11/29: How do we create a regional transit agency?

Moderated by Tom Sabulis

How do we create a regional transit agency? We’re still discussing ways to govern an expanded transportation system if the 1-cent referendum passes next year.

The Atlanta Regional Commission has one proposal, and Roswell’s mayor offers a plan drafted by the mayors in Fulton and DeKalb counties.

15 comments Add your comment

The Art of the Shady Land Deal (Gwinnett Developer: Autobiography of a Hustler)

November 29th, 2011
9:48 pm

lynnbo

November 29th, 2011
2:49 pm

“Simply move state government workers out of Atlanta and you would have instant traffic relief.
But then that would be a smart move and government will never do anything smart unless there is legal graft in it for them.”

I hear the suggestion that moving state government employees out of Atlanta would help traffic and I laugh.

Not that it’s not a good idea that would help relieve traffic in the short term, because moving the state government and state employees to someplace like Macon would help traffic in the shorter term as there would be fewer employees commuting Downtown each day on the roads.

The problem is that private business would quickly fill the vacuum left behind by state government as many people in this town don’t seem to realize that it is external growth factors (people relocating to Metro Atlanta from other parts of the nation, continent and world) that are driving the problems with overcrowding (traffic congestion, overcrowded schools, etc) that this metro area has experienced over the past couple of decades.

Atlanta is almost (not quite, but almost) on par with Chicago in the amount of influence and prominence that the metro area has on the continent. Atlanta (5.8 million people, busiest airport on the planet, largest metro area in the Southeast) is to the state of Georgia (9.7 million people, second-busiest export seaport on the continent at the Port of Savannah, second-most populated state in the Southeastern) what Chicago (9.8 million people, second-busiest airport on the planet, largest metro area in the Midwestern U.S., largest railroad hub on the continent) is to the state of Illinois (12.8 million people, most-populous state in the Upper Midwest).

Just like Chicago is the most-influential city in the center of the continent that dominates the state of Illinois, Atlanta is the most-influential city in the Southeastern U.S. that dominates the state of Georgia.

While having the capitol of the state of Illinois in Chicago would unquestionably make that city’s traffic even worse than it already is, having the capitol and seat of state government 200 miles away in Springfield likely has no noticeable effect on traffic in Chicagoland (Metro Chicago) because of the very high and very dense population. A very high and very dense population that absolutely requires the extensive utilization of mass transit (heavy rail and commuter rail) for the city to able to keep moving.

With just under six million people in the region, Atlanta is not as heavily-populated or as densely-populated as Chicago, but has had enough crushing population growth over the last three decades (3.8 million newcomers in the last 30 years, which is more than the population of the entire Minneapolis-St. Paul Twin Cities region) to make a potential congestion-relieving prospect like moving the state capitol out of town completely negligible over the long-term.

The state capitol could move out of Atlanta almost immediately and the reduction in traffic that came with the move would comeback within a few years in an economy with what was normal or near-normal economic and population growth (although, in this economy, the growth isn’t even anywhere near normal which means that the money available for a possible of state government is non-existent).

Another problem is that nobody in state government would ever want to relocate to Macon because Atlanta is where the (really, really big) money is.

You could never get anyone in state government to make the decision to relocate to Macon because well, besides the cost of relocating all of state government possibly being excessive or even prohibitive in this day-and-age (I think that the last relocation of any state capitol in the U.S. was back in the 19th Century), because Atlanta is where all of the multinational corporations, domestic and international investors and big money lobbyists and campaign donors are.

Atlanta is no longer just a local or state seat of business, but is now an international center of commerce and industry.

There is just too much money, power and goodies for our state legislators and bureaucrats to get into in Atlanta for them to ever even remotely entertain the thought of moving state government out of the city (Goodies like five-star hotels and restaurants, pro sports teams, escort services, strip clubs, concerts, etc).

quick work break

November 29th, 2011
4:01 pm

Zeke: how would a transit agency be “socialist” and the DOT is not? I’m not actually going to wait for an answer, since they both require citizen’s tax money. And paying taxes for services is, of course, socialist. :P

quick work break

November 29th, 2011
3:59 pm

Chip: I think you need to actually GO to Europe before spitting out that most of its cities are destroyed. They have BRILLIANT transportation systems.

lynnbo

November 29th, 2011
2:58 pm

Go with the trends………….bankrupt governments unable to keep things going need to stop wasting our time and money. People will move away from areas with uncontrolled spending and hugh debt obiligations. Jere Wood says its only 10% of funds needed, well gee get a clue we can not afford it.
Idiots are in charge and going no where fast but wasting taxpayers dollars doing it every single day.

lynnbo

November 29th, 2011
2:49 pm

Simply move state government workers out of Atlanta and you would have instant traffic relief.
But then that would be a smart move and government will never do anything smart unless there is legal graft in it for them.
Marta is a complete failure and a dangerous way to travel. Are they planning on putting a police officer in every bus?