A Plan B should TSPLOST fail? Realistically, I doubt it

So is there a Plan B should metro Atlanta reject the one-penny sales tax for transportation?

Theoretically, sure there is. State law says regional leaders can propose another list of projects to voters in two years, when many who oppose the current list argue that a “better” list would be more likely to win voter approval.

That’s wishful thinking. The same political forces that produced a list that is too heavy on transit to some, and too light on transit to others, will still be in play come 2014, and at best will produce a list much like this one.

Besides, let’s be honest: Most who oppose this T-SPLOST would also oppose any future tax increase for transportation. Their opposition is based not on these specific projects but on the idea of a transportation tax increase, period. That will not change.

And frankly, I doubt that two years from now, public officials would be able to agree on any list at all. As highly politicized and contentious as this process has become, elected local officials will be much less willing to engage again in the give-and-take that was necessary to produce the current list, and much more likely to grandstand in defense of their own small corner of the region.

For example, even if Cobb County Chairman Tim Lee survives his current primary challenge, I doubt he’ll be willing to stick his neck out once again on behalf of regional projects. If Lee does not survive, his fate will become an object lesson for other local officials. The spirit of cooperation that allowed regional leaders to support the current list unanimously will never be recaptured should voters reject this plan.

And of course, if the measure does fail, it won’t be hard to find people to blame. Near the top of the list will be former Gov. Sonny Perdue, who year after year told Georgia to Go Fish rather than focus on transportation, and who in the end left us this convoluted funding mechanism as his legacy.

In his last days in office, Perdue also broke the state’s longstanding pledge not to extend tolls on Georgia 400, shattering what was left of public faith that political leaders will keep their word on such issues. And while Gov. Nathan Deal’s announcement this week that he would end the extended tolls at the end of 2013 explicitly acknowledges the damage done by Perdue’s move, it may have come too late.

Fingers will also be pointed at state legislative leaders, who shucked off responsibility for making tough decisions onto local leaders, then sat back and in some cases took potshots at what those local elected leaders decided.

In the end, though, the failure will be our own. This will be the first time in the history of the Atlanta region that it has the chance to actually debate, vote and act as a region. Defeat would mean that we failed that test. It would mean that voters inside the perimeter became too concerned that voters outside the perimeter might be getting a better deal, and vice versa, and that voters in general lacked faith in their public institutions to perform what is really a very basic function of government.

And if we prove to have no faith in our leaders or institutions, why should outsiders looking to invest time, energy and money have that faith either?

– Jay Bookman

477 comments Add your comment

Really?

July 20th, 2012
7:44 am

Guess the bass fishing museum wasn’t so great eh?

ByteMe - Political thug

July 20th, 2012
7:44 am

This Sunday’s print edition?

Gale

July 20th, 2012
7:45 am

In a nutshell, yes. And I will vote no because I have no faith in our state leaders. We, the electorate have created a monster that does not understand how to govern. We will have to live with it until the wheel turns.

carlosgvv

July 20th, 2012
7:46 am

“have no faith in our leaders or institutions”

A large number of voters will vote “no” precisely for this reason. And, it’s highly unlikely that any real voter trust will occur in the foreseeable future. As long as Georgia’s ethics laws are a sick joke, no one with any sense will trust our politicians.

ByteMe - Political thug

July 20th, 2012
7:46 am

Plan B: Toll booths everywhere that 65 mph turns into 55 mph and use that money to improve intown infrastructure under a single agency that combines MARTA, GRTA, and ARC.

Aquagirl

July 20th, 2012
7:49 am

Plan B: scream “NO!!!” louder.

Oh, you wanted to get something done? That’s not the government’s job. It should be quietly drowning in a bathtub.

Looney Bin

July 20th, 2012
7:51 am

To be honest, outsiders shouldn’t have that faith. I’ve been in the city for 17 years and don’t hold much hope that our elected officials will act in our best interests. It is in my personal best interests to be where I am – professionally and personally – but if I were elsewhere and looking to move, Atlanta wouldn’t be an attractive option to me knowing what I know now.

ByteMe - Political thug

July 20th, 2012
7:51 am

Oh, you wanted to get something done? That’s not the government’s job. It should be quietly drowning in a bathtub.

Some people here won’t get the sarcasm.

Jm-pass TSPLOST

July 20th, 2012
7:53 am

“I doubt it”

Me too

Thomas

July 20th, 2012
7:54 am

Jay- your and the AJCs time to fully step up and guide to the correct human behavior.

