Transportation lessons from a competitor

Texans making tracks

Dallas-Ft. Worth region sees a robust transit network as part of providing options for commuters in this pickup truck-loving state. Atlanta can draw lessons from this conservative competitor.

By the AJC Editorial Board

PLANO, Texas — Even without verdant hills, the heart of this suburb looks much like some OTP towns around Atlanta.

A block from the downtown street that’s home to a trendy tea room, antique stores and offices stands a white frame house with a wooden rocker on the porch. A large, open field and a tin-roofed shed are next door. Birds’ song carries across the humid air.

A pair of railroad tracks separates the two scenes and the bustle of Dallas seems a world away.

Then the rail crossing bells begin to clang and gates lower. A light-rail train appears and comes to a stop, doors opening onto a platform shared with a low, modern apartment building built to blend with nearby vintage architecture.

The standing room-only Dallas Area Rapid Transit train unloads a respectable number of passengers, who quickly disperse into the quiet evening. Then the train moves on.

Bedroom community linked to job centers. This could be Atlanta, if we choose progress over the problematic present.

Dallas-Ft. Worth is similar to the Atlanta metro in significant ways. They’re an estimable competitor for businesses and jobs. Population density’s remained low in both regions, even with rapid growth. As a result, like us, they endure the hassle and economic cost imposed by slow going along overworked roads.

Yet, they’ve taken large steps on transit in recent years while we’ve largely stood still. Since MARTA opened its most recent stops in 2000, Dallas-Ft. Worth has begun or expanded multiple rail and road options to ease congestion and ease commutes. They’re moving into the 21st-century while elements here stubbornly cling to a mid-1950’s model.

It’s valuable to study rivals, especially when much of our economic future rides on the July 31 vote on the penny transportation sales tax.

That realization sparked a trip last week to Dallas to observe its operation of the nation’s largest light rail system by route miles. To be sure, not all of this conservative region of 6 million people has warmed to rail transit.

Yet, as a Texas opinion writer observed, even conservatives hate to be stuck in traffic. So, in the years since voters approved a penny transportation tax in 1983, the Metroplex has set about creating options to ease traffic on tick-tight roads, while improving air quality and access to job centers, especially for workers without cars.

Options. The word has a nice ring to it. The Dallas North Tollway and the President George Bush Turnpike offer a 65 mph ride — for a price. DART also manages 84 miles of freeway HOV lanes.

There are lessons here for Atlanta, we believe. That’s because a great perch to observe morning congestion on Interstate 35E and other main roads in Big D is from the windows of a Trinity Rail Express commuter train, galloping between Ft. Worth and Dallas. Onboard a Wi-Fi-equipped railcar last week, riders stared into laptops or tapped on smartphones. The double-deck train was mostly full, with slim chances of getting a seat all to yourself.

Perhaps Brenda Cuellar’s 1996 experience with MARTA influenced her decision to use the TRE to travel between her Bedford, Texas, home and a new IT job in Dallas. “We went to the Olympics and we utilized MARTA and I realized it got us everywhere we needed to go,” she said.

Dallas-Ft. Worth’s transit moves reflect both current realities and projections for the future, said Mabrie Jackson, president and CEO of the North Texas Commission, a group of business and government entities that promotes the region. The Metroplex continues to add a resident, on average, about every four minutes. “The only way for us to keep up with this growth is to have a robust regional transit system,” she said. “We needed to start looking into the future and how we move people around.”

She acknowledged resistance in some quarters to this ongoing work. “Southerners usually have not had to take a train anywhere — it’s cultural,” she said. Still, the entities that’ve supported transit see it as a sound investment.

Gary Elmore, of Plano, was happy to trade his truck for a DART train. “I love it,” he said while waiting for a train home. “Like everybody in Texas, I drive a big old truck and it gets lousy gas mileage.” Using transit to and from work “saves wear and tear on my truck, mileage and everything else.”

And, no, this suburbanite doesn’t believe transit’s part of a socialist-style scheme to remake how or where we live. “Oh hell no,” he said when asked that question.

Dallas-Ft. Worth has provided choices and continues to build options for its future in the belief that tomorrow won’t mimic the present. Capitalism tends to work that way.

Transit seems an enabler of lifestyles here, not a harsh remaker.

