Livefyre Profile

Activity Stream

@Burroughston Broch @arctk2011tj A good amount of Development is occuring around the Beltlne which has great access via the Beltline, the Street Car, the 10th St dedicated bike way and some MARTA stations and MARTA bus routes to jobs in Midtown and Downtown. 

So yes its getting more people to move closer to jobs and closer to existing transportation infrastructure that can handle the growth, MARTA.

1 year ago on Georgia needs to begin working on ‘what’s next’ for transportation

Reply

Too bad moliere's review of Elysium wasn't run instead of ERC's.     I was scratching my head about her review.    Personally I thought it was an amazingly entertaining movie that kept me on the edge of my seat (far more so than wolverine)   while also posing questions that too often get ignored.   

And by the way "Hollywood types"?    What's next a review of a movie that takes a swipe at Effete East Coast Intellectuals?   Kenyan Born Presidents?

1 year ago on ‘Elysium’ — movie shows how Hollywood types really view the city

Reply

The Beltline helps because it gets more people to move closer to jobs and closer to existing transportation infrastructure that can handle the growth, MARTA. 

Rather than chasing the fools dream of paving our way out of congestion lets focus on channeling future growth to areas and types of development  that mitigate the negative impacts on our transportation infrastructure. 

How we develop and grow feeds the Demand for our Supply of transportation infrastructure.   The "Freeing the Freeways" folly of countless road expansions that soon were congested taught us that addressing just one side of the Supply Demand equation is a waste of money.  

1 year ago on Georgia needs to begin working on ‘what’s next’ for transportation

Reply

Outsourcing jobs to foreign countries is what leads to unemployment, as well as a mentality of greed that has CEO salaries skyrocketing while the middle class sees downward pressure on wages.  Raise the minimum wage to $14 and it will have a ripple effect benefiting even those making more than $14.  

But allowing a pathway to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants here now will grow the economy.  Capitalism depends on a demographic weighted heavily towards working age individuals.   The trend for those born in the U.S. is to live longer and have less children.  This has resulted in a historic high ratio of retired individuals to working age individuals. 

The 11 million undocumented immigrants fall more into the working age demographic so they are a key factor in addressing the burden created from supporting more retired individuals. 

Capitalism itself depends on growth, and growth comes from population growth.  Immigrants spend money here and thus create other jobs.  Immigrants help produce things that get exported thus addressing our deficit.  

Its no surprise that the Conservative group American Action Network's recently released study concluded that:  "The Senate’s immigration bill would add nearly 14,000 new jobs on average in each congressional district over the next decade"    http://abcnews.go.com/ABC_Univision/Politics/report-immigration-bill-add-14000-jobs-congressional-district/story?id=20007339    

The thing not to do is what the State of Georgia is doing.   Changing the rules and trying to starve the 11 million out by cutting their access to jobs or felonizing non- criminal acts  (use of an invalid ID to get a job at McDonalds) is inhumane to those who arrived as children or came here when the rules were that as long as you didn't commit a major crime you wouldn't have any problems.  

Need more proof?   President Obama has deported more people than any other president.  The annual deportations are at an all time high and have been since he took office.   Because of Mexico's improving economy and the hostile atmosphere here, there is a net zero immigration flow from Mexico to the United States for the past several years.      Have things improved for the working class?    Slightly because of the improved economy, but still not close to the rate as the CEO class.    The problem is not immigration.  Its outsourcing of jobs and the growing slice of the pie or % of GNP that the top 2% are taking.    

1 year ago on Business leaders told to urge Congress to pass immigration reform

Reply

Yeap this is a conflict.   The Xpress Bus service should be funded.  But to be fair the Counties getting the service should be funding it and/or the DeKalb/Fulton should get state aid for MARTA.   Granted one could say the Xpress service is good for DeKalb/Fulton/COA on the other hand I'm sure many people using Xpress would end up going to an outlying MARTA rail station and use that, thus increasing ridership.   

 

 

1 year, 6 months ago on GRTA quietly making case to state lawmakers to fund Xpress bus service

Reply

 @ScottNAtlanta  @Burroughston Broch 

Don't forget that as long as we subsidize driving in cars, (zoning codes that require or result in free parking, Property and general sales taxes that match or build local roads, insurance and police, operation via traffic lights, zoning codes that promote car dependent development) transit will need subsidy to compete. 

