Category: Transportation

Five Ways Technology can Transform Transportation

By Steve Dickerson   The information technology wave is engulfing nearly all productive activities, based on the ever cheaper and capable power of computing and communications. Transportation modes, too, can benefit from the efficiencies of the technologies of cellular communications with global positioning systems (GPS) and Bluetooth.   Generally, the only hardware required would be a smart phone such as a BlackBerry or iPhone equipped with GPS and radio frequency (RF) communications, cellular and Bluetooth-type technology. For some applications GPS is not needed; any modern cell phone will do. The other basic assumptions are that shared rides include carpools, vanpools, buses, and rail transit; and shared cars such as ZipCar will be available. Commuters would subscribe to a cellular-based transportation support system… View Article

Ten Principles to Drive Transportation Policy

By Benita M. Dodd Sometimes, you can judge a book by its cover. The 2009 Transportation MAP – Metropolitan Atlanta Performance – Report released in October is available at It offers a “snapshot” of performance relative to mobility, transit accessibility, air quality and safety. Yet it’s the cover picture that paints a thousand words. The photograph shows the crowded regular lanes of the Downtown Connector, the spot in the center of Atlanta where Interstates 75 and 85 merge. The high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes are practically empty; a lone bus travels down one HOV lane; the HOV entrance ramp is barely occupied and the regular entrance ramp is clogged. The report cites improvement overall, but the cover epitomizes metro… View Article

Georgia Deserves Fair Share of Highway Funds

By Jeