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I agree that something must be done to empower the surrounding neighborhoods. It is a shame to watch the tide of suburbia come in and out for game days with very little positive happening to the neighbors.
I will also say that Hattie Dorsey is still the same beautiful and engaging person she has always been.
2 weeks, 2 days ago on Atlanta can get stadium right this time with community benefits agreement
Property tax revenues declining and sales tax revenues stagnating has been the annual budget call since 2008.
Interesting about the revenue slump accompanied by an increase of 164 positions, 53 assigned to the executive offices.
2 weeks, 2 days ago on Economic forecasts in Atlanta Mayor Reed’s budget not for faint of heart
To: Just Mean and Nasty
Actually, I have lived in North Fulton.
Fulton needs to change within Fulton County. If you do not want to pay for Grady Memorial Hospital, advocate for change in Fulton County. Destroying the fabric of Home Rule through actions of the legislature has to the potential to destroy all metro counties. My principles on local government is best does not change on a county-by-county basis.
It appears the metro Atlanta region is having a Dietrich Bonhoeffer moment by opening the door to state control of local politics.
In Fayette County, we have removed 12 consecutive incumbents from office in the voting booth. In a City of Fayetteville council post race, we backed the Democrat over the incumbent Republican because he's one of the most honest men we know.
The state legislature does not need to taken over local control.
3 months, 1 week ago on Comedy or tragedy? Fulton legislative meeting heralds new era in county politics, government, civic theater
OK, here we go again with the violation of local home rule. We have a problem my fellow Republicans.
Fulton County should decide Fulton County's fate, not the State Legislature. While it may be attractive to metro Republicans that the Fulton County Board of Commissioners is getting roasted over an open fire, just wait until the legislative Republicans come after your county too. We all know power corrupts, and an emboldened legislature will begin controlling local politics more than ever.
Local control should be defended by all, at all times (not on a case-by-case basis). You either have principles or you don't.
@The Last Democrat in Georgia @writes_of_weigh No problem with on my part with fee for using the interstate system. It would bring in a lot more funding than transit and will free up capacity on the roads.
Some say, "Roads do not pay for themselves." GA 400 did.
High speed rail makes sense in densely packed Japan, but if they are losing ridership, perhaps we ought to focus on some more reasonable, focused solutions.
5 months, 2 weeks ago on A grand bargain between railroads and government is needed for the development of high-speed rail
Since Japan introduced high-speed bullet trains, passenger rail has lost more than half its market share to the automobile. Since Italy,France, and other European countries opened their high-speed rail lines, rail’s market share in Europe has dwindled from 8.2 to 5.8 percent of travel. If high-speed rail doesn’t work in Japan and Europe, how can it work in the United States?
Running high volume freight lines on the same track as high speed rail will reduce the rate of speed of the "high" speed rail.
The bottom line is Atlanta to Savannah does little to nothing to resolve traffic congestion.
Yes, the one thing most are not excited about is another layer (regional) of official governance. People express their worries over the Atlanta Regional Commission chairman not being an elected official and I think that is a legitimate concern.
"Regional" entities appointed by the Governor, Lt. Governor and the House Speaker do not give many people hope that equitable representation is on the way either.
5 months, 3 weeks ago on Regionalism in Georgia still the best path for new transportation investment
There has to kind of regional construct within which to work.
I think the main problems are a confounded network of state-level politicians and special interest groups, both of which drive the GDOT process.
Another major problem is an unrealistic "one-size-fits-all" approach to transit and road networks.
Garl B. Latham, no rebuff from me on the emotional ploys with automobiles.
Metro Atlanta's most significant historical problem, in terms of transportation, has been not linking land planning to transportation. Atlanta's main economic driver has been growth for the sake of growth with very little consideration of how the transportation infrastructure could manage to sustain the massive changes in land use. Thus, we are stuck and the same development "leaders" who butchered the landscape with unbridled land use changes are now the ones crying for improved transportation options. Go figure.
One of my constituents kept contacting me, demanding to have a heavy rail train from Peachtree City to Alpharetta where she and her husband work. Finally, I politely asked her to move to Alpharetta and save us the $6 billion it would cost to provide her a ride to work.
Somewhere along the line, common sense has to kick in. I am sure there are some people who would like to live in Savannah and work in Atlanta, but let's think realistically about what that would cost per the small band of riders.
Let's look at the solutions that affect the most people first. And, yes, that could have a transit component.
I get a clear picture of how government really works when I am one of the only people who rides transit to the regional government meetings when nearly all others just talk about spending enormous amounts of taxpayer funding on it. There is way too much "dreaming" and not near enough "thinking" going on.
5 months, 3 weeks ago on Creating a ‘trail of prosperity’ with high-speed Atlanta—Savannah rail
I am saddened to see our leadership running down another ultra-expensive rabbit trail instead of focusing on important projects which could provide congestion relief throughout metro Atlanta.
We do not need a mega-billion dollar project like high speed rail, especially to Savannah, on top of our current unfunded project list. There is absolutely no way a high speed rail project could be justified from Atlanta to Savannah. I wish we could take the "dreaming" and emotion out of transportation planning.
I suppose the state is going to be asked to pay the operations and maintenance for this boondoggle?