 

For instance studies of just doing Parking Cash Out where the cost of a parking spot can be exchanged for a $50 monthly credit for transit usage drives up transit use dramatically (cost of a space in a parking deck is over 20,000)

 

As to cost cutting, keep in mind MARTA commissioned the KPMG study just so they could implement more cost savings measures. 

 

I fully expect that as a result of the study MARTA will look to raise compensation but also improve absenteeism and lower the costs of benefits in order to be in line with national averages.

1 year, 10 months ago on New MARTA CEO Keith Parker will be a daily rider and have an open door

Reply

"who said he would be moving to a home next to a MARTA stop. “That’s going to be part of my daily plan — use my BreezeCard and ride it everyday.”

 

I think this is great news and very important.  After all the best way  to understand the rider experience is to be a daily rider. 

 

Though you forgot to mention another challenge a hostile legislative committee called MARTOC that ...... ok ok I won't go there. 

 

I'll just say I agree that this looks like a great selection and the MARTA board should be commended for their efforts and for the result.

1 year, 10 months ago on New MARTA CEO Keith Parker will be a daily rider and have an open door

Reply

 @YellowJacketsFan from the above article "how and when the public entity should start publishing their weekly blogs"

 

MARTA is paying for the space to publish their own column that hopefully will make their case on various issues related to their provision of transportation service and/or the need in the region for transportation supportive development.

 

As many have noted, MARTA's ridership could be higher if we could overcome the false perceptions about riding MARTA.   Not to mention there are a number of decision makers or other relevant folks who read the Sapporta Report.   This seems like a worthwhile investment in marketing.

1 year, 10 months ago on About MARTA, SaportaReport and building a new journalism model

Reply

What's the problem here?  Mr. Harris was a journalist and on the editorial board of the AJC.  That's the experience I'm sure that got him the job with MARTA's Public Relations.

 

Are you saying because Maria maybe friends with him or respect him she is making stuff up? 

1 year, 10 months ago on About MARTA, SaportaReport and building a new journalism model

Reply

 @YellowJacketsFan you are probably right.   there are some missing.  

I forgot about the last change to the board that was passed by the legislature.  Mike's bill apears to have made the GDOT member a non voting member but the GRTA member a voting member.   Though I'm getting that from an article, not from the final bill.

The executive director of the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority would serve as a voting member and the planning director for the Georgia Department of Transportation would be a nonvoting member as long as they held their state positions.  Read more: CrossRoadsNews - More changes afoot for MARTA’s board of directors

1 year, 10 months ago on State Rep. Mike Jacobs acts inappropriately during MARTA’s search for new general manager

Reply

 My mistake on Gwinnett, guess I need to shop there more.

 

Yes I think Mike's a decent legislator and a good guy, but I also think he does engage in more punching bag than support in terms of his relationship with MARTA - I hate to use the term punching bag since i guess that's a bit of a loaded term but its the best shorthand I can come up with.

Yes Mike as MARTOC chair should express opinions on who the board should pick as the next GM, but I think he went beyond that.    And no I don't think the board get approval from Mike or any of the legislators relative to who they should pick.   They clearly knew who Mike wanted.    Relative to outside input, keep in mind the the State has two representatives via their GDOT and GRTA appointments and Mike has Ms. Butler.    So i think there was plenty of input, the statements to the press were I think were heavy handed. 

MARTOC is oversight, not the manager.  MARTOC should watch for waste and corruption.  But MARTOC is also supposed to be an ally.  That should be the board pushing for state funding.  Pushing for transit friendly legislation relative to transportation and funding  bills  AND relative to bills effecting development and land use, that's where I think MARTOC has failed though I don't blame them because of the legislature and Governor.  

But there are other things that can be done.   Has MARTOC ever conducted a training session for legislators on how to ride MARTA? or promoted the use of MARTA by legislators while in session, including a ride to MARTA day?    When was the last resolution or proclamation done in support of MARTA?  When was the last time a MARTOC got a quote in the AJC or on WSB about the many benefits MARTA provides?   Like Kasim Reed did yesterday? http://midtown.patch.com/articles/mayor-reed-everyday-marta-workers-do-better-job-than-given-credit-for

The 50/50 split is antiquated yet the legislature defends it.  Even that south GA legislator admitted a couple years ago that his constituents were not MARTA riders [or taxpayers], and he had no problem using MARTA as a political football.

