Hey, Remember That T-SPLOST Thing?

November 19, 2012 10:14 am

by Charlie · 38 comments

While many of us are trying to forget the November election, Kyle Wingfield has the audacity to remind us of the failure that was T-SPLOST.  Why bring up this unpleasantness?  Because the state DOT is going to spend $5 Million of existing funds to make a few downtown bridges pretty.

“The makeover, according to the Midtown Alliance, will include colored under-lighting for night time and the words “Peachtree Street” in lights, as well as sculptured fences and sidewalks on the surface level over the I-85/I-75 interchange.

“The Department of Transportation’s board approved the expense on Thursday. DOT will put $1.7 million toward the $5 million project for two bridges. Three other bridges would follow later, said DOT board member Sam Wellborn.”

Yes, this must be the best way to spend $5 million in transportation funding (the Atlanta Downtown Improvement District is to contribute some of the money). Just think how pretty Peachtree Street will look as motorists are stuck in traffic on or underneath it!

Now, before you say, “It’s only $5 million. How much traffic relief could we get for that kind of money?” — I have numbers.

Wingfield is kind enough to spell out projects within the City of Atlanta that were on the project list and could be accomplished were it not for the pressing need to beautify existing bridges.  And then he adds another problem that leads to misplaced priorities:

Ah, but what about this line from the AJC story?

The DOT money comes from signs near highway exits that advertise businesses at upcoming rest stops. That money is dedicated to making “gateways” to the state attractive.

Shouldn’t that stipulation preclude the money from being spent on traffic improvements rather than sprucing up our roads? I dunno; ask me again after the state has stopped diverting other fee revenues from the purposes prescribed by the laws creating them.

Not wasting this $5 Million and spending it on projects identified as needed to reduce congestion would be a nice start.  Just think, if that small action could begin to rebuild trust with how our transportation dollars are spent, just imagine how much trust could be built if $300 Million of hotel/motel tax money wasn’t squandered on replacing infrastructure that already works and was used on a project that could benefit a much greater portion of Atlanta’s hotel industry. **cough, Beltline, cough**

Charlie November 19, 2012 at 10:23 am

Kyle continues his audacity by bringing up the same stadium question with respect to Atlanta’s real priorities while I was lifting his above work.

http://blogs.ajc.com/kyle-wingfield/2012/11/19/some-questions-for-those-pursuing-a-new-falcons-stadium/?cxntfid=blogs_kyle_wingfield

saltycracker November 19, 2012 at 10:30 am

Guess you missed the economic justification where the beautiful overpasses not only attracted business and hundreds of jobs.
The ACLU will be suing for the homeless as all the lights involve health & safety damaging sleep deprivation for those trying to sleep under the bridges.

bgsmallz November 19, 2012 at 10:40 am

Details. I love how Kyle just happens to leave out the rest of the paragraph. I’m sure that wasn’t for spin…durrrrr…

“The Department of Transportation’s board approved the expense on Thursday. DOT will put $1.7 million toward the $5 million project for two bridges. Three other bridges would follow later, said DOT board member Sam Wellborn. Kevin Green, president of the Midtown Alliance, said all the money is now in place and both projects will hopefully be completed in spring of 2014. The Atlanta Downtown Improvement District is also helping fund the project.”

I’m not an engineer, but that looks like the DOT is matching $1.7M in funds towards $3.3M that is being provided by two private/public partnerships. As someone who has spent time as a pedestrian on both of those bridges, the improvements are well over-due and needed.

http://www.ajc.com/news/news/local/peachtree-street-bridge-get-enhancements/nS8DQ/

But let’s at least frame the question correctly…it’s not $5M in DOT money that we could spend on projects, it’s $1.7M that is matching $3.3M in private local funds. And it isn’t because the DOT came in and decided it was what was most needed, it was because local interests put forth over 60% of the funds and asked the DOT to provide the rest considering P’Tree is a state roadway.

Fees and funding are honest conversations that need to be had. But the key word isn’t conversations. The key word is honest. This is being funded by primarily private funds for a mostly public benefit. You have had similar projects like the DDI at Perimeter to name one…but the list is long.

If a liberal came in and said we should take $3.3M in private dollars and spent it where the STATE thinks it is best spent, folks on here would be going bat crazy about Obama/Agenda 21/etc. But since Kyle Wingfield is saying it, let’s not pay attention to the details and jump on the Atlanta and the DOT is bad bandwagon. Yeesh.

