The public’s frustration and outrage over the state-imposed HOT lanes on I-85 has been entirely predictable. So too has been the state’s mishandling of the issue.
Georgia’s transportation leadership has long treated voters more as sheep to be manipulated than as customers to be heeded. Roads, for example, have traditionally gone not where they were needed, but where they would do politicians the most good. And that high-handed approach has been particularly noticeable when it comes to toll-road policy.
The history is familiar: Back when the decision was made to build Georgia 400 as a toll road, angry citizens were bought off with the pledge that tolls would end once the bonds were retired. Yet when the time came, that high-profile promise was broken. The State Road and Tollway Authority — a body chaired by the governor, and under the governor’s total control — simply voted it out of existence.
Then there’s the time a few years ago when, with very little fanfare, the state