Though Bus lanes were put on GA 400 for the buses, did anyone in the legislature speak up when the Governor yanked them away thus negatively effecting the commute of hundreds of bus riders?

As to picking the next GM, so little of the MARTA GM position involves the State Legislature, in large part because they provide no significant aid.  The MARTA GM bigger relationships are with the GDOT/Gov's office, The county and city governments, (especially regarding land use and zoning, sidewalks and bus routes) and with the Federal Government, should the MARTA board be getting their approval also?

I know several of the MARTA board members, they are professionals and they are good people http://www.itsmarta.com/board-of-directors.aspx.  Their letter was not some half backed shot. http://www.itsmarta.com/marta-board-statement-to-media.aspx   The characterization   of the candidate selection together with the story about the $144,000 contract to try to salvage the contract they had with the previous GM are just the latest in a series of examples.  

 

Us transit advocates and riders are not crazy people, we pretty much recognize that MARTA at best is a political football for many legislators.  Its an opinion shared by many who follow these things.   True they are opinions.   I don't expect the legislators and Mike to agree but rather than wave off this story as merely a byproduct of a $10,000 contract I'd suggest taking a second to consider if Maria may be partially correct or have a point or two. http://brookhaven.patch.com/articles/rep-jacobs-responds-to-accusations-of-inappropriate-behavior-as-marta-oversight-chairman    Maria  speaks for many and has a deep knowledge  and understanding of these issues.

 

Oh I'm also not sure what the point of getting all the emails between MARTA and the Saporta Report is.  The article surely is not that bad.   I mean come on, you've been reading Maria for awhile.   Do you really think she wrote this stuff because of a $10,000 media contract?  

Clearly it makes sense for MARTA to start publishing more columns explaining the value of transit.  There's clearly a valid benefit to MARTA to get a column that will be read by the choice readers (people who live and breath these transportation/development/city stuff) . 

 

 

1 year, 10 months ago on State Rep. Mike Jacobs acts inappropriately during MARTA’s search for new general manager

Reply

Keep in mind the state has representation through the 2 board members on the MARTA board  from GDOT and GRTA.

http://www.itsmarta.com/board-of-directors.aspx

1 year, 10 months ago on State Rep. Mike Jacobs acts inappropriately during MARTA’s search for new general manager

Reply

 @whoDean Will DeKalb and Fulton residents be fairly compensated for the 40 plus years we've dedicated 1% of our sales tax revenues to MARTA? 

1 year, 10 months ago on State Rep. Mike Jacobs acts inappropriately during MARTA’s search for new general manager

Reply

 @ScottNAtlanta So it was just federal funding NOT state funding

1 year, 10 months ago on State Rep. Mike Jacobs acts inappropriately during MARTA’s search for new general manager

Reply

 @ScottNAtlanta hgrad said "You also realize that much if not a majority of the sales tax collected in Fulton and DeKalb is generated by people who don't necessarily live here, right?"  

Yea but that's a sales tax we can't use for something else.  Most County's have a 7% sales tax in Metro Atlanta like DeKalb and Fulton.   We used our 1% to fund MARTA, that's Fulton and DeKalb's revenue stream.  It doesn't matter who actually pays it. 

 

And the federal government does do oversight on MARTA as a condition to giving its federal dollars

 

And Maria didn't say the state should have no oversight ability.  She correctly pointed out that the way the state inserted itself into the selection of a new leader was overstepping.    

 

The new person should be picked by the board.   If the legislature wants to lobby board members outside the press that's ok, though I don't think they should use threats.   And the fact the lobbying was so public it does then call into question the complaints filed with the Attorney General.

 

Look, Rep Jacobs is a good person, and one of the better State Reps.   however I do think he does sometimes use MARTA as a political punching bag.     MARTOC should do oversight but they also need to do support, morally, legislatively and financially.   I think they've failed on all that.    And much of that minimal state capital contribution is related to the need to meet federal air standards by buying cleaner buses and often its a trade off for services MARTA lends to GRTA or the GDOT.

