5/13: Transportation referendum

By the AJC Editorial Board

There’s a still-foggy notion wafting around that a “Plan B” will somehow arise from somewhere if voters send the penny transportation sales tax down to defeat on July 31. That belief, in our view, is too freighted with risk to our economy and quality of life to warrant serious consideration as public debate continues over how best to begin detangling this region’s traffic mess.

Read the rest  of what the AJC Editorial Board has to say and commentaries by the director of the Georgia Chapter, Sierra Club and the campaign manager for Citizens for Transportation Mobility.

Then tell us what you think.

27 comments Add your comment

Halftrack

May 13th, 2012
4:54 pm

Plan B should be to raise the gasoline tax. The Ga. tax is one of the lowest in the Nation now. Just 5 cents per gallon, less than an average of $2.00 per week for the average driver, would bring in $ 600 million dollars for Transportation. The Legislature is hard pressed to do what is right for the citizens of GA. A tax raise accreted to them is risky business because they get blamed and could lose their position. Roads, bridges, potholes and rural roads continue to deteriorate and travel & public safety has now become risky. Also mass transit would save a lot of gas and expense to the citizen in the long run.

Dave

May 13th, 2012
4:27 pm

So Editorial Board because of your fears that Plan B won’t happen you are willing to waste our money for ten years (or to use the Ga. 400 example, in perpetuity, if the powers that be can figure out a way to grab even more money for pet projects) on Plan A that doesn’t for the most part address regional transportation and is for the most part money towards a wish list of local projects? Not me. I’ll hope to save the pennies until they are used for a rational regional transportation plan. If that doesn’t happen, so be it.

Zamorianiqua

May 13th, 2012
12:39 pm

“…if voters send the penny transportation sales tax down to defeat on July 31.”

Oh my, the very thought! As July 31 nears and the tea leaves indicate the TSPLOST vote could go south the promoters can always roll out that reliable old standby: “It’s for the children”.

ByteMe

May 13th, 2012
10:04 am

Do you realize the list was put together by elected officials? The committee was made up of selected mayors, county commissioners, and state reps. GDOT and ARC (OUR REGIONAL TRANSPORTATION PLANNING GROUP MANDATED BY LAW) evaluated numerous projects based on cost, benefit,

You’re misunderstanding what I wrote. I want a directly elected regional transportation board responsible for continuous planning, raising and managing revenue, managing projects. I don’t want 10-year revenue stream, so that they can’t sell the long-term bonds necessary for projects that might take longer than 10 years (like extending transit to the outlying counties). I don’t want a group of elected officials who come together once and that list is set in stone for the next 10 years until they have to go get another tax to complete whatever wasn’t finished and start a new list. I want a long-term vision for infrastructure planning and taxing, something that’s supposed to happen at the state level. This is a band-aid with the threat of no-aid if it’s not passed. That’s not acceptable.

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

May 12th, 2012
9:33 pm

Jeff on on Outside

May 12th, 2012
9:20 pm

I agree that the T-SPLOST is NOT about improving transportation, the T-SPLOST is about crooked politicians getting their slimy little grubby hands on a huge pot of money.

Most, if not virtually all, of the so-called transit projects on the list can’t be completed within the supposed time frame of the tax.

I agree with the need for many of the road projects, but disagree with using revenue from a sales tax increase to pay for them.

The state should have arranged to hold a vote on raising the gas tax if they wanted to fund road improvements.

Transit upgrades should be paid for with user fees (fares, parking surcharges, parking fines, traffic fines, sin taxes, etc) and public-private partnerships like the kind that was originally going to be used to fund the I-75/I-575 NW HOT lanes that is supposed to go out for bid, yet again, next month.

Jeff on on Outside

May 12th, 2012
9:20 pm

Of course there is a plan B. Don’t be silly. The current project list was developed with many criteria. Improving transportation was one of the criteria and often not the major one. TSPLOST is not about helping gridlock. If we just say no, the politicians will come back with a plan that is more focused on the real problem and not on their pet solutions.

Eric

May 12th, 2012
9:03 pm

I’m voting NO. I think the Sierra Club’s got it right. Read their article. We don’t need anymore sprawl (i.e., land development all across North Georgia). It’s time to end the pro-growth policies that got us into this mess to begin with!

Atlanta Alan

May 12th, 2012
6:08 pm

MARTA is a waste. Most people live outside of the city work outside of the city, shop outside the city,play outside the city!
The only thing MARTA is good for is getting people into and around the city.
As far as the so called beltway. Who cares?

RailBuff

May 12th, 2012
4:01 pm

I am voting NO. The millions spent to put what would be an unused RR station by the site of Union and Terminal Stations, (which none of these young ones remember) and light rail, which is the new term for the old GA Power Interurbans (bike freaks, the Ponce line to Stone Mtn was part of it) and rail lines from Downtown out like spokes won’t work.
Why?
No one works at 5 Points anymore like they did, the AJC being one who abandoned downtown, and people live however badly in the suburbs and commute crossways and roundabout. Atlanta is not NYC or Chicago, and won’t be receptive to toll roads or another never ending tax that only funds ’studies’ or partial attempts.

Spend the monies the DOT has well. The new companies that have located in GA belie the claims we are suffering. Sprawl is here, and it is a fact of life. I like trains, and often ride the lone AMTRAK but realize we are not going back in time. As the Atlanta Journal said, you people on the Editorial Board, when they tore up the trolley tracks in the 40’s, it’s progress. Go reread your own articles from your Dunwoody cubicles.
Railbuff

Vince

May 12th, 2012
1:01 pm

Thomas, if you’re referring to the Atlanta streetcars, they have nothing to do with the TSPLOST. Light rail, on the other hand, does.