Transit investment a necessity for metro Atlanta

Based on the draft list approved earlier this month, 55 percent of the Atlanta region’s proposed transportation sales tax would be used to support mass transit, a fact that has generated considerable grumbling in some quarters.

Benita Dodd of the Georgia Public Policy Foundation, a conservative think tank, points out that just 5 percent of commuters in metro Atlanta regularly ride a bus or rail system, concluding that with its emphasis on transit, “the project list ignores this reality.”

State Sen. Lindsey Tippins, R-Cobb County, believes the list should favor road projects that deliver more immediate relief than longer-term transit projects. State Rep. Sharon Cooper, also a Cobb Republican, argues that the bond between Southerners and their cars is so strong that transit might not work here.

All in all, there’s a sense among many in metro Atlanta that transit is somehow experimental and untested and represents too much of a risk. I’d argue that the exact opposite is true. The real gamble, the real experiment, would be in refusing to make major investments in transit.

Look at who we are. According to the 2010 Census, the 20-county metro Atlanta region has grown to 5.3 million people, an increase of 1 million over the 2000 Census. By 2030 — less than 20 years from now — the region is predicted to host 7.4 million people, which by any measure makes us a major metropolitan region.

So here’s a challenge: Name a major metropolitan region anywhere in the industrialized world that has not made or is not making a major investment in transit. I’m aware of none.

Some people might challenge that claim by pointing to the example of Los Angeles. However, given that region’s severe problems with congestion and air quality, I’m not sure that helps the anti-transit case much. And the truth is, Los Angeles is now trying to hard to retrofit itself, adding subways, light rail and high-speed rail to its auto-centric system.

In addition, Los Angeles already boasts an extensive bus system. According to a new study by the Brookings Institution, Los Angeles ranks second in the country in the percentage of its population within reach of mass transit, behind only Honolulu. Metro Atlanta ranks 82nd out of 100 U.S. metro areas in that category, and most of the areas ranked below Atlanta, such as Chattanooga, Augusta and Baton Rouge, are considerably smaller.

In every human endeavor, changes in scale force changes in systems. In business, for example, small companies are forced to go outside their comfort zones and adopt new ways of doing things as they grow. The systems that worked when you have 10 employees or 100 employees don’t work when you have a payroll of 1,000. The same is true of metro regions. If metro Atlanta chooses to try to grow without a major investment in transit, it takes a course that no other region on the planet has found workable.

Furthermore, the transportation sales tax is our only feasible source of transit investment. Under Georgia’s constitution, revenue from the state’s gasoline tax is restricted to use for roads and bridges and can’t be used to fund transit. The Legislature has made it clear that it has no stomach for altering that provision, and it is even less likely to fund transit directly through general revenues.

(In fact, state leaders are so fearful of transit and taxes that earlier this month, they balked at moving the date of the transportation referendum to an allegedly more favorable date, lest they be accused of supporting such a noxious combination.)

It’s also important to remember that gasoline-tax revenue will continue to be earmarked for construction of highway projects, such as the proposed new toll lanes on I-75 through Cobb County. Taking those projects into account, total transportation spending in the metro region would continue to be weighted toward asphalt over transit.

– Jay Bookman

456 comments Add your comment

USinUK

August 30th, 2011
7:22 am

“Benita Dodd of the Georgia Public Policy Foundation, a conservative think tank, points out that just 5 percent of commuters in metro Atlanta regularly ride a bus or rail system, concluding that with its emphasis on transit, “the project list ignores this reality.” ”

that doesn’t surprise me – these are the same people who underfund government agencies – like food inspection – then say that it doesn’t work / isn’t fit for purpose.

of course Atlanta rail isn’t used more – it was never funded enough to be where people wanted to go!

stands for decibels

August 30th, 2011
7:31 am

55 percent of the Atlanta region’s proposed transportation sales tax would be used to support mass transit, a fact that has generated considerable grumbling in some quarters.

In a sane world, the grumbling ’round these parts would be on account of 55% being not nearly high enough.

Name a major metropolitan region anywhere in the industrialized world that has not made or is not making a major investment in transit.

But we don’t live in a sane world, and I already can hear the variations on the brilliant “But Jay, American Exceptionalism. And stuff!” argument so often provided in response to such challenges.