1 year, 10 months ago on State Rep. Mike Jacobs acts inappropriately during MARTA’s search for new general manager

Reply

Federal Income taxes are a just a portion of the taxes people pay.   Sales taxes, property taxes (directly or through rent), excise taxes, social security (which is over 12% when you include the employer match), franchise fees paid on your phone and utility bills,  the list goes on and on.

 

Fulton and DeKalb pays the 1% sales tax, we could use that money for other things, but instead the citizens responsibly provide almost all of the local aid for MARTA.    So yes the State Legislature, the vast majority of whom are not accountable to the voters in Fulton and DeKalb should act accordingly.

1 year, 10 months ago on State Rep. Mike Jacobs acts inappropriately during MARTA’s search for new general manager

Reply

 @YellowJacketsFan 2 million is less than 1% of the capital budget so million so I think its fair to say its not significant and its not dedicated funding.    The State gives GRTA more money than that for less riders.   

1 year, 10 months ago on State Rep. Mike Jacobs acts inappropriately during MARTA’s search for new general manager

Reply

Actually it sounds like the legislators want the internal candidate.  

 

Though again the most of the legislators aren't elected by MARTA taxpayers or riders so I think they need to recognize that.   The MARTA board has highly competent people on it.  I would say more competent than the legislators. 

1 year, 11 months ago on MARTA is down to four finalists in its search for a new general manager

Reply

 @The Last Democrat in Georgia Yes, the fact they slipped that in kind of flies in the face of giving the voters the right to make the decision.  Its kind of like holding a gun to our head.   Though in the case of DeKalb I'm trying to remember how many local road projects we've had recently.  Perhaps in South DeKalb there have been some. 

 

Something tells me if we voted no and didn't come up with a new list in 2 years they would end up changing that provision in the legislation.

2 years, 3 months ago on Transportation sales tax campaign needs to target voters likely to vote yes

Reply

 @The Last Democrat in Georgia Its been a while since I checked the VMT figures for the various regions, I wounder how Houston stacks up.

 

2 years, 3 months ago on Transportation sales tax campaign needs to target voters likely to vote yes

Reply

 @The Last Democrat in Georgia  Though we are only partially opposed.  Induced Demand is not a bad thing for rail transit since rail actually functions better with increased demand as capacity can be added by increasing train lengths or frequency at a small incremental cost.   You don't get an economy of scale with roads.   And in fact each additional lane added to a road makes the other lanes handle less capacity.    For example a lane in a 2 lane road (one in each direction) handles more cars per hour than a lane in a 4 lane road (2 in each direction).   And some have said that once you are at 4 or 5 lanes adding a lane can actually lower the total capacity of the road if there is not some sort of grade or barrier separation.

 

Though there is a fiscal limit to how rapidly one can expand rail.   Though I agree implementing commuter rail on all 5 or 6 previously identified GDOT lines would be transformational for the region and well worth the investment.

2 years, 3 months ago on Transportation sales tax campaign needs to target voters likely to vote yes

Reply

We learned in the 90's that because of induced demand you can't pave your way out of congestion.  And that's what bothers me most about this ad campaign.    The phrase "Untie Atlanta" or the mailings showing the sad children waiting at home for their parents sell a false premise and makes  it harder to address the root cause of our traffic problems - that being that  because of our asphalt addiction we drive more than almost any other region and thus lead the way in Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) per person.    Unfortunately "Hate Traffic?  Vote Yes" seems to also promote the misconception that we can fix the problem by building more roads.   

 

In fact I'd go so far to say that because of the far to high projected  population growth rate (3 million) and the projected placement of this new growth (largely out of reach of transit)* that is used to justify the region's transportation plans I fear that a more correct slogan would be "Hate Traffic? Vote No!"

 

I fear that because the region has not come to grips with adopting and enforcing sound and sustainable Land Use and Development policies subsidizing  and thus hiding the cost of driving by funding roads with a general sales tax (that exempts gasoline no less) is not a sound long term policy.   And thus I am convinced that future growth would happen in a better and more sustainable manner without this regressive TSPLOST sales tax.

 

*highest growth rates are in the outer 10 counties of the 20 county Atlanta Region, out of reach of transit.  The tia tax area covers the inner 10 counties.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Induced_demand   Induced demand, or latent demand, is the phenomenon that after supply increases, more of a good is consumed. This is entirely consistent with the economic theory of supply and demand; however, this idea has become important in the debate over the expansion of transportation systems, and is often used as an argument against widening roads, such as major commuter roads. It is considered by some to be a contributing factor to urban sprawl.

