Streetcar money breaks Atlanta transit losing streak

Source: City of Atlanta

Source: City of Atlanta

After repeated setbacks, metro Atlanta has finally managed to win federal support and funding for a transit project. According to U.S. Rep. John Lewis, federal officials have agreed to commit $47 million to help build a east-west streetcar line connecting the Georgia World Congress Center, the Georgia Aquarium, Centennial Olympic Park, Georgia State University and the Martin Luther King Jr. Historic District.

The announcement is an important coup for the city and its mayor, Kasim Reed. However, it also represents an obligation to the larger metro region. Federal officials will be watching closely to see whether the city follows through on its part of the deal. City officials have already identified $16 million in funds for capital construction, leaving the project still $9 million short.

Failure to come through with that funding would bode poorly for the far larger transit requests that the metro region will be making to the federal government in years to come, from the Beltline to commuter rail and light rail.

In terms of transportation and economic development, though, the line in question makes a lot of sense, linking some of the city’s major tourist attractions and its major downtown hotel district. As the city’s application noted, it will also “reconnect the eastern and western sections of Downtown Atlanta, which were effectively separated by the construction of Interstate 75/85 in the mid 1950s.”

I’m a lot less certain about other proposed pieces of the proposed streetcar system, such as the north-south line up Peachtree Street. That strikes me more like an amenity than a transportation option, particularly with the MARTA line already running beneath Peachtree for much of its length. But of course, that perception could change if the east-west line proves a major success.

113 comments Add your comment

Bosch

October 15th, 2010
2:35 pm

I dunno — for some reason, when I saw this, I just thought “Streetcar Named Desire” — and not too much else.

RW-(the original)

October 15th, 2010
2:35 pm

Maybe I’m too disconnected from day to day life in downtown Atlanta but I can’t see this coming anywhere near paying for itself in ridership. It seems to cater almost entirely to tourist traffic.

Bosch

October 15th, 2010
2:35 pm

Hehehehe! Firsties! Take THAT Paul!

stands for decibels

October 15th, 2010
2:35 pm

SUPERTRAINS!

or, a start, anyway.

BlahBlahBlah

October 15th, 2010
2:37 pm

stands for decibels

October 15th, 2010
2:41 pm

I was going to say “this is where they start going on about how ‘ridership won’t possibly bear all the costs of such a venture’, as if that were the point of mass transit in any civilized nation I’ve visited”, but Blah and RW seem to have beaten me to the punch.

Jason

October 15th, 2010
2:42 pm

Google: Portland Pearl District Street Car. This part of Downtown Atlanta and Portland’s Pearl District pre-street car are very similar so it will give you an idea of what to expect the results to be.

N

October 15th, 2010
2:43 pm

Good news. Make a fair proposal with local money in the game and we win a grant. Hopefully this will be a model for the beltline and other bids for federal grants.

RW-(the original)

October 15th, 2010
2:43 pm

stands,

How does this extremely limited loop between tourist attractions qualify as a legitimate mass transit effort?

Haywood Jablome

October 15th, 2010
2:44 pm

That strikes me more like an amenity than a transportation option, particularly with the MARTA line already running beneath Peachtree for much of its length.

Public transportation an amenity? Yeah, the bus is just like a swimming pool or a lounge, expect more glamorous. And have you ever tried catching the MARTA line from Peachtree and Roswell or South Buckhead or these desolate neighborhoods that Bookie describes as having a MARTA line already running beneath?

N

October 15th, 2010
2:50 pm

Also great news for continued development of downtown into a destination for people. This along with the college FB HOF and other new developments going in around the park should be great.

Paul

October 15th, 2010
2:51 pm

Congrats, Atlanta.

Any Republican candidates denounce Atlanta for taking federal dollars and engaging in a socialist enterprise, hmmmm?

Bosch

“Hehehehe! Firsties! Take THAT Paul!”

I was gonna say ’some of us have to work’ but in reality, I was making what I hope will be a killer lasagne.

Either way – thbpppptttt!!!!!!

Peadawg

October 15th, 2010
2:52 pm

“This along with the college FB HOF and other new developments going in around the park should be great.”

Yes. More traffic is just what Atlanta needs!

Paul

October 15th, 2010
2:54 pm

Bosch

Didja hear? Sen Harry Reid’s buddies with Pres Bush! And he admires Justice Scalia!

I love election season.

