DOT Planning Director Confirmed

The House Transportation Committee has confirmed the governor’s pick for director of planning at the state Department of Transportation.
Todd Long, a longtime engineer and manager at the DOT and the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority, won confirmation in a unanimous voice vote.  Last week, a House subcommittee also recommended him unanimously.
Long made some of the same comments Wednesday that he made last week, assuring the committee that while the director of planning has a close relationship with the governor, he would weigh the governor’s priorities alongside others, and that he was dedicated to serving all of Georgia’s transportation needs, not just urban, suburban or rural.
He also addressed some of the difficulties with the bill that created his position this year, SB 200.  It gave the bulk of the power to pick projects to the governor’s appointee, but the DOT board gets to approve the list, and DOT implements the projects.
Long said he is working closely with Commissioner Vance Smith and the DOT board already, to make sure they’re all on the same page throughout the process.
“If you don’t do that this job would not work,” Long said.
He also threw cold water on the notion that he’ll be able to solve congestion and throw new roads all over the state, especially in metro Atlanta.  “Our goal cannot be to widen every road wide enough that your trip no matter where it is is going to be free flow 100 percent of the time,” he said.  “There’s just not enough money to do that…You’ve got to provide options.”  That could be anything from GRTA express buses to congestion-priced HOV toll lanes, he said.
The consulting firm McKinsey and Co. is being hired by GRTA to work with Long on how to pick projects.

7 comments Add your comment

Road Scholar

August 19th, 2009
12:32 pm

Good luck Todd.

Base

August 19th, 2009
3:25 pm

Toll roads are a tax and not a solution. GRTA buses are not express but snail transit.

Retired GDOT

August 20th, 2009
1:41 pm

Todd is a good man. I hope he doesn’t allow himseld to become another one of “Sonny’s Puppets” like Gena was!

Daedalus

August 24th, 2009
7:54 am

Todd’s first act should be to change the name of Georgia Department of Transportation back to the Georgia Highway Department. Its always been pavement first and last at that agency and always will. Let’s stop kidding ourselves — we will never have regional commuter train service (or high-speed rail) in this state.

Todd’s job is to build four-lane roads in South Georgia with Atlanta gas tax dollars.

Diego Garcia

August 25th, 2009
10:01 am

Can someone tell me what qualifications McKinsey and Company has to assist in picking out roadway projects to be designed and built? Let’s not kid around-they will be roadway projects. From their own website “McKinsey is a management consulting firm advising leading companies on issues of strategy, organization, technology, and operations.” How does any of this relate to picking roadway projects? Just call me a dumb georgia redneck but I do not see where they are qualified in this work. They are not a world class engineering company but a management consulting firm. They were previously hired by GRTA and GADOT to do a study and all they came up with was that the state needed a truck bypass around Atlanta and that the state needed additional truck capacity and dedicated truck lanes coming out of the port in Savannah-Duh! The GADOT planning office came out with this same report 4 years before McKinsey was hired and they just used the same numbers and same info and came to the same conclusion. Oh yeah I forgot to mention that they took the Governor, former GADOT Commisioner, and several GADOT board members to Spain for a “Official Visit” to see how they use rail to accomodate the container shipping in the country instead of using trucks. I am sure the citizens of Georgia are getting a lot of return for that “Oficial” visit.

Technocrat

August 25th, 2009
1:59 pm

Poor fellow, a good engineer-manager, just someone to replace in 2011 with a new adgenda. But at least his pension gets a signifcant bump up.
“SB 200. It gave the bulk of the power to pick projects to the governor’s appointee, but the DOT board gets to approve the list, and DOT implements the projects.”
Sucks to be the pawn.

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12:20 pm

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