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.