John Vestal November 19, 2012 at 10:43 am

Hopefully, the new bridge prettiness will be soundly protected from gravity and other scientific theories straight from the pit of hell this time around.

atlanta_advocate November 19, 2012 at 10:54 am

Dirty pool, Charlie.

1. What traffic congestion can be achieved for $5 million? Nothing. That diverging diamond thingy in Ashford-Dunwoody cost $4.6 million and the improvement has been marginal at best.
2. Also, it wasn’t $5 million anyway. More like $1.7 million. The $3.3 million came from sources that cannot be used on traffic relief. That $3.3 million would have been spent on this project anyway. The only question is the state choosing to add $1.7 million to it.
3. Will people quit pretending as if “confidence in the DOT” was the real reason why T-SPLOST failed? T-SPLOST failed because the suburbs despise Democratic Atlanta and its Democratic mayor. Until Atlanta’s demographics and its political leadership changes, no one in the suburbs is ever going to have “confidence” in anyone but the Atlanta baiters, least of all anyone who tries to work with or to the benefit of the city that they despise so much.
4. The stadium money cannot be used for the Beltline or any other transportation project. This is a well known fact that people insist on ignoring because it suits whatever agenda that they have. The hotel/motel tax is limited by law to the things that it can be spent on. The hotel/motel tax has to be used on things like constructing stadiums because by law it cannot be used for anything else. So if you want to dictate how the city of Atlanta should spend taxes raised and collected in the city of Atlanta, you are going to have to change the law to do it. And do you think that the GOPers are going to be any more willing to change the law to spend the $300 million on the Beltline than they were on the stadium? Of course not. See #3, remember? Once their constituents find out that they did something to HELP Atlanta, they’d get voted out of office.

Even Wingfield, who basically prefers attempting to impose his own ideology on Atlanta rather than deal with the total mess that the GOP has made of the suburbs and the state at large, acknowledges that you would have to change state law in order to redirect the hotel/motel taxes: http://blogs.ajc.com/kyle-wingfield/2011/03/09/the-things-wed-forgo-to-build-a-new-falcons-stadium/
The hilarious thing: Wingfield wants to the GOP to take tax money collected in Atlanta – that wouldn’t even exist without Atlanta – to fund projects like ” deepening the Savannah port, which would benefit the entire state”. (But did Wingfield support “the entire state” giving up money to benefit Atlanta via the T-SPLOST? Nope.)

Charlie November 19, 2012 at 11:04 am

Ok, Ok, Ok,

Typing in bold fonts and screaming ‘known fact” does not make it true.

Furthermore, the Mayor himself spent the two weeks prior to the T-SPLOST vote specifically arguing that the Beltline was vital as last mile service to Atlanta’s convention industry. He specifically said the convention business is in jeapordy if the Beltline isn’t built. It seems he made the case much better than I ever could that the Beltline is a priority for the industry that bears the burden of the tax which would fund it or the new stadium.

I also find it laughable/cute/disingenous that you think that the need to change the law stops this conversation. In case you haven’t been paying attention, the legislature must also change the law if the new stadium is going to require the GWCC to issue $300M worth of bonds. This discussion is fully in the domain of the legislature regarding what laws will be changed. Thus, a discussion of priorities is fully in order.

Please, by all means, respond again in bold font with more “facts”. It really helps your case a lot.

bgsmallz November 19, 2012 at 11:33 am

Again, honest is the key.

@atlanta_advocate

Number 1, the DDI has been an interesting case study. Painting it as “$5M will not do anything” is done at your own peril especially with accidents down 30%. I’ve been a big fan even after Marist has started school again. Christmas will be a challenge…as it is around Lenox and North Point, too.
http://www.ajc.com/news/news/benefit-of-diamond-interchange-in-dunwoody-fewer-a/nS8PJ/

Number 3- Ignoring a lack of trust in the DOT (or any government entity right now) as one of the reasons for the downfall of the T-Splost and instead chalking it up to merely suburbs vs. Atlanta is dis-ingenious.

Number 4- Laws can change. I think Charlie is right on that one. I think there are better arguments for the stadium (such as the $800M in private $ that isn’t going to be ponied up for the Beltline if the $300M is diverted there), but alas, I’m also a fan of the beltline and it seems that arguing for both is too nuanced for the comments here.

