No ‘plan B’ for metro Atlanta T-SPLOST? Not so fast

You know you’re facing an uphill electoral battle when your best campaign slogan amounts to: Give us your vote now, or we’ll just come back later to ask you again.

That’s where supporters of a metro Atlanta T-SPLOST find themselves. With eight months to go, there’s not much optimism about the referendum to raise $6.1 billion for regional transportation projects via a 1 percent sales tax.

Two months ago, an opinion poll commissioned by the AJC found just 51 percent of voters in the 10-county region support the tax. Subsequent polling by supporters of the tax, I’m told, confirmed its chances of passing are precarious.

The “yes” campaign appears to be keeping its powder dry until the July 31 vote draws nearer. The experience of plebiscites elsewhere in the country, however, suggests that successful measures begin with higher support, shed voters in the face of “no” campaigns, and hang on to win.

Business leaders at Thursday’s annual meeting of the Metro Atlanta Chamber stressed the lack of a “plan B” for transportation improvements. Without necessarily endorsing the tax, House Speaker David Ralston told them, “I’m afraid that if we’re not successful next year that we’re going to have an even longer and more arduous process to get back to this point again.”

Actually, there is a plan B, or maybe it’s A-1: Delay the vote.

Tax supporters proposed a delay this summer, but they weren’t thinking far enough into the future. I’m not talking about a delay until November, in hopes that Democrats turning out to re-elect President Barack Obama will pass the Republicans’ mass-transit tax while they’re at it.

I mean a delay of a year or more. It’s a good idea, whether you support or oppose the tax.

Also last week, University of Georgia economists forecast sluggish growth in 2012, as the state continues to rebound from a series of burst bubbles. They expect metro Atlanta to fare worse than Georgia’s average, with only the ninth-best employment growth rate among Georgia’s metro areas.

Trying to persuade voters to tax themselves even more, in that environment, is a suicide mission. Businesses poised to move to, or expand within, metro Atlanta may fret about traffic congestion, but I doubt they’re pinning hopes on an altered version of the Beltline.

(To those who say the transportation projects themselves would be an economic boost: Not for a few years, given that much of the money is devoted to transit projects that are far from “shovel ready.” And not if the tax fails in the first place.)

But what about tax opponents? Why go for a delay when the referendum is likely to fail?

If you oppose the tax, period, you probably shouldn’t go for a delay.

If, however, your qualms with the tax concern the project list, you might consider it. Because there’s still a chance the tax, with this project list, will pass. And if it were up to me, the law wouldn’t be amended merely to allow a vote after 2012. It would also allow for — perhaps even require — a revised project list.

I might also insert a mandate to prioritize the potential projects based on cost-benefit analyses. I’d certainly use the extra time to settle on exactly what mode of transit was to be used in, say, Cobb’s U.S. 41 corridor.

It you support the tax, you want it to pass. Even if you don’t, you surely want to ensure the money is well-spent. Either way, if the vote is eight months from now, you stand to be disappointed.

– By Kyle Wingfield

Find me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter

139 comments Add your comment

Mark

December 2nd, 2011
6:41 pm

Let’s not turn our debate in Atlanta into what is going on in Washington by making this a never-ending discussion with no actual progress. We need to invest in the city we live in and it needs to start happening now. You can’t possibly please everyone especially considering how large and widespread an investment we are talking about. Dragging this out and coming up with plan b, plan c, trying to delay it longer, etc. only fragments support and creates confusion. I don’t believe it’s advocating being wasteful if you focus and commit. The city and our economic situation is constantly changing and evolving. Everything will not come out perfect but that’s no reason not to try and get something done for once.

max

December 2nd, 2011
7:04 pm

I have no interest in supporting a tax measure that throws a barrel of money at the beltline, a boondoggle if ever there was one.

Mark

December 2nd, 2011
7:13 pm

A boondoggle, seriously? Have you ever been to one of the world’s great cities? They all have one thing in common–great mass transit and superb walkability. The beltline will be a great legacy for Atlanta. And although this tax does support the beltline, it provides a lot of money for many other projects that need funding as well.