Oh, and First Lady Obama asked Candidate Christine O’Donnell if she knew any incantations to help keep the spirits clean. All in the spirit of bipartisan cooperation, of course.

(’spirit’ of bipartisanship… get it? Well, didja??)

stands for decibels

October 15th, 2010
2:54 pm

How does this extremely limited loop between tourist attractions qualify as a legitimate mass transit effort?

I’ll be honest, I can’t really tell much about this particular project based on the linked story (rubber wheels? riding on rails? it actually didn’t say, did it?) and being that I’m not that familiar with that neck of the woods (not down there much myself) if you say it’s going to be too limited to be of much use to many people, I’ll take your word for it.

But you do have to start somewhere.

Jay

October 15th, 2010
2:54 pm

RW, there’s no expectation that fares will cover the cost of this project. And you’re right: it’s as much if not more of an economic development project as it is a transit project. The downtown hotels and the convention authority have been telling us for years that one of the biggest complaints from visitors is the difficulty of getting to and from these various sites. And as the earlier poster noted, streetcars in other cities have boosted property values and brought in a lot of additional investment. That’s the plan here as well.

Something else I’d like to note, in that same vein: The DOT’s project to convert the I-85 HOV lane to a Lexus toll lane also isn’t expected to pay for itself. Even though they’re taking an existing lane of asphalt that we already paid for, the revenue from the tolls won’t be enough to pay for the cost of the tolling infrastructure.

Yet somehow we don’t hear those same kind of complaints.

joe matarotz

October 15th, 2010
2:55 pm

Pardon the stupid question, but will this route actually serve enough people to make it profitable? I smell a boondoggle.

Bosch

October 15th, 2010
2:56 pm

Paul,

Killer lasagna eh? YUM!!! Dinner at Paul’s peeps! I have to say I make smashingly good lasagna — me recipe has even been featured in a cookbook. The trick is a good handful of fennel seeds. Yeah, some of us have it well, ya’ know. :-)

To me, people labor too much over lasagna when it really doesn’t have to be all that — and after I discovered Barilla no-cook noodles — well, let’s just say it changed my life.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

But as to the topic, yeah, if Reed doesn’t come through on his end of the bargain, you can pretty much kiss any future federal funds g-bye.

stands for decibels

October 15th, 2010
2:58 pm

will this route actually serve enough people to make it profitable?

jeez… should we start taking bets on how many are going to Go There?

Paul

October 15th, 2010
3:00 pm

Jay

Dallas experienced quite a surprise when it put mass transit stops in areas that people thought there shouldn’t be a stop (the local councilmembers lobbied to get them). Wasn’t too long before apartment buildings, restaurants and all kinds of shops began popping up. The blighted areas became much more desirable. Funny thing, other councilmen began lobbying for stops in their areas, too.

barking frog

October 15th, 2010
3:00 pm

Do the panhandlers get lifetime passes and reserved seats?
Will the muggers appreciate the delivery system?
Wouldn’t a fleet of horsedrawn carriages be better,
or would the horse deposits compete with that being
tossed around under the gold dome?

Bosch

October 15th, 2010
3:00 pm

Paul,

Yeah I heard! I love a good clean spirit — I’m partial to vanilla and jasmine smells (having a 14 year old daughter, I mean, yeah, I’ll admit it — when you’re out of man-poo in the shower and that’s all you got to clean your bits and pieces — that stuff smells kind of good!).

And as to Reid, yeah, I got friends who we are like night and day — it’s possible. I really don’t know where that Scalia thing came from though. I think the guys a douche and can’t think that anyone of the Reid variety would think otherwise, but yeah, like you said, it is election year and all the weirdos come out.

AngryRedMarsWoman

October 15th, 2010
3:01 pm

“The downtown hotels and the convention authority have been telling us for years that one of the biggest complaints from visitors is the difficulty of getting to and from these various sites.”

Yep. And the Braves are a huge draw for visitors and this wonderful streetcar will take you right down to….ohhhh….guess not.

stands for decibels

October 15th, 2010
3:01 pm

Suggest Atlanta adopt freely from this promotional video.

(especially that funky music.)

Bosch

October 15th, 2010
3:02 pm

“Do the panhandlers get lifetime passes and reserved seats?
Will the muggers appreciate the delivery system?”

I’m never surprised by the old “but it’ll attract THOSE people” argument. Jesus Christ, people, Atlanta is like the only major city in the known universe that has a sucky mass transit system — and y’all just wanna keep it suckier. I simply do not get that logic.