2 years, 3 months ago on Transportation sales tax campaign needs to target voters likely to vote yes

Reply

 @The Last Democrat in Georgia Yes the original plan was not very realistic.   and the subsequent plan I think probably had problems because of the blow back on 85 and investors not wanting to give up control if it was done with more private money.  

 

Interesting if they can't even get a bare bones 2 lane HOT lane built, granted elevating it sounds expensive.

2 years, 3 months ago on Cauldron of proposed transportation projects is a challenge to monitor, even for experienced policy makers

Reply

If they build the HOT lanes, which seems like a done deal, it would only make sense for the "enhanced" bus service to use the HOT lanes.    So how in the world do they figure it takes $695 million dollars to build some bus stops, a maintenance yard, perhaps a couple que jumper lanes and buy some buses?  

 

They don't.  They are going to use the majority of that $695 million to try to get federal money for light rail.   If they don't get the Federal Money or perhaps if their are cost overuns they could under the language of the enhanced transit description use the funds to on the HOT lane since since the HOT lane will also be the ROW for the "enhance bus service"

 

Alternatively if the TSPLOST doesn't pass we will still have the HOT lanes which will improve bus service in the corridor. 

2 years, 3 months ago on Cauldron of proposed transportation projects is a challenge to monitor, even for experienced policy makers

Reply

 @ScottNAtlanta  @The Last Democrat in Georgia Think its more than poverty.  More like stereotypes.   You could substitute a number of terms, like Atlanta, for MARTA in The Last Dem's comment though perhaps not limit it to poverty.

 

People buy in to the political games where its become popular to bash everything that is the Democratic areas of DeKalb, Fulton and Atlanta.  I don't want to inject race into it but in the background it at least helps people believe the false narrative. 

 

I mean everyone believes MARTA is inefficient and even corrupt.  Yet the statistics comparing MARTA to other transit agencies demonstrates they have one of the best financial operating ratios around in terms of cost per passenger mile - and that's with an underutilized system thanks in part to perception and in part due to poor regional land use planning/development decisions.

2 years, 3 months ago on Big decisions ahead for northwest corridor to Cobb — namely bus or rail

Reply

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2011/07/06/world/americas/immigration.html   Is the NYT article.   NAFTA wrecked havoc on many careers/incomes in Mexico, I was not aware of the Meatpacker example but that makes sense.  Its unfortunate that it seems international trade seems to put the smaller semi successful business men out of business because of large multi national companies taking over and squeezing the labor force. 

 

The real threat facing our country is a international trade that instead of bringing our middle class prosperity everywhere brings the large divide between the haves and haves not from other countries to us.   Census figures showing the alarming growth in the share of wealth held by the top 1% suggests that thus far free trade has been bringing the large divided to us.

2 years, 3 months ago on What happens when Hispanics have no reason to immigrate?

Reply

 @The Last Democrat in Georgia  @ScottNAtlanta Yes but now is the time to put that lane in or take away a lane since much of the traffic will be removed and they are doing the heavy construction now.   Though frankly its not going to be most of the traffic, just some of it.

 

Anyway that's what the beltline is doing, as they install the multi use trail they use the heavy equipment to level and prepare the area where a street car or light rail might one day go.  Which in some instances has been more difficult than anticipated due to unidentified sewer pipes or hazardous materials.  

 

But thankfully they are doing it now when its easier to get access and the equipment is there.   Which is what they should be doing at Sidney Marcus.

 

And btw they should narrow Cheshirebridge at Lenox/Buford Highway to make it more pedestrian friendly for those getting off the bus on Buford Highway and seeking to walk to the shopping and residential area at Lavista.   Right now its a very dangerous walk.

2 years, 3 months ago on Big decisions ahead for northwest corridor to Cobb — namely bus or rail

Reply

And don't forget this younger workforce from Central America was just the antidote needed to rescue Social Security which is feeling a great deal of pressure because of our aging population that has left less working age people supporting more retired folks.   

 

And clearly our excess real estate stock could use more residents to soak up some of the housing.