That observation validates the strategic potential of building out a better multimodal transportation network for Atlanta if we want to remain competitive in an ever-evolving nation and world.

No one should understand that better than metro Atlantans, given that a willingness to pursue life on the leading edge pushed us onto the list of great metro areas.

We must remember that on Election Day.

Andre Jackson, 
for the Editorial Board

Pro & Con: On the transportation sales tax

Following are excerpts from a recent AJC community forum on transportation sponsored by PNC Bank. Check out video from the forum and search the AJC’s update database of proposed projects only at www.ajc.com/news/transportation-referendum.

Bucky Johnson

Mayor of Norcross and chairman of the regional roundtable that chose the transportation referendum project list:

I have seen the population just explode over the years in Atlanta, and infrastructure not so much. And so it’s not necessarily something that’s going to make a great deal of difference to me being a mayor in a small town, but to my children and to my grandchildren; if we don’t do something now, then when?

And this would really give us a boost in the arm that we have needed for so long. And I think this is the way to go and I am a true believer.

Our job was to set a criteria for picking the projects, which we did. Part of the criteria includes economic development, traffic mitigation, quality of life. We didn’t just make up projects. It had to be already in the plans. For instance, let’s take Ga. 400 and I-285, which was just named the worst intersection in the country to get through. That’s a huge project for Atlanta, for everybody.

So, we looked at where the people were going. If you look at where most of the money is coming in this project, it is employment centers, Emory and CDC; downtown Atlanta, you’ve got Georgia Tech and Georgia State.

If you look at where the main projects are, it is traffic mitigation and it is options. I think it’s a great list.

Steve Brown

Fayette County Commissioner and critic of the transportation referendum :

If you look at where Atlanta has been and how we got to where we are, I think we really took infrastructure for granted. If you look at a lot of cities who have grid patterns … where they can move traffic and do it in alternate ways if needed, there were a lot of opportunities that we had when we were a growing region where we had a lot of virgin land and we could have done a lot of things. Unfortunately, we didn’t do a lot of those things.

Everyone on my side that I have spoken to agrees we need to do something about traffic congestion. No one likes to sit in traffic and that problem is only going to get worse. What we are primarily arguing about is the projects that are on the list. And we have a problem with the projects, how they were put into that system, if those problems actually handle traffic congestion relief or not, and the bang for the dollar.

I’m not opposed to necessarily all rapid transit. I take the train into town. . I’ll take it in town if it’s near. But I don’t want to throw money away either. That’s what I’m looking at when I’m looking at these projects. For transit to work, you have to have a certain level of density. Unfortunately, in our suburban areas. we don’t have it and it would be very, very difficult to create it in a way that it would work.

Baruch Feigenbaum

Transportation policy analyst, Reason Foundation:

I would offer a nuanced view on (the merits of the T-SPLOST). I think it depends on where you live and it depends on the specific project. So, if you’re close to the Ga. 400, I-285 project, maybe you live in Sandy Springs and you work in downtown Atlanta, you’re going to get a lot of benefit because that project is going to be good for you.

But if you’re in some other parts of the region, if you’re in Gwinnett County and you have only a planning study and you really don’t have much in the way of highway improvements. If you’re in Henry County and you really don’t have much in the way of regional improvements … there’s really not a lot to benefit you.

And I’m also not a fan of some of the transit projects because I don’t think they go from home to work. So I think the answer is, it depends.

Atlanta is the least dense city in the world with more than 3 million people. We also know that what really drives development is land use and land use patterns. One of the reasons why Atlanta is not dense is because we have chosen a land use pattern that is basically somewhat friendly to suburbs … .

Now from my perspective, we should be producing the transportation system that people in this region want. But … by and large, people in Atlanta have not voted for denser development.

Chris Leinberger

President of LOCUS, land use strategist and developer:

For the 6,000 years we’ve been building cities, the transportation system that we the people select dictates your future economic prospects. And this is an Olympic moment for you as far as your future economy … . And your ancestors knew the importance of transportation; you’ve forgotten it.

Again, I’ve known you for over 30 years and I’ve always known you as Hotlanta. And unfortunately, you’re not hot. You’ve gone flat-line. You’ve had a lost decade. You have fewer jobs today than you had in 2001. And it’s because you’ve not invested in what Atlanta has always invested in — it is the next transportation system. Transportation drives development.