ByteMe

August 30th, 2011
7:31 am

If metro Atlanta chooses to try to grow without a major investment in transit, it takes a course that no other region on the planet has found workable.

Faith-based transit planning.

Midori

August 30th, 2011
7:32 am

of course Atlanta rail isn’t used more – it was never funded enough to be where people wanted to go!

in a nutshell, US…………

Good Little Liberal

August 30th, 2011
7:32 am

I wasn’t aware that MARTA was overcrowded.

The roads are.

Jack

August 30th, 2011
7:33 am

Atlanta rail would be used more if the riders were not afraid of being mugged.

Jay

August 30th, 2011
7:35 am

Jack, the odds of getting killed on the highway are probably 1,000 times higher than on MARTA. I’ve ridden MARTA almost daily for 20 years and never had a problem.

I’m thinking your problems lie elsewhere.

Good Little Liberal

August 30th, 2011
7:38 am

Wow. Liberals are stuborn. We aren’t using it now, so lets tax the crap out of everybody in an economy that is hurting just about everyone to spend more money on a syatem that simply doesn’t need to be expanded, but our highways are packed to the gills.

TO THE BANDWAGON!!!

ByteMe

August 30th, 2011
7:39 am

I wasn’t aware that MARTA was overcrowded.

The roads are.

You’re right, we should pave everywhere and then just draw lines where we want the lanes to go. Gotta love the future! :roll:

Chris

August 30th, 2011
7:41 am

Good luck getting Cobb county voters to support this. We’re stuck with failures like the Cobb County commissioners who recently CUT the bus service so that they could funnel more money to their cronies in the road building industry. Crooks!

Murph

August 30th, 2011
7:44 am

Yes the problem lies elsewhere and it’s the kind no one will admit to or will vehemently deny when brought forth. Summed up… “I’d prefer not to use transit because I don’t want to ride with “those people”

ByteMe

August 30th, 2011
7:44 am

We aren’t using it now, so lets tax the crap out of everybody in an economy that is hurting just about everyone to spend more money on a syatem that simply doesn’t need to be expanded, but our highways are packed to the gills.

So many things wrong in one sentence. Dissecting this mess:

We aren’t using it now

…and poll after poll shows that if it had a wider range, people further out would gladly use it.

so lets tax the crap out of everybody in an economy that is hurting just about everyone

Unemployment amongst those whose normal salary is in the $100K+ range is about 2%. This recession is not hurting “just about everyone”, but it is hurting those without an education.

to spend more money on a syatem that simply doesn’t need to be expanded

Again, back to those polls that show that people further outside the perimeter would love for it to be expanded out to them so that they can get out of their cars and have a relaxing commute.

but our highways are packed to the gills.

So more highways — which also have high cost and require taxpayer subsidy to continue to operate — is somehow the only answer you got? Considering everything else in your nonsense, it’s not surprising that you got to this conclusion.

Good Little Liberal

August 30th, 2011
7:44 am

ByteMe

Gotta love reality. The future I fear is the one that spends less and less on education to fund projects that few people want.

ByteMe

August 30th, 2011
7:47 am

The future I fear is the one that spends less and less on education to fund projects that few people want.

Ok, at least this is a reasonable concern. However, roads cost, trains cost. Everything has a cost. And it’s not an either-or unless your state politicians decide that that’s the trade-off they want to give you. We — as a state and as a nation — are capable of doing more than one thing at a time… if we choose to.

Bosch

August 30th, 2011
7:48 am

GLL

I’d argue that wingnuts Re the stubborn ones. As we just saw there if imaginary fear of THOSE people, it’s the excuse we always hear, but it is just that, an excuse. Mass transit is one of those “if you build it, they will come” things.

AmVet

August 30th, 2011
7:48 am

According to our esteemed armchair sociologists here, based on his bigoted inference about certain elements of society, Jack must be a Democrat.

LOL.

Hope he and his neighbors enjoy their grinding, gridlocked commute everyday.

Midori

August 30th, 2011
7:49 am

well, if we could tax ignorance we’d make a killing off GLL alone.