Paul

October 15th, 2010
3:02 pm

Bosch

Fennel, eh? I used Italian sausage for the meat – the sweet kind had fennel, so I opted for a mix of sweet (basil) and hot. Might have to give the sweet a try.

And yeah, this time I looked at a couple of recipes and thought “yeah! more cheese!!!” and started adding according to the ‘this just feels right’ school of cooking.

Paul

October 15th, 2010
3:03 pm

Bosch – make that a mix of MILD (basil) and hot.

jt

October 15th, 2010
3:04 pm

The Federal Government HAS no money.

RW-(the original)

October 15th, 2010
3:04 pm

Damn, Bosch, you sure must have said a lot in that first comment since my comment was second and I’m being lectured about what the earlier poster said.

Jay B,

I don’t doubt that the hotels and attractions made that complaint and I would rather they applied for a permit to jointly run their own street car project.

I also think it’s a horrific idea to set up a toll structure that is going to cost the taxpayers money. Happy?

Bosch

October 15th, 2010
3:06 pm

Paul,

“and started adding according to the ‘this just feels right’ school of cooking.”

That is the basis of the Bosch World of Cooking — I’m like mad scientist in the kitchen. I use recipes for a guideline (except for baked goods).

Oh, now my world is screaming for something with tomato-meat goodness and mounds of gooey cheese (as Bosch gets all glary eyed with yearning and anticipation).

AngryRedMarsWoman

October 15th, 2010
3:07 pm

I want to know what happened to beaming. Weren’t we promised that by the 21st century we would be able to just beam ourselves wherever we wanted to go? I got the darn “communicator” (cell phone), but what happened to beaming — I would trade the former for the latter. Screw your streetcars and toll lanes….get with the beaming me up and down and over there already.

Paul

October 15th, 2010
3:14 pm

Bosch

If I need clean spirits, I find the best way is to just make sure the cap stays on the bottle. Or drink it with ice. Water doesn’t count as a contaminant, like Coke.

In all fairness, I think the Scalia remark was in response to ‘admire.’ I can see anyone being honest citing Scalia. Or Roberts. Their legal minds are first-rate. But…. I don’t always like their conclusions. But the minds are sharp.

RW-(the original)

October 15th, 2010
3:15 pm

Paul & Bosch,

Did you happen to see Big Bang Theory last night? They had Katee Sackhoff and George Takei being conjured up as kind of a good fantasy/bad fantasy routine.

Shawny

October 15th, 2010
3:18 pm

Why would we want to link the major tourist attractions? Who goes into the city, goes to the aquarium, then goes to GA state or the congress center? Nobody.

I would like to see the marketing surveys that show the true need for such a route. Sounds like another boondoggle.

We do need true transit solutions, but this one sounds like a waste.

Paul

October 15th, 2010
3:20 pm

RW-(the original)

You’re the second one to cite that show to me. I gotta tune in.

BOSCH!!!! Caprica’s restarted!!!

yep

October 15th, 2010
3:23 pm

You’d think they would go the extra few blocks and connect it to the Beltline… right? No, of course not.

Gale

October 15th, 2010
3:26 pm

The few times I’ve been to downtown Atlanta, it was the difficulty in getting from place to place that delayed my next visit. I would like to see a Marta stop closer to a street car stop. Still, it would seriously reduce the walking I did between the places I wanted to visit. Maybe I would even visit those places more often.

Paul

October 15th, 2010
3:27 pm

“connect it to the Beltline”

I heard some Atlantans were kinda big, but…. wow…..

RW-(the original)

October 15th, 2010
3:32 pm

I think Obama has just given up on his Presidency. He says the single best decision he’s made to date is naming Biden his running mate.

Hillbilly Deluxe

October 15th, 2010
3:43 pm

I don’t live there, so I guess it’s none of my business, but I don’t see a whole lot of people riding this thing. And I doubt it will do anything to relieve traffic.

BlahBlahBlah

October 15th, 2010
3:47 pm

Want to guarantee convention and visitor ridership? Put a stop right in front of the Cheetah.

Davey Boy Smith

October 15th, 2010
3:48 pm

I wonder what member of the Ghetto Mafia will steal this money first? What a crock. 5 years from now on, whatever incarnation of the AJC will be doing a story about what happened to the $47 million that Atlanta was given in 2010.

