Georgia Public Policy Foundation Lukewarm To T-SPLOST

The pro-business Georgia Public Policy Foundation has released an analysis of the upcoming TIA T-SPLOST referendum, and the observation from the group is akin to the sound of one hand clapping.  From their press release:

  • Funding transportation infrastructure with a sales tax is not optimal, primarily because such a tax has no relationship to usage of the transportation system. At the same time, while a mix of taxes and userfees would be a better solution, it is politically challenging and may take longer to enact.
  • Transit is important to metro Atlanta and deserves some funding in the project list. Transit is inadequate in frequency and coverage. But the 52 percent of funding allocated to transit in the list is“proportionally excessive.” Increasing transit service is a laudable goal but should not come at the expense of developing and maintaining a quality highway network. Bringing MARTA to a good state of repair deserves a place on the project list, but the list also would fund some of the most questionable rail transit projects. Even if the region were to fund fixed-rail projects, routes along the Perimeter, in Gwinnett County, commuter rail to Athens and commuter rail to Lovejoy would be better options.
  • If the tax is voted down, the state must reduce matching funding to local governments from 90 percent to 70 percent. A“no” vote could exacerbate funding problems in the metro area. As a result of congressional balancing that mandates equal funds to each congressional district, and higher land and construction costs, metro Atlanta’s transportation dollars don’t go as far as funds do in other regions. The region could vote on a different project list in 2014, but that list may not be any better.
  • Widening highways alone will not reduce congestion over the long term. Pricing helps by ensuring commuters pay the accurate costs for their trips. A network of High-OccupancyToll (HOT) lanes should be added, which will improve traffic flow and be of enormous value to transit by offering reliable travel speed to buses.
  • Metro Atlanta needs to enhance its arterial network, using overpasses and underpasses to bypass congestion at signalized intersections on major arterials; lengthen the duration of traffic lights; lengthen turn lanes and judiciously add raised medians to prevent lane clogging and wrecks.

Shorter GPPF: Something clearly needs to be done, but we’re thinking this isn’t it.

You can read their full analysis here.

57 comments

  1. benevolus says:

    I wish traffic light synchronization would make it onto the list. How ridiculous is it to travel on Piedmont Road and have to wait at every other cross street that has no traffic?

    • The Last Democrat in Georgia says:

      You think that those poorly synchronized traffic lights are unintentional?

      No, silly. What we think of as poorly synchronized traffic lights are actually part of the City of Atlanta’s innovative “Traffic Management Through Extreme Driver Frustration and Aggravation Program”, or TMTEDFAP (pronounced “Tim-Ted-Fap”) for short.

      And with your comments, it looks like the program is working pretty darn well…

    • CobbGOPer says:

      I thought old Sonny Perdue was going to get that done? Oh right, he was more interested in spending billions on fishing programs and figuring out ways to double his personal wealth.

      This sounds to me like GPPF is really saying: “We don’t like this, we think it’s not great and probably won’t do much to help traffic, but we have to do something now so this might as well be it.”

      I just don’t see the issue with taking a year to review and revise this plan. But that could jeopardize the financial plans of all the corporate participants waiting to make money off the whole thing, and we can’t deny them their taxpayer-funded contracts now can we?

        • Calypso says:

          Dude, all the traffic signals in my area are synchronized. Each one starts at red, changes to green, then to yellow, and finally red again. They all do this each and every time. They are really well coordinated. How do yours work?

  2. Calypso says:

    Yeah, I remember as a kid pulling out the Sears & Roebuck catalog in early December and making out my Christmas wish list too.

  3. Harry says:

    At heave traffic major intersections a second turn lane should be added to allow for faster clearing of backup. One fine example would be the left turn lane situation from northbound Peachtree Industrial onto Pleasant Hill/State Bridge Rd. That often can be a 15 minute wait, and the remedy – shifting the through lanes a bit to the right – isn’t that expensive.