Good Little Liberal

August 30th, 2011
7:51 am

ByteMe

“People” will? How many people? So people making over $100,000 have jobs. Wow. Really? I thopught they were getting that kind of money out of the tree in their backyard. But lets go with that. Of the people making that kind of money, how many ride the bus? A few ride the train, if they can get to their job at the other end without having to spend hours of that $100,000 a year time. And that’s the problem. Mass transit works in incredibly densely populated areas, which Atlanta ain’t.

Let’s fix the problem and wait a few year on windmill powered cars and other pie in the sky nonsense.

ByteMe

August 30th, 2011
7:52 am

if we could tax ignorance we’d make a killing off GLL alone.

Unnecessary slam.

His concern is valid, given the way our politicians govern around here. His conclusions are wrong, but his concern is most definitely warranted.

Midori

August 30th, 2011
7:52 am

GLL – You’re stuck on that bridge to the 19th century.

Gotta go put food on my family.

Later all………

Good Little Liberal

August 30th, 2011
7:54 am

Hey Democrat Bigots. Who brought up race here? Try to pull your head out of your rear and read my posts before trying your ignorant little best at hating the poster that you don’t agree with.

Democrats are obsessed with race, and considering what you consistantly vote for, YOU are the ones that should be ashamed of yourselves.

Steve

August 30th, 2011
7:55 am

Chris, you’re right on the money. Good luck getting Gwinnett county voters to support this nonsense too. One need not look very far to find the level of corruption surrounding the Gwinnett BOC, GCPS, and the sweetheart land deals. All of these whiners and complainers of traffic? MOVE! Pack up your belongings, and move within a closer proximity of where you work and quit trying to get the rest of the general population to subsidize your need/desire to commute from point A to point B on a crowded path. It was your decision to live here and work there or vice versa. Actions have consequences. Deal with it!

Normal

August 30th, 2011
7:55 am

I would love to see a MARTA station in Woodstock.

Good Little Liberal

August 30th, 2011
7:55 am

ByteMe

Stuck in the 19th cenrtury? Actually mass transit worked pretty well in the 19th century. Now, not so much.

Thomas

August 30th, 2011
7:56 am

All sounds good as it should. The issue (i.e. elephant in the room) is with gov’t at the helm we will have MARTA part deaux- a lot of “bridges to nowhere” with fees/tolls/taxes that never end (see 400 toll).

USMC

August 30th, 2011
7:57 am

I agree with you Jay that we definitely need to expand the rail line, BUT let’s get some COMPETENT (non-racially political) people involved. Diversity doesn’t just mean black.

When I lived in LA, I was shocked that you could see rail lines covered up on all of the streets. Evidently the Auto/Tire lobby had the city rid itself of streetcars and rail lines. What a shameful waste. You could ride the streetcar from Downtown LA to Santa Monica(Beach city) via streetcar back in the day.

I also don’t here you ever mention the WASTED project for a streetcar down Auburn Ave from downtown to the MLK center. Is that really the best use of a streetcar for Atlanta?? What about putting the streetcar down the main artery of Atlanta; Peachtree Road from Buckhead to Downtown??
I am sure you won’t mention it because it goes against your Leftwing-Socialist/Marxist political and philosophical training :-)
By the way, I was down at the Yacht Club the other night looking for the Inman Park, Bookman Blog crowd; ready to buy a few Sweetwater 420’s.

Good Little Liberal

August 30th, 2011
7:57 am

ByteMe

That post was actually for Midori. Sorry.

Guy Incognito

August 30th, 2011
7:58 am

Why not have a voluntary MARTA fund? You libs can pay $50 per ride, 1-way. Use that $ to expand.

“I’d prefer not to use transit because I don’t want to ride with “those people”

Not sure what this means because every commercial that I see involving public transit always shows it packed with white folk. (And only white males break into homes in EVERY home security commercial)

ByteMe

August 30th, 2011
7:58 am

I’ll agree that the people at the higher end of the economic spectrum are not riding the bus that much. But they are most definitely riding the train if their commute is along the same paths as the trains. And the ones at the lower end need the busses in order to get to their jobs, so taking that away further hurts their situation.

Mass transit works in incredibly densely populated areas

Roads also work well in incredibly densely populated areas, just like bicycles do. But only if that’s where you want to go. Otherwise, they don’t work well at all. So laying more asphalt is just as effective for that issue as laying rail lines.

And, you’re right: let’s fix the real problem, which is too many people spending too much time on roads instead of having alternative ways to get to their jobs.