I will add one thought that struck me this weekend….I was talking to some friends from Johns Creek about the stadium subject (exciting times) and it was funny how they all came back to the idea that they might feel a little different about it if it was being built in Alpharetta or Doraville. Got me thinking…folks that are claiming that the money shouldn’t be spent on the stadium wouldn’t turn around and publicly fund a new stadium if it were being built up 400 or in Gwinnett, would they? General question, truly…I’d love to see legislators who end up against raising the debt cap go on the record that they would also be against a new stadium in or near their district.

atlanta_advocate November 19, 2012 at 1:12 pm

“I was talking to some friends from Johns Creek about the stadium subject (exciting times) and it was funny how they all came back to the idea that they might feel a little different about it if it was being built in Alpharetta or Doraville.”

And my point #3 was wrong you said?

“Number 4- Laws can change.”

Yes, they can change. But should they? Public transportation and keeping GWCC competitive are two different things. Charlie is sympathetic to the former – so long as all the tax revenue to do it is raised within Atlanta that is. (Wingfield is not sympathetic to either BTW, as his suggestion that the GWCC money be used to fund tax cuts or deepen the Savannah port or on suburban highways proves.) But public transportation without a place for the out of towners to ride on it to go does what, exactly?

Bottom line: running a major city requires money. Which is precisely why supply side small government conservatives A) despise them and B) don’t run them. They’d rather just benefit from the economic/cultural output from cities while castigating them as failed urban liberalism experiments. Robbing Peter to pay Paul – redirecting tax money from facilities to transportation – isn’t how you run a city. (Go run an airport that way … build a new runway without a new terminal for instance.)

And for the record, the real point is that there isn’t a bit of evidence that the good folks in the Georgia GOP are going to approve $300 million to go to the Beltline. Charlie thinks that the Beltline is a good idea. The folks who run the Georgia GOP believe that the Beltline is an even worse idea than the stadium, or at least have to pretend that they do in order to get elected. And that again is why the claim that “instead chalking it up to merely suburbs vs. Atlanta is dis-ingenious” is, well … you tell me that voting for $300 million for the Beltline is the way to get elected from the suburbs. I’d love to see anyone make that case.

bgsmallz November 19, 2012 at 1:44 pm

Yes…your point #3 is wrong because it assumes that distrust of the DOT or government in general wasn’t part of the equation and seems to claim that there is a single reason that T-Splost failed. I didn’t stutter, did I?

Wanting a stadium closer to home and therefore supporting it is much different than despising the mayor of Atlanta.

I’m not interested in your theories or your tired arguments about the stadium or T-Splost. Just like I’m not interested in Kyle’s horse-malarky spin-job.

I think that these gateways are going to be nice additions to the state and I’m happy the DOT is funding them. I’m not sure what they have to do with the stadium or T-Splost or the City of Atlanta vs. Gwinnett and I’m probably missing a link to charter schools (oh…are we past that?) and health care.

atlanta_advocate November 19, 2012 at 2:09 pm

“your point #3 is wrong because it assumes that distrust of the DOT or government in general wasn’t part of the equation”

Pardon me, but didn’t the Tea Party Patriots and the other groups who opposed T-SPLOST come up with various “Plan B” proposals that would have also been run by the same DOT and government in general? The difference between the T-SPLOST and their proposals: it wouldn’t have involved suburban money going to MARTA and other transportation projects. Look, I wasn’t the one who said “oppose T-SPLOST because it is nothing but a conspiracy to use suburban money to bail out failing MARTA!” It was the TEA Party who did. In one of their own press releases. That was reprinted on this very site. Not only that, but there were the public comments of many candidates who campaigned against it. And also the statements in the media by voters who voted against it. As well as opinion polls of those same voters. Voters who were fine with other transportation proposals from the same bad big government and incompetent DOT so long as the project lists included only suburban highways and roads. Silly me for taking the opponents at their own words.

“Wanting a stadium closer to home and therefore supporting it is much different than despising the mayor of Atlanta.”