Anyone who thinks this money will fund anything but the corrupt and incompetent idiots who run Atlanta can buy the piece of ocean front property that I have for sale in Macon.

BlahBlahBlah

October 15th, 2010
3:50 pm

And another stop at Magic City, for diversity’s sake.

Southern Comfort

October 15th, 2010
3:59 pm

HD & others

You’d be surprised at how many foreign visitors would probably ride those streetcars. There’s conventions here almost every week or so. There’s people who come to the US to tour the South. Why not try to make Atlanta one of those destinations everybody wants to see instead of just a transit stop to somewhere else?

Scout

October 15th, 2010
4:00 pm

Be sure and factor in enough law enforcement security ………. or it will be known as the “Perp Railroad” !

Scout

October 15th, 2010
4:02 pm

Shawny :

I hear you. It should at least go to the Varsity.

Davey Boy Smith

October 15th, 2010
4:03 pm

That’s awesome Southern Comfort, but the problems is that this project will never actually happen, and if it does, it will just be a half-assed incarnation of what was originally planned. The incompetent and corrupt buffoons who run the City have already been figuring out how to divvy up the money and give the contracts to HJ Russell and the rest of his family.

Southern Comfort

October 15th, 2010
4:07 pm

Davey Boy Smith

If you know so much about HJ Russell, you would know that he does residential construction and real estate development. I don’t think his company lays railroad tracks or does streetcars. Instead of worrying about worst case scenario, why not use that energy to try to ensure best outcome instead?

Bosch

October 15th, 2010
4:09 pm

RW,

Starbuck? Are you serious? I gotta see that — do they have that show on Hulu or something?

Starbuck (sigh…..)

Paul,

“BOSCH!!!! Caprica’s restarted!!!”

Yeah! I know! I watched the first episode though of the new season and had to turn it — it’s really not the show to watch when your mom’s just died, and I wasn’t in too good a mood that night, so I’ll catch up and we can start bugging the crap out of posters again with “Caprica” talk like the good ol’ days. Who knows, maybe we’ll recruit more fans!

But, here’s a question: OK, so the five final models from BG, like they were actually alive like thousands of years before in the context of the show, right? And Boomer and Helo’s daughter, well, she became Mitochondrial Eve, right? So, how is it going to work out with Graystone and Adama’s daughter being Cylons — and are they going to be models, and if the Cylons were invented 60 years prior — well, what’s all that with the Final Five from BG living like thousands of years prior.

I’m confused. I know, shocking, but I am — or are they gonna get to all that.

Davey Boy Smith

October 15th, 2010
4:12 pm

Ha, Southern Comfort, you and I both know that they will have a “Transportation Construction” arm of the business just in time to submit bids for the project. They will come in about 35% higher than the low bid, with about 5 others also lower, yet they will magically secure the bid because of their “transportation construction expertise.”

I would love to to think about the idea of a “best-case” scenario, but have seen so much bumbling crap in my time in Atlanta to know that this will NEVER work out like it should.

It’s a sad reality, but this city is falling further and further behind every day because of the incompetent cronyism. I have really like Reed’s picks for leadership positions so far, but there is so much endemic corruption and ineptitude at all levels of city, county and regional governing bodies, I just cannot imagine anything good ever getting done the right way.

Hopefully this project will prove me wrong, but I will not believe it until I see it.

md

October 15th, 2010
4:13 pm

“jeez… should we start taking bets on how many are going to Go There?”

Why wouldn’t they?? It is a valid concern, unless one hasn’t noticed things aren’t going to well right now.

I understand the concept of build it and they will come, but I also see the risk when they don’t. The State and City are in financial crisis, and putting more on the credit card is awful risky.

md

October 15th, 2010
4:17 pm

“Anyone who thinks this money will fund anything but the corrupt and incompetent idiots who run Atlanta can buy the piece of ocean front property that I have for sale in Macon.”

Best be careful – in today’s litigious society, one is liable to take you up on your offer and then sue for false advertising…………..

Southern Comfort

October 15th, 2010
4:17 pm

Hopefully this project will prove me wrong, but I will not believe it until I see it.

See, it’s not too difficult to be optimistic about things. We should all work to make sure this does not turn into some major fiasco. As Jay’s title and post alludes to, we could be staring at the last good opportunity to show that we are capable of doing something right when given the chance. If we let them screw this up, who’s to say that Atlanta get’s any transportation funding other than what’s mandated in the future at all?