You excel at local stories/information which is a good thing- Atlanta needs its groove back.

USinUK - pro-gay-marriage thug and former Girl Scout

July 20th, 2012
7:54 am

“And while Gov. Nathan Deal’s announcement this week that he would end the extended tolls at the end of 2013 explicitly acknowledges the damage done by Perdue’s move, it may have come too late.”

exactly – a friend of mine posted that on FB last night and I could only think that it was too little too late …

USinUK - pro-gay-marriage thug and former Girl Scout

July 20th, 2012
7:55 am

btw, Jay – left you a pre-vacation tune downstairs … have a FANTASTIC trip!! and stay safe :-)

Brosephus™

July 20th, 2012
7:56 am

In the end, though, the failure will be our own. This will be the first time in the history of the Atlanta region that it has the chance to actually debate, vote and act as a region.

Is that including MARTA back in the 1970’s? The region was smaller then, but was that not the same thing as today? The bill sucks. The Georgia Assembly sucks. If the GA Assembly would not do their jobs they campaigned for and were elected to do, why should they even hold office. I would vote yes for the T-SPLOST if that yes vote also counted towards a recall of the entire Assembly.

USinUK - pro-gay-marriage thug and former Girl Scout

July 20th, 2012
7:57 am

YEAH!!!! The Consumer Protection Agency already starts cracking down on financial institutions that lie to their customers!!!

http://www.forbes.com/sites/halahtouryalai/2012/07/18/obamas-consumer-protection-agency-strikes-210m-fine-for-capital-one/

GET’EM!!!

Aquagirl

July 20th, 2012
7:58 am

Some people here won’t get the sarcasm.

They’re too busy spiking the ball over their presumed upcoming “win.”

Jm-pass TSPLOST

July 20th, 2012
8:00 am

If you vote no or dont vote at all, don’t ever complain about Atlanta traffic again.

Because you will have made your own bed.

USinUK - pro-gay-marriage thug and former Girl Scout

July 20th, 2012
8:02 am

Jm – 8:00 – word.

Jm-pass TSPLOST

July 20th, 2012
8:03 am

When you’re late to work, late to pick up your kid, or just setting in 5 mph traffic ready to put your head through the wheel, stop and think: oh, I voted no or didn’t vote.

So this is what I asked for, so enjoy it. Relish the congestion. Love it.

Because that’s what you asked for.

N-GA

July 20th, 2012
8:05 am

It matters not that regional planning starts off with the wrong premise. “Growth” is not the be-all-to-end-all. If planners paid more attention to quality of life, area resources (ie: water), etc., then growth might be managed properly. Unfortunately if some unnamed company told politicians in Sandy Springs that they were going to open a factory and hire 5,000 people locally, the state and local politicians would fall all over themselves to make it happen. When developers bulldoze 5 older residences and build apartments to house 1,000 then there are consequences (traffic, water, sewage, schools, parks & recreation, police, etc.). This has occurred repeatedly here in Georgia and nothing has been learned….except that developers always get their way because the politicians are in their pockets. Another reason why Georgia banks collapsed like dominoes for the past 4 years.

Jm-pass TSPLOST

July 20th, 2012
8:06 am

When you want to go on vacation, and get ready to get in your car to drive 4 hours up to the mountains, or are trying to get to the airport, but you spend 2 hours just to get out of the city, or you miss your flight because of traffic, don’t complain.

Because you wanted this. You wanted the congestion. You voted for congestion. So love it.

godless heathen

July 20th, 2012
8:06 am

I support the Tsplost but to think it will solve Atlanta traffic is a bit overly optimistic, IMO.

stands for decibels (SfBA)

July 20th, 2012
8:06 am

Some people here won’t get the sarcasm.

Well, as a wise man once put it–F### some people.

Jm-pass TSPLOST

July 20th, 2012
8:07 am

Godless, it won’t solve it alone. It will be step one.

stands for decibels (SfBA)

July 20th, 2012
8:07 am

to think it will solve Atlanta traffic is a bit overly optimistic, IMO.

agreed. it won’t “untie Atlanta.” It will make it somewhat less sucky than it would be, which is a much harder sell, so I don’t blame its backers for selling the sizzle instead of the steak. So to speak.

stands for decibels (SfBA)

July 20th, 2012
8:08 am

…and no, I don’t think it will pass, although I’m early-voting for it, myself.

