Power Breakfast: Atlanta mayor and council at odds over transportation, MARTA, pensions, Home Depot, AirTran

This is not a good sign. The city of Atlanta’s big push to obtain transportation funding might have hit a roadblock, AJC reporter Ernie Suggs writes.

On Monday, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed presented 20 transportation projects and city council members balked, claiming the list does not address key issues for the city and they had no input, Suggs reports.

Creating more friction, Reed was expected to whittle the 20 projects, which would cost an estimated $6.9 billion obtained from 2012 referendum tax money set aside for transportation, to a workable number himself by Wednesday to submit to the state, Suggs writes.

“Whoever had the bright idea to circumvent the council may have doomed the council’s support for this,” council president Ceasar C. Mitchell said.

Meanwhile, MARTA is starting to think big after a brutal year of getting smaller, AJC reporter Ariel Hart writes.

New rail lines, bus lanes on highways, and new train and bus stations are among the things MARTA’s board want from a 2012 transportation referendum, Hart reports. That summer, metro Atlanta voters will go to the polls to consider a list of transportation projects that would be funded from a 1 percent sales tax to run 10 years.

Hart details MARTA’s wish list, which includes a new rail line from Lindbergh Station to Emory University at a cost of $685 million, in her story.

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11 comments Add your comment


March 29th, 2011
8:48 am

The council has laid down for Atlanta mayors the last 20 years. This is all posturing. Wait for some type of special session in the next few days where they b*tch and moan as they lay down on the rails, while Kasim pushes full steam ahead right over them. Pun intended.

They do have a point, its just they don’t have the backbone to stand up.

Not Reeds list either

March 29th, 2011
9:12 am

This is C.W. Mathews list along with some bond lawyers wanting to float bonds on all this rail, light, and Marta, and high-speed. Anything to get more taxes and generate larger budgets to rip off. Lawyers will walk away with 10’s of millions of dollars.


March 29th, 2011
9:22 am

No new fee’s,taxes,etc.,etc..

Road Scholar

March 29th, 2011
9:45 am

So where were the council members during the passing of the legislation, input by the Chamber of Commerce, and the period leading up to present? Asleep at the wheel!You now have the first COA Transportation Plan (passed 2 years ago) that you never funded! You had the oppertunity to select projects with a measured need and you did what? Nothing! And now you complain? Get over it!


March 29th, 2011
9:55 am

Arrogant Reed; Can’t wait for redistricting and more Midtown and Buckhead Reps! What is Georgia Legislative Black Caucus going to say about that. Midtown and Buckhead Cacus should sue if the represetnation is not afforded from population growth!

Raquel Morris

March 29th, 2011
10:40 am

The only person who likes this 2012 referendum is the Mayor. The Atlanta City Council, Fulton County Commission and DeKalb County Commission are all opposed.

I wonder what kind of deals Mayor Reed cut for himself on this one? Why wouldn’t his list of projects at least include Atlanta-based projects? Let Cobb County pay to expand its own Silver Comet Trail.


March 29th, 2011
11:02 am

Wonder if the projects are good projects. If they are, then the City Council needs to get over itself and get on board. If they have better ideas, then present them. There’s not a lot of time to bicker.

Bryan -- MARTA supporter

March 29th, 2011
11:13 am

I think the new MARTA list is a great start. Way to go! Great signs of forward thinking with rail and utilizing the existing heavy rail system they have instead of trying to create a completely new light rail system… smart.

The coucil needs to think about what they are saying and complaining about. The first thing you read is how there aren’t enough projects for “just Atlanta.” That is the problem with the thinking in this area. Everyone wants for their area only. There needs to be more connectivity for the entire region. Just because you live in ATL doesn’t mean connecting to Cobb is a bad idea, even if you never use it.

It attracts people and employers. What employer is going to want to bring their company to Cobb if the only people they can get to work there are the 700K folks that live there, especially when the region has almost 6 million? If people from ATL can’t commute or take a train to Cobb. It’s all about connecting to the core, which is Atlanta. People need to understand that the surrounding areas wouldn’t be nothing if it wasn’t for ATL. But ATL wouldn’t be nothing without the surrounding area. We are one and need to start thinking like that when it comes to transportation issues.


March 29th, 2011
11:50 am

Bravo to Mayor Reed. Why must he have to pull this council kicking and screaming into the 21st century.

Most census predictions tell us the city is going to gain about 2 million more people in the next 10 years. The time to act on our overwhelming transit issues is NOW. It is not going to go away and only going to get worse.


March 30th, 2011
2:00 am

It’s disappointing to see this kind of power grab and lack of communication.


March 31st, 2011
7:45 am

The Marta Train should wrap all the way around I285. It should follow 400, I75, I20, and I85. And they should all connect. Why is this so hard??? Get the people off the streets and freeways and on the train. I have never lived in a city so behind in the times. Make the freeways and streets obsolete. Why even have a train if its not going to connect the surrounding cities? It so frustrating living in this time warp. The congestion is dangerous. If anything happened we’d all be sitting ducks. And what genius thought of putting the bike lane within the car lane? Especially when the lanes aren’t even wide enough for an average size car? Who wants to ride a bike when most people out here don’t know the rules of the road? There should be a campaign to play commercials teaching the laws of the road every 30 minutes. Its obvious most people haven’t taken drivers training. Remind people that pedestrians have the right of way. Its to dangerous.