Morning Reads 12 August 2013

Happy Monday. Hope everyone had a good weekend and survived the sales tax holiday. I know I did, even with this sunburn. Here’s what happened over the weekend.

Georgia

Be sure to plan ahead for the next BBQ tour stop with Tom Price.
The militarization of domestic police.
The Atlanta VA is adding a new specialty care clinic, hopefully this improves their recent track record.
Ellis has managed to get a delay to his corruption trial.
With all the hoopla about the Hot Lanes on 85, no one really seems to care about toll lanes on 75.
The Hill’s take on our senate race.

National/International

Eric Cantor and shutting down the government: no one is advocating for it.
Wait, this guy hasn’t stepped down yet?
Pretty sure President Obama didn’t lay out any real details of changes to the NSA in his speech, jut vague “reforms,” yet some Republicans are still freaking out.
Maybe, not likely but hopefully, this can help lead to a start for real dialogue.  I won’t give my hopes up yet.
Last week Robert Mugabe won the poll, this week the results are being challenged in court.

Everything Else

Just in case your sunscreen wasn’t as waterproof as you thought it was, here’s some help with a sunburn.
What is big data and what can you do with it?
Dear Oprah, We’re Sorry. –The Swiss.

Who wants American fast food?

17 comments

  1. Dave Bearse says:

    I’d been away on vacation the week before last, and welcomed seeing Grift posting with some regularity after hiatus.

    I’ve been visiting my sister’s family in metro Seattle every few years for 30 years now. Grift’s recent post noting T-SPLOST rejection was only a year ago, and that the Tea Party and Sierra Club’s Plan B is Governor Deal choosing projects, caused me to note that metro Seattle, and presumably other American cities, are leaving metro Atlanta transportation in the dust.

    Seattle had nothing but a good downtown bus system in the 1980s. I don’t recollect it adding much if anything more until the latter 1990s. It now has 130 park and ride lots, the nation’s largest public commuter van pool program, 21 commuter bus routes, two commuter train routes of 30 and 45 miles served by 8 and 18 trains daily respectively, and a light rail line from the north side of downtown through downtown to the airport that operates on 7.5 minute headways during peak periods, and 10 minute headways most other times. Two more 10 mile long light rail lines are in design or under construction, and two 10 mile long transit extensions are in planning.

    Seattle’s intercity train service is superior to Atlanta’s. Two daily trains, one morning and one evening, operate each way between Seattle and Vancouver, BC (took a morning commuter train from the south side north to the King St Station downtown, and connected to morning Amtrak service to Vancouver), and five daily trains each way between Seattle and Portland , OR.

    What have we done since the mid 1990’s? We’ve increased rail headways, cut city bus service, and opened then folded Clayton city bus service. On the plus side we’ve added over two dozen commuter bus routes, but have only managed to add a downtown streetcar tourist amusement ride to what in 1995 was the core of a first class rail transit system, with nothing else rail-related even in design.

    On the highway side…. Metro Atlanta’s interstate traffic management system is superior to that of metro Seattle, but who knows how long that will last. Innovative proposed I-285 variable speed limits on our top end Perimeter? That’s old news in Seattle where they’re already in use on I-5 south of the city. Combination HOV / non-toll express lanes, and HOV / non-toll express reversible lanes are in use on I-5 north of and into the city.

    A $0.8B reversible lane toll roads substantially subsidized by general road users that may not be finished until the next decade isn’t cutting edge. The diversion of some traffic to the toll road will save 1 minute in the morning, and four minutes in the afternoon, in the general purpose lanes. Meanwhile, a $4B 2 mile long tunnel that will relocate Seattle’s second busiest north-south arterial road carrying 100,000 vehicles per day from a double deck viaduct underground through downtown is being bored and will be open to traffic in 2015.

    I’m anticipating Seattle’s metro transportation will definitively have surpassed metro Atlanta come next visit.

    • Ghost of William F Buckley says:

      Seattle is a cool place, no doubt, yet, it really offers few comparisons and little competition to Atlanta.

      Atlanta competes regionally. In the South, we are still the big enchilada. But, our workers are largely in the service sector, selling or supporting clients.

      That’s tough to do on a bus or a train.

      That said, Atlanta will continue to contract toward close in Perimeter areas, especially North, North Central. Anything we can do to alleviate traffic close in, will help those from further out to get to their destinations more quickly.

      • saltycracker says:

        We visit Seattle annually, relative on west side of lake Washington. It is THE city of the northwest.
        Like Atlanta, public transportation doesn’t always get us where we want in a timely manner…except for the ferries. We have taken a private shuttle bus from the airport and find the bus from the lake to downtown great. But that compares to our ITP and if 2 or more, a poor choice vs. the car.

        Love the area but so-so on the weather.

      • Dave Bearse says:

        I didn’t mean to imply Seattle was a direct competitor.

        Transportation in other principal regional metros other than Seattle have been dusting Atlanta. Texas cities for example, like Seattle, had little if anything other than city buses 20 years ago. Regional first tier cities like Phoenix, Charlotte and Minneapolis also have made significant strides over the past 15 years while we diddle with toll roads and amusement rides.

  2. Rambler14 says:

    2 reasons why there’s less discussion about 75/575 Managed Lanes.

    1) GDOT has been talking about this project for ~20 years. This is Iteration #4 or #5 at last count after numerous false starts and revisions. I’m guessing people are taking the “I’ll believe it when I see it” attitude.

    2) Unlike 85, this is not a conversation of a SOV lane to HOT. This is additional HOT capacity built by tolls.

    I will also agree with Dave Bearse’s claim that Managed Lanes are NOT cutting edge. They represent a ~10+ year old idea that has already been implemented in other states (Colorado being one). It was a fad while W was in office, it’s just taken GDOT this long to get it moving forward.

  3. Lea Thrace says:

    Many thanks to the Peach Pundit overlords for bringing back the edit function, as well as giving us the other cool extras (subscribe and error check functions). I am so far digging it.

    Now if only we had the “new comment” function back…

    What?? Dont look at me like that. You guys know we can’t be completely pleased round these parts. 😀

  4. Scott65 says:

    Nice that The Hill mirrors my prediction that if Broun or Gingery are nominated…they will lose. Republicans would be wise to be worried about that

  5. Scott65 says:

    I dont think I’d want to be the salesperson who blew a $38,000 handbag sale to Oprah….guessing she is now unemployed

Comments are closed.