Jacobs, Jerguson On ARC Transportation Roundtable

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ATLANTA— House Transportation Committee Chairman Jay Roberts (R-Ocilla) today announced that State Representative Sean Jerguson (R- Holly Springs) has been appointed to the to the Atlanta Regional Commission (3) Regional Transportation Roundtable (RTR) Executive Committee:

Representative Jergusons name was released along with twenty-four other House appointments to the twelve Regional Transportation Roundtable (RTR) Executive Committees. Each Region will have two appointees by the House Transportation Chair, Jerguson, along with Representative Mike Jacobs (R-Dunwoody), will represent the most populated Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC).

An RTR, created under HB 277- the Transportation Investment Act of 2010 – is made up of local elected officials within each of the special transportation regions. The RTRs will determine which transportation projects go before the voters for consideration in the 2012 General Primary election. As Chairman of the House Transportation Committee, Rep. Roberts is tasked with appointing two members of the Georgia House of Representatives to serve on each RTR Executive Committee.

8 comments

  1. Scott65 says:

    Just what we need…clueless politicians telling us what projects we need. How about some transportation experts on those committees. These guys will be bought and paid for for the road building interests in the state (as has been the case so far).

    • AubieTurtle says:

      Who would select the experts? I’m quite sure that those with a financial interest in transportation would find a way to make sure “experts” friendly to what is best for them would end up being selected. In this arena, you can find experts with credentials up the wazoo who will give any opinion you want.

      Transportation in Georgia is simply going to have to hit rock bottom. Other metros who are already using it to attract business and talent will have to really REALLY start crushing us before anything real happens. Right now it is a game to see how many times the can is kicked down the road. Now they’ve abdicated responsibility altogether and pushed it on the public. Which is fine for a pure democracy but weaselly for a representative republic.

      No matter what mix of projects is selected, I doubt the new tax will pass. And there doesn’t seem to be any sort of plan b for what to do should it not pass.

      • Dave Bearse says:

        Aubie, I agree the approval prospects are not as good as many people think. It’s going to be tough for politicians to agree on projects that will be supported by Fulton and DeKalb voters that will have to pay twice the rate as the residents of other metro Counties. Then there’s the matter of transportation taxation and transportation use.

        In-town residents with single digit mile commutes aren’t likely to be receptive to a program that taxes them twice as much as those with commutes that are twice or more the distance.

        It speaks volumes concerning the Governor’s and General Assembly’s tax policy ideas and business acumen when they support taxing a $2,000 computer ten times more than a $200 load of gravel, especially when the latter causes hundreds or thousands times more wear and tear on pavements and bridges.

  2. Progressive Dem says:

    Hopefully Rep Jacobs will recognize that taking care of transit is the first transportation priority of his constituents, and those in the remainder of DeKalb and Fulton. Making road improvements is not going to do much for DeKalb and Fulton. Fixing the Ga. 400 and I-285 interchange will suck up a ton of money and won’t improve transportation for much of DeKalb or Fulton. Improving 285, or the downtown connector is impossible. Atlanta and DeKalb won’t accept new road construction through exisitng neighborhoods.

    Transit is where the emphasis must be placed, but there are stumbling blocks with HB277. It doesn’t permit spending on MARTA operations. If MARTA is not financially sound, the Feds will not fund MARTA capital expansions. Therefore money from HB 277 can’t leverage federal dollars and HB 277 will be ineffective in building new transit. Federal money has paid up to 80% of the capital costs for expansions to MARTA rail.

    The region and the state have to help MARTA’s get their operating costs manageable. One way to do that is for the region to pay for the operation of the MARTA rail system. HB 277 could be modified to accomplish this. (Needless to road contractors are adamantly opposed to this and will heavily fight it in the General Assembly.) MARTA bus could be paid with the MARTA penny. HB277 permits using proceeds for GRTA, Gwinnett and Cobb transit buses.

    Until we deal with transit, no project list will be acceptable in DeKalb and Fulton.

    • Rambler1414 says:

      Well said.

      And I’ll add another ridiculously expensive project that isn’t in the best interest of Metro Atlanta: Managed Lanes up GA 400 to Forsyth County.

      The solution to regional transit is scrapping MARTA. It’s sad, but white people in Cobb/Gwinnett just don’t want their tax dollars associated with MARTA. Call it something new and roll MARTA/CCT/XPress/etc. into 1 system and have the 10 counties pay for it.

      • Progressive Dem says:

        The difficulty with scrapping MARTA is that it is entangled in bonds, leasebacks and other financial instruments. MARTA can be reorganized and renamed, but those obligations will remain. It won’t be pretty.

        For a metropolitan area of our size we have very few toll roads. Managed lanes need to be tested in metro Atlanta, but they’ve done well in California. I like the user pays concept for more drivers. It reduces the subsidies.

        There is technology available to tax drivers by the miles driven. Everytime you fill up with gas, mileage is read and user fees are applied. Current methods for paying for roads are not functioning. The federal highway trust fund is busted. Bridge and highway mintenance costs are going through the roof. We are not maintaining infrastructure nationally, statewide or regionally. We have to come up with revenue alternatives.

        • “Everytime you fill up with gas, mileage is read and user fees are applied.”

          I don’t like the idea of reading mileage at gas pumps… it’s just more initial investment. I’d rather see something along the lines of Toronto’s toll road, which has the capability of reading license plates. If we’re going to base something off the gas pump we might as well up the gas tax… which will in turn encourage people to drive more fuel efficient cars, hopefully reducing the smog hanging over the city in the summer.

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