USinUK - pro-gay-marriage thug and former Girl Scout

July 20th, 2012
8:08 am

“Because you wanted this. You wanted the congestion. You voted for congestion. So love it.”

but, as Milton Man said … HE can get in HIS car when HE wants to and go … he doesn’t have to wait for the man to tell him want to do (or something like that)

THAT is what’s important.

Dana F. Blankenhorn

July 20th, 2012
8:08 am

You get what you vote for, and deserve what you get. Instead of blaming “our leaders,” which is a cop out, how about looking in the mirror, and asking what your parents and grandparents had that you ain’t got?

JKL2

July 20th, 2012
8:08 am

-And if we prove to have no faith in our leaders or institutions, why should outsiders looking to invest time, energy and money have that faith either?

obama says,”What?”.

Jm-pass TSPLOST

July 20th, 2012
8:09 am

If the people don’t show their desire to fix traffic, why should politicians care?

Gale

July 20th, 2012
8:09 am

The “plan” in Tsplost does not cure congestion. The congestion has been built over many years of self-serving politicians and developers lining their pockets. Giving those same pwople more money will not solve the problem. Building more and wider roads will not solve the problem.

Brosephus™

July 20th, 2012
8:09 am

Godless, it won’t solve it alone. It will be step one.

I don’t think the plan, as it stands now, even counts as a step. The idea is a step in the right place, but the plan sucks.

stands for decibels (SfBA)

July 20th, 2012
8:09 am

The Consumer Protection Agency already starts cracking down

We have one of those? I thought it was still three guys in a room with a card table in some basement somewhere…

Keep Up the Good Fight!

July 20th, 2012
8:10 am

Years and years of “government is the problem”, “govt does not create jobs”, “govt needs to get out of the way” and suddenly when it is clear that govt is needed to solve some issues and to create jobs, the conned wonder why they might have problems with even this lame attempt to fix our transportation system and opening the minds they have worked so hard to close….. :roll:

stands for decibels (SfBA)

July 20th, 2012
8:10 am

obama says,”What?”.

Pathetic, even for JKL2.

the cat

July 20th, 2012
8:10 am

Still voting no and actually the more vitriol I hear from Deal and others the more firmly I know that NO is the right answer. Jm-I really think you are a “developer” standing to montarily gain from this. You promote this a bit too much. Just stop.

godless heathen

July 20th, 2012
8:11 am

It will make it somewhat less sucky than it would be

LOL They should put that in a TV ad.

Vote Yes on TSPLOST for a somewhat less sucky future.

Jm-pass TSPLOST

July 20th, 2012
8:12 am

You’ve been handed the keys to your own transportation future.

If you vote no, I guess you’re the kid too scared to put the keys in the ignition and leave your driveway.

Chicken, that’s what no voters are.

USinUK - pro-gay-marriage thug and former Girl Scout

July 20th, 2012
8:13 am

“We have one of those?”

why, yes … yes we do.

TiredOfIt

July 20th, 2012
8:13 am

“You people” that don’t have a job, shouldn’t drive during rush hour.

the cat

July 20th, 2012
8:13 am

All my friends agree that Deal ensured a NO vote by his obvious pandering.

stands for decibels (SfBA)

July 20th, 2012
8:14 am

Vote Yes on TSPLOST for a somewhat less sucky future.

Hey, a little honesty goes a long way.

gotta run. Later, gators.

USinUK - pro-gay-marriage thug and former Girl Scout

July 20th, 2012
8:14 am

Keep up … but, hey, no one needs anything like infrastructure to help them build THEIR businesses goddammit …

Jm-pass TSPLOST

July 20th, 2012
8:15 am

The cat

I live in FL dude. And I’ve had the pleasure down here of doing something other than parking on a freeway.

JamVet

July 20th, 2012
8:17 am

I will vote yes with the belief that there is no way it will pass.

Close-mindedness, an absence of vision and complete self-absorption will again rule the day…

commoncents

July 20th, 2012
8:17 am

Jm-
Voting “no” for a bill that doesn’t fix the problem doesn’t mean we don’t care…

I was upset to see the map of future projects lists major intersections (285/400, 285/20) as having a starting date of 2020

the cat

July 20th, 2012
8:17 am

Jm-oh please. If you live in Florida why the heck do you care so much about Tsplost? You must stand to benefit in some manner.