ATF

December 2nd, 2011
7:29 pm

Wow. I actually agree with you. I don’t think we are ready for this. And, I particularly don’t think what is proposed for Cobb County, where I live, is well thought out. That light rail proposal that will cost Cobb most of its money covers about 1 mile inside Cobb and many more miles in Fulton County and City of Atlanta. But Cobb pays for it all to benefit a tiny little piece of Cobb – the Cumberland business district. It is only worth it to Cobb if we also deal with the traffic to and from the northern part of the county, including KSU and the Town Center shopping area (I actually avoid Town Center because the traffic is so bad and end up shopping at North Point, thus depriving my own county of tax revenue.) What we have is not a plan, it is an amalgam of disparate projects.

kjlkj

December 2nd, 2011
7:38 pm

I won’t vote for it because it’s just one more in the ongoing series of ideas from the kook element we elect in this state to shift even more of the tax burden to the lower-middle class & working poor who spend almost everything they earn. The kook element loves consumption taxes since they’re much better able to avoid them.

sailfish

December 2nd, 2011
8:14 pm

Hey Hillbilly D

I’m dedicating this one for you-
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5um3B3V4jlQ

Luna

December 2nd, 2011
8:14 pm

When I moved to Atlanta nearly 25 years ago, Marta had me on a tighter curfew than my parents ever did. I remember paying to go to see local bands and having to choose between missing the headline act or begging a ride from strangers. I couldn’t even work past a certain hour because I would have had no way home.

Silly me, I thought by now every neighborhood in Dekalb and Fulton would have some sort of Marta station. I thought Marta would run 24 hours per day, keeping revelers off the road, and whisking people to work, shopping, worship, and home again. I thought we might have high speed rail to Athens, Milledgeville, Macon, Savannah, and Valdosta. Instead, Marta is up to $2.50 for a one way trip and, it seems, service is constantly being trimmed. Marta is being budget-cut to death.

If I were 21 today, I would not move here. I would move someplace with real public transportation and real interest in building the foundation for a solid future. The metro-Atlanta area hasn’t been a Mayberry doppleganger for a long-time, if ever. Misguided attempts to keep us mired in 1950s thinking (What’s good for General Motors is good for America.) are holding this region back.

So, when I first heard about a knew tax I assumed it would be dedicated to mass transit. Afterall, we already have a gasoline tax that can only be used for the construction of new roads and highways. Also, there seems to be no end to the number of federal grants available to roads and highways. It’s mas transit that needs some love, so to speak.

Right out of the gate, over 50% of the proposed tax was dedicated to roads. I cringed and thought “Maybe I’ll support it anyway since there’s some support for transit.” Every subsequent article seemed to describe more transit projects trimmed, eliminated, or replaced with a road project.

Then local papers began to quote self-described TEA Party members who opposed the tax, if any part of the money went to mass transit. I can see opposing the tax entirely if opposing taxes is your thing, but why would you support another tax for roads when we already pay so much via taxes for roads? Why would you oppose the provisions of a proposal that might have a true long-term positive impact on your community and regiion? And how many folks, who didn’t land in the paper and consider themselves TEA Party Supporters, read these statements,scratched their heads and wondered “Gee, why didn’t anyone poll me on my opinion?” I could be wrong, but I am convinced that it is entirely possible that there are some TEA Party Supporters who recognize a crying need for mass transit investment in this region.

So, I am leaning toward voting against this transportation bill. Maybe when the “Republicans’ mass-transit tax” really is about mass transit, I’ll reconsider.

bu2

December 2nd, 2011
8:56 pm

As articles describe it, the Beltline light rail is a developer’s dream. Its a boondoggle pure and simple. They realized their original circular plan was totally worthless so they completely changed it just a couple months before they started picking projects. Now its even worse. It takes out some of the very limited East-West traffic lanes and goes through areas that aren’t very dense. So it will take noone and slow auto traffic. Its a poorly thought out multi-billion $ boondoggle and is hogging 1/6th of the transit tax. The Cobb proposal is even more poorly thought out. While I think the Emory line is good, they still are debating what technology to use on it. The way this has been managed by the politicians is a perfect example of gross incompetence and why everyone should vote no.

They need to 1st come up with a regional transportation plan. Then explain how to pay for (gas tax, local property taxes, tolls, TSPLOST) and justify why this tax is needed. Instead they figured out the money they could raise, picked out some pet projects and still haven’t thought out how all this fits together. I hope they don’t delay it and it goes down in flames because the city of Atlanta seems dead set on having everyone in the area pay for their real estate developer bailout known as Beltline light rail. If this gets defeated, maybe we can make sure Atlanta pays for its own questionable economic development projects.

