2011
8:38 am

HOT lanes are great

joey

October 16th, 2011
10:34 pm

Okay, I got a few things here.

1. “Go ahead and skip that cup of coffee and wake up earlier”, that is one poster said. Makes no difference anymore it is going to get worse, wait till spring break, the holidays, it is gridlock 24/7. You are going to have to get on the road at 5am, and find a place to park until 8:30pm, or sit in hours of gridlock. Even if you get out earlier in the am, the gridlock will get you in the pm.

2. The DOT is sticking it to us, we need to rise up and do something, I am talking a park in, park our cars on the freeway, “no longer”, and stop traffic. We have to raise our voices to stop this madness. It will only get worse folks, let’s start the movement. Get rid of the toll lane, period, not reductions, no waiver where we still pay $20 for a pass even though we have all ready paid for the road.

Will the last Democrat in Georgia please turn off the lights?.....

October 16th, 2011
5:46 pm

Lilburn Lady

October 16th, 2011
2:31 pm

“The HOT Lane has been a huge failure as far as I’m concerned and I for one will never purchase a Peach Pass strictly on principle. You have removed an entire lane from two-person car pools and increased the traffic in the “free” lanes. Those of us who cannot afford the tolls each day now have our commute times doubled. How is that improving traffic? We are creating more pollution and burning more gas and have a lower quality of life due to this “experiment” that by the way, we are paying for! I could understand building a new lane to play with this latest effort at social engineering, but taking a lane away? That’s crazy!!”

Your comments hit the nail right-on-the-head as not only is taking away a lane away from traffic on one of the busiest roads on the continent crazy, but is also puzzling, especially from a political standpoint.

Governor Nathan Deal’s base of core political support lies in the I-85 Northeast Metro Corridor and in Northeast Georgia.

Also, Deal himself is not all that crazy about the idea of putting tolls on existing free lanes, so it makes no sense that he would allow the State Road and Tollway Authority to intentionally jam up traffic to the point where it would negatively affect and anger so many of the key constituents that went so heavily for him and got him elected by a razor-thin margin over Karen Handel in a very close Georgia GOP Guberatorial Primary last year.

Deal’s allowance of this debacle on a stretch of roadway that would so dramatically negatively affect so many of his core political supporters is even all the more puzzling when considering that there are those in the Georgia GOP who started talking about finding someone to his political right to challenge him in the 2014 Gubernatorial Primary almost right after he was elected.

The talk of a political challenge to Deal from the far right has been most intense in Northwest Metro Atlanta where Deal trailed fairly substantially to Handel in 2010 GOP Gubernatorial Primary voting in Cobb, Cherokee and North Fulton Counties where the Georgia Department of Transportation is planning a $1 BILLION network of lanes on Interstates 75 and 575 through Cobb and Cherokee Counties that the state is planning to partially fund with those counties’ T-SPLOST revenues.

Seeing as how Deal performed so poorly in the I-75 Northwest Metro Corridor in the 2010 GOP Primary, it was basically the I-85 Northeast Metro Corridor and Northeast Georgia that carried Deal to a narrow victory over Handel in the 2010 GOP Primary.

The same I-85 Northeast Corridor where those same supporters are now angrily stuck in massive gridlock caused by the poorly-conceived and misguided HOT lanes that Deal allowed to be implemented by a loopy SRTA.

If Governor Deal allows this situation to persist and worsen, there’s no way that he will make it through the Republican Primary in 2014 and there’s no way on God’s green Earth that next year’s T-SPLOST referendum even remotely passes as motorists angry about their intentionally lengthened commutes will be looking to send a resounding message to seemingly deaf politicians.

Will the last Democrat in Georgia please turn off the lights?.....

October 16th, 2011
5:02 pm

Philana

October 16th, 2011
2:53 pm

“I am going to go out on a limb here and venture that the governor probably lives in………the Governor’s Mansion (in Buckhead).”

You are correct as the Governor’s Mansion is Deal’s official residence while in office.

But before taking office as Governor, Deal’s official Georgia residence was in Hall County.

Deal also had some property holdings up that way in Northeast Georgia in Habersham County off of Hwy 365 (Northern extension of I-985) and just sold some of that property in either Habersham or Hall Counties to a California porn producer to help him get out of debt.

Much of Deal’s family, including his children, and his social and political connects live in the Gainesville/Hall County area, so he still gets up that way often and gets the opportunity to see what’s gone on with I-85 firsthand traveling back-and-forth between Atlanta and Northeast Georgia where his core social and political base lies.