3/20: Transportation debate continues

Moderated by Tom Sabulis

Transportation tax advocates have launched their ad campaign, and debate over the controversial July 31 referendum continues.

Today, a conservative leader writes about why transportation improvements are traditionally a good idea.

On the other side, an engineer calls for deeper analysis before we approve new taxes and unending costs for ineffective solutions.

What do you think?

19 comments Add your comment

Bernie

March 22nd, 2012
5:30 pm

Road Scholar should not be your reporting Name. It should be “AJC Responding TOOL” for true and objective reporting is not certainly a job requirement at least for you. Scholarly is a word, I would not think of when reading any of your articles. You have shown your colors!

Bernie

March 21st, 2012
5:41 pm

Rhode Scholar @9:25pm, If you do not know the answer say so. how can you possibly report to us here that the camera project is beneficial, if you cannot provide answer if it is fully operational as it was designed. I think you know the answer to that question and they know too!

Road Scholar

March 20th, 2012
9:25 pm

Bernie: Contact GDOT. The traffic Management Center or the Commissioner

Starkeisha

March 20th, 2012
8:17 pm

Mr. Jorgensen, the engineer, makes a compelling case why throwing new tax new dollars at transportation is a bad idea.

Unfortunately, with four months to go, I have little doubt that the advocates’ ad campaign will sway enough people for TSPLOST to pass. We Georgians are a gullible bunch, as evidenced by the recent lottery “suckers” news and the fact that we’re in love with Newt Gingrich.

Bernie

March 20th, 2012
6:19 pm

Road scholar @11:26 am, We all pretty much understand the purpose of the cameras. But can you provide for the readers here, how many are there? and how many are inoperable? and how long have they been inoperable? how many that have never worked? could you possibly inquire with your contacts with the DOT to obtain that information. surprise the readers!

Eric

March 20th, 2012
6:16 pm

TPLSOST is a bad idea. I simply don’t believe additional taxes or fees will solve our traffic problems one iota. I’m voting no.

Bernie

March 20th, 2012
6:13 pm

Road scholar @11:26 am, I agree with you to a point on the meter ramp lights. At the point of expressway entry it seems to have worked and appears beneficial. However, the traffic back up on the surface streets leading to those metered ramps have gotten longer. More cars are backed up blocking more intersections has been my experience. the trade off is more congested surface streets. try going south I – 75/85 from 10th street during peak traffic hours from either direction.

Road Scholar

March 20th, 2012
11:31 am

too little time: I agree with your post except the Privatization of toll lanes does not limit development, but the widening/improvement of parallel routes which may act as an “overflow” to those Interstate routes, thus creating “competition” of their toll facility. Development and its approval still rested with the local governments.

Road Scholar

March 20th, 2012
11:26 am

Bernie: Both projects have been beneficial in addressing congestion and incident mitigation.The ramp meters meter traffic to not degrade interstate operations. If the vehicles are allowed to enter the stream of traffic freely, the merging on the Interstate gets worse and traffic comes to a standstill.
The lights are turned off when the Interstates become clogged and stalled.

The lights also have a secondary effect of keeping local trips, those trips which use the Interstates for access to exits an exit or two downstream, on the local system as they should be.

As for the cameras, their purpose is to be used to identify congestion points and accident locations where HERO, tow trucks, and police can be alerted as to problems to be responded to.Traffic signals at off ramp intersections may then be adjusted to “drain” the ramps of traffic which may back up and clog the thru.lanes, allowing free flow and less unwanted congestion.

As for the list of projects and their benefits, they have been modeled by ARC (local regional planning agency) and reviewed by both inspection and analysis by “real” engineers and planners to identify their benefits and costs. They then were reviewed by regional politicians and THE PUBLIC as to appropriateness and cost effectiveness through many meetings and public open houses. So who else needs to review?

K
Like you I was skeptical that the ramp meters would work, but subsequent studies have shown better and safer operations, better fuel economy, and an improvement of Interstate operations.