1/17: T-SPLOST project list under scrutiny

Moderated by Tom Sabulis

Inching closer to the July referendum on the transportation special purpose local option sales tax, the project list to be funded by $6.1 billion in revenue is coming under closer scrutiny, and also receiving vigorous defense.

Today, an intown supporter speaks to the promise of the Lindbergh-Emory rail line, while a tax watchdog criticizes the lack of studies to justify the expense.

What do you think?

10 comments Add your comment

Andy Callaway

January 19th, 2012
7:47 pm

This has to pass! Mayor Reed said himself, if this passes, we’re likely to get about 3 billion dollars more to fund mass transit. That will help us build a great system that will serve people all around the region to connect to work and play. Not to mention, this will spur lots of economic development and job growth! Atlanta has always moved forward with big dreams and bold actions. We have to do this now, in order to see that atlanta prospers, and will truly become a great city, on par with other major cities in the U.S. and around the world. This could also make us a prime spot for a high speed rail hub, but that’s another issue.

Norb Leahy

January 18th, 2012
10:13 pm

The T-SPLOST final list does little to alleviate road traffic congestion. With half the $6.1 billion going to public transit, It’s a MARTA bail-out. MARTA spends $750 million a year, takes in $120 million in revenue and gets the other $630 million in tax subsidies. Their “sugar daddy” has been the federal government, but all that will end; they’re broke. Public transit only goes where it goes and that hasn’t been where most of us need to go. The Transportation Investment Act of 2010 appears to violate the Georgia Constitution and challenges are underway. The Cobb rail study has not been done and it along with other projects on the List are noncompliant with TIA’s own specifications. In short, it’s as big a mess as the Toll Lanes. It deserves a NO Vote in July. Let each county do its job and fix its own roads. Let MARTA go private. Let Atlanta build its own tourist attractions with its own money. Extend U.S. 29 to connect with I-75 and I-85 to serve as an Atlanta bi-pass. Or, wait for the EU and U.S. debt meltdowns and the dollar crash when unemployment will go to 50%. The roads will be as empty as a MARTA bus in Dunwoody.

jewcowboy

January 18th, 2012
2:00 pm

The Beltline is more of a regional project and will do incalculably more to reduce traffic and improve air quality than widening a road in Marietta or changing an interchange in Stockbridge.

SAWB

January 18th, 2012
1:11 am

I saw a spreadsheet that apparently included all the individual projects. Many of the projects seemed worthy and reasonable, but there were a few notable exceptions. Things like the Bohemian Beltline are by no means regional projects and will not improve traffic. I also agree with the group that points out that we do not really know the full cost of many of these projects or if people will even uses them. It really seems like Politicians and Business Leaders see this as an opportunity to crank up the cash spigot and their dumping anything and everything into this bucket. We probably need to reduce the scope of the entire thing and focus on some essential and manageable projects to begin with.

lynnbo

January 17th, 2012
6:53 pm

local governments will have to pay for moving utilities and other expenses, DOT is handing out forms showing them how to get debt. So if you vote for the additional penny you are also going to be adding to your local tax bill probaby in the form of long term debt since so many local gov’ts are strapped. They don’t tell you how they hide most of the costs of the roads………….its very deceptive.

mountain man

January 17th, 2012
12:40 pm

I will vote fot T-splost when the GA 400 toll is dropped.

Road Scholar

January 17th, 2012
12:36 pm

Zeke, you may want to modify your answer when gas goes up to $5 per gallon.

zeke

January 17th, 2012
12:19 pm

As long as there is funding in the plan of marta, the beltline,the trolleys, bike paths, trails, walking paths, green space, IT MUST BE DEFEATED!! The use of all taxpayers as funding for mass or rail projects is criminal and should never see the light of day!!

ByteMe

January 17th, 2012
11:23 am

If Atlanta believes that their use of the money is in the best interest of Atlanta and Atlanta mayor and city council concur, then you should have taken your complaints up with the council a while ago and complaining now about that specific project just comes off as sour grapes.

My complaint with the tax isn’t about the specific projects, it’s about the way this state has transportation agencies on top of transportation agencies that don’t provide a coherent vision for where this state and this region need to go to get the best bang for our transportation money. I also think that having Fulton/Dekalb continuing to be the only funders for MARTA as part of a regional solution is a worthy reason to kill it. Get all the ducks in a row, tax the entire region one time with a permanent tax (not a 10-year expiring tax, but one that’s there until we the people decide to end it) on sales or fuel and come up with a transportation agency for all transportation needs in the region — including MARTA — instead of the mess of competing agencies we have now.

Road Scholar

January 17th, 2012
10:51 am

Has anyone seen a local list of projects to be undertaken by Dekalb County? The TSPLOST allows for over $1B to go to local governments, but I haven’t seen any discussion or listing of local projects by any county/city governments What are they going to do with the $1B?