Wanting a stadium is one thing. Opposing it when it has nothing to do with you is another. The folks who oppose this thing won’t pay a dime towards its construction, and won’t receive any benefit whatsoever if it is never built. And they are doing their level best to overlook such particulars as the revenue can’t be redirected elsewhere and that it will involve no increased or new taxes. But hey, if you are willing to come up with theories as to why there is so much vehement opposition to something that affects them in no way whatsoever, I’d be glad to hear them. Lacking that, I am going to just add it to everything else that they oppose about Atlanta.

By the way. Neither you or Charlie have answered my main point of contention: the Georgia GOP is not going to vote to spend $300 million on the Beltline. Still waiting for that elephant in the room to be addressed.

bgsmallz November 19, 2012 at 2:39 pm

Based upon the above responses, I’m pretty sure that even if your ‘main point’ was answered, you wouldn’t accept it and instead would cling to your own truths. Your paragraph response to what is a seemingly simple and verifiable statement…i.e. that the reasons T-Splost failed are complex, varied and include a general distrust of government/the DOT only validates that position.

Good day to you, sir or madame!

atlanta_advocate November 19, 2012 at 11:53 am

Charlie:

1. Raising the borrowing limit – which arguably needs to be done in order to keep up with inflation anyway … the $200 million limit now isn’t the same amount in today’s dollars as it was when that limit was put in, not nearly – in order to fund a project that is within the scope of the existing law is entirely different from changing the scope of the law itself. Raising the limit allows the tax to remain true to its original purpose. Redirecting money that is supposed to be used to keep the GWCC itself competitive for other purposes is an entirely different animal.

2. You completely ignored Wingfield’s demagoguery on this issue, which is a fact. It wasn’t $5 million. It was $3.3 million of private money that was going to be spent for the same purposes anyway that the state merely added $1.7 million matching funds to. So, deciding that the state should just take Atlanta’s tax revenue isn’t good enough. Wingfield – and by extension you – are now claiming that they should be able to take private money too? (So long as the money is raised in and supposed to be spent on Atlanta of course.)

3. And my original point. Do you honestly think that the Georgia GOP is going to change the allow to allow $300 million to be spent on the Beltline? It isn’t the stadium vs. the Beltline. It is the stadium vs. nothing.

4. How was the old Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium funded incidentally? Anyone remember? Anyone think that it is relevant? Hmmm ….

Charlie November 19, 2012 at 11:58 am

The old Atlanta Fulton County Stadium wasn’t replacing a 20 year old stadium. It was creating a brand new one that attracted two new franchises to the city. And, times and budgets were quite different.

As for the rest, “you completely ignored” can be translated to “I rejected your argument and premises”, mainly because of your ridiculous bold print and “known facts” assertion. Anytime I see the word “known facts” when something isn’t a fact, I kind of don’t spend a lot of time arguing with the rest. Because, you know, what you “know” isn’t really relevant at that point.

Now you’re trying to say one vote of the legislature isn’t the same as another kind. And you’re ignoring my counter point to your drivel that the case has already been made by the mayor that the beltline is in fact related to the convention business.

So, again, I reject your points, find your arguments weak, and probably won’t spend a lot of time debating you for the rest of the day.

atlanta_advocate November 19, 2012 at 12:14 pm

That you reject my points says more about you than it does about the merits of my points. And your saying that my points are “drivel”, “ridiculous”, “weak” etc. don’t make them so.

Evidence of this: you have yet to address the reality that there is no way that this GOP legislature is going to vote for $300 million to be spent on the Beltline. Especially when the Beltline’s inclusion was one of the main things that caused the same voters that elected those GOPers to reject T-SPLOST to begin with.

It is easy to call names and withdraw from the debate than deal with that reality, isn’t it?

bgsmallz November 19, 2012 at 1:34 pm

I rejected some of yours and Kyle’s via Charlie points and provided reasoning and …gasp…facts. Do I get to play debate today?

*chorltle*

Anyway, despite Kyle’s clear effort to troll hard using suspect ‘facts’, (I think the entry to the post above should be changed to reflect that the DOT is not, in fact, using $5M of existing funds) it bears pointing out…

#1- This is a project that has been in the works since 2011. It isn’t new. Oh…and they are planing on helping to fund nine of these projects throughout the state. NINE! Alert Grover Nordquist and the stadium brigade! I can’t wait to hear what great argument Kyle will make about how the gateway at I-20 in Villa Rica.
http://www.bizjournals.com/atlanta/print-edition/2011/11/25/gdot-to-build-highway-gateways-to.html?page=all

#2- You all realize that Kyle Wingfield suggested funding bike lanes on Piedmont Road as an alternative to ‘wasting’ transportation dollars on this project, right? That’s one of the 14 projects for less than $5M. This is so silly it is almost comical.