    • The Last Democrat in Georgia says:

      Yeah, about that stretch of Peachtree Industrial Boulevard…

      The powers-that-be probably don’t want to make any significant improvements to that stretch of PIB, no matter how logical those improvements may actually be, because the state and Gwinnett County both have what is at this point a fantasy about turning that stretch of PIB into an expressway by extending the super-artery portion of PIB that currently ends at the 141/P’tree Pkwy split up to Sugarloaf Parkway.

      They’ve even seriously discussed putting tolls on the express/through lanes to avoid having to use very limited tax revenues and to get it built quicker.

      Though after the public backlash to the I-85 HOT Lanes, Gwinnett County officials appear to have backed-off some of their tolling proposals, designating the Sugarloaf Parkway Extension that was originally planned to be a toll road for T-SPLOST funding by placing it on the project list and de-emphasizing talk of a tolled extension of Ronald Reagan Parkway to I-85 and a tolled expressway conversion of PIB.

      But I do know the exact location that you are referring to as the left-turn lanes from PIB onto Pleasant Hill are not anywhere near long enough to handle the heavy traffic that backs up into the left through travel lane at rush hour.

      In addition to adding double left-turn lanes and lengthening single-left turn lanes at major intersections, that entire stretch should be widened to six through lanes (three in each direction).

  4. Harry says:

    At heavy major intersections a second turn lane should be added to allow for faster clearing of backup. One fine example would be the left turn lane situation from northbound Peachtree Industrial onto Pleasant Hill/State Bridge Rd. That often can be a 15 minute wait, and the remedy – shifting the through lanes a bit to the right – isn’t that expensive.

  5. wicker says:

    This is a start, but not nearly enough. The folks who oppose T-SPLOST need to engage in an honest debate about this issue, which means either coming out and saying A) metro Atlanta has enough people already and we don’t want more economic growth, high paying jobs and the talent to fill them so transportation improvement is unnecessary or B) coming up with their own viable alternative (meaning something that has actually been implemented in other cities facing similar problems, or at least that respectable planners, traffic engineers and economists wouldn’t spend more time laughing at than analyzing).

    A lot of the T-SPLOST opposition is being “led” by people who are simply opposed to A) taxes, B) transit and C) anything that will benefit the city of Atlanta and have no interest in actually solving a problem. Yes, that includes the “pass the buck” types who say “we need to reform GDOT first” (the Erick Erickson line), “we should pay for this by cutting spending elsewhere” (the typical Tea Party evasion that fails to enumerate any actual cuts) and the “this list too heavily favors transit and doesn’t do enough for the suburbs” (never mind the fact that the transit advocates have been the ones leading on the transportation issue for years and willing to expend political capital on it while the suburbanites have opposed it all this time, not come up with any solutions on their own, but NOW want to jump to the front of the line with their hands out after contributing NOTHING to this debate but roadblocks and negativity all this time).

    And GPPF knows this. That is why they stated “The region could vote on a different project list in 2014, but that list may not be any better.” They know that after T-SPLOST is defeated, the Tea Party and talk radio types are going to celebrate their victories over taxes and socialism and just move on to other issues (the Jan Jones Milton County thing perhaps?), dig in their heels to spend the next 4 years defending President Mitt Romney, and regional transportation issues are going to be the last things on their mind. So, the folks who actually care about transportation – meaning the transit advocates and the inside the perimeter types – are going to do the hard work of leading AGAIN and come up with a list that addresses their concerns AGAIN. And next time, you won’t have Governor Deal and the moderate/conservative/establishment/business politicians and leaders behind it because A) they would have gotten burned last time and B) Deal in particular will be facing re-election.

    Because of a lack of leadership from conservatives, Republicans and suburbanites on transportation issues, this will honestly be the only shot at a regional transportation solution. It can’t happen without the backing of key Republican and business leaders, and they won’t stick their necks out next time after the “we know what we are against but we aren’t FOR anything in particular” chops it off this time.

    Again, even GPPF knows that the people leading the fight to defeat this proposal will never come up with a serious proposal of their own, which is exactly why they stated that the list won’t be better in 2014. Well, that means that the 2014 list will fail by an even bigger margin than this time around.