You wouldn’t build a subdivision out on a farm if it just had a dirt road. You wouldn’t take that farm and put a subdivision there or put a business park there and say, whoa then, I’ll take care of the transportation later. The transportation had to be there first. So, the only reason you’re going to get density is by building the proper infrastructure to allow the density to come. And cities throughout this country are well in front of you. You’ve been lapped and if you don’t pass this, the only people who are going to be applauding are Charlotte and Dallas and Houston and Phoenix and St. Louis and Denver and Salt Lake City … and they want to eat your lunch.

36 comments Add your comment

james

July 20th, 2012
8:30 pm

What else would you expect from these opinions
via the AJC?? Why give these government idiots
another penny…most government people are just crooks especially
in Atlanta area living off our dime… not another
penny… Vote NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Chris Sanchez

July 20th, 2012
9:18 pm

Folks in the metro Atlanta area are not against paying for projects that improve traffic congestion. What we are against is handing over $7 Billion to politicians for a plan that has no hope of relieving congestion, half of which is not intended to relieve congestion in the first place. I imagine that much money could really impact our traffic woes if it were all spent to do so.

There is a complete lack of trust in our politicians, underscored by Gov. Purdue extending the GA 400 toll, and it is the fault of the politicians. So seeing there is insufficient support to pass TSPLOST in recent polls, Gov. Deal decides that seventeen months from now the GA 400 toll will go away to try and get some support for TSPLOST (I may be a doubting Thomas but I will believe it when I see it with my own eyes!). Frankly it is insulting! Had he been bold and done so quickly after taking office he may have had some influence on this and other issues. However, the voters see Deal’s actions for what they are.

If economic development is an issue that needs funding, then propose it and lets have that debate. Don’t try to hide it in this TSPLOST nonsense. A glaring omission is the opinion from Chris Leinberger of the Brookings Institution who admitted that the goal of the transit is economic development and NOT relieving traffic congestion. We already know how Mr. Jackson feels about spending more money on transit so I will not go down that rabbit hole. Fortunately, the current project list is not stacked enough towards those whose support the transit spending to earn their vote. See, there is a bright spot in this and it is coming on July 31 with a big NO vote!

middleground

July 20th, 2012
10:24 pm

Come on AJC you are retroing back to like your old self. Your loosing your good name as you push for Marta bailout/TSPLOST will not fix traffic.

Voted YES

July 20th, 2012
10:39 pm

Well written ideas and comments.

A No Vote ensures we stay flat. There simply is not a cooler way to fixing transportation in our region than a Tsplost vote. If you weren’t hoopin and hollerin for your favorite or preferred project during the time projects were selected then shame on you. Voting no guarantees you will never have to worry about it….kind of a couch potatoe moment. This is a rare opportunity were we as citizens can make transportation decisions.

A better list is truly pie in the sky since transportation needs of downtown are different than the suburbs and exurbs. These different areas only share the common need to connect for commerce to prosper throughout and for families to come together.

A No vote means no new capacity to improve transportation in downtown the suburbs or exurbs or improve connectivity between. With a No vote, we indeed need our population to stay the same or decrease to ensure the existing transportation capacity we have works. A No vote signals we are not interested.

This time isn’t perfect, a regional vote is a new idea, the economy continues to slowly, slowly, slowly, improve; it’s easy to look at a project in someone else’s backyard and be discontent while ignoring the projects your local elected officials selected…..etc.

I challenge No voters to share their view of the path forward – where does the money come from? Does it matter for Georgia to be economically competitive? Does it matter to provide greater mobility throughout your region? How will you pay for your subdivision street? your main road to the interstate? the interstate? Are these paved travel ways a freebie?