Rafe Hollister

December 2nd, 2011
9:05 pm

This is almost as stupid as giving tax money to Barry Oblamer to spend on green energy. In that case, we would get more Solyndra’s, in this case we get more of the same. Rail lines to no where, Marta stations with little or no parking, major intersections that do not work, untimed traffic lights, exit and entrances to freeways sharing the same 150 yards, HOV travelers having to cross five lanes of traffic to exit, on and on. Giving more money to the same people who designed this broken system, is insanity.

Shine

December 2nd, 2011
9:15 pm

What kind of fool would vote to tax themselves when the GOP KOOKS running this state are once again attempting to exempt corps/businesses from all sorts of energy and property taxes that will have to be made up by the rest of us?

Logical Dude

December 2nd, 2011
9:19 pm

Plan A was to actually have the State of Georgia make the right decision for the State and properly fund Transit projects including Mass Transit. But the State of Georgia, mired in indecision and near-sightedness did not make the right decision for the State, instead making no decision for years. Finally, a move in the right direction, although at best, half a step. They created a new level of beauracracy in the state for self-funding regions. Better than nothing I guess, but it’s still a cop-out by the State. They know people are reluctant to vote for more taxes on themselves, even if it’s necessary.

Of course, even if the State made the right decision, the DOT has a history of cronyism that matches any “good old boy” network. Hopefully this has recently changed, but it’s hard to tell when they don’t have the funding to actually get what needs to be done. . . done.

Michael H. Smith

December 2nd, 2011
9:41 pm

“Right out of the gate, over 50% of the proposed tax was dedicated to roads.”

Gotta luv the mentality! :lol:

Right out the gate 80 to 90% of this proposed tax should be dedicated to roads.

Let these socialist “nanny state” MARTA Party members and their unionized democrat voting employees eat cake: Time for them to pay “THEIR FAIR SHARE” we hear so many of them whining about continuously.

You can bet MARTA fares would go up by more than $2.50 if MARTA riders paid “THEIR FAIR SHARE”.

Luna

December 2nd, 2011
10:08 pm

The rest saw their transit systems dismantled in the early to mid 20th century. Because of this we are having to rebuild them, from scratch. One of the reasons why they were dismantled and eliminated in so many places was because of the nearly 100% subsidized road and highway project that took place in the 20’s and 30’s. Thats how we have most of these interstates. They were fsubsidized by the government to get the project rolling. That is essentially what we are having to do with rail now. So any argument regarding how much roads have or have not been subsidized without considering the historical nature of their development and origination, is a half hearted attempt at truly understanding transportation.

Regardless facts are facts, and according to the U.S Government Accountability Office, road funding is composed as such: 51% “User Fee” (Gas tax, registration, taxes, etc: declining since 1965) 37% Non-user revenue (sales and property taxes, which is a subsidy: increasing since 1977), and 12% Bond Revenue (also a form of subsidy). So 2%; hardly. These numbers also do not account for all of the hidden costs associated with roads, and especially highway building.

The above is quoted from martarocks.com. And mass transit is a key foundational building block of a modern city with a modern economy. I encourage you all to read about transit in Europe and China. VIsit places with more established mass transit systems such as Barcelona, Spain or Philadelphia, PA, or NYC. Consider how mass transit can serve this region, it’s businesses, its’ workers, and its’ quality of life.

Lynn

December 2nd, 2011
11:42 pm

The Beltline killed the interest. What a waste!

Bryan -- MARTA Supporter

December 3rd, 2011
1:44 am

That’s what we need to do. Wait ANOTHER year to fix traffic and transit here. Wow not smart at all. And ATF if Cobb would have voted to join MARTA in the 70s there would already be rail at Town Ctr! This just shows that most still think backwards. Then you say Cobb is paying for it, even though this is clearly a REGIONAL tax. Everyone pays for it. Still thinking as a county and focusing on your local interest and not as a region. Someoe even ment

Michael H. Smith

December 3rd, 2011
2:31 am

Not everyone depends on mass transit or public transportation: Any socialist’s argument made to the contrary is pure foolishness.

Everyone depends on roads for things like food and clothing at the very least. Which are all delivered by trucks over roads, even your mass “WELFARE” transit depends on roads!