    • John Konop says:

      You brought up many valid points I have with the groups fighting this bill. I will end up voting for the bill even though I am not sold on it being a good bill. I am concerned doing nothing will hurt us more knowing that the real agenda for many in the opposition is to block anything. I do think the Tea Party group has done a good job at times of pointing out issues, but it cannot fall into the trap of being for nothing and against everything. They could become a very positive watch dog group that could help foster growth. The do nothing crowd better take a look in the mirror and ask is doing nothing really the best solution for metro Atlanta economy? It is about jobs, jobs……..at the end of the day.

      • Three Jack says:

        John,

        You wrote, “I will end up voting for the bill even though I am not sold on it being a good bill. I am concerned doing nothing will hurt us more…”

        Have you considered that voting YES will actually hurt us more? Say TSPLOST passes in July. That will absolve the legislature of any further motivation to address transportation issues even though most thoughtful folks who have read through the project list know it solves nothing. So we will be left with an underfunded plan that if ever fully completed will not solve the problem and a legislature able to say, ‘hey we gave you a plan, you voted YES, have a nice day’.

        A NO vote forces the legislature to get serious.

        • Calypso says:

          “A NO vote forces the legislature to get serious.”

          Or allows them to shrug their collective shoulders and say, “Meh…”.

          • The Last Democrat in Georgia says:

            You mean either a no or a yes vote allows the legislature to do what they were going to do anyways…Which is pretty much nothing.

        • John Konop says:

          Three Jack,

          You have done a great job of defining the real debate on this issue. The real question is if voted down do we trust the legislator to come up with a better plan and or one at all? I hear and agree with many of the points made about the plan. I just do not think in this political climate we will get anything better. I do respect your opinion on the issue and see your point. I am just less optimistic than you!

          • Three Jack says:

            John, I trust Tommy ‘yeah that’s the ticket’ Flanagan more than this legislature. But they all decided to seek public office knowing that transportation is one of, if not the most crucial issues facing Metro Atlanta and we voted them into office. Thus it’s time for this legislative body fully controlled by one party to get its act together and fix what is broken instead of the other way around. If not, then it is on us voters to find problem solvers to replace those who spend more time seeking handouts from lobbyists than facing tough issues.

    • benevolus says:

      Same for me. If this were a dictatorship then someone would just decide what to do and make it happen. In a democracy you have to – to some extent- involve all the various actors and build a consensus, which often leads to an imperfect solution, but at least it’s a plan.

    • CobbGOPer says:

      You unfairly deride Erickson. That is a big part of this issue: it’s not that we don’t want improved transportation. We do. We sit in the same traffic that supporters of TSPLOST sit through.

      Our problem is that we do not trust the people who will be running the show, and we believe that the process by which this plan came to fruition has involved a great deal of input from companies that stand to gain contracts from the plan. We’re frustrated that you’re asking us to pay more taxes for transportation when over the last decade the folks in charge at the Gold Dome have spent billions on things like Go Fish, when it’s obvious that money should have been going to transportation and/or education.

      We’re not interested in throwing good money after bad just because the politicians – who failed to do their jobs properly in the first place – start running around with their hair on fire telling us that every single business in Georgia is going to abandon us if we don’t vote for this thing. You people sound like Nancy Pelosi: “We need to pass it so we can see what’s in it.” That argument is just as silly in this situation as it was with Obamacare.

      • The Last Democrat in Georgia says:

        “We’re frustrated that you’re asking us to pay more taxes for transportation when over the last decade the folks in charge at the Gold Dome have spent billions on things like Go Fish, when it’s obvious that money should have been going to transportation and/or education.”

        …And water, ESPECIALLY water.

        • The Last Democrat in Georgia says:

          Oh, yeah…To Perdue, spending on “Go Fish” and boat ramps during one of the worst droughts ever in this state’s history fell into the water category. My bad.