Ken

July 20th, 2012
10:47 pm

T SPLOST is nothing more than a grab bag of promises that if the taxpayer sends the money down MAYBE some of it will come back IF the 5 person NON ELECTED commitee gives final OK on the project. The Beltline is a pie in the sky hope that maybe this time, Atlanta will get it right after trying Underground several times and many other wasted projects to save the City from the crime and coruption that has been there for the last 30 years. The Beltline won’t take a single car off I 285 nor will it be nothing more than another rat hole to pour public money into while the City’s streets and sewers go to hell. VOTE NO

ank

July 20th, 2012
10:47 pm

I truly dont understand the no voter. Is the status quo good enough for you? Do you think being 49th in transportation investment gets you far? Do you enjoy driving between 745am and 9:15am, and 4:15pm and 6:30pm at a rate of 20mph or less? Nothing will be done for many more years. Life is full of compromises, and this is a bill of compromises. I do reverse commute, so I am lucky. However, i want to see this city flourish, I want businesses to come here. I vote yes.

[...] post by Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) and sponsored by Moving [...]

Dennis Michael Smith

July 21st, 2012
12:15 am

Some people are against the SPLOST because it dares give us a balance between roads and the public transit which has been needed for years. Those no voters are a product of Nimbyism, Parochialism, Elitism and RACISM. Others are against it because it doesn’t do enough for mass transit–the well meaning but unrealistic environmentalists. The environmentalists, I agree with them to a point. At current we are like in a leaky boat and the two opposite extreme “anti” SPLOST sides are like two passengers arguing about how to fix the leak to the extent the boat sinks! Let’s PASS this SPLOST. Where ever you are on the “motivation” conundrum, pro or con, we cannot afford to do NOTHING and voting against the SPLOST is doing NOTHING. Without the SPLOST, not only will mass transit remain inadequate, but roads and bridges will go to hell too! PASS THE SPLOST!

Road Scholar

July 21st, 2012
5:40 am

Ok So you don’t want the politicians involved in implementing Tsplost. You don’t trust them even though the majority of voters elected them. Then some do not trust GDOT who is managed by a Board elected by those state politicians. OK.

Now who do you trust? Is there a “bogeyman” behind every vote or program? Who do you trust?

jezel

July 21st, 2012
6:32 am

Doesn’t all of this boil down to whether or not we trust government in Georgia? Some one has to come up with a plan. But indications are….we do not trust those whose job it is to do the planning.

Gov. Deal did the right thing with the tolls on 400. May have waited too long to do it though. He is showing SOME leadership…lame as it is.

jezel

July 21st, 2012
6:34 am

Well put Chris

ga values

July 21st, 2012
6:46 am

How much will Reed’s Corrupt Cronies steal from the $600,000,000.00 Waste/beltline? More importantly how much congestion will this $600,000,000.00 waste eliminate?

ga values

July 21st, 2012
7:39 am

………………VOTE NO ON WASTE, GRAFT & CORRUPTION….Waste line = Airport contracts..

Disadvantaged businesses wrongly certified for airport contracting

il
.
By Kelly Yamanouchi

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Four airport concessionaires awarded contracts as disadvantaged businesses in Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport’s restaurant contracting this year should not have qualified under federal criteria or did not have adequate documentation, according to the federal government.

The federal government found four airport concessionaires were improperly awarded contracts as disadvantaged businesses.

.
The two firms that should not have qualified because they exceeded the $750,000 cap on personal net worth are Atlanta Restaurant Partners LLC and Mack II Inc., the Federal Aviation Administration said. In addition, Vida Concessions and Hojeij Branded Foods had inadequate documentation, the agency said in memos released Thursday.

The city of Atlanta noted there are different disadvantaged business certifications with different criteria, and the issue in question is focused just on the federal Airport Concessions Disadvantaged Business Enterprise certification.

Together, the four firms named won a significant share of the concessions contracts worth an estimated $3 billion over 10 years. They were chosen to operate dozens of new restaurants at the airport, and are in eight of the nine airport restaurant contracts approved by City Council and signed by Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed.

JohnGalt

July 21st, 2012
9:36 am

I understand that TSPLOST isn’t going to fix our traffic problems in much the same way HOT lanes hasn’t helped I-85 traffic and tolls are still on GA400. But more importantly, the people who have orchestrated this plan only have a view of the box they live it. I submit to you, it is not my, nor anyone else’s, responsibility to insure you have a traffic free commute to the office. Quite frankly, if you live in one community and commute to another across the planet, you deserve the traffic you sit in. If you live in Woodstock and drive downtown every day, you deserve it. If you live in Lawrenceville and drive to Marietta every day, you deserve it. Stop expecting the taxpayers to subsidize your lifestyle and decisions to drive all over the place when it was your decision that got you there. If traffic is a problem for you, move. Move to closer proximity to your office.