As far as the appointments, many think Gov. Deal is trying to shore up his Republican base after getting bashed on TPLOST. I tend to agree with that assessment.
Personally, I think Gov. Deal has made another crucial political mistake. Appointing the deposed Mathis in Henry County comes off as utterly tone deaf.
Nash and Worthan are nice people, but they are not drivers in land use and transportation.
8 months, 4 weeks ago on Gov. Deal appoints three county chairmen to GRTA, which faces funding shortfall after sales tax vote
Certain people are making the Beltline rhetoric up as they go. I tired of the planning perspective being rerouted every time someone wants another funding lotto jackpot.
Check out this reasonable study on the Beltline from 2005: http://smartech.gatech.edu/jspui/bitstream/1853/10713/1/FINAL_panel_paper_9.29.05.pdf
10 months, 1 week ago on Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed's team disagrees with Saporta's column
@The Last Democrat in Georgia @freemefromtraffic When you are right, you are right!
The state legislature's wishy-washy nature and lack of spinal column are our most significant obstacles.
10 months, 1 week ago on To avoid campaign blame game, regional transportation sales tax proponents need another miracle
The 11 Alive poll was a bit worse on the passage question. The lack of transparency from the "Untie" people has also caused a lot of heartburn.
10 months, 1 week ago on Crunch day for sales tax: Campaign financial disclosure due, plus response to dismal poll results
Funny, I asked to write a column as part the Transportation Leadership Coalition and was told no more columns before the election. I guess it depends on who you are.
Ready2Drive, most see the impact as negative. Both sides agree something needs to be done, but where do you draw the line on cost efficiency - the main point of division. Rail is the lowest "bang-for-the-buck."
@The Last Democrat in Georgia BART in California has a much higher fare than MARTA and it helps cover the bottom line.
It would be nice to quell the rhetoric on “miracles” and concentrate on intelligent land use and transportation planning, something the TSPLOST fails at miserably. I have never before witnessed such a horrible attempt planning in all my life.
This was planning by committee. The committee became the vanguard for special interests who wanted a stimulus program rather than genuine traffic congestion relief.
A lot of good-natured people tried to gloss over the attempts of a few people, actively sidetracking a process to aid the average guy and gal stuck in traffic. We got flawed ideology instead of hard and fast solutions.
The Atlanta Regional Commission as a support vehicle for sound planning has been a huge disappointment.
After we spend $8 billion, Mike Alexander, Chief of Research for the Atlanta Regional Commission, said, "The average commute time really doesn't change that much." Oh well.
When asked how we would pay for the exorbitant future operations and maintenance costs for all the transit projects, Cain Williamson of the Atlanta Regional Commission said, “We don’t know.” Billions of dollars in expenses and we do not have a clue where the money is coming from to meet the obligations?
The ARC’s models were skewed, badly. Who is accountable?
The Metro Atlanta Chamber's "go-to" expert Chris Leinberger, who personally profits from transit-oriented-development business interests, finally came right out and said, "the goal of having a rail system is not for traffic relief, but for economic development." At least he was honest.
An intelligent assessment of Mr. Leinberger’s concepts of walkable communities with immediate access to rail transit, when applied to the Atlanta region, reveals we would need to add over 2,000 miles of track and over 2,000 transit stations. On scale, this is something akin to using all the federal transportation funds for the entire country just for Atlanta (and that does not include future O and M).
Our greatest need in metro Atlanta is for knowledgeable political leaders well versed in land planning and transportation (and there aren’t many to choose from) to rise to the top and create viable plans.
If we cannot change the back-door system of planning that currently exists, our citizens will continue to suffer.
Burroughston Broch, good point on the sermonizing to the employees. I would honestly say that tactic could backfire as well.
I think the Internet age has made it extremely difficult to for the chambers in all 10 metro counties to remain in the "good old boy" structure of political advantage. I know in Fayette County, many of the civic and political groups view the chamber with disdain. The chamber cronies come to the meetings of others, but no one is allow in their secret discussions. You hear the same in Henry and Cherokee too.
It is depressing to watch CEOs and CFOs spit out pre-assembled talking points lacking a lot of relevant knowledge on the topic.
Their closed-door style is making them irrelevant.
10 months, 1 week ago on To move forward, Atlanta must find its magic and rediscover the 'Atlanta Way'
The Metro Atlanta Chamber has been most disappointing. They are not adept at maneuvering through government channels and they often cannot get past some of the special interest desires of certain influential members.
Their efforts with the Atlanta Public Schools were horrible, plagued with scandal and cover-up and end with a stealth exit without so much as an apology.
With the TSPLOST they light their hair on fire and yell "crisis." I agree with Mercer University Economics Professor Roger Tutterow that the crisis is greatly exaggerated. In a CNBC report, Georgia ranks number three in transportation and infrastructure. They are caught between the rock (a horribly non-productive project list) and a hard place (key special interests within the chamber who want the money).
Business leaders in Atlanta can do A LOT more to step-up and help resolve traffic congestion at very little expense to our taxpayers - start with telecommuting and flexible work hours.
To this point, the chamber has been seen by many as an obstacle and I have to agree with that position.
10 months, 2 weeks ago on To move forward, Atlanta must find its magic and rediscover the 'Atlanta Way'