Davey Boy Smith

October 15th, 2010
4:22 pm

If the city would help develop the area around Turner Field, and force the owners of Bedford Pine to give up their slumlord status, the city would be revolutionized.

Of course, if that happened, the quality of people who would move into the city core would no longer stand for the gross mismanagement that is allowed to carry on now.

I thought that I could help out by moving down here, but have just about had all I can take.

Southern Comfort

October 15th, 2010
4:24 pm

City officials have already identified $16 million in funds for capital construction, leaving the project still $9 million short.

RW

Maybe there’s the possibility of a public/private consortium. I think it could work if people put egos aside and worked together to make things work.

Chris

October 15th, 2010
4:29 pm

Worst mistake Atlanta made was tearing out the old streetcar system that used to be in place. Hard to put in place if it isn’t built in.

Jason

October 15th, 2010
4:30 pm

Davey Boy, the city and just about everyone else wants the Peachtree-Pine shelter closed or run by people whose goal is to get the homeless help instead of catering to their own self-destruction. But we live in a nation of laws. The city can’t just walk in and do whatever it wants. If they could, they would have a long time ago. Peachtree-Pine benefits no one except the people who have been in charge of it. It’s a moot point since the shelter building has been foreclosed and it’s just a matter of time before the new owner of the building takes over.

As far as Turner Field goes, somehow I suspect that if the AJC announced tomorrow that the city was getting involved in redeveloping the area around the stadium, you’d be the first on the blog screaming about government interference in the private market and that they city has no business getting involved.

Gerald

October 15th, 2010
4:38 pm

Davey Boy Smith:
.
First of all the city of Atlanta has been redeveloping and tearing down housing projects to attract suburban and high income residents for nearly 20 years, going back to the enterprise zones that Bill Clinton started.

Second, Herman J. Russell does not bid on affirmative action contracts. Also, that company is so big and profitable that starting up a new division just to get a piece of $47 million dollars wouldn’t be worth their time or effort. because they are already making far more than that with their existing business.

Third, the city of Atlanta has taken on projects much larger, more complex, expensive and important than some streetcar trolley initiative and managed them just fine. The city has been running the busiest airport in the world for HOW LONG and you claim that they can’t manage $47 million? Also, the city financial scandals are usually with its own money, tax receipts collected by the city of Atlanta. You’d have to be nuts to try to steal federal transportation dollars, because the feds will already know who they gave the money to and who was responsible for handling it. You’d be writing your own “go straight to jail” card. Again, if the city hasn’t mishandled the hundreds of millions in enterprise zone money that was given by both the Clinton and Bush administrations, and it hasn’t mishandled the bailout money, what makes you think that they would do the same for the streetcar money?

Your race-baiting is simply misinformed.

josef nix

October 15th, 2010
4:40 pm

Before I say anything else, I have a love-hate relationship with Occupied Atlanta. I hate it when I’m here, but there’s nothing quite so beautiful to come home to from somewhere else. The problem with Atlanta is that it is, a Polish immigrant friend called it, “an overgrown crossroads trading village.” It’s the place you change flights or freeways to go someplace else or where you drop in to do a lil bidness and go shopping. There really is nothing much to draw people here for longer than a night of sports or a concert, or a convention filled with convention activities. There’s no place to go and just be…no Vieux Carre, Pike’s Place, Riverwalk or the like. There’s no sense of history since what the world thinks of Atlanta as, Atlanta has done its utmost to obliterate. It torches the Margaret Mitchell house from time to time and getting from your Lenox hotel to the MLK district is an exercise in madness.

And what do I do to “show off” when people come visiting? Take them out I-20 West, turn around and show them that absolutely magnificent view of the skyline or go out to the East MARTA line and bring them back in for that equally magnificent view. Then I tell them welcome to Oz. Then we come back home and have drinks on the front verandah and maybe send out for pizza or may dinner at one of our local neighborhood places–good and solid, but not spectacular…

All in all, a modern day version of a trip to town from the lower 40…no need to stay for more than a day or two at the most…you can see and do it all…a trolley would make it easier to do the one-hour trip about what the Wizards of the Occupation think visitors want to see…

TD

October 15th, 2010
4:44 pm

I guarantee this will be a huge wasted of funds. It doest go anywhere anyone wants to go except to 4 out of 25 of the most dangerous zipcodes in the US.