If you want a bus or a train to ride around in or to get about to and fro then you buy it. I’m not buying it for you. Unless, you buy my cars for me and subsidize the costs of my fuel, insurance and all other necessary maintenance as required in equal dollar proportions to what you demand be given to your socialist welfare transportation, otherwise NO MORE PUBLIC TAX MONEY FOR YOU AND MARTA SUX. :)

Michael H. Smith

December 3rd, 2011
3:02 am

I see those former surveyed supporters you cite must be sobering up Kyle?

I figured they’d come around to my way of voting: NOT ONLY NO, BUT HELL NO!

Now it’s time to sit back and laugh at these local socialists as they cry about we don’t have GOVERNMENT mass welfare transit like the rest of the modern socialist world complete with over compensated unionized employees who only vote for Democrats and use their dues money only to elect Democrats.

Bray on lil obumer dunkeys, bray on. :cry:

Bryan -- MARTA supporter

December 3rd, 2011
6:11 am

Michael H. Smith is an idiot. And we wonder why we can’t move forward. Thinking like that keeps us in the past. Just because you don’t use transit doesn’t mean it doesn’t help you. It give an alternative from driving and being stuck in traffic all day.

Not everything is shipped by truck. We do have airplanes and trains too. MARTA sux because of people like you that don’t support it and expect everything to be paid for by fares alone. Sorry sir but it doesn’t work that way. Just like roads don’t pay for themselves. Hell roads don’t generate any revenue directly. Even MARTA does that!

Lil' Barry Bailout (Revised Downward)

December 3rd, 2011
6:49 am

There should be no need to tax the public to pay for these transit projects. Simply charge a fare that covers the capital and operating costs. How can anyone object to that? Oh, right, the kooks need to hide the real costs because their pet projects are not economically viable.

Michael H. Smith

December 3rd, 2011
7:05 am

OH BOO HOOO Bryan who probably isn’t using his real name and hasn’t the guts to use his full name called me an idiot.

Well here you go Bryan you piece of garbage you are a STUPID IDIOT.

Yes stupid idiot it does mean that because I don’t use your bus it does NOT help me one little bit and I’m never stuck in traffic, certainly NOT ALL DAY YOU SERIAL EXAGGERATOR

Okay numb nutz if you in your infinite inability to reason logically say not everything is shipped by truck and suggest we do have airplanes and trains can show me what I said exactly then you might have won that part of some argument but not this one howbeit, cause I what actually said… are you ready this DEMwit… drum roll please… hold onto your union card there Bryan…

Everyone depends on roads for things like food and clothing at the very least. Which are all delivered by trucks over roads, even your mass “WELFARE” transit depends on roads!

Nothing ever is delivered to retail stores by a train or airplane, YOU “SERIAL EXAGGERATOR”.

MARTA SUX because lying idiot people like you phony Bryan that work for or profit from such socialist GUB’MENT entities that don’t know how things really do work and pay for themselves which MARTA DAMN WELL DOESN’T that is why it depends on taxpayer funding you LIAR!

I’m laughing even harder at you now foolish lil dunkey so bray on! :lol:

Michael H. Smith

December 3rd, 2011
7:15 am

LLB, you better stop telling the truth on these SOCIALIST DEMwit KOOKS one of them might just get so mad they’ll throw a copy of their manifesto at us.

Duck! Oooh that was a close one. Did you see the size of that Marxist manifesto that went flying by us LBB?

Lil' Barry Bailout (Revised Downward)

December 3rd, 2011
7:35 am

Must have been the large print edition, tossed by one of those dinosaurs who still believe in socialist claptrap such as subsidized transit.

carlosgvv

December 3rd, 2011
8:07 am

In order to approve of any tax increase a basic level of trust of the politicians receiving this money must exist. Since most of the politicians in America are bought and paid for by business and the unions, I have zero faith in them. Therefore, why should I believe a 1% tax increase money will actually go where it’s supposed to? Who will guarantee this will happen? Other political hacks?

bu2

December 3rd, 2011
8:16 am

@Luna
I’ve looked at that same US govt site they are quoting saying roads are heavily subsidized. Its a gross mis-reading by transit supporters to say users are paying 51%. The first line shows road money being diverted elsewhere and some of the funds are simply unidentified state funds which according to the site include user fees. I calculated the costs paid by users including tolls, gas taxes, assessments and unidentitied funds that the site said do include user fees as 105%. Debt is not a subsidy if it gets paid back by gas taxes.