As far as looking outside of the box, the technology already exists for vehicles to intelligently navigate the landscape to get from point A to point B. Rail is a relic of the past and by all accounts, will be completely obsolete in 50 years or so. Imagine if you will, getting into your vehicle, entering in your destination coordinates, sitting back and making morning phone calls, reading the paper, drinking your coffee, or watching the Today show on your way to the office. And that is under the assumption you actually need to go to the office for one reason or another. Imagine if you will an entire metropolis where such vehicles exist and because they are intelligent and communicate with one another can navigate all the paths to every destination taking the least obstructive path to get there. All the while, you needn’t worry about an accident because the vehicles are communicating with one another to navigate through intersections yielding traffic signals obsolete because they can position themselves in the queue to go through a major intersection without skipping a beat in much the same way your computers navigate through a router, or multiple routers as the case may be, to get to their desired location on the internet.

Some of these infrastructure projects are necessary and long overdue to eliminate neglected bottle necks such as access points across the Chattahoochee River. But other than that, they are nothing more than an effort by people who have no interest in your quality of life, but that of lining their pockets at your expense. There are so many worthless projects in this TSPLOST, it isn’t even funny. Marta already has an admitted $2.3Billion shortfall to shore up maintenance costs that aren’t even addressed in this TSPLOST.

This TSPLOST is like an initiative to start a family. It is funded just enough to get pregnant, but doesn’t come anywhere close to addressing the cost of delivery, let alone prenatal care. And the real kicker? Your politicians will be whining and complaining when the funds dry up to shore up the cost of delivery, raising the child, paying for college, etc. up to the point that the actual cost outweighs the original cost by a 10:1 margin. And the sad part is, when the request for money comes in, you’re already pregnant – which is what this boondoggle will do for our transportation infrastructure. Get the picture?

Bill

July 21st, 2012
10:48 am

It seems that everyone has something to dislike in the list. That suggests that they achieved some balance. There are things I dislike as well. I think a sales tax is a terribly regressive way to fund this. I think there should be more, not less focus on mass transit. But, we are not being offered a choice of lists. We are not being offered a choice of funding. We are being offered one shot at improving transportation in this area. The final deciding factor for me is the economy. This will create much need jobs, and improve the economy for the entire metropolitan area. So are choice is this plan, up or down; no other options. If we vote no, we will not get another chance any time soon. That is why, even with all its imperfections, I am voting yes.

Bill

July 21st, 2012
10:52 am

John Galt,
As for the technology for self guided vehicles: I am aware of research and testing in this area. Do you know of anywhere that it has been scaled up? If trains are obsolete in 50 years, fine. But, that has been predicted before. In 50 years, this infrastructure may be near the end of its useful life anyway. In the end, self guided vehicles are not on the ballot. It is this package or nothing.

Fill'er up

July 21st, 2012
11:18 am

All I hear is “the local government will give money to cronies and they’ll get rich”. Well the last time I looked, this system is the one we’ve functioned under since the beginning of this republic. It might be nice to try paint the past as somewhat different but the only difference was the scale was smaller.

So what do we do? Wait until we vote out the current group of no good politicians and replace them with another batch of no good politicians? Atlantans like most Americans are not ready to do the hard work it takes to reform this country (sorry republicans but your plans are what got us in the current mess) so the best bet is to make what necessary infrastructure improvements we can and eat the “grifting” that goes along with it.

This system, although very flawed, has managed to make America the number one country in the world and it ain’t gonna get no better.

Retired Vet

July 21st, 2012
12:44 pm

ga values

July 21st, 2012
7:39 am

Your ignorance is glaring. The GDOT certifies a business as disadvantaged, not the City of Atlanta. Don’t believe me. Call GDOT.

Out by the Pond

July 21st, 2012
12:51 pm

Well, I trust the government, I trust the DOT but I do not favor Tsplost. As I have said before, it’s the wrong type of tax. When we get elected representatives with the intestinal fortitude to raise the gas tax for transportation the Atlanta area can then move forward again. The bulk of the projects in Tsplost do nothing to relieve traffic. The study in support of this flawed plan only claims a reduction of less than 60 seconds per average commute. 60 Seconds? I waste more time than that with poorly timed traffic lights. Friday I drove from Marietta to Conners during rush hour in less than 70 minuets…….during rush hour. Yep you guessed it I did not use the interstates. Returned on the interstates at midnight and it took me 60.

