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Which Vision Should You Vote For?

Atlanta is no longer a hub-and-spoke city, but a large network of suburban clusters. Our transportation system should support it, not try to stop it.

On Tuesday you will have an opportunity to directly influence the way that transportation planning and development is managed in the metro region. The pro-TSPLOST vision is to spend over 52 percent of your increased tax dollars on economic development for downtown Atlanta (MLK Center trolley, beltline), on bailing out MARTA (“state of good repair” capital projects), and on expanding rail and bus transit. Very few major road projects are included in their vision, and those are deferred until the end of the project period. For example, the much-touted GA 400/I-285 interchange project isn’t to start until 2020.

The anti-TSPLOST position is that this is a very badly formed process that has, pardon the pun, gone off the rails. We think the legislature needs a do-over to establish a much-reformed and open transportation planning and management process. The solution isn’t simply to find more ways to throw more money into the process. It is to fix a badly broken process, then re-evaluate our needs and develop coherent solutions. That do-over cannot begin until you vote NO on the TSPLOST on Tuesday.

The metro-Atlanta region has grown well beyond the confines of the city limits of Atlanta. Most of our job growth has been, and will continue to be, in the suburbs.  We have the nicest, least-dense suburban lifestyle of any city in the United States. We don’t need to change that, we need to support it and develop real transportation solutions that work to help you travel from origin to destination in the most efficient, cost-effective way possible. The key elements of a working solution were advanced in Baruch Feigenbaum’s stellar analysis found on the Georgia Public Policy Foundation website

Our transportation planners, and our politicians, are on a completely different wavelength. You can help them to shift their thinking by voting NO on Tuesday, then following up with letters and phone calls to let them know what you think. 

It’s time they stopped doing things to us, and started doing things for us.

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janet h russell August 01, 2012 at 02:12 AM
Mr. MIller here is a correction. The City of Roswell doesn't want to build a sidewalk on Holcomb Bridge to Crossville so that you can walk across Roswell, Mayor Jere Wood wants to do this. And even though I have worked hard for sidewalks and pedestrian accessibility in Roswell for almost 40 years, I think that is a dumb idea. He also wants Garrards Landing Park to be accessible for bike riders - I guess so they can carry their canoes and kayaks on their bikes and put them in the water at Garrards Landing. There are so many much more needed pedestrian and safe biking needs in Roswell that connect where people live to schools, parks, shopping, that this is almost laughable.
janet h russell August 01, 2012 at 02:17 AM
I voted YES and I hope it passes. But if you prefer to sit zombie like for hours each day in your car so that you can live in the suburbs but take advantage of the economic opportunities of a major Metropolitan area, then good luck. But remember, you are not sitting in traffic. YOU ARE TRAFFIC.
President Taft August 01, 2012 at 08:39 AM
If suburban Georgia doesn't want to pay for roads and transit in Atlanta - I say we have a parking tax and a congestion tax - and tax the bloodsuckers who use our roads, our transit, and park on our land. If they want to stay in the burbs and never come into the city (yeah right) - then let them.
James August 01, 2012 at 10:40 AM
"Trey, if you want to be like Chicago or New York, then move there. The beauty of the metro Atlanta region is that it is NOT like Chicago or New York. People who move here refuse promotions to stay here. Our lifestyle is the best in the US. Don't screw it up by adding high-density development where the market doesn't demand it." This might be the most ridiculous paragraph in this entire thread, not an easy achievement. For every person who may 'move here and refuse promotions to stay here' I have a feeling I can show either an entire business that has relocated or one that has been forced to shut down because of arrogant Atlantan attitudes such as this that fail to acknowledge the economy and overall operations of this city which all rank in the bottoms rungs of the country, while attempting to proclaim itself as a top tier metropolitan area. Guess what? Chicago has plenty of non-dense areas much like Atlanta, like the Evanston area, that cooperates with the city of Chicago to increase the value of both the urban and suburban areas to outside businesses.
janet h russell August 01, 2012 at 01:34 PM
How about a use tax for anyone from Cobb county who comes to Roswell to use our parks, attend our concerts but return to Cobb county to spend their money. Stand on SR9 any day , any time and you will see more Cobb license plates than Fulton between the River and Hwy 120. They will never vote for any more taxes for anything as long as they can use Roswell's resources and leave only exhaust as their payment.

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