      • Scott65 says:

        You cant complain about the Gold Dome when you keep electing the same people who do the same things. You actually had an intelligent comment until you had to throw the Nancy Pelosi line in there (which makes you sound more ‘no solution’). Newsflash CobbGOPer…the R’s run this state and have for the last several years. Nancy Pelosi has nothing to do with it

        • CobbGOPer says:

          I can absolutely complain about the Gold Dome when I don’t have any other choices to vote for in the election. I can’t turn out my state legislator unless someone actually runs against him. And I sure as hell can’t do it.

    • elfiii says:

      “This is a start, but not nearly enough. The folks who oppose T-SPLOST need to engage in an honest debate about this issue, which means either coming out and saying A) metro Atlanta has enough people already and we don’t want more economic growth, high paying jobs and the talent to fill them so transportation improvement is unnecessary or ”

      As a life long resident of ATL descended from people who settled this state back in the late 1700’s I’ll go with this one. Nothing personal. It was just better the way things were before all the growth came. There was no such thing as “watering restrictions” or “traffic jams”.

      • wicker says:

        No problem from me. I respect you and those like you. You choose quality of life over boom-type economic growth. That is a perfectly responsible, defensible position from a moral, political and economic standpoint. People with your position are not the problem. It is the people who claim to want economic growth but refuse to put forth a plan to facilitate it that are doing a lot of harm but no good..

        • The Last Democrat in Georgia says:

          “It is the people who claim to want economic growth but refuse to put forth a plan to facilitate it that are doing a lot of harm but no good..”

          …You mean like the people that are pushing this T-SPLOST referendum.

          • wicker says:

            No. As many flaws as this T-SPLOST plan has, A) it is an actionable plan and B) it will provide benefits (just not where you live), primarily if companies and residents choose to locate where the bulk of the transportation projects will be located. And on B), there honestly is nothing wrong with it. The folks who support this want to benefit from it with economic growth in their areas. So shoot them. The problem is not them trying to get what they want, but you guys’ failure/refusal to provide an alternative.

      • Dave Bearse says:

        Georgia per capita income that was two-thirds of the national average, and Georiga average educational attainment a few years less than the national average, isn’t my idea of the good old days.

      • I’m with elfiii here. I’m a native Georgian and have had family in the state for quite a few years. At what point does Atlanta reach “full”? Some other related questions… where is the water going to come from to flush a million extra toilets, run all the extra showers and washing machines and provide that thirst quenching glass of iced tea? How well is the sewer infrastructure going to hold up to all these new residents? It’s about more than transportation here… Atlanta needs more resources than just transit to accommodate all these new residents you’re proposing.

        Furthermore, I’m not opposed to talking about funding transit systems. But if you want to think of Atlanta as a world class city, you have to compare our existing transit system to the world. It needs to have zone based fares. You can easily spend over USD $10 for a one way fare in San Francisco, Paris, Rome and Vienna just to name a few other cities with transit. The most you’ll spend on a North Springs to Airport ride on MARTA? A paltry $2.50. For those saying “Well MARTA doesn’t serve enough places”… BS. There are transfers to buses that take you a number of places. You can even hop on a CCT or Gwinnett county bus and go outside FulCo and DeKalb. Doesn’t go enough places? The CAT train in Vienna has two stops. Wien-Mitte station and the airport. The price? 11 Euros, or nearly USD $14. How’s that for “doesn’t go enough places”?

        Raise MARTA’s prices and then we’ll talk about raising taxes on every single thing I buy.

        • benevolus says:

          I don’t think we have reached zero population growth yet, so this city and this state are going to grow. You have to think 20 years ahead when considering these projects. If we think it’s bad now, it’s just going to get worse.
          And as I’ve said before, becoming a smaller city or state would be painful. It would be nice to think that we could just maintain stability, but in a capitalist culture, that is hard to do. There is always someone out there ready to steal your businesses and your jobs if you are not vigilant.
          I would like to think that having watched other cities like Detroit and Philadelphia and Baltimore go through painful downsizing that we could learn something and avoid all that mess.