A vote for the Tsplost is a vote to pour good money down a rat hole. We need a real tax spent by professionals who understand traffic not on projects selected by bought and pain for politicians.

Retired Vet

July 21st, 2012
12:52 pm

It appears the most vociferous opposition comes from people who only see two projects in the entire list, MARTA and the beltline. Why is that?

Jason

July 21st, 2012
1:19 pm

Atlanta is a place I still call home & hope to retire back to one day, but the boondoggle wars waged between politician & civilian will soon turn my beloved Atlanta into the feared, hated & untrusted Detroit. Look at how much Detroit has done in the past & how much it is depicted as nothing more than a wasteland of crime. Their tourism industry left as quickly as the cars they used to build could the residents out of there. Atlanta you’re stagnant actions as a community are about as productive as a toddler throwing themselves on the floor at daycare because they got vanilla instead of chocolate. Better learn to love vanilla Atlanta or all your gonna have left is a wet face & dirty clothes.
Yes the politicians need to provide better options.
Yes I agree that they are not listening to their people.
Problem is the people have stopped taking action & only talk.
If Atalantans want to fight their politicians then they’ve got to do more than take their votes to the polls, they need to be on the polls. Stop ignoring your government people. Your lack of interest only empowers the crooks. Take the vanilla & use it as your base to make something great. Get you behinds into the elected positions to make things right & stop gargling your complaints over sweet tea. Get up, get out & get busy making your lives great.

CherokeeNOVote

July 21st, 2012
2:27 pm

Tsplost, as conceived, is a rip-off for anyone in Cherokee. Our sales tax goes up 20% forever – and we get maybe 8 miles of 4 lane on GA 140, maybe sometime in the future (this promise from the same gang that has been “working on” 8 miles of GA 20 for nearly 2 years without a single turn lane complete to show for it.)

We get no improvement whatsoever to Forsyth county – one of our most congested and deadly roads – because the legislature put them in a different region and tsplost will not cover connectivity between regions.

Unlike many here, I would not even mind chipping in some on mass-transit – if there was ever even the remotest possibility I might be able to utilize it. And it wouldn’t even have to come here, I could use it if it came to Alpharetta – but it won’t in my life-time because the brilliant Marta planners can’t figure out how to get a train across the river.

Anybody from Cherokee that votes for this tsplost is an idiot.

Shyrome

July 21st, 2012
6:20 pm

The poster child for what’s wrong with T-SPLOST might have been the pep rally in Lilburn a couple of weeks ago.

After recounting how the boosters extolled all the wonderful benefits that we’ll receive if it passes, the newspaper article went on to add that the City of Lilburn’s total T-SPLOST windfall, in exchange for ten years of additional sales tax, would be…a new sidewalk.

Incoherent

July 21st, 2012
10:51 pm

Is it just me or is Bucky Johnson’s statement incoherent? (sadly – much like the project list his committee drew up)

Joe_Harris

July 22nd, 2012
12:44 am

A yes vote for the Regional Transportation Referendum is necessary for the state of GA. We need a transportation infrastructure that is up to par with other major cities and that makes it easy for its residents to commute to and from work. Having a properly running transportation infrastructure should not be an option it should be the standard.

claytondawg

July 22nd, 2012
9:20 am

I say: Let Atlanta wallow in its own quagmire, as it has done in the past 30 something years. Atlanta’s mayors, commissioners, and the rest of the “government” have done nothing but use power struggles to utilize their own agendas. In fact, government in all the surrounding Atlanta areas have pretty much grown so large, so cumbersome, and so self-aggrandizing that it’s too difficult for us taxpayers to be amenable to any of their so-called “ideas for improvement.”

Puerile Pedant

July 22nd, 2012
11:19 am

You know “claytondawg” I wouldn’t be criticizing Atlanta, Cobb, Decatur or anywhere else if I lived in Clayton County — talk about dysfunctional. Y’all make the troika of corrupt Mayors: Bill Campbell, Shirley Franklin and Kasim Reed look like enlightened, self-less public servants, and we now that isn’t true.