I think there should be an employer tax credit for moving people to 80% telecommuting.

Good Little Liberal

August 30th, 2011
7:59 am

Midori

Still putting food on your family.. I think I have found your problem.

carlosgvv

August 30th, 2011
8:02 am

“gasoline-tax revenue will continue to be earmarked for construction of highway projects”

Once our taxes disappear into the political black hole, they can and will be used by the politicians for their pet pork projects. There is no way those of us outside of the political system can ensure these taxes are “earmarked”. Because of this, you can hardly blame us for resisting any new transit taxes.

USMC

August 30th, 2011
8:05 am

Why is it that anytime I mention $weetw@ter 420 (like @7:57am), my comment gets flagged for moderation?
I thought that was your beer Bookman.

Steve

August 30th, 2011
8:09 am

Remember the Clayton County Bus Service? You know, the one that was shut down because it was substantially underfunded and didn’t have sufficient riders to sustain it? Super SPLOST is supposed to provide some $100M of $182 to restart the service. This is yet another example of how we continue to throw good money after bad. MOVE!

Murph

August 30th, 2011
8:12 am

GLL thanks for proving my point for me with your 7:54. Curious…what is it we “consistently vote for”?

I'm Rick James Wa-Itch!

August 30th, 2011
8:12 am

Who needs Mass transit when we can have more smog and congestion? More smog means more people with lung problems – more doctors to treat problems, WIN.

Stop trying to hurt America with trifling issues like mass transit. We don’t need no stinking mass transit, we need more cars, more highways, less trees, less clean air and more pavement to make Atlanta work.

JohnnyReb

August 30th, 2011
8:12 am

Not enough for roads and heavy North of I-20. Another shinning example of two Georgias. I hope it fails.

Good Little Liberal

August 30th, 2011
8:14 am

ByteMe

I understand what you are saying but it is just a matter of money spend – where? I would have loved to ride the train when I was in Atlanta, but it simply didn’t go where I wanted to go.

Adam

August 30th, 2011
8:15 am

But the budget! We need cuts! Spending cuts and tax cuts! It’s the only wayyyyyyy! (whine)

I'm Rick James Wa-Itch!

August 30th, 2011
8:15 am

If more people telecommute then how are the bosses gonna know if they’re really working? This is the south, we NEED overseers to make it work. You want the bosses to actually TRUST the people they hired to do their work without standing over them and micromanaging? Wow! You must be from the North.

Hootinanny Yum Yum

August 30th, 2011
8:16 am

Judging by the comments, it would appear are the liberals are telecommuting, already at work or texting from their smart phones whilst using mass transit.

The lazy, unemployed conservative posters must be on their way to work, stuck in the gridlock.

AmVet

August 30th, 2011
8:17 am

Yep, right on cue, the racist Republican rubber-stamper rallies to the cause. (It’s what they do for each other.)

And will forever play stupid about Jack’s inference “Atlanta rail would be used more if the riders were not afraid of being mugged.”

And I suppose there is the one in a million chance that jack was referring to white muggers. Because certainly he would not mean those other people of darker persuasions! Right?

Other than the intentionally delusional rabid right wingers, who are we kidding here?

Shameless…

Doggone/GA

August 30th, 2011
8:18 am

“Why is it that anytime I mention $weetw@ter 420 (like @7:57am), my comment gets flagged for moderation”

Because it as “tw@t” in the middle of it.

Steve

August 30th, 2011
8:18 am

Hey Rick, we can just expedite the lung problems…you know, along with the smokes, the crystal meth, and wash it down with a cold one, or hot if we don’t have any ice! Gotta get our fix! If you MOVE, all of the transit problems and all of the smog problems will fix themselves.

Jm

August 30th, 2011
8:19 am

I say you’re both right

We need transit and new toll lanes that are additional capacity

Jay

August 30th, 2011
8:19 am

I do like that beer, USMC. There’s a certain four-letter combination that begins after SWEE that the automated bluenose doesn’t appreciate.

Good Little Liberal

August 30th, 2011
8:21 am

While we are talking about race, Democrats:

MARTA: The perfect cause for Democrats.

