Last Friday, John Oxendine released his transportation plan as part of his proposed agenda for when he is Governor.
“An East-West Connector” across the northern metro counties, but when called a “Northern Arc”, Oxendine rebuts the charge with “I didn’t use that word”.
Other projects proposed or proposed for “study” include an improved fall line freeway, a far-western bypass to get traffic around Atlanta, and a new freeway through Atlanta, parallell to the downtown connector, connecting GA 400 to I-675. This road, slicing through the heart of Druid Hills and East Atlanta Village, got most of the attention in reactions from the AJC, Creative Loafing, and another blog with an in-town focus that has recently taken to calling us a cesspool (Hi Grift!).
It’s interesting that most of the on-line and print media that covers Georgia politics took a story like this and treated it as if they were the Georgia Gang. That is, they only focused in on the part that matters to the people that live within 5 miles of Briarcliff Road.
The comments on Griftdrift’s blog were especially interesting, because they were all discussing how this would really piss off the people in East Atlanta Village and that would really motivate them to vote against the Ox. Myopia runs amock.
First, look at Ox’s general campaign strategy. I’m pretty sure it makes him happy when the folks in East Atlanta Village hate him. He doesn’t just want them to be mildly annoyed with him. If he does something to make EAV’ers HATE him, then he’s probably doing something to make residents of Hiram, Cumming, Dacula, and Newnan LOVE him.
Ox is trying to win a Republican primary, and I don’t think he’s held too many campaign events at the Graveyard Tavern.
Which makes this look like yet another pandering campaing ploy, until you thrown in the “don’t call it an Arc” Northern Arc.
Of all the issues that defeated Roy Barnes, I still put this one ahead of the flag, but still behind a mob of pissed off teachers. Yet, after 7 years of transportation studies and the total abortion that was DOT reform, I have to wonder if the mood across the Northern suburbs has softened toward this road, or if Ox is conceding some territory that might be considered Handel/Deal territory. Regardless, reviving the idea of the Northern Arc is hardly a “safe” political move.
Regardless of motivation, it’s a topic that needs to be addressed and intensely debated. The next governor needs to arrive on West Paces Ferry with a plan, not a plan to conduct more studies.
I applaud the Ox for articulating his opinions in this area.