Maybe you are from Clayton, Georgia, up in the mountains. Then I say to you who cares what you think? Isn’t time for a Klan rally somewhere?

Jack

July 22nd, 2012
11:25 am

T-SPLOST is just like obamacare: too big, too complicated, too expensive and with no guarantee the taxes will be spent on the advertised projects. An incremental railroad here and there for starters and a system that would guarantee no welfare for those not deserving.

WeNeedAlternatives

July 22nd, 2012
12:47 pm

So if someone would explain why so much opposition to the transit projects in the city that are on the list? The opposition is confusing, unless the motive is selfishness.

Hundreds of thousands of automobiles pile into the city every work day. Atlanta’s population increases by close to a million people. The cars clog the roads, neighborhoods and parking lots. They pollute the air and create considerable noise. People have trouble traveling within the city due to the incredible influx of automobiles from other communities in the region. These are irrefutable facts.

So transit projects within the city help people that are both temporary and permanent residents get around. It helps remove cars from the streets. Does that help reduce congestion? Absolutely! So why do so many say that this does not relieve congestion? Within the city, it absolutely, positively will! Can transit totally solve the problem? No, but it will help.

Or is the transit opposition just something to complain about and an ethereal ‘deep reach’ reason to vote against the proposal?

Mike

July 22nd, 2012
2:16 pm

When occasionally heading to the city on a weekday morning, or coming back from the city in the evenings (which is rare because I work and live on the south side) I notice that the vast majority of cars and SUVs have just one person.

We don’t need more road space for one-person vehicles.

People can suck it up and either deal with the traffic (get a book on tape) or carpool and reduce traffic altogether.

Now, when there are traffic jams and most of the cars have two or more people, then come to me for an extra percentage of my money. Until then ride a bike.

Besides, education is a bigger priority, not more lanes for one-person cars (by the way, did you notice that your car has seating for five or more?).

middleground

July 22nd, 2012
5:24 pm

TSPLOST is a boondoggle that is larger than the Yazoo Land Fraud deal. Google it.

ga values

July 22nd, 2012
5:28 pm

$600,000,000.00 wasted on the Waste/beltline why not spend the money on reducing congestion rather than lining Reed’s corrupt cronies pockets? That’s $600 million or nreearly 10% of the total doing NOTHING to reduce congestion.

ga values

July 22nd, 2012
5:33 pm

$600,000,000.00 wasted on the Waste/beltline why not spend the money on reducing congestion rather than lining Reed’s corrupt cronies pockets? That’s $600 million or nearly 10% of the total doing NOTHING to reduce congestion.

Voted Yes

July 22nd, 2012
9:06 pm

To those against how will you pay to repave the roads you drive on? Are you going to continue to rely on the Feds? On the state? Or your county? Or are you going to round up your neighbors and all pitch in? Asphalt and concrete are expensive hope you have a lot of neighbors or live so far out that a gravel road will work for you.

The list reflects local and regional interests -transit downtown is good for those downtown the interstate interchanges with 285 will have a huge effect on commutes in the ga400 i20 and i75 corridors.

Like it or not Georgia values include the belt line as well as widening some two lane road or improving an interstate interchange

Pizza

July 22nd, 2012
9:16 pm

JohnGalt 7/21 09:36 – You are dreaming . . . . at $10.00 a gallon you aren’t going anywhere in your concept of the future. Exactly where Atlanta is headed as they kick the can down the ROAD. ( I’ll be leaving if I can sell my home. )

Clark

July 22nd, 2012
10:24 pm

The Cherokee county poster once again shows the selfishness and narrow-mindedness of many of the T-SPLOST opponents. Your county in particular stands to benefit greatly from the I-75/SR-41 project. Even if you don’t use it, think about how many people will no longer be “in your way” going down I-75 if they’re on transit instead of in a car.

The problem with carpooling is that it’s hard to find someone going exactly where you want, exactly when you want, it works with some people, but unless you’re carpooling to transit, it just doesn’t make sense around Atlanta. Maybe once the I-20 East, SR-41, and Ga400 North transit projects are completed will carpooling will work, but not now.