Democrats to poor mostly Black people in Atlanta: We’re taking care of you. We give you those big old buses with those nice plastic seats so you can come out to Buckhead and clean our houses. So tell me Democrats. Are the buses all you deem that Black people need? I would think that if you walked on board any bus in Atlanta and ask who would rather be driving, you might see a few hands going up. This self rightousness is sickening. If you really want to help poor people, stop declaring war on private industry and try to bring real jobs back in the city. Let people have the resources to decide for themselves whether they want to ride the bus.

I'm Rick James Wa-Itch!

August 30th, 2011
8:24 am

By golly Steve you are right!! All the people who use the transit systems have to do is MOVE to be closer to their jobs…what a brilliant idea!! Then, when they get laid off, (because of Obama’s bad economy you understand); then they’ll just have to move again to be closer to their new job OR they can do like Dorothy did.

Close their eyes, click their heels and say “There’s no place like home, there’s no place like home…..”

You’ve got a winner there boy-o — a sure winner!

USMC

August 30th, 2011
8:24 am

“I do like that beer, USMC. There’s a certain four-letter combination that begins after SWEE that the automated bluenose doesn’t appreciate.”–Jay

Thanks Jay, I was starting to get a little defensive for my favorite brew :-)

ByteMe

August 30th, 2011
8:25 am

I would have loved to ride the train when I was in Atlanta, but it simply didn’t go where I wanted to go.

It goes certain places — mostly in-town and the airport — and not others. Where I live now, it’s only good for ballgames and when I travel… otherwise, it’s of no use to me, but I work at home. When I lived in Marietta, I would have LOVED to have had it for everytime I had to visit my client that’s right next to the Oakland City station. Much better than telling him that I couldn’t get there unless I arrived before 7:00 or after 9:30.

If we fund it — just like the way we fund roads — it can go most anywhere we want. It just takes some willpower to decide that roads are not going to ever keep up with the future and try something else that will.

Jm

August 30th, 2011
8:26 am

Everyone who denies that argues transit is underused because it doesn’t go enough places undermines their credibility

The fact is transit in ine form or another goes most places in Atlanta

People choose not to use it because it is less efficient

One can still argue that transit CAN be a smart investment, but I is not a fait accompli

ByteMe

August 30th, 2011
8:27 am

We give you those big old buses with those nice plastic seats so you can come out to Buckhead and clean our houses.

Wow. Just wow. How 1950’s… and I don’t mean that in a good way.

Union

August 30th, 2011
8:27 am

mass transit isnt a bad idea.. just getting ppl to use it is a different story all together. living in LA for a few years and working downtown i had the option of using it, i still drove my car.. (did carpool with another) problem for me was time.. a couple of my office mates had to leave an hour before i did just to catch a series of buses to get to the office and typically got home well after i did.

N-GA

August 30th, 2011
8:27 am

I have to wonder what these critics would have said when Eisenhower launched the Interstate Highway system. It was expensive, but it created jobs and connected America in a way that no other country could match. The motel industry boomed as did tourism, long-haul trucking, etc.

Of course Americans were much more willing to pay for the things they bought back then. The highest Federal Income Tax rate was 91%. Whoa! Imagine that! But the economy was expanding under that oppressive tax burden. The US dollar was respected. And Eddie Haskell was a budding Republican.

Adam

August 30th, 2011
8:27 am

Midori: Gotta go put food on my family.

o.O

stands for decibels

August 30th, 2011
8:29 am

Knock me over with a feather. an hour-plus later, and nobody here who’s opposed to mass transit funding has a response to Jay’s challenge…

Name a major metropolitan region anywhere in the industrialized world that has not made or is not making a major investment in transit.

I figured someone would play the Exceptionalism card. So disappointed.

Jm

August 30th, 2011
8:30 am

May I also say: the windbags in the GA legislature need to raise the gas tax to pay for more and better roads

Keep Up the Good Fight!

August 30th, 2011
8:30 am

Mass transit for our city and bullet trains between cities are needed. Ad pointed out by AmVet, if the system is built it throughout the metro area and coordinated with local transit, people will use it.

I'm Rick James Wa-Itch!

August 30th, 2011
8:30 am

Well no one wants to hear this but GLL is right — most people riding the bus WOULD like to be driving….however, there’s this thing called “can’t afford” that’s probably getting in their way.