Adam

July 20th, 2012
8:18 am

Did everyone hear about the Limbaugh induced bulletproof vest wearing shoot-em-up in Colorado?

Oh, my bad. It’s probably just another “isolated incident” perpetuated by another “lone gunman” who was “just crazy.”

MoveAlong.com, nothing to see here….

USinUK - pro-gay-marriage thug and former Girl Scout

July 20th, 2012
8:20 am

Adam – it’s a bit early to make that connection

Williebkind

July 20th, 2012
8:21 am

“If the GA Assembly would not do their jobs they campaigned for and were elected to do, why should they even hold office”

I thought not raising taxes was part of their campaign.

Mighty Righty

July 20th, 2012
8:23 am

On topic: Jay gets it right.

Fly-On-The-Wall

July 20th, 2012
8:23 am

This is one time I agree with Jm, if we don’t pass this then we’ll never have a chance at getting anything done. There won’t be a politican for another generation willing to stick their neck out for a transportation bill. This is like watching sausage being made, it ain’t pretty but when you’re done it is better.

Oh – JKL2 – SERIOUSLY! Just a few posts into a local issue and you inject Obama into this? You are one sick dude.

Intrested Observer

July 20th, 2012
8:25 am

I’ve already voted, and I voted against T-SPLOST out here in rural Georgia. I voted against it not because i do not recognize the need for more transportation funding, but because I’m angry at the General Assembly for abdicating its responsibility.

The motor fuels tax is a better and fair way to raise the money, but because the politicians are afraid to vote for a tax increase, it has remained the lowest motor fuels tax in the U.S.

But there will be someone to blame – the voters. That is the whole purpose of the referendum. if it passes and people can complain, your representative can say, “well, the people voted for it,” and if it fails and people complain about poor or unsafe roads, your representative can say, “well, the people voted against it.”

The next candidate for the General Assembly who tells people he can make the “tough decisions” should be whipped. The General Assembly is full of cowards whose only purpose is to get re-elected.

Aquagirl

July 20th, 2012
8:26 am

If you live in Florida why the heck do you care so much about Tsplost? You must stand to benefit in some manner.

Some people can’t comprehend that others might actually give a $#!^. Your opinions must always be couched in self-interest, usually financial.

Classic projection.

USinUK - pro-gay-marriage thug and former Girl Scout

July 20th, 2012
8:28 am

“because I’m angry at the General Assembly for abdicating its responsibility.”

well, thanks for taking it out on the people of GA …

godless heathen

July 20th, 2012
8:28 am

Some people can’t comprehend that others might actually give a $#!^. Your opinions must always be couched in self-interest, usually financial.

Always great to support a tax that you don’t pay.

Uncle Bubba

July 20th, 2012
8:28 am

I’m voting no on T-SPLOST for one simple reason: it’s not an effective transportation plan to address Atlanta’s congestion. How is it going to untie Atlanta? I’ve posed this question again and again and no one can answer it. To me, T-SPLOST seems like a transportation plan geared to line the pockets of already successful businesses and politicians: a boondoggle. It’s a compromise that’s supposed to create an opportunity for anti-tax Republicans and Democrats the chance to come together and vote for a tax that’s less about transportation than it is about economic development. If this was really about transportation, why isn’t the gas tax on the table? If this was really about transportation, why aren’t we planning for the future (i.e., better mass transit) instead of just preparing for more of the same Atlanta solution: more cars! Nothing in my review of the plan indicates that anything’s changing in the approach taken by T-SPLOST. I have no problem with a tax increase if the plan on the table is a good one. T-SPLOST is not a good plan. That’s why I’m voting no.

Also, this assertion makes no sense: “This will be the first time in the history of the Atlanta region that it has the chance to actually debate, vote and act as a region. Defeat would mean that we failed that test.” No, that’s not true. Just because your position loses doesn’t mean that the whole process is tainted. Heck, from my perspective it means the whole process is working perfectly!

We disagree on this one, Jay. Otherwise, keep up the good work!!

USinUK - pro-gay-marriage thug and former Girl Scout

July 20th, 2012
8:28 am

okay, peeps … off to the gym …

godless heathen

July 20th, 2012
8:30 am

Adam – it’s a bit early to make that connection

Never for Adam.

the cat

July 20th, 2012
8:30 am

Always great to support a tax that you don’t pay.

EXACTLY!