Southern Comfort

October 15th, 2010
4:50 pm

josef

This could be the groundwork for putting such a place into existence in Atlanta. I agree though, there’s not much to keep people around long.

Paul

October 15th, 2010
4:56 pm

Hi josef nix!

Bosch – you still in?

md

October 15th, 2010
5:00 pm

“Worst mistake Atlanta made was tearing out the old streetcar system that used to be in place.”

Certainly didn’t help turning the history and charm of Underground into a mall either……

RW-(the original)

October 15th, 2010
5:13 pm

Bosch,

Supposedly you can watch it here. Last night’s episode was called The Hot Troll Deviation.

computech

October 15th, 2010
5:16 pm

I applaude Kasim Reed’s efforts and motivation so far. But this project is another example of building an attraction that nobody is interested in.

josef nix

October 15th, 2010
6:02 pm

SoCo
I kinda like the idea of highlighting the Phoenix City concept, myself…this is what came out of the ashes and, really, it ain’t all bad,,,

PAUL
Friday nighting it upstairs!

Lee

October 15th, 2010
6:25 pm

$47 MILLION for a streetcar system to prop up the pathetic King family finances. What an absolute waste of taxpayer money.

Besides, doesn’t a MARTA bus run by each of these facilities on a regular basis? $47 Million would buy a lot of marta tokens, Imathinkin.

Corey

October 15th, 2010
9:33 pm

Please don’t let the folk under gold dome get involved with this. Remember they wrote the legislation which created and guides MARTA, and we all know how it turned out. For all of those screaming “gehtto mafia” etc. do you want Bubba Legislator from South Georgia involved? Don’t hate, Atlanta continues to move forward despite Cobbites et. al. throwing rocks and sneering, booing and hissing. All massive projects Atlanta planned have been successful – more airport runways; the beltline; an international terminal; the HJ mid field terminal built in the eighties. Suck it up naysayers and snuggle up in your cookie cutter sprawling, big box dominated, bland communities. Eccletic will always be in style. Peace.

Booger Presley

October 15th, 2010
9:44 pm

Oh jeesh. These street cars and light rail are just another bottomless money pit. Just more of the taxpayer dollars wasted and all of the name of “going green”.

Some people are just way to gullible.

rooster

October 15th, 2010
11:03 pm

$72 million ($47m fed + $16m city + $9m to be identified). So if an average of 3,945 trips were made per day, at an average fare of $2 per trip, for 25 years, the construction cost would be accounted for, IF daily operation for those 25 years didn’t cost any money at all. So who covers operating costs?
Synching the traffic lights, or making sure there are left-only arrows included in the sequences of all the traffic lights along the whole of Peachtree and in some other key corridors, would cost less and would have a more profound effect on congestion in central Atlanta than any number of streetcars. This project is truly exercise in aesthetics, and not an earnest attempt to improve mobility.

WeAllLose

October 15th, 2010
11:27 pm

Has anyone tried to drive downtown now? The buses are bad enough, but let’s add trolleys. How about a new sewage system? How about fixing the holes, so we can get rid of the iron plates. How about we beef up a police presence around the colleges with all this extra money. This city is a den of theives.

Zeke

October 16th, 2010
12:26 am

No win here except for you leftist agenda nuts! What a waste of money!

Ken

October 16th, 2010
12:27 am

Just a mini AMTRAK.

Drew

October 16th, 2010
1:09 am

“The Downtown Streetcar… from the same great minds that brought you Fanplex!”

marko

October 16th, 2010
6:39 am

Street cars for Atlanta 70 million or so. One day of war in Iraq 720 million or so. Street cars may be a sound investment or a wasteful boondogle. I really don’t know, and neither do you. I do know this for certain. I’d rather see my tax dollars building Atlanta than bombing places I never heard of. Given the choice of street cars or body bags I’d prefer the later.

Enoch

October 16th, 2010
6:51 am

Take from other taxpayers to buy a bauble for downtown. If Atlanta wants a streetcar, why should the federal government pay for it? Is the federal government just a giant piggybank for projects that cities won’t fund for themselves?

detroit

October 16th, 2010
7:08 am

Bosch, you have to understand, we don’t want something that will allow “those people” easier access to be moved around. Don’t you watch the news? They cause almost all the trouble. This thing will look like hell in 5 years, just wait.

ken R

October 16th, 2010
9:22 am

Jay, I’m glad to see that you support Governor also. Being from Michigan all I can say is that Detroit removed their Streetcars around 50 years ago. Then they built the people mover in hopes that it would connect businesses like they want to do in Atlanta, and it sure doesn’t pay for itself.

