Glad T-SPLOST Defeated

Many people feel that the cure all to the many woes of transportation in Georgia is more money.  Perhaps they are right, but right now, as things stand, I submit they are wrong.  More money would simply continue the antiquated policies and programs at GA DOT.

Commissioner Abraham needs time to finish cleaning up the department before we go about flooding it with new money.  The people of Georgia aren’t going to all of a sudden have a nervous breakdown if T-SPLOST is delayed by a year and in fact, I’d say they likely will benefit because of time to allow for better and more efficient policies to be put in place. 

With that said, the area I feel our legislators should have focused and hopefully will next year is that of actual transportation POLICY.  Georgia should join its neighbors, South Carolina and Florida in adopting Complete Streets policy guidelines for all future DOT projects. 

Complete streets policies simply require that the safety, interests, and convenience of all users – drivers, bicyclists, transit users and pedestrians of all ages and abilities  – be considered in the design and construction of transportation projects. The public right-of-way – our roads – should be designed and built for safe travel by everyone.  Citizens want more travel options that are safe and convenient.  A new poll from the National Association of REALTORS® found that 83% of respondents would like communities built so they can use their cars less. 

Complete streets policies are vital to improving the mobility and access of senior citizens, children and people with disabilities.  Complete streets can be a vital tool in improving chronic public health problems such as obesity by enabling more active lifestyle.  Complete streets increase the capacity of the road network by providing more choices.

12 comments

  1. bowersville says:

    Bull have you driven in South Carolina lately? Written policy is one thing, reality is another.

    South Carolina doesn’t have roads signs that can be followed by motorists. No wonder the people motoring South Carolina want Complete Street policies.

    Georgia is light years ahead. The reality of roads in South Carolina isn’t a good model.

  2. bowersville says:

    Besides if people desire to drive an automobile less, move into a golf cart community. Why should the tax payers pay for your development hiking, bicycling, cart path community.

  3. Holly says:

    Part of South Carolina’s problem is that they have the most miles of state roads in the south, and one of the highest in the nation. The counties, of course, don’t want to take responsibility for roads that the state has been paying for, but the state’s budget is stretched thin by roads that have no business being maintained by the state. Until South Carolina fixes that issue, their roads aren’t going to be very complete.

    That said, bowersville, the roads you and I drive on in South Carolina in its midlands and upstate are totally different than the roads that Bull Moose probably drives on in the lowcountry. South Carolina maintains the touristy areas best. 🙂

  4. Progressive Dem says:

    The State of Georgia has proven time and again that it isn’t going to fix metropolitan Atlanta’s traffic problems. The GOP leadership is also proving that it isn’t going to help solve traffic problems either. T-Splost would have given local governments and voters the option to invest in their infrastructure, improve the quality of life and stregthen the local economy. There was no reason what so ever to delay. Abrams can get her DOT act together, but it won’t be enough. The T-Splost did not orginate in Georgia. It is a model that other metropolitan governments are using quite successfully to relieve congestion.

    If DOT wants to start thinking about policy, it needs to consider spending money on something besides roads, and in particaular four-lane roads to nowhere in south Georgia. High speed rail connecting us to Florida, North Carolina, the northeast and Tennesse. New freight lines from Savannah to Atlanta and beyond to reduce the ever increasing number of trucks on the interstates are desparately needed. And commuter rail will spread the economic engine of Atlanta to smaller towns and cities. Yes, Abrams and DOT have a big job ahead, but T-Splost would not have been an obstacle – it was absolutely needed. Shame on the GOP leadership for their narrow-minded ineptitude.

  5. JSBarrington says:

    Bull, the Complete Streets idea sounds like just another “feel-good” plan that would expand and grow the size, cost and responsibility of our government. Bowersville, I agree with you. The objective of our transportation problem is to reduce traffic by developing innovative, new ways to get from point A to point B and to build new roads, providing new routes in metro-Atlanta.

    If local cities want to do this complete streets deal, great. But, Bull, I don’t think people living in metro-Atlanta that work Downtown are going to walk or ride a bike 40 miles. ; ) Sounds like a seniors community would be a great place for this idea.

    Georgia needs new roads, to ways to get around. And we do not have the money to build roads. We don’t even have the resources to fix all the existing roads.

    I agree there are many funding mechanisms that could be used to get the money we need. The T-SPLOST is a good idea. For instance, and I think Holly mentioned, North Carolina (Mecklenberg Co.) is doing a amazing job. They passed a T Splost and they have high-speed rail, a transit system and new roads.

  6. Progressive Dem says:

    The following metro Atlanta senators voted against T-Splost:

    Don Balfour – Snellville
    David Shafer – Duluth and Alpharetta
    John Wiles – Kennesaw
    Judson Hill – Marietta
    Vincent Fort – Atlanta
    Chip Rodgers – Woodstock
    Ronnie Chance – Tyrone

    Next time you are wishing somebody would do something about traffic congestion, I hope you’ll remember these senators. And please don’t forget to thank them in July and November.

    I’m sure all these conservative Republicans are pleased to have voted with Vincent Fort, one of upper chambers biggest pant loads and the only Democrat from metro Atlanta that voted against Resolution 845.

  7. Jace Walden says:

    Bull, the Complete Streets idea sounds like just another “feel-good” plan that would expand and grow the size, cost and responsibility of our government.

    JSBarrington,

    Trust me. You’re not going to convince Bull Moose to give up on something because it is “big government”. In fact, I would be willing to bet that it would only cause him to favor it more.

  8. Bull Moose says:

    Ugh, folks, goodness sake… This is about making the best use of PUBLIC resources.

    This is not about “feel good” or growing government. Trust me, I do not support either feel good or big government policies, I support policies that make the best use of our public resources and tax dollars.

    Complete Streets will accomplish that and enhance our communities. Visit the website, http://www.completestreets.com to learn more about it.

  9. Chris says:

    I for one am glad my Senator (Shafer) stood up and said “heck no” on a tax increase. Traffic sucks, agreed. However a forced regional sales tax promoted by one of Speaker Richardon’s lackeys isn’t the answer.

  10. Icarus says:

    The following metro Atlanta senators voted against T-Splost:

    Don Balfour – Snellville
    David Shafer – Duluth and Alpharetta
    John Wiles – Kennesaw
    Judson Hill – Marietta
    Vincent Fort – Atlanta
    Chip Rodgers – Woodstock
    Ronnie Chance – Tyrone

    And Senator Eric Johnson says:

    “I think there’s more bad news to come out of DOT. People will be on their hands and knees thanking God Almighty it (the proposed T-SPLOST) wasn’t on the ballot,”

    So, If you don’t want to thank God, you can thank the above mentioned senators.

  11. Chris says:

    If you’ve seen the kinds of bills he’s proposed. Chip Rogers is a god.

    Well, except for the SHAPE Act.

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