Road Scholar

December 3rd, 2011
8:53 am

If the vote fails, legislators will have to grow a “pair” and adjust the present gas tax to inflation (it was set in the 1980’s) and then look at an additional increase.I realize there is about 12 regions that have a vote, but what do we achieve if we wait longer? More gridlock? More corporations locating elsewhere? More frustration?

Or do Ya’ll want more toll roads? More Managed lanes taken from “free lanes”? And Rapid Transit needs to be in the mix…

Michael H. Smith

December 3rd, 2011
8:55 am

bu2, the debate is not whether roads receive subsidy. They do and for very good well founded reasons, which I’ve already pointed out: Everyone depends on roads for transportation or at the very least for the delivery of (in some shape form or fashion) the essentials of food and clothing needed in life by everyone. The other point made is that road users have to buy and pay the total costs of operating their own vehicles, which users of mass WELFARE transit don’t!

To extend further those comments roads are necessary for the common defense – Et al Eisenhower and the Interstate Highway System – and last but certainly not least from the Articles of the Constitution public funding for roads has a mandate – Et al mail delivery:To establish Post Offices and “Post Roads”

The debate centers on should mass transit which is extremely subsidized even more so and to a greater extent than roads receive anything close to equal taxpayer funding, if any funding at all from this TSPLOST?

They proponents of nanny state “Socialized Transportation” have yet to show where “public mass transit” lives up to their claims or a justified need of the taxpayer funds they demand by virtue of cost benefit analysis.

I stand by my claim that roads should receive 80 to 90% of all taxpayer transportation funds.

@@

December 3rd, 2011
9:10 am

Oh lawd…another transportation piece.

Government seeks to expand “their beltline”. It’s already too big.

In preparation for the “mass transportation”, I’m lookin’ to get as far away as possible. Hopefully I’ll be dead before “the rest” find their way to my little slice of heaven.

schnirt

Michael H. Smith

December 3rd, 2011
9:17 am

Why play value added tax shell games, let the legislators grow a “pair” raise the “fuel tax” and only give a 10% share of taxpayer funding to a statewide “non-unionized privatize mass transit system” that charges at least 90% of the actual fare costs and using present rail roads rights of way.

That might change my vote. :)

Aquagirl

December 3rd, 2011
9:36 am

road users have to buy and pay the total costs of operating their own vehicles, which users of mass WELFARE transit don’t!

Sorry, boys, seeing your car as a ego-laden pen!s substitute does not factor into anything. But thanks for summing up your objections: “those people” use mass transit, while real god-fearing ‘Mericans drive their CARS, just like the Founding Fathers. Therefore subsidizing cars = good, subsidizing mass transit = communism.

We’ve come to a point where we can’t afford to be blustering children anymore. We simply can’t afford it, and public policy will either be made with deliberate forethought and consideration or our systems will collapse. Reality corrects delusional folk. Too bad the consequences don’t land just on them.

Chris Sanchez

December 3rd, 2011
9:38 am

Let me see, take the money I work very hard to earn away from me and entrust it to politicians who have a proven track record that demonstrates their inability to efficiently manage those funds. Hmmm…I think not!

Clearly there is traffic congestion in the ATL that must be addressed. Stripping out the mass transit part of this plan MIGHT garner some support from those of us who understand the farce that is public transportation. If it is such a good thing, let MARTA stand on it’s own merits. Why won’t MARTA charge fares that actually cover their operating expenses? The one-way fare needed to cover the bloated bureaucratic mess that is MARTA would shock the public! I suppose if we as a community decide that subsidizing public transit is a good idea then so be it. I decline!

This is a flawed plan designed by politicians for political benefit. I do not believe it will pass and certainly have no intention of supporting it. Once this plan is defeated, perhaps a serious plan can be put together that actually addresses our regional transportation needs. Until then, I will vote to allow my family to keep what I earn each day.

Buzz G

December 3rd, 2011
9:39 am

It’s not to much whether or not spending money on this is a good or bad thing. What nobody is addressing is what the hell is happening to the money we are already sending to the State? Why can’t some of these billions be directed to transit? When will it ever be enough? Seems to me politicians, be they Democrat or Republicans, are always looking for more. It is the right of the taxpayer to say “no mas.”