2 years, 3 months ago on What happens when Hispanics have no reason to immigrate?

Reply

 @ScottNAtlanta Its frustrating to think what could have been had the region protected Right of Way for Rail. 

 

Actually my hats of to the City of Atlanta for the fact they are protecting the ROW via the Beltline.     They are going in getting the land and putting in the trail and as I understanding prepping the land for later light rail along the trail.   The trail and park loop alone is spurring the development that will provide ridership.  And the ROW is being protected so its costs don't go up with the increased development.  

 

This is one reason why while I like the money the Beltline is getting from the TSPLOST things will still be fine for the Beltline if TSPLOST gets voted down.

2 years, 3 months ago on Big decisions ahead for northwest corridor to Cobb — namely bus or rail

Reply

 @ScottNAtlanta  @The Last Democrat in Georgia  Yea but we won't see BRT anytime soon on Buford Highway - the only corridor in Metro Atlanta with Public Transit buses and Private transit vans because ridership is so high.   

 

Heck even though they are redoing the Sidney Marcus/85/400 intersection I don't believe they are taking steps to provide a congestion free route for these vans and buses.  Which is a shame because frankly this is the only bottleneck for the buses going from the Lindberg MARTA station to points north on Buford Highway.

2 years, 3 months ago on Big decisions ahead for northwest corridor to Cobb — namely bus or rail

Reply

 @ScottNAtlanta Understood.  I used to really champion BRT, but its hard to these days because many officials are quick to play games with the names.  And what we end up with is merely "enhanced transit service" which does little to demonstrate how good transit to the suburbs can be

2 years, 3 months ago on Big decisions ahead for northwest corridor to Cobb — namely bus or rail

Reply

 @ScottNAtlanta  Scott you know "enhanced transit service" and commuter bus service that are in the TSPLOST/tia are not BRT.  Both bus services do not have a dedicated right of way. 

 

http://alexandriava.gov/HighCapacityTransit 

Evaluation of different transit mode technologies (bus, enhanced bus, bus rapid transit, and streetcar)

 

http://www.thejo.com/pdf/resources/MSMP_Postcard_201101.pdf

 

http://maps.nashville.gov/MPO_TIPApp/TipProjectInfo.aspx?tipprojectid=540

2 years, 3 months ago on Big decisions ahead for northwest corridor to Cobb — namely bus or rail

Reply

 @The Last Democrat in Georgia  I agree but that's the problem with this TSPLOST vote when it comes to Transit.  The folks controlling the money don't have a good understanding of long term successful transit.  And thus unfortunately its entirely likely that they will view a transit option that also helps increase car capacity as the best solution thus leading to some sort of bus service that uses the HOT lanes on 75 because then they can use the funds to make up for the HOT Lane shortfall.

 

Another example of transit on the cheap mentality was Cobb bragging about the 47% fare recovery on their bus service from Cumberland to Midtown.   Problem is part of the reason for this is that buses run at excessively crowded levels with standing room even at a premium.   As a result they aren't getting nearly as much ridership as they should be getting because they don't have enough buses to meet demand.

2 years, 3 months ago on Big decisions ahead for northwest corridor to Cobb — namely bus or rail

Reply

 @The Last Democrat in Georgia Yep though interestingly they still act as if this substatial portion of the TSPLOST/TIA dollars is still "transit dollars"  

 

There is wiggle room not just in the vague project descriptions but also in the enforcement mechanism.  Not to mention that projects being on the list is not the same thing as a project actually being built.

 

2 years, 3 months ago on Big decisions ahead for northwest corridor to Cobb — namely bus or rail

Reply

If TIA is deciding on a bus system how do they switch that to rail if the study wants to do that.  I was told they could do that.  One thing they didn't want to confirm was that the funds could also be shifted to funding the rest of the dollars needed for construction of the HOT lane.  

 

Because the the study is going for federal dollars it needs to look at the alternatives.  Becaue the TSPLOST or TIA was a brokered deal it focused on politics.   How do the two meet up.

 

I agree 110% that merely building transit down the middle of the highway is not the solution to the long term needs of the region.   Transit needs to be built so that high to medium walkable density occurs around the stations.   Highways and highway exits don't fit this description.