        • The Last Democrat in Georgia says:

          They don’t need to raise taxes on every single thing you buy as in addition to zone-based and distance-based fares, transit upgrades can be paid for with fees on parking fines and traffic fines (the people who cause the huge wrecks that backup traffic beyond creation and create the pressing need for transit alternatives), Tax Increment Financing (property tax revenues from future development that pops around transit stations and on transit lines), public-private partnerships (like the kind that the state was originally going to use to finance a very-large chunk of the I-75/I-575 NW HOT Lane project) and sin taxes on adult entertainment, alcohol and tobacco.

          Transit upgrades could also be paid for with optional taxes by asking people if they would like to donate a certain minimal amount to help fund transit improvements when they file their state income taxes.

          There are plenty of resourceful ways to fund critically-needed transit improvements and upgrades without raising everyone’s taxes, but of course that would require political leaders with brains who actually gave a damn, wouldn’t it?

  6. The Last Democrat in Georgia says:

    “Shorter GPPF: Something clearly needs to be done, but we’re thinking this isn’t it.”

    Exactly, I completely agree with the Georgia Public Policy Foundation that something obviously needs to be done, but this is definitely NOT it.

  7. wicker says:

    @CobbGOPer:

    So, you don’t trust Nathan Deal? So … why did you vote for him? You don’t trust the people put in place by Sonny Perdue? So … why did you vote for him TWICE? You don’t trust the REPUBLICAN DOMINATED Georgia legislature? So, why do you keep electing them year after year?

    That is why the Nancy Pelosi nonsense doesn’t work. These are the people that you elected, and have been electing for over a decade. You elected the politicians that failed to do their jobs properly in the first place. You elected the politicians that have opposed transportation proposals in the past without offering their own plan EVER.

    What you guys want is for THE OTHER SIDE to come up with a transportation plan THAT BENEFITS YOU. Well sorry, that is no more going to happen than you guys expending major political capital on a significant policy initiative that benefits THEM. If you guys want something that will primarily benefit yourselves, then you guys – and the people that you elect – need to create it, back it, and put in the hard work of getting it enacted.

    That is why when you claim “it’s not that we don’t want improved transportation” it is disingenuous. I repeat: you guys never propose a plan of your own. This T-SPLOST thing has been in the works for over two years, and NONE OF YOU HAVE COME UP WITH A SINGLE VIABLE ALTERNATIVE, LET ALONE HOW YOU PLAN TO GET IT ENACTED POLITICALLY, NOR HOW TO PLAN TO FUND IT. That is why I said that even GPPF’s statement was only a start. GPPF did a great job of listing problems with the current plan, but they did not come up with their own alternative. If a public policy institute – a private group whose members are not elected – aren’t going to come up with a transportation plan, what makes you think that the people elected by Erick Erickson voters are going to ever come up with something that increases funding to hated MARTA/Atlanta, raises taxes and raises spending? Name for me the suburban GOP leader that is going to draw a certain primary challenge by doing that? Is it the state senator or state representative that represents your district?

    And that goes back to my main point. It isn’t that better alternatives to this bill do not exist: they do. It is that the people who want the alternatives will never, ever produce one. You know that this is true. And that is why a vote against this bill is a vote against economic growth for the region. Fine, start advocating economic growth for Savannah, Macon, Augusta, Columbus etc. because it isn’t going to happen in metro Atlanta with leaders like this, and the voters like you who elect them.

    • Scott65 says:

      well said…and why not add advocating growth for Charlotte, Dallas TX, Orlando, and Nashville all of which would like nothing more than for this to fail. Just a bit of misinformation that I’ve read around here that I think needs to be clarified about the TIA
      1. It is limited to 10 years or the amount set that needs to be raised (not sure of that number) WHICHEVER COMES FIRST. So theoretically, this could only be 7yrs if the economy improves.
      2. The only way this tax can be renewed (and it is explicit in the bill) is by the legislature calling for a vote exactly like this one. There is no correlation between how this tax could renew with GA 400’s tolls…none. There was nothing written into the bill that created GA 400 that said the toll had to be removed. That was implied, not written into law, so we should make sure these things are understood when they are being drafted (yes, if we care about it…we should read the bills…as excruciatingly painful as that might be).
      3. MARTA love it or hate it 400,000 trips per week are carried by MARTA (not counting other transit agencies in the region). Failure of this tax and releasing MARTA’s money (no 50/50 split) will result in draconian cuts to service. a 2% decrease in people people taking MARTA could throw 8,000 cars a DAY into the commute. These are hard numbers. Its easy to say wait 2 years, but you wont get anything better, and in 2 years there might not be as much federal help either.