Chris Sanchez

December 3rd, 2011
9:43 am

Well said Buzz! How much is enough? I had a conversation recently about this “pay their fair share” garbage. My question is simple: what is fair? How much? Someone should be able to answer that simple question! Seriously, how much? 50%? 60? Is it 70%? First, let’s find out EXACTLY how much of someone else’s money is okay to take away from them before discussing what to do with it. That conversation ended rather abruptly to say the least.

Michael H. Smith

December 3rd, 2011
9:45 am

wa wa witch soory or not you don’t have the numbers to say what “we” can’t afford or what “we” should pay for or how “we” will do it. According to what Kyle wrote the 51% that did support your TSPLOST have changed their minds and now you & your socialist ego are losing. But you are correct, reality corrects delusional folk and soon once again you will stand correct when this TSPLOST fails and public WELFARE transit doesn’t get the funding you libs want.

Michael H. Smith

December 3rd, 2011
9:54 am

It is 100% Chris, that is your “fair share”, now pay up you, you, capitalist! :lol:

Lil' Barry Bailout (Revised Downward)

December 3rd, 2011
9:57 am

carlosgvv: Since all of the politicians in America are elected by the same morons who put Obozo in office, I have zero faith in them.
————

Fixed.

Streetracer

December 3rd, 2011
10:02 am

Seems to me that the quickest, cheapest, most efficient way reduce traffic congestion would be to improve and/or add cross streets to get from one major artery to another. There are too many “you can’t get there from here” situations in the metro area.

Additionally, I have read that mass transit becomes economically viable with a population density of around 15 people per acre. That is way more crowded than were I want to live.

Michael H. Smith

December 3rd, 2011
10:18 am

I hope you don’t believe everything you read on simple face value Streetcar, cause I seriously doubt “public mass transit” could ever become economically viable unless realistic costs of fares are paid for by the ridership. Population density or subtracting x number of cars from the roads still will not make up the difference or cover the costs of “public mass transit”.

Rafe Hollister

December 3rd, 2011
10:29 am

Since there are existing rail lines that practically go everywhere and are lightly used if at all, here is the solution. Have the state buy some of those old fashioned two man people powered pump cars that the RR guys used to do repairs, expand them to hold five or six people and park them at the Gulch downtown. All those who want to go to Town Center via rail can meet up and rent one, then drop it off at Town Center. Solves many problems, self supporting, reduces our obesity problems somewhat, and forces people to interact and work together for a common goal, i.e. get to Town Center before being splattered by an oncoming freight train.

Streetracer

December 3rd, 2011
10:36 am

MHS: @10:18

Didn’t read the actual study, so I’m not sure, but what I got out of what I did read was that 15 people per acre was where mass transit could reasonably be sold. Maybe “economicaly palatable” would be a better term. By “economicaly viable”, I didn’t mean to imply that mass transit would pay for itself, only that that population density is necessary to garner widespread support.

Mike Holzknecht

December 3rd, 2011
10:36 am

The T-splost is the only option available.
It’s continued gridlock or T-splost.
After 11 years of Republican foot dragging, the people of metro Atlanta have come up with a plan and will vote on it next year.
The team that only knows how to say, “No” will continue to say, “No”.
The adults will vote, “YES” for the T-splost.

Streetracer

December 3rd, 2011
10:49 am

Mike @ 10:36:

I kind of haave a problem with that whole line of thought. As I remember high school civics, the two primary functions of state and local government are public safety and infrastructure. If that is true, shouldn’t these special taxes be used to pay for the other stuff and the basic taxes already collected pay for the primary functions?

killerj

December 3rd, 2011
10:53 am

I can,t get past that the money will not be used for what it is intended for,it,s proven everyday in a broken system,Marta is an empty money pit that only gets worse year end and year out ,folk,s,taxes will never go down……NO.

yuzeyurbrane

December 3rd, 2011
10:54 am

I have mixed views on TSPLOST. There are a lot of projects there that would help whole economy. But also a lot of pork. Also, seems to be little private/public partnership type projects. Some seem to call for large financial contributions from main beneficiaries like Emory and CDC for rail project and Beltway developers for Beltway projects, yet they are looking for taxpayer handout rather than reaching into their own (sometimes huge, e.g. Emory) pockets. Socialism for the rich and powerful. As far as public input, it was all just a charade of the proponents marking off their checklist of required forums but not really listening. Probably best if they go back to drawing board.

getalife

December 3rd, 2011
11:14 am

Are you dawgs ready to face the best college team in football?