2 years, 4 months ago on Big decisions ahead for northwest corridor to Cobb — namely bus or rail

Reply

"holds the most promise for relieving air pollution, excessive tailpipe emissions and other environmental damage caused by traffic congestion." Are they trying to say that building more roads is good for the environment because it reduces tailpipe emissions? They tried that in the 90's. Besides the old you can't pave your way out of congestion issue (induced demand) free flowing highways actually cause more Ozone Precursors to be emitted by cars than non free flowing highways. That's part of the reason we couldn't get around the road freeze of the 90's that was caused by our exceedance of Ozone levels. Adding lanes does NOT clean the air. Besides using hyperbole... "dismay" .... Che Watkins and the business/developer group CTM are just flat out factually incorrect!    At least they didn't call for clear cutting the region's trees to save the environment.

2 years, 4 months ago on Pro-transportation tax folks express dismay at Sierra Club’s opposition

Reply

"“This project list is primarily a business-as-usual sprawl-inducing road program,”   Sierra Club is right.  

 

Keep in mind a sizable portion of the 40% of the dollars for transit is for the "enhanced bus service" in the I75 corridor so this could go to building the HOT lane - since the buses could use it.   True good for the buses but not really a transit investment.

 

But the bigger concern is that this subsidizes further growth away from our existing transit infrastructure.  Also by doing a 1% sales tax on everything except gas and the purchase of a car (for the amount over $5,000) instead of doing a 7% gas tax we are heavily subsidizing people to make lifestyle choices that lead to driving cars.

 

voting down this bill may mean the region doesn't grow as fast but it would mean that the growth it will get as the economy improves will be better.

2 years, 4 months ago on Georgia’s Sierra Club opposed to regional transportation sales tax

Reply

 @The Last Democrat in Georgia  I agree and if they do end up expanding the port they will need extra rail freight capacity up the 75 corridor.   

2 years, 4 months ago on MARTA throws a wrench into opposition of transportation sales tax in south DeKalb County

Reply

 @The Last Democrat in Georgia I don't agree with your statement about the last two decades.   there has been significant roadway expansion in metro Atlanta during the past 20 years.  Heck even the past 5 years has seen capacity increases to the east side of 285, to lanes on GA 400 and the northern end of the downtown connector via new ramps to 17th street and the 14th street bridge and ramp rebuild that included a new direct lane to 10th St.

 

heck wasn't the massive 316-85 collector cd system built in the past 10 years?   and Gwinnett certainly has never stopped adding to its significant network of regional roads.  Just Like Fulton has been creating the parallel parkway system on either side of 400 during the past 10 years.  

 

I'm not sure how many roads you want to see built but its not like the Regional Transportation Plans haven't been taking in our share of roadway funding.

 

But we are also at not on the same page about if lane miles in GA is just the federal interstates or if they include all of the multilane highways such as 400, Peachtree industrial, 316, sugarloaf parkway, Buford Highway etc. etc.  

 

The problem isn't a lack of roadway capacity, the problem is we are one of the leading metro areas for Vehicle Miles Traveled Per Capita, in other words we drive too much.

2 years, 4 months ago on D.C. to Metro Atlanta: “No guarantee of federal funding for road, transit projects” in transportation sales tax

Reply

 @The Last Democrat in Georgia  Yes the 400 shoulders and what happens with the bus on I-20 are not the same thing.  But the sentiment the state has towards transit is telling.  

 

The fact is if TIA passes we don't know what Regional Transit System will develop.  Based on history and the current makeup of the legislature its not a bad bet to say a Regional Transit Agency could look more like GRTA.  And thus desperate political acts will prevail over the needs of transit riders.    The bigger the transit agency becomes the less power the riders have.    And I don't mean bigger in terms of operating budgets, I mean bigger in terms of the region served.   If GRTA cuts bus service its doesn't have a political effect on any politicians since the only people responsible are statewide officials.

 

Likewise a transit agency created with the region will not be controlled by an local officials and thus allowing other uses of a bus lane or even changing the projects will result in less accountability.

 

Though despite all that, I do have to question the value of a dedicated busway if there is a HOT lane that provides the buses with congestion free access to downtown.  Alternatively commuter rail has been identified 10 or 15 years ago why we've not moved forward on that is most unfortunate.