      • The Last Democrat in Georgia says:

        There may not be very much federal help if the T-SPLOST is approved by voters now either as in case you haven’t noticed, the Federal Government is $16 TRILLION in the hole and teetering on the edge of a “fiscal cliff”.

        • Scott65 says:

          that is pure fiction…the fiscal cliff part. Inflation is low, the government can borrow at historic lows, and deficits rise in recessions (these are all well documented facts)…thats how you get out of a liquidity trap. If there is no funding, it will be based on nonsense from Rep. Mica. Now is the time for big projects (Hoover Dam). You cut spending when times are good like Bill Clinton did and George Bush didnt (in addition to 2 wars that he kept off the books). The fiscal cliff is getting kinda tired…try again with something a little less abstract

          • The Last Democrat in Georgia says:

            “The fiscal cliff is getting kinda tired…try again with something a little less abstract”

            Yes…Because continuing to hike up a $16 TRILLION (that’s trillion, with a “T”) National Debt at a shocking and alarming rate while watching one of your key trading partners (the European Union) descend into the ninth-level of financial hell after having just barely escaped a brush with economic armageddon is indeed a concept that is purely “abstract”.

            • John Konop says:

              Last Dem,

              In fairness the national debt is not about infrastructure spending which actually creates tax revenue. The problem with national debt is Medicare and defense spending. Social security can be fixed with few minor tweaks, but Medicare is a nightmare. Both parties refuse to deal with in honest basis, the issue of healthcare cost growing at an out of control manner. The GOP in one breath claims to want to make cuts yet yells death panel when real cuts are proposed. The Dems are in fantasy land thinking we can keep Medicare in its current form.

              We cannot compete with the world with a decaying infrastructure.

              • The Last Democrat in Georgia says:

                I agree with and understand your points.

                My point is that the supporters of the T-SPLOST seem to be of the mind that we can just go to the Feds to pick up the rest of the tab on the numerous projects, especially the transit projects, that the T-SPLOST only partially funds.

                We have even been warned by our U.S. Senators and U.S. Representatives in Congress that with the Federal Government’s increasingly severe fiscal situation we are not going to be able to depend on the Feds to provide either matching funds or the rest of the funding as might have been the case in years’ past to get the projects that the T-SPLOST only partially funds.

                And yet, the backers of the T-SPLOST continue to insist and perpetuate that we will be able to lean increasingly on the Feds to provide the balance of funding on projects that this referendum only partially funds.

                It is like they are being totally oblivious to this nation’s increasingly precarious fiscal situation just so that they can get their hands on a big pot of public money so that they go back to business-as-usual and attempt to resume the overbuilding and overdevelopment mania that helped to land us in the huge [mess] that we are knee deep in right now.

                • John Konop says:

                  I cannot argue with your point about using the FED as backstop while they are running out of money. Yet proper infrastructure is a key ingredient of growing out of the debt problem. At the end unless we deal with Medicare and military spending in an honest measure it will not matter. And the only thing keeping the game alive is our banker China cannot afford to call the note, the baby boomer generation have not hit full tilt and the US balance sheet looks better than the EU.

                • gt7348b says:

                  The only transit project on TIA relying on additional federal funds to make it logical is Cobb’s. The rest all have been vetted and can be delivered according to full report delivered on GRTA’s website. If you’re going to call out something – call out the truth and don’t smear other projects like the transit centers on I-20.

                  • The Last Democrat in Georgia says:

                    GRTA has been assigned “the role of ensuring delivery of transit projects for the Atlanta region (on time and on budget)” under the TIA.