#3-The large majority of the project is being funded by private money. Oh…did I say that already.

#4- Here is the full document on this. They are planning on doing 5 bridges in Atlanta. GASP! At a total cost to the DOt of $3.5M (still not $5M…but who cares about facts) with over $7M coming from other funding. http://www.dot.state.ga.us/aboutGeorgiadot/Board/Documents/Presentations/2012/October/GDOTConnector.pdf

It would behoove conservatives to not feed into the hysteria of folks like atlanta_advocate (sic) by (a) knowing the facts; (b) presenting the facts; and (c) making arguments based upon logic and truth rather than bad spin jobs.

atlanta_advocate November 19, 2012 at 1:50 pm

Feeding my hysteria? That’s funny. I am still waiting on someone to tell me why a Georgia GOP legislature dominated by suburbanites and rural types are going to vote for $300 million Atlanta Beltline project. When is it going to happen? How is it going to happen? Why is it going to happen?

Case in point: Governor Deal is going to go to bat for it! Except … er … he won’t. Quite the contrary, Deal said that the T-SPLOST failure meant A) no more transit projects anytime soon, B) that he opposed using hotel/motel taxes for transportation, and C) that all future major transportation projects go through him.

So, pretending as if Governor Deal did not say those things is hysteria? So pretending as if this thing passing despite Deal opposing it isn’t pretty much impossible is hysteria? Tell me how and why. I bet the answer is hysterical.

I am going to go back to the boldface that has everyone so upset.
The Georgia legislature is not going to vote to direct $300 million to the Beltline no matter how good an idea – and plenty of them think that the Beltline is a terrible idea by the way – it is because it is bad politics. The people who keep saying “hey instead of spending this on the dome, let’s spend it on the Beltline!” need to come up with a list of GOPers who are actually going to vote for it. Go ahead. Call them up and ask their opinions, either on or off the record. I doubt you’d get 5 guys from either chamber to commit to voting to spending $300 million on the Beltline.

David Staples November 19, 2012 at 2:15 pm

“B) that he opposed using hotel/motel taxes for transportation”

Governor Deal and some members of the General Assembly have also said they are (sometimes) for local control. In my mind, if the city of Atlanta wants to institute a hotel / motel tax to pay for whatever they want to pay for (whether it’s a new stadium, the beltline, or whatever else…) they should be able to do that without any input / interference from the General Assembly / Governor. (Some members of the General Assembly I’m sure will have to reflect upon whether their religious values will allow them to support such ideas, such as Judson Hill (voted against allowing local municipalities to decide the issue of Sunday alcohol sales for themselves). Perhaps they’ll be okay with it so long as construction doesn’t take place on Sunday.)

atlanta_advocate November 19, 2012 at 2:29 pm

To be fair, Charlie and I went at it on the “local control with our tax revenue” issue a few months ago when I was posting under a different handle and Charlie won that round. The state has veto power over this because the state is the one who has to co-sign on the bonds. Which is fine … except that the state’s opposition to this is entirely political and ideological. No one is claiming that there is any chance whatsoever that the city will default on the bonds. Instead, it is a bunch of sanctimonious “this is an inappropriate use of taxpayer funds!” nonsense. Injecting politics and ideology – mostly politics – into what should only be a financial oversight decision.

David Staples November 19, 2012 at 2:37 pm

Okay, so if it comes down to a bond issue, that raises two questions in my mind. (Forgive my ignorance on these questions, I don’t know everything. :-) )

1. Can the city not get backing for their bonds from someone besides the state?

2. Can the city not simply save the collected revenues from the hotel / motel tax and just pay cash for the projects they want to fund? Why must bonds be part of it at all?

Ed November 19, 2012 at 11:20 am

How do I get to appear as bold?

Maybe then people will start to respect me around here.

Ed November 19, 2012 at 1:01 pm

KNOWN FACT is the respect flowing to me yet?

Bob Loblaw November 19, 2012 at 11:23 am

Is anyone missing the irony that T-SPLOST is even mentioned in this story? This is a great example of GDOT doing some decorating instead of building a road.