GLL probably hasn’t heard of “can’t affordD” because he/she lives in an alternate reality that’s far removed from the every day bus rider, so he/she just couldn’t understand that cars’ upkeep, insurance, etc. costs money. And although many would like to have a car, that old “can’t afford” screws them every time.

But other than that GLL had it right on the nose.

Road Scholar

August 30th, 2011
8:31 am

“… the list should favor road projects that deliver more immediate relief than longer-term transit projects”

That is what is wrong with Atlanta and Georgia…No long range planning! What happens when the price of gas goes up due to continued world growth and usage? Doesn’t transit increase in being a solution?

I know “Drill baby dril”l is the mantra, but do you really think that new home produced oil will be kept off the world market?Sold to the highest bidder? Supply and demand?

If we can raise our transit usage up to 10 % or higher, then we can reduce congestion. Build more roads, and they will just fill up.GDOT has done a study that looked at I 285 operations when new lanes are added. In short, it showed I 285 would remain clogged because vehicles/motorists on surface streets would divirt to the “wider” I 285, thus maintaining congestion.

Adam

August 30th, 2011
8:32 am

Has anyone bothered to point out that the correlation between poor and not poor has very little to do with race?

Paul

August 30th, 2011
8:32 am

Nice how the officials’ arguments go right down the list:

” Cars aren’t that reliable and people don’t o far in them so why build a highway system?”

“Short-term profits over long-term competition”

“You can have my car when you pry my cold, dead fingers off the steering wheel”

Granny Godzilla

August 30th, 2011
8:34 am

This makes me think of that great Rachel Maddow commercial for MSNBC…she’s standing in front of the Hoover Damn talking about what America has been able to in the past.

A top tier transit system in the Atlanta Metroplex would be an achievement we could all point to with pride and an investment in our future.

I for one think there is no better investment than the United States of America.

Jm

August 30th, 2011
8:35 am

Transit is so political

The trains on the beltline won’t have nearly enough riders and will be white elephants unless all the adjacent land is upzoned to very high density

Its just going to be a pretty toy through some parks and nice neighborhoods

USinUK

August 30th, 2011
8:36 am

“There’s a certain four-letter combination that begins after SWEE that the automated bluenose doesn’t appreciate.”

:lol:

the bot is delicate and swoons easily

I'm Rick James Wa-Itch!

August 30th, 2011
8:37 am

Drill baby drill and pave baby pave!!

Who needs trees!?!

Adam

August 30th, 2011
8:37 am

Granny: I for one think there is no better investment than the United States of America.

You think America is Exceptional? Wow! I guess everyone was wrong to call you a lib. Because libs don’t think that…. or something.

Jay

August 30th, 2011
8:38 am

GLL, what a bunch of absolute nonsense, on a number of points.

First, a good chunk of the transit money in question will be going to extend the service to the suburbs, where it is needed more. The days of sprawl are over. In fact, the old model — low-income people living intown, more affluent in the suburbs — is in the process of reversing itself. Take a look at what property values have done, just as one indicator. At this point, transit is more important to the health of outlying areas than it is to the core.

Second, black communities are themselves pressing hard for more transit, not less. The South DeKalb area, for example, warned the Transportation Roundtable that they would organize a vote-no campaign unless it invested more heavily in transit for South DeKalb. That isn’t outsiders imposing something on them. That is people deciding for themselves, and petitioning the system to get what they want.

Third, the sentiment you express just drips with condescension. It is based on the idea that black communities and voters just can’t see what is good for them, while you can. And while you can tell them just how much you worry and are concerned about them, they can come here and see for
themselves the sentiments that some of their fellow Americans express about them.

You have no clue.

Democratic Plantation Dweller

August 30th, 2011
8:39 am

I don’t understand…it’s the government’s job to provide me with transportation!

JohnnyReb

August 30th, 2011
8:39 am

There’s nothing great about Rachel Maddow. The first time I saw her in a commercial, I was trying to figure out – who is that boy?

USMC

August 30th, 2011
8:39 am

“Has anyone bothered to point out that the correlation between poor and not poor has very little to do with race?”–ADAM

That’s an interesting statement, Adam.
Do you have statistics to back your statement up for the metro Atlanta area.
(not trying to be snarky, just curious)

Granny Godzilla

August 30th, 2011
8:40 am

Adam

Of course America is exceptional!