I just think that the money could be better spent.

Brian

October 16th, 2010
9:55 am

What an absolute waste of money.

REPUBLICAN HATER!!!

October 16th, 2010
11:04 am

Atlanta first need to do something with its horrible image downtown first and put more cops everywhere making folks feel safe..then the rest will follow ,get rid of street thugs,homeless bums ,the urine infested smell down thier..make it inviting and cozy like beautiful downtown cosmopolitan Seattle..instead this strreet car will only be a bandaid and will not fix the problems ..i do believe at this point Atlanta is just a new version of Detroit with the crime,horrible economic outlook,poor infrastructure..we need a mayor with a vision and folks around him with a vision…until that happens …FOLKS WELCOME TO THE NEW DETROIT DOWN SOUTH…TAKE PRECAUTIONS

ken R

October 16th, 2010
11:32 am

Repub. Hater, while I don’t hate Repubs, your description of Detroit is right on. If our Govt. local & Fed. really wanted to clean up our cities they would make the punishment so hard that people would be afraid to commit the crimes.

The Ghost of Lester Maddox

October 16th, 2010
12:27 pm

JayBama:

Keeping with the full-disclosure and transparency that YOU require of politicians,

1. HOW MUCH MONEY – AND FROM WHOM – is the AJC receiving (directly or thru parent companies) from political advertising?

2. WHAT CONTRIBUTIONS – AND TO WHOM – have YOU, JayBama Bookman, author of many, many articles on many politicians running on Nov. 2nd….HOW MUCH and TO WHOM have YOU, JayBama, contributed (whether cash or in kind)?

Do….you…understand…the…questions…this…time?

Why so shy when the sword of accountability is turned UPON YOU?

Jay

October 16th, 2010
1:04 pm

Lester:

1.) I have no idea. Cox Enterprises, the AJC’s owner, also owns cable TV systems, radio stations, TV stations and other newspapers around the country, all of which run paid political advertisements for a variety of causes, parties and candidates. That’s what they do — they sell ad time and ad space to people willing to buy it.

2.) I make no contributions whatsoever.

Over the years, my wife has made occasional small donations — all in the double-digit range, as far as I know — and certainly low enough to stay beneath the threshold of household financial expenditures that would require our mutual consent. While I’m not comfortable even with those few small donations, she reminds me that she is an adult professional with the right to make such decisions.

I do not chose to argue that point.

Does that satisfy your need for transparency, sir?

janet

October 16th, 2010
1:38 pm

If done well this could be a great boon for downtown Atlanta. Tourism is the single largest generator of income in the world. Atlanta has many large conventions and meetings and this may attract even more because of the “charm” of the streetcar and what they will connect. Now if we could just improve Underground (make it a class act ) then Atlanta might just be a destination for tourists not just convention goers.

John Galt Jr.

October 16th, 2010
5:55 pm

Another huge waste of money.

John Galt Jr.

October 16th, 2010
5:56 pm

Hell, MARTA can’t even pay for itself.

David S

October 16th, 2010
6:12 pm

What a complete waste of money. Only the government would pay for this crap. No private business in their right mind or even group of private businesses would be stupid enough to flush this kind of money down the toilet that is Atlanta transit.

Just remember this kind of project when the country collapses, the dollar collapses, and all the parasites are without a viable host to feed from anymore.

David

October 16th, 2010
8:31 pm

Typical Atlanta thinking, lets make it easier to get those from one ghetto to another ghetto. Mass transportation will not provide a benefit by moving people who don’t have cars around the city. Bringing masses of people into and out of the city en mass is the purpose of mass transit and the only way to reduce the number of automobiles on the road and their emissions. As long as Atlanta continues to cater to people who see race as a reason to fail and to justify their poverty, it will never be more than a city that once was.

Confused

October 16th, 2010
8:58 pm

Why do people in metro Atlanta begrudge their core city so much and want to see nothing but failure for the City of Atlanta? Why do some revel and delight in any and all bad news coming from the city? Will somebody please help me understand? Is this unique to Atlanta or are all core cities under constant attack by their suburban rings? Is the local media responsible by taking any and every morsel of disappointing news coming from the city and running it morning, noon and night day after day without end until any small story is perceived as several big stories?