T-SPLOST, however, had a list, a trust fund and a very detailed way for any deviation from the list to occur. The projects on the list had to be part of the State plan. There was no chance provided in the law for the type of shenanigans like these new lights for the bridge.

Yet you bash T-SPLOST anyway? Think, people.

And by the way, watch the places that voted yes grow.

bgsmallz November 19, 2012 at 11:45 am

@Bob

Did you even look at the project specs? It is much more than just decorating. The ped improvements (on a state roadway) alone will be worth the $1.7M the DOT is putting towards the project IMO. How is providing $1.7M for a $5.1M project that is being primarily (over 66%) funded by private entities ‘shenanigans’ exactly?

Bob Loblaw November 19, 2012 at 2:08 pm

Good point. Shenanigans was strong. Strayed from my original thought which was that if folks dislike spending such as this and for some reason point at T-SPLOST as if the two are similar, that they’re wrong. T-SPLOST was a list that you knew what you were getting when you voted as opposed to having GDOT decide that pedestrian and lighting funding should be prioritized to the tune of $1.7M when we could invest that money elsewhere.

bgsmallz November 19, 2012 at 3:01 pm

And that’s the rub, isn’t Bob?

Number 1, most of the projects that were on the T-Splost that were $1.7M or below were just that…pedestrian improvements, ADA compliance, bike lanes, traffic light syncing, etc. Kyle doesn’t have to get into that kind of detail because he is able to bait his suburban/conservative readers into commenting and increasing his page views with half-truths and buzz words implanted into the column….

Seriously, read the column and tell me what projects he is actually advocating spending that money on? First of all, he is using $5M, which is a bold face manipulation of the actual number…I’m still holding out hope for an editorial change above. Second, he is talking about 14th street…
http://documents.atlantaregional.com/tia/pdf/TIA-AT-001(48).pdf
Edgewood
http://documents.atlantaregional.com/tia/pdf/TIA-AT-001(53).pdf
North Ave.
http://documents.atlantaregional.com/tia/pdf/TIA-AT-001(59).pdf

and others
http://documents.atlantaregional.com/tia/pdf/TIA-AT-001(58).pdf
http://documents.atlantaregional.com/tia/pdf/TIA-AT-001(64).pdf
http://documents.atlantaregional.com/tia/pdf/TIA-AT-001(60).pdf

What the what? So instead of putting $1.7M in DOT money into a project based around pedestrian improvements and lighting, he wants to put that money into other projects based around pedestrian improvements and lighting? Seriously, how is being propped up rather than being called to the carpet for this drivel?

Number 2, the DOT could invest that money elsewhere, but where else would the DOT be able to turn $1.7M in funding into $5.1M in production due to a substantial local and private interest and investment in the project? (answer= no where)

George Dickel November 19, 2012 at 11:50 am

Charlie,
With all due respect, I come here so I don’t have to read the rote Fox News regurgitation that Kyle Wingfield usually posts to the bowels of the AJC website. As Bob Loblaw points out above, TSPLOST has absolutely no bearing on the situation described here. It does not surprise me that Wingfield can’t tell the difference but I typically expect more out of this place, Buzz’s cheerleading for the Republican in every race notwithstanding (Chris Boedeker, I’m looking at you).

atlanta_advocate November 19, 2012 at 12:27 pm

The best part is that out of all the questionable expenditures made by the GDOT, Kyle “just happened” to identify one related to Atlanta. Even if he had to stretch things by picking what merely amounted to a public match of a privately funded project – which by the way is routine … some foundations won’t make donations like this unless they get matching state funds! – in order to do so.

So GDOT should never match private donations, even when the match rate is 33% (lower than the normal private/public match rate of 40% by the way, but who cares). The GDOT matching a private donation caused T-SPLOST to fail and because of that the city shouldn’t build a financially competitive stadium in order to prevent the team from being sold to a new owner, or more likely a new ownership group akin to the Atlanta Spirit debacle that is responsible for losing the hockey franchise. Makes a ton of sense.

Daddy Got A Gun November 19, 2012 at 1:10 pm

Why doesn’t DOT declare the new Falcons stadium a “gateway” and fund it using gas tax money?
A brand new stadium fits the legal requirements infinitely more than Christmas lights strung on bridges.