Not perfect, but we’re still trying.

Granny Godzilla

August 30th, 2011
8:42 am

johnnyreb

if you look at Ms. Maddow and think she looks like a boy – you sir have some serious gender issues….and i would hope you stay away from boys…

Adam

August 30th, 2011
8:42 am

JohnnyReb: There’s nothing great about Rachel Maddow. The first time I saw her in a commercial, I was trying to figure out – who is that boy?

This is perhaps the most bigoted and closed-minded statement I have seen today. So thanks for that.

Jm

August 30th, 2011
8:43 am

Jay one can hope you’re right

But it is also possible, rather likely actually, that most of Atlanta is just too low density to support transit

It’s a city planning problem, and density can’t be changed except over a very long horizon, and the very long arm of the law has made otherwise organic growth and densification impossible

Witness Wayne masons attempt to put high rise condos on the beltline

U can’t have suburbs and transit, they are incompatible

And government and outspoken minorities are too rigid too fix this

Adam

August 30th, 2011
8:43 am

USMC: I could point to how more white people by percentage are on welfare than black people. Would that help?

Common Sense

August 30th, 2011
8:43 am

Mass transit is a product that is only remotely attractive during the time frame called rush hour.

At all other times, your private transit will always be faster, and simpler.

And no matter now much you spend, you cannot overcome the efficiency of the direct routes you can take compared to the routes mass transit will take.

Fulton County has had MARTA since inception. Let’s see you mass transit fans take a bus from Palmetto to Johns Creek, and tell us about your experience. That should take about 4 hours of your day, one way.

And that is just in one county.

Jay

August 30th, 2011
8:44 am

Plantation Dweller thinks he’s so cute. Gee, I wonder why black voters are turned off by conservatives, huh?

Plantation Dweller would rather the government use the money to build him roads. Because of course, somehow that ISN’T government giving him transportation.

Bosch

August 30th, 2011
8:44 am

Who brought up race GLL? Um, why that would be YOU!

I'm Rick James Wa-Itch!

August 30th, 2011
8:44 am

Do you have statistics to back your statement up for the metro Atlanta area.

You know sometimes I’m in awe of the level of,ummmmmmm, confusion that exists on these blogs.

Someone can make a statement (and it was a really good statement Adam), that is true — however someone else can come up with a question that makes the poster of the question seem, ummmmmmmmmmm, hmmmmmmmm,how can i say this delicately? “special”.

Yes sir, it always amazes me.

Adam

August 30th, 2011
8:44 am

Jm: U can’t have suburbs and transit, they are incompatible

……..

Jay

August 30th, 2011
8:46 am

Suburbs and transit are incompatible, jm?

Really.

Let’s go to any major metro area in the industrialized world, jm, and I will show you suburbs served by transit and happy to have it.

Jm

August 30th, 2011
8:48 am

Someone go tell Ansley Park their whole neighborhood is going to be upzoned to mixed use commercial and multifamily in order to provide enough ridership to support the beltline and see what happens.

Hoooheeee

USinUK

August 30th, 2011
8:49 am

jm – (from downstairs):

rebut – to oppose by contrary proof

I wasn’t opposing him – I wasn’t saying that the calculation DIDN’T change. I was saying that the calculation changed for good reason.

I'm Rick James Wa-Itch!

August 30th, 2011
8:49 am

U can’t have suburbs and transit, they are incompatible

And government and outspoken minorities are too rigid too fix this

Yes sir, more of those amazing “special” people! Gotta love ‘em!

aps

August 30th, 2011
8:49 am

I would first clean house at MARTA and get rid of all unions. I try to be green every once in a while but it usually takes a taxi, train, bus, yak, horse and buggy, and two hours to get where I need to go. Schedules must change. The transit mindset is different here than in Europe. I don’t think twice about hopping on a bus in most European cities. Most people will not ride a bus in Atlanta.

Jm

August 30th, 2011
8:50 am

Jay 8:46 I’m not talking about wanting

I’m talking about ridership, such that transit isn’t a complete boondoggle.

USinUK

August 30th, 2011
8:50 am

“U can’t have suburbs and transit, they are incompatible”

really???