Adam

July 20th, 2012
8:30 am

In Limbaugh’s words: “Do you think it’s a COINCIDENCE that I, Limbaugh, spoke about how the Batman movie was a Democrat plot and some man shot up the place at a midnight showing of that movie?”

ComradeAnon

July 20th, 2012
8:31 am

Road building in Georgia is about economic development. Always has been, always will be.

Mighty Righty

July 20th, 2012
8:32 am

My thoughts go out to the people of Colorado who lost loved ones this morning to senseless violence by a disturbed individual. Shame on those who would use this tradjedy to forward their political agenda.

godless heathen

July 20th, 2012
8:32 am

Maybe the Dude just didn’t like the movie.

Thomas Heyward Jr.

July 20th, 2012
8:33 am

Perdue also sold the hunters and fisherfolk down the river to JPMorgan chase.
(2 dollar “convenience” fee goes directly to jamie Dimonds pocket).
.
Also..those State workers at that million dollar GoFish Center are a bunch of dog snobs.
.
Perdue………typical Democrat turned Republican cancer.

Adam

July 20th, 2012
8:34 am

USinUK: I’m sure you’re right. I’m sure it’s just another crazy person with guns. Just another isolated incident. No connection to anything but craziness that we aren’t going to address with mental healthcare in this country. Move along…

Don't Tread

July 20th, 2012
8:34 am

Plan B (really should have been Plan A) is to get rid of the waste, graft, and corruption in government and spend money wisely before asking taxpayers for more.

Will that actually happen? Realistically, I doubt it.

Jm

July 20th, 2012
8:35 am

Enter your comments here

carlosgvv

July 20th, 2012
8:36 am

Jm-pass TSPLOST

So if this passes, you can assure us of a substantial improvement in our Atlanta region traffic flow?

Let me guess. You’re just another middle-school or high school kid trying to be a grownup here.

Jm

July 20th, 2012
8:36 am

Cat

Yes. I have family and friends in Atlanta. Maybe one day I’d like to move back if Atlanta isn’t a hellhole.

Yeah, good greedy reasons to be in favor of tsplost.

Aquagirl

July 20th, 2012
8:37 am

Always great to support a tax that you don’t pay.

Uh, yeah, Jm is sooooo well known for supporting random taxes for no particular reason.

godless heathen

July 20th, 2012
8:37 am

Adam: Where did you get the statement from Limbaugh?

the cat

July 20th, 2012
8:37 am

Adam-where did you find that quote from Limbaugh?

carlosgvv

July 20th, 2012
8:38 am

USinUK

Is the traffic where you are as bad as it is here? Are road improvement plans as chaotic as T-SPLOST?

Jack

July 20th, 2012
8:38 am

Traffic congestion is caused by wrecks. And wrecks are caused by careless drivers.

Brosephus™

July 20th, 2012
8:39 am

I thought not raising taxes was part of their campaign.

It might be part of the campaign, but that’s not part of the job. That’s ideology as opposed to governance.

abercrombie

July 20th, 2012
8:39 am

Vote ‘yes’ on TSPLOST if you trust Georgia politicians to spend it wisely and get the most for your dollar. ROFLMAO!

JamVet

July 20th, 2012
8:41 am

Jack, that 8:38 is asinine, even by your “standards”…

Doggone/GA

July 20th, 2012
8:41 am

“I thought not raising taxes was part of their campaign.”

“Read my lips, no new taxes”

Some things never change

abercrombie

July 20th, 2012
8:42 am

Here’s another catch. If you increase the amount of traffic we can handle and word gets out that Atlanta traffic has become tolerable, you will see an increase in people moving to the area and guess what … we’re back asking for more money for more roads!

I say leave things that way they are and some will get fed up and move away … voila! … traffic problem solved w/o spending,

Carlos

July 20th, 2012
8:43 am

You can thank whomever selects the vents for online publishing for a portion of TSPLOST’s failure. He/she published a vent saying that an extra 1% tax would amount to $2000 on a $20,000 automobile purchase. Because neither the AJC employee in charge of The Vent, nor the venting party could perform 4th grade arithemetic, many people will over estimate the cost of this tax. Thansk AJC. I’ll be thinking of you when I’m stuck in traffic.

Disgruntled Resident

July 20th, 2012
8:44 am

I am voting no as the local and state governments have repeatedly shown that they are not good stewards of our tax dollars. More and more we have elected officials (and its our own fault) who are there to serve themselves and not their constituents. Once they have this money it will probably be a free-for-all as they find legal loopholes to divert this money to other areas that will be more self-serving. This is usual practice for our professional politicians. They write the laws to best serve themselves.

