Category: Transportation

By Baruch Feigenbaum On July 31, 2012, voters in 12 regions in Georgia, including a 10-county Atlanta region, will decide in a referendum whether to enact a 1 percent Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (T-SPLOST) for transportation. To help Georgians understand the ramifications of the referendum, the Georgia Public Policy Foundation has released an Issue Analysis: “Getting Georgia Going: An Analysis of the Referendum On Georgia’s Transportation Special Purpose Local Options Sales Tax.” With Georgia ranked 49th in transportation spending, the question should focus not on whether the state needs to increase investment in its transportation network, but what is the best, most efficient and politically realistic way to do so. Given this framework, there are reasons for voting… View Article
By Benita Dodd Benita Dodd, Vice President, Georgia Public Policy Foundation The “Untie Atlanta” commercials on radio and TV are nothing if not clever. Frustrated commuters can relate to the visual onslaught on TV of roads tangled in a giant knot and the radio announcement, accompanied by blaring horns, that says “Traffic in metro Atlanta is tied up in knots … Let’s untie the knot. Vote yes for the July 31 Regional Transportation Referendum.” Without a doubt, inadequate transportation spending has led to congestion and reduced mobility in this state. If voters in each of the 12 regions support the referendum, a penny transportation special local option sales tax (T-SPLOST) will fund its tailored list of projects. Some of them… View Article
By Benita Dodd The headline on an article in The Onion satirical magazine in 2000 was, “Report: 98 Percent Of U.S. Commuters Favor Public Transportation For Others.” Sometimes truth is even stranger than fiction. Fewer than four out of every 100 metro Atlanta workers rely on public transportation for their daily commutes, according to Census Bureau data. Yet the priorities in proposals for congestion relief in metro Atlanta would lead any outsider to believe that the public is clamoring for more mass transit. The preference for automobiles should be driving the project list, but it’s clearly foolish to dismiss the need for public transportation in the region. For good or bad, two upcoming initiatives could impact the future of… View Article

Transportation Briefs

 Transportation Round-Up Compiled by GPPF Vice President Benita Dodd Misguided, misinformed and missing: Committee meetings are almost ways more interesting than full board meetings, if you’re willing to sit and sift through the banter. Last week’s State Transportation Board committee meetings are case in point. – In a Legislative Committee discussion about pending metal theft legislation, it was revealed that the state Department of Transportation has had $30,000 worth of steel grates stolen, as well as 20,000 feet of wire – the kind used in wiring traffic lights, for example. – Then came a discussion about privatizing the state’s aviation services and the four King Air 90 aircraft the Georgia Aviation Authority currently uses for passenger flights. The… View Article

Transportation Roundup

TRANSPORTATION ROUNDUP Compiled by Benita M. Dodd   Logistics and innovation: More than 1,100 people have registered already for the fourth annual Georgia Logistics Summit on February 8th, 2012, in Atlanta. Hosted by Georgia’s Center of Innovation for Logistics, the Summit is the only state-led collaborative event of its kind and size in the nation – and draws 85 percent of its participants from the private sector. The deadline for registration is Friday, January 27. Go to http://summit.georgialogistics.org/ to register to attend.  The Center of Innovation for Logistics is led by Page Siplon, who was a panelist in the Georgia Public Policy Foundation’s second annual Legislative Policy Briefing in the fall of 2011. Watch his presentation at the Briefing here:… View Article

Transit riders: Pawns in city’s popularity contest

By Benita Dodd In November 2011, MARTA announced it was moving seven bus routes in downtown Atlanta to make way for the $72 million streetcar line that will run from Centennial Olympic Park to the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic site. The streetcar Web site noted that, “The changes will remain in effect until further notice.” But don’t wait for the “further notice” to be that the MARTA routes will be restored. In fact, thanks to the street car construction, now there are changes in store for most Xpress bus riders as well, according to the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority (GRTA). GRTA’s board was asked today to approve the process to reroute the downtown Xpress buses off Peachtree Street.… View Article
Governor Nathan Deal has unveiled a package of tax reforms and tax credits that he says are essential to make Georgia the number one state in the nation to do business.  One theme was familiar – reducing the energy tax on manufacturing – but other elements were new from the Competitiveness Initiative Task Force that the governor announced one year ago. “Today, in executive offices right here in Georgia, business leaders are making the business decision to  expand manufacturing activity and facilities in neighboring states,” Deal said at the state Chamber of Commerce “Eggs and Issues” breakfast.  “Every time they make that decision, we miss out on new investment in our communities and new opportunities for Georgians.” Deal’s address to… View Article
Georgia’s eleventh-hour cancellation of a toll concession project on managed lanes along I-75 and I-575 in Cobb and Cherokee counties is a decision with enormous ramifications. It impacts mobility for one of the region’s most congested corridors, the thousands of jobs that would have been created in the process, and future opportunities to attract private investor partners to fund and expedite much-needed infrastructure. The state Department of Transportation calls public-private partnerships “a critical element of Georgia’s plans for sustainable investment in transportation.” Now fingers are being pointed in numerous directions over the cancellation of the promising west by northwest corridor, a move that astounded the three companies on the short list to build the billion-dollar project then manage the 60-year… View Article

Planners’ Transit Menu Ignores Commuters’ Tastes

By Benita M. Dodd  Imagine serving Brussels sprouts instead of broccoli casserole at Christmas dinner. You know most guests won’t eat them, but you believe they’ll bring balance to the meal and that guests will like them if only they taste them. That is the “build-it-they-will-come” mentality behind the project list for the July 31, 2012, penny transportation sales tax referendum in the Atlanta region. The vote on the 10-year transportation special purpose local option sales tax – TSPLOST – was central to the discussion at an Atlanta conference hosted by the Urban Land Institute on December 7. Not surprisingly, speakers frequently referred to the transportation referendum as the “transit referendum:” Fifty-two percent of the anticipated $6.1 billion in revenue… View Article

Better Busways Don’t Require Exclusive Lanes

By Robert Poole The idea of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) has gradually been catching on with U.S. transportation planners.  As counter-intuitive as it sounds, in most cases it’s a mistake to develop BRT systems based on exclusive rights of way. First, what some have called BRT-Lite can be a highly cost-effective improvement over regular city bus service. The best-known example of this is the highly successful Metro Rapid program in Los Angeles. Specially marked buses operate on regular lanes of major arterials in Los Angeles, with stops between one-half and one mile apart, and often getting through signalized intersections thanks to traffic signal priority. Those may sound like trivial improvements, but Metro Rapid routes offer longer-distance commuters considerable time savings… View Article

It’s so often a lack of information that keeps us from getting involved. The Foundation is doing for the public what many could not do for themselves. Anytime that we’re given the truth, people can make good decisions.

Deen Day Smith, Chairman of the Board, Cecil B. Day Investment Company more quotes