REALLY???

gosh, tell that to the folks who live in suburban Maryland and DC

tell that to the folks who live on the Mainline outside of Philly

tell that to the folks who live outside of NY

heck, tell that to me, who lives about 25 miles south of London and who takes the train everyday.

Road Scholar

August 30th, 2011
8:51 am

Johnny Reb: That “boy” has more brains than 20 of you!

When conducting focus groups on transit in Atlanta, what do you think was the major reason for its usage? Didn’t own a car? No. Saves Money ? No. 2. and the No 1 reason…..Stress relief! Person after person agreed that they could use that time during travel more productively (read, work, browse the web, sleep…) than clutching or strangling their steering wheell. Duration of travel was an issue for some (alledgedly longer for transit) but they saw the backup of cars as they passed them in the HOV lane!The productive time outweighed the longer duration. And they arrived at their destination relaxed, not a ball of nerves!

Tim Geithner's friend

August 30th, 2011
8:51 am

Mine’s a No vote on the tax. A new control tower and runway improvements and lights at McCollum Field in Cobb County will do nothing for traffic.

Jay

August 30th, 2011
8:51 am

I also love the “transit does not go enough places” observation followed by the conclusion, “therefore we shouldn’t build transit in more places.”

Seriously, people?

Jm

August 30th, 2011
8:52 am

Usinuk I was saying that the calculation changed for good reason.

And on that point you’re only 1/2 right

Adam

August 30th, 2011
8:52 am

Mine’s a No vote on the tax. A new control tower and runway improvements and lights at McCollum Field in Cobb County will do nothing for traffic.

There’s the REAL argument. Taxes are BAD (whine)

Citizen of the World

August 30th, 2011
8:53 am

I’ve ridden MARTA for many years back and forth to work and would ride it more places if it were a more comprehensive system. It’s great to go to cities like Boston and New York and ride transit wherever you need to go.

I have never been mugged on MARTA. Although I was mugged once in a grocery store parking lot on the way to my CAR.

Anyone who thinks it’s more dangerous to be on MARTA than anywhere else in this city, I’m guessing, has very limited experience with it and is just making an assumption based on the same fears and prejudices that guide most of their decision making.

USinUK

August 30th, 2011
8:54 am

jm – yeah. you’re right. our lives (and the costs thereof) are EXACTLY like they were in 1950. :roll:

USinUK

August 30th, 2011
8:55 am

Jay – “Seriously, people?”

seriously.

@@

August 30th, 2011
8:56 am

I can only attest to C-Tran here in Clayton County. When it was pulled, less than 100 people showed up to protest its demise.

My daughter, travelling to her internship, gave it a try. Said the inconvenience (hurry up to wait) was more than she wanted to deal with. Prefers driving herself.

I’ve used it twice, but then I wasn’t in a hurry to get into the city….never am. Elbows and a$$holes ain’t my thang. I’m too close here in Clayton County. Heading further south as soon as we’re able.

Goodbye city/burb, helloooooo country livin’.

Jm

August 30th, 2011
8:56 am

Usinuk 8:50

Then u probably need to harass the transit planners here

Because they’re not building Marta or metrospees transit to the burbs

They’re planning to build pokey light rail which is less expensive but useless to a suburban commuter, and technologically incompatible with Marta tech

So wrong technology for the problem as well

Oh yes, and just because it goes there doesn’t mean it’s economical

The apace shuttle was used for 30 years but was massively uneconomical

Granny Godzilla

August 30th, 2011
8:57 am

I do miss commuting….Used to do a 60 mile commute on the Burlington Northern into downtown Chicago.

Drink some coffee, read the paper, catch a few more zzzzz…..and on the way home maybe a stop in the bar car.

There were groups that played bridge all the way in, ladies doing their make-up and kids studying.

You knew your conductor and the folks who sat in your car. You were warm and dry in the rain and cool and comfortable in the heat.

No stress, no mess. Much better than expressway travel indeed.

JohnnyReb

August 30th, 2011
8:57 am

A Conservative such as myself, naturally will have no use for Maddow. She may be “bright” but she’s wrong thinking.

The first time I saw her in that sweatshirt, no make up, the glasses, no boobs, short hair and it looked like she had an adams apple – yea, she looked like a boy.

Normal

August 30th, 2011
8:58 am

Jay @ 0838…Well said, and BRAVO!