We do need to solve our transportation problems but this list of TSPLOST projects includes items that have no relationship to solving the problem–think new control tower at McCollum Field for example. The primary focus should be on building world class public transit system for the metropolitan area—one that gets us where we need to go in a reasonable amount of time. But there are too many local projects that will not really work to solve the problem. And there is way to much money at stake to trust to a group of policiticans operating under some of the most lax ethics laws/rules in the country.

Aquagirl

July 20th, 2012
8:45 am

Vote ‘yes’ on TSPLOST if you trust Georgia politicians to spend it wisely and get the most for your dollar.

Well abercrombie, who do you propose we should give our money to for building roads?

You have any alternatives besides pitching a tantrum?

TaxPayer

July 20th, 2012
8:46 am

Republicans cannot be trusted. We have all seen it with Sonny and Ga 400. There is no way to hide that or excuse it. I have personally seen local politicians up here in NE Ga do the same. They do not deserve my trust and they will not get it. If they think we need higher taxes in order to pay for transportation needs, let them do their jobs and vote for it and enact it into law. Their cowardly acts will get them nowhere with me. But Republicans should definitely vote for TSPLOST. After all. It is a fair tax. A consumption tax, doncha know.

retiredds

July 20th, 2012
8:48 am

I find it very amusing that all the folks who say they distrust their state and local governments. Let’s not forget that these same folks elected the mostly Republicans that represent them. GA is a one- party state now that it has a Republican super-majority in the legislature and the governor’s office. So, folks, you bought into the lie that the R’s would change how government is run and you pay for what you vote for.

Shawny

July 20th, 2012
8:48 am

“Most who oppose this T-SPLOST would also oppose any future tax increase for transportation.”
That is an incorrect assumption.

This list will do little to improve traffic. I do not care how much throughput is added to spaghetti junction or the 285/400 interchange, if 400N or 85N is a parking lot in the afternoon, no amount of $$$ thrown at it will make you get through it any easier.

Tons of wasted dollars to be spent in transit in this bill that will do little to increase ridership.

Street cars in Atlanta to nowhere (10% of the total budget)?!? really?

Fund real projects that will improve the highways like cloverleafs at exits instead of stupid traffic lights, and I will vote for it.
Boondoggle wastes of money like what is proposed, and NO.

Jefferson

July 20th, 2012
8:48 am

A ray of sunshine on a rainy day.

the cat

July 20th, 2012
8:49 am

Aquagirl-you have been trying to pick a fight with someone all morning. The only tantrum pitching is done by you! Seriously-contribute something worthwhile to the discussion or go away.

I have seen too many pet projects (hello Go Fish) to trust any of our current crop of hand outstretched, money under the table politicians to assume anything will be different this time. Will vote NO!

Normal Free...Pro Human Rights Thug...And liking it!

July 20th, 2012
8:49 am

Good morning all y’all..

Affirmation: I will vote for TSPLOST.

Just got back from the Docs and I have become such an anti-gun Liberal that I am going to have my trigger finger removed! :D

Actually I have a condition called “Trigger finger” and I need to get it fixed…it’s very painful.

The Doc also said I’m ready for more injections of pig fat into my right knee again. The things I do to keep dancing… ;)

jwc

July 20th, 2012
8:50 am

We give government MORE money and in turn get a la carte infrastructure that, at best, is “less sucky”? This includes toll extentions, unused commuter toll lanes, sports arenas we don’t need, cops with speed trap devices, traffic cameras, aquariums, pensions for yet more public officials, all while sewers crumble, crime spews, streets crack un-repaired. Public deciders earned their distrust over time. They have to live with it even if it means sitting in the traffic year after year with the rest of us. Want diminished congestion? Make things miserable enough….people will eventually leave and take their idling cars-going-nowhere with them. Maybe then we can build bike lanes, public lines to somewhere that can actually be rider-accessed, freight routes, a commensurate FUEL tax and not a sales tax, sane traffic and parking systems. More thoughtful planning, less cracked concrete to accommodate yet more gas-fired cars, more people, more inevitable taxation.

Jm

July 20th, 2012
8:51 am

Cat

Oh yeah, I’m a native Georgian too, so I care about my home state.