Corey

October 16th, 2010
9:13 pm

David, is Cent. Olympic Park a ghetto? Everytime I visit there, which is often, I see a vibrant, clean, family- friendly park bustling with giddy kids delighting in the fountain of rings and people from all parts of the nation and world taking in the atractions that surrond the park. A quick ride on a streetcar would be better than smelling the horses that trot along that route on the way to the park don’t you think?

mmm, mmm, mmm, Barack the Liar Obama - BEND OVER, Here comes the CHANGE!

October 16th, 2010
9:37 pm

It is NOT the taxpayers job to finance this (show me in the Constitution where this is what our forefathers meant….you are a MORON if you think it is. mmm, mmm, mmm……

rooster

October 16th, 2010
10:55 pm

The “New Detroit Down South” idea ignores the obvious differences. Among large urban areas with large minority populations, Detroit and Atlanta are almost perfect opposites. Detroit is a city that is 85% black, surrounded by suburban counties that are 85% white. The Detroit metro area is the most residentially segregated major metro in the nation**. There are blocks and blocks of Detroit, and I mean close to downtown, where homes were burned in 1967 and never rebuilt. Detroit has none of the middle class revival other inner cities saw over the last 10 or 15 years. Atlanta, on the other hand, is a city with a growing white population, surrounded by suburbs with growing minority populations. Among large metro areas that are 20 or more percent black, Atlanta and Washington, are the least residentially segregated** (that’s right, less so than New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, St Louis, etc.). In metro Atlanta, the city and its close-in suburbs are going to continue to grow more alike. With all our issues, and Lord knows we have them, we are stumbling in the right direction, which is more than can be said for lots of other big multiracial cities. So the Detroit analogy is not just wrong; it is exactly wrong; diametrically wrong; wrong to the 180th degree.
To your point, David, the time is coming – it maybe the next mayoral election – when race will not be an asset in and of itself in citywide elections. The city’s demographics will not allow it. Look at the last mayoral – a 700-vote spread citywide.
(**Residential segregation comparisons from study of the 2000 Census by the Lewis Mumford Center at the State University of New York. The study showed a pronounced correlation between the relative size of black populations within metro areas, and the degree to which those populations were residentially isolated. The two exceptions were Washington and Atlanta, which had the two highest black percentages but were not in the ten most segregated. )

TjAtl

October 16th, 2010
11:22 pm

Jay, you’re absolutely right that this will come down to the City’s ability to pony up.

The City has “received” substantial grants before, but couldn’t get their act together to do their part, so the money was forfeited. In those cases, it was less about coming up with the matching dollars and more about not being able or willing to do their part of the paperwork and due diligence.

A great many of these grants are awarded largely due to the (unpaid) efforts of private citizens. But when it comes time that the only people who are authorized to submit the required documents / agreements / etc. are City officials, that will be the deciding factor as to whether this gets done. We have stood by helplessly in the past as the City dithers to the point that the grants expire.

As a City resident, I would appreciate it if the AJC could keep tabs on whether the City fulfills its end of this. It does not have an impressive track record.

Grob Hahn

October 17th, 2010
7:01 am

Seems like this would be more valuable if it went toward Buckhead. Linking all the “Tourist” areas would be fine if they didn’t involve the ghetto tour. But, it IS Atlanta and we have to show our ugly side off as well I guess.
Grobbbbbbbb

Andy

October 17th, 2010
10:09 am

Could the streetcar plan be modified to include a loop down to Turner Field? I think that would be a useful and much-used addition to the plan.

Booger Presley

October 17th, 2010
12:03 pm

Stupid idea backed by stupid people.

Booger Presley

October 17th, 2010
12:09 pm

Confused. The reason is Atl City Govt is chock full of corruption, incompetence, theives, employee pilferage, stupidity. The employees dont know a from b and they are so arrogant ya cant tell them anything, because they know everything.

Atlanta was once a shining star and now it has become a big stinky ghetto full of ignorance, players and gamers.

Comfused

October 17th, 2010
12:42 pm

Booger, well, what’s the excuse under the gold dome?

Booger Presley

October 17th, 2010
2:42 pm

u asked, u were told, u can accept or not.

Lee McKenzie

October 17th, 2010
5:24 pm

Is there not already a Marta Bus route serves this proposed route?