2 years, 4 months ago on MARTA throws a wrench into opposition of transportation sales tax in south DeKalb County

Reply

 @cwdawg cwdawg, I had not seen the cost figures. good point, its unfortunate DeKalb didn't start preserving Right of way back when the extended the line to Indian Creek.  Alternatively I've never really understood why they placed the station at Indian Creek, maybe they should have gone south a bit from Kensington to get outside 285. 

 

Question becomes does the express rails make up enough time for the greater distance caused by this indirect route to downtown. 

2 years, 4 months ago on MARTA throws a wrench into opposition of transportation sales tax in south DeKalb County

Reply

Are the republicans still proposing to cut out or greatly reduce funding of the Federal Transit side of the funding? 

 

As to Highway Dollars we will still get a lot those Federal Dollars since the state still has a significant stream of revenues dedicated by the state to only roads.   Granted if TIA doesn't pass we might not get as much money for new roads. 

 

2 years, 4 months ago on D.C. to Metro Atlanta: “No guarantee of federal funding for road, transit projects” in transportation sales tax

Reply

 @The Last Democrat in Georgia The problem with Bus service is the example set by the abandonment of the 400 Bus shoulders.   How can it be effective if it is subject to being switched out to give cars more room?  People aren't going to develop real estate based on a temporary fix

 

We've used lots of fancy names for bus service in the past but have nothing really to show for it other than 2 lane jumpers on memorial.  I've not seen them in action so not sure what they even do.

2 years, 4 months ago on MARTA throws a wrench into opposition of transportation sales tax in south DeKalb County

Reply

also heavy rail that goes down 285 from indian creek and then out I-20 is not a very direct route.  Plus dropping people off next to the highway?   It would be better if the indian creek line went along roughly Redan to get to I-20.

 

2 years, 4 months ago on MARTA throws a wrench into opposition of transportation sales tax in south DeKalb County

Reply

This is largely a meaningless vote since MARTA doesn't have the funds.  

2 years, 4 months ago on MARTA throws a wrench into opposition of transportation sales tax in south DeKalb County

Reply

Are we discussing improvements to Freight Rail capacity if this project moves forward?   It seems right now the freight rail lines are at capacity in Georgia, so if we are going to rely on trucks traveling up I -75 through Atlanta (and the west side of 285) then perhaps we shouldn't do this project.   Is this why we are spending so much money adding capacity to 75?  Is this why the almost $700 billion in proposed TIA "transit" dollars may go to building HOT lanes instead of rail?

 

Lets kill two birds with one stone!  Expand rail capacity so that we can move more freight by rail and also have capacity for Commuter Rail!   If you put the 700 million in proposed TIA funds towards this end (commuter rail and expanded freight capacity in the NW 75 Corridor) then I'm on board for the dredging and the Uber Regressive TIA tax.

2 years, 4 months ago on Savannah River deepening endorsed by Army Corps’ report; public comment period begins

Reply

By making it a regressive sales tax that includes essential groceries, folks like Post Properties get the best of all worlds.  They pay very little of their wealth on the tax because they spend a tiny portion of their income as they are able to save most of it.   But they developers and land speculators and property owners stand to make the most as the new roads funded by taxes on much of the masses wages (since we end up having to spend most of our income) lead make access to properties easier that can be flipped, developed and rented, leased or sold. 

2 years, 4 months ago on Campaign strategy: TV ads for transportation sales tax show no local leader, nor any living creature

Reply

Funny your excellent earlier post correctly identified the main culprits on the failure of the legislature to lift the 50/50 split.  http://saportareport.com/blog/2012/04/state-legislators-fail-to-give-marta-flexibility-in-how-it-spends-its-funds/   

 

I guess Mayor Reed is doesn't want to criticize the Republicans.

2 years, 4 months ago on Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed hopes MARTA and the state can solve their financial differences in 2013

Reply

 @The Last Democrat in Georgia  @Mason Hicks  It makes more sense to take the train to Arts Center since that is far less out of the way for Perimeter Center folks than going to the Perimeter Center is for folks going to buckhead, midtown and downtown.   Why?  Well Perimeter Center is actually a decent amount North  of 75/85 as at that point the highway is going north east, not just east.

2 years, 4 months ago on LINK delegation soon will head to Baltimore and Washington D.C. to get ideas for metro Atlanta

Reply