And I’m back enough and spend enough in GA to still be subject to this tax.

Theron Sapp

July 20th, 2012
8:52 am

Brosephus @ 7:56 is right. MARTA was a region-wide initiative, but Cobb, Clayton and Gwinnett (3/5 of “metro Atlanta” at the time) refused — which was the start of the mess we’re in today. Now we have a lame referendum that doesn’t even propose the region-wide system we should have built then.

Steve

July 20th, 2012
8:53 am

The ONLY way to fix our traffic problem is to build a bypass to Florida. I drive from Woodstock to the airport everyday and 3 out of 5 cars have out of state tags either coming or going. They don’t use 285, they pack up and leave Florida right around lunch which puts them here of course at rush hour. I have never heard this proposal from anyone but I can tell you it’s a major cause of our congestion.

Misty Fyed

July 20th, 2012
8:53 am

If only it were as simple as voting for our against congestion as some of you want to make out. I’m in the boat with Carlos from earlier. I simply don’t trust this set of politicians with this money. I mean who do you think owns the companies who are going to get these contracts? Just like when they tried the second perimeter and it came out that the politicians had bought up all the land where the new interchanges would be. BUT…we really need improvement in infrastructure. OH what to do what to do?

godless heathen

July 20th, 2012
8:54 am

Actually I have a condition called “Trigger finger” and I need to get it fixed…it’s very painful.

Does it itch?

Mark in mid-town

July 20th, 2012
8:54 am

Jay, this was a fantastic post. These kind of insightful thought-provoking posts should be your trademark, not the transparently partisan Democratic Party/Obama hack pieces you all too often produce where you apply one standard to Democrats and Obama, and a different one to Republcians and Romney.

too little time

July 20th, 2012
8:54 am

Most who oppose this T-SPLOST would also oppose any future tax increase for transportation. Their opposition is based not on these specific projects but on the idea of a transportation tax increase, period. That will not change.

Not true.

They might oppose a tax increase on a metro area where >50% goes to transit that most can not use because they are not in Fulton or Dekalb.

They might oppose a tax increase for the beltline, or for a new tower at an airport. These things, for them, do not “untie the knot”. When these things are on the ballot… and there is NOTHING that will affect their own transportation problems in the next 10 years… you can bet that they will vote “No”.

They might also oppose a tax increase because they realize that one or two counties in their transportation district can force the rest of the counties to for over transportation dollars in perpetuity. I live in one of those “donor counties” that will ALWAYS pay more in transportation dollars than our county receives.

They might vote “No” because they feel they have been fundamentally lied to. Everyone north of the GA400 toll lanes… quite a LOT of people… were lied to. If it were not for this TSPLOST, you can bet Gov Deal would NOT bring those toll booths down early. Or, maybe you were sold that the HOT lanes on I-85 were put there to relieve congestion… and then you realized that it does no such thing (it was put there to provide a paid for method of bypassing traffic…. other lanes be damned) and actually made traffic congestion worse.

People everywhere want something for their taxes. When you propose a tax that won’t help the majority of a TSPLOST district (at all), then you can bet the tax will get voted down. In the county that I am in, there is ONE ROAD…. one SINGLE ROAD… that will be upgraded. The majority of our tax money will be sent out of the county. Can you guess how I am going to vote?

stands for decibels (SfBA)

July 20th, 2012
8:54 am

He/she published a vent saying that an extra 1% tax would amount to $2000 on a $20,000 automobile purchase.

Carlos, I would like to believe the Vent editor was merely giving an anti-TSPLOSTer rope to hang himself.

That’s a pretty blatant case of Teh Stoopid.

/drive-by

carlosgvv

July 20th, 2012
8:56 am

Now is a good time to remind ourselves:

GUNS DON’T KILL PEOPLE – PEOPLE KILL PEOPLE

Right, boobies?

godless heathen

July 20th, 2012
8:56 am

hey don’t use 285, they pack up and leave Florida right around lunch which puts them here of course at rush hour. I have never heard this proposal from anyone but I can tell you it’s a major cause of our congestion.

It was called the Outer Perimeter. Didn’t work out.

Jm

July 20th, 2012
8:56 am

Personally I think double decking 285 and adding tolls would be a better proposition

But shoulda woulda coulda’s are irrelevant

Maybe that can happen in the future

You’re faced with this decision today

Take it or leave it

And if you leave it, don’t whine about the traffic and unemployment