                    With such a major role in the TIA if the T-SPLOST passes, what else would GRTA say?…That under their supervision there’s no way on God’s Green Earth that these transit projects could ever be delivered within the 10 years or less that the tax is supposed to collected?

                    Yeah, right…With GRTA playing such a major role in the in the TIA they and anyone else who is backing the T-SPLOST referendum can’t exactly be expected to give the most impartial analysis of those projects.

                  • The Last Democrat in Georgia says:

                    Of course, projects that basically involve only paying exorbitant fees to well-connected and high-priced consulting firms through the simple act of only handing them a big fat paycheck (like the $20 million Atlanta to Griffin commuter rail “project” (Who knew that implementing commuter rail was so cheap?) or the $95 million vaguely-defined I-85 North Transit Corridor) will always be delivered on time).

              • The Last Democrat in Georgia says:

                “We cannot compete with the world with a decaying infrastructure.”

                I completely agree.

                But not only can we not compete with the world, but we can’t even compete with next-door neighbor drug cartel-ruled, third-world Mexico if our Federal Government goes completely bankrupt…Which we already are now, it just hasn’t become totally official yet.

                Maybe we should consider first getting our fiscal house in order and avoiding a financial meltdown and the second Great Depression that would result before we go on a spending binge in the name of investing in infrastructure.

          • saltycracker says:

            Sir Keynes would be all for Hoover Dam projects but he would roll in his grave over the transfer of money from the producers to the leaches that his economic philosophy has been bastardized too.

            The cliff gets higher when you raise the debt ceiling as a % of GDP.

    • CobbGOPer says:

      And that’s the problem with making assumptions.

      I didn’t vote for these guys. In case you didn’t know, I supported Karen Handel, the one who had the courage to call Deal and the General Assembly out for what they are: crooks.

      So you can take your self-righteousness right on down the road. I’ve been criticizing these people for years for their failings, including wasting colossal amounts of taxpayer dollars that should have been spent on transportation before now.

      And by the way, it ain’t my f-ing job to come up with an alternative. That’s what the lobbyists pay the legislators to do…

  8. billdawers says:

    I have all sorts of problems with the TIA T-SPLOST process, like many readers of this blog seem to, but I’d second some of the comments here about the lack of viable alternatives at this point. The proposals from this organization would almost certainly result in years of delay for important projects, increased reliance by employees on automobiles, and increased fees and tolls for all drivers and transporters of goods. It’s hard to see how anyone could call such proposals “pro-business”.

    • wicker says:

      Do not mistake me. I am more than willing to support alternative proposals. The problem is A) the lack of realistic, serious alternative proposals and B) the lack of serious, principled leaders – among those who oppose TSPLOST that is – who are willing to invest the hard work, leadership and political capital necessary to get it done. If the T-SPLOST opponents cared as much about transportation as the T-SPLOST advocates did, that would be great. It would be outstanding were there competing visions on how to address the traffic problems. But there is no competing vision. There is just one side with their (very flawed) plan and another side who thinks that the solution to everything is cutting taxes, corporate welfare (especially to Georgia Power) and splitting Fulton into 3 counties.

  9. Scott65 says:

    I’ve looked at the project list, and I dont see one project that I can say is useless. They all will benefit some subset of the region. Redesign 285/400 interchange? I dont use 400 much, but I’m guessing its of high value…as is 285/20 interchanges. Just because you dont live where a project is doesn’t mean it wont benefit you if you commute. The Clifton Corridor project is way overdue…also dont forget that 15% of all money raised stays in the locality where it is collected.

    • The Last Democrat in Georgia says:

      You know, you do have a point.

      The more that I think about it, the more that I realize that a new air traffic control tower and runway lighting system at Cobb County Airport/McCollum Field will do wonders for the bi-daily severe traffic congestion and gridlock on Interstates 75 & 575 during rush hours.

      That’s it I’m on board, sign me up!

      T-SPLOST! T-SPLOST! T-SPLOST!

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