Down go the dwags like the rest of em..

Which part of LSU is # 1 do you dawgs not understand?

Geaux Tigers!

zeke

December 3rd, 2011
11:14 am

VOTE NO! NOT A SINGLE PENNY TO MORE FAILED MARTA REDISTRIBUTION PROGRAMS! NOT A PENNY FOR THE RIDICULOUS BELTLINE BOONDOGGLE! NOT A PENNY FOR THE RIDICULOUS EXPRESS BUS SYSTEM! NOT A PENNY FOR ANY OF THE PROPOSED SHARED RAIL LINES WITH FREIGHT TRAINS! NOT A PENNY FOR ANY TROLLEYS! ONLY IF ALL MONEY IS SPENT ON A COMPLETE REDESIGN OF THE ROADS, BRIDGES AND ESPECIALLY INTERCHANGES, AND, THE REMOVAL OF ALL HOV AND TOLL HOV LANES, SHOULD THIS BE APPROVED!
Look at the safety records! You cannot safely operate passenger rail on shared rails with numerous freight trains! You have to do dedicated no access of any kind rails like the Bullet Train in Japan! And, with the price of real estate, union labor, environmental scum groups and government red tape, IT IS TOO EXPENSIVE TO EVER BE COMPLETED! So, FIX THE ROAD SYSTEM FOR THIS CENTURY AND BEYOND!!!

very xmas

December 3rd, 2011
11:15 am

Look, when they built the outer perimeter, everyone said it would cause urban decay and gang banging, and they were right. And we haven’t even paid for it despite the death tax. Now, with Tsplost, (and it’s sister plan b, K-erplunk), which would add 14 thousand electric plug in chevy Volt taxi cabs to the already congested traffic scenario, we are supposed to believe that this is a viable plan b?

Come on. Get real.

Hillbilly D

December 3rd, 2011
12:13 pm

As has been mentioned earlier, a certain population density is required for mass transit to really work. You can’t really compare NYC to Atlanta. Manhattan Island is roughly 12 miles long and 2 miles wide, and has a considerably higher population. If Five Points is used as the center of Atlanta and you superimpose Manhattan on it, a comparable area would stretch roughly to Buckhead to the north, Hapeville to the south, Vine Street to the west and Boulevard to the east. That’s not set in stone but it gives a general idea of the apples to oranges comparison.

For those of us who were around back then, Atlanta had trackless trolleys until the late 1950’s or early 1960’s. They were basically electric buses that ran on an overhead grid system. They were ugly and basically had low usage. I don’t remember exactly but I think they were mainly confined to downtown. Before that, which is before my time, there were streetcars. In my opinion, mass transit will only work on a limited scale in Atlanta because everything is so spread out.

On another note, you have two choices with mass transit, it can pay for itself or it can be affordable transportation for the masses; it can’t be both. When MARTA was going through the original referendum, it was sold as affordable transportation for the masses. It also replaced the old Atlanta Transit Company, which by that time was all buses, I believe.

All that being said, I don’t live in the Atlanta T-SPLOST region, so whatever the people down there want to vote for, is their business and none of mine.

When the vote comes up in my region, though, I’ll vote “No”.

very xmas

December 3rd, 2011
12:47 pm

Atlanta is not New York in even the remotest sense of the geographical strata, moron. First, Atlanta’s subways are too frail to allow any additional infrastructural piling on. Second, Atlanta’s pizza is better than New Yorks. Secondly, and foremostly, New York is nothing but a parking lot because everyone there in the big apple drives a large SUV and it nearly always contains only one person, the driver/parker/shooter.

So the next time you want to add to the thread, make sure your needle is in your pants and not in your hand, Claude.

Aquagirl

December 3rd, 2011
12:55 pm

Atlanta’s pizza is better than New Yorks

I know these blogs get outta control, but now you’ve gone too far.

Hillbilly D

December 3rd, 2011
1:00 pm

but now you’ve gone too far.

I’m still trying to figure out who Claude is.