Here are the legal requirements for a Gateway:

§ 32-2-4.1. Gateway Center

(b) The purpose of Gateway Center shall be to act as a “gateway” to all of Georgia. Toward that end it shall provide information, goods, and services which assist road travelers and tell them about Georgia. The center may have any facility and provide any service which furthers those purposes, including by way of illustration, but not limitation:

(1) Playground equipment;
(2) Recreation areas;
(3) Indoor and outdoor eating areas;
(4) Restaurant, snack bar, and other facilities for purveying food and beverage;
(5) Vending machines;
(6) Gift, novelty, and souvenir shops;
(7) Advertising;
(8) Information kiosks;
(9) Multimedia displays;
(10) Communication services, such as computer Internet connections;
(11) Parking; and
(12) Markets.

atlanta_advocate November 19, 2012 at 1:29 pm

Why use gas tax money – which should really be spent on highways – to fund a stadium when the hotel/motel tax – which is supposed to be used on a stadium – already exists?

This is the main problem with this thing. The Falcons’ stadium will require no new revenue. It will not require a new tax. It will not require raising an existing tax. It will only require spending tax revenues that already exist on the type of project that the tax was created to fund in the first place. They are saying “No, you can’t use a tax that already exists and revenue that will be collected anyway for a project that is well within the scope and intended purpose of the tax because we don’t like the project. So, we would rather change the scope of the tax to fund projects that we like, even though those projects have nothing to do with why the GWCC tax was created in the first place.”

rrrrr November 19, 2012 at 11:27 pm

Why all the fuss about your new stadium?

It’s a breeze now, just refer to it from this point forward as a “Sport Charter School”. The pixie dust will fall like rain, as will all the needed private funding with NO impact on the state budget levels! Bonus points abound as it will be all locally controlled and will get support state wide because… it’s for the children.

Poof… everybody lives happily after.

At least until the affluent step into the effluent as Fulton’s aging water and sewer infrastructure fail…
How are those Federal fines coming along?
No need to address those mundane matters anyway, it’s on to mimic Dayton OH.

Link below may not be safe for a professional environment.
http://www.hamsexy.com/cms/?p=1081
(If this doesn’t bring back the edit feature nothing will)

Mr Phelps, the Post disappears in 3,2,1

Robin Wheeler November 19, 2012 at 2:14 pm

Plan B – even when the Gov. tries to tell you there isn’t one.

benevolus November 19, 2012 at 2:47 pm

Drove through Jacksonville recently. They have a big bridge with pretty colors on it at night. And a big a$$ fountain too. I thought it was cool.

Three Jack November 19, 2012 at 4:51 pm

It’s almost Christmas, the GDOT should just go to Walmart, buy a bunch of outdoor lights, call Clark Griswold and get to work decorating. Probably save about $4.99M doing it that way and just think of the entertainment factor watching the lights being hung by the fence post with care.

Rick Day November 19, 2012 at 10:00 pm

Once there was a post about a bridge….

Hi guys! Remember me? I’m the token Midtown resident. Got 5 million to spruce up a bridge.

Talk a walk with me in my neighborhood and I will find you many good ways to spend less than half that amount. Want to create more jobs? Create a mote dynamic neighborhood, with bicycle lanes, street lights and smooth ADA sidewalks. Yeah I know…earmark for road projects, etc.

Midtown Alliance™: finding creative ways to waste money since 2001.

OK, yall can go back to fighting about whatever the hell you are fighting about. I’m going to go eat some chocolate.

Rick Day November 19, 2012 at 10:01 pm

CAN WE PLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEASE GET EDIT FEATURE BACK??

The Last Democrat in Georgia November 20, 2012 at 1:07 am

Decorative bridges over the Downtown Connector?

I like it…Gives drivers something to stare at while they are helplessly stuck in ridiculously huge traffic jams on the roadway below, some of which will be experienced on a full-blown scale over the next six days or so during the Thanksgiving/Black Friday holiday period.

seenbetrdayz November 20, 2012 at 4:48 am

It would be much cheaper to pass a law ending Thanksgiving.

There, I solved the issue of holiday traffic.

The Last Democrat in Georgia November 20, 2012 at 8:10 am

Thanksgiving already effectively no longer actually exists as its own holiday, but as “Black Friday Eve”, a “holiday” that now only exists to give people time to prepare for the biggest shopping day of the year by skipping dinner to camp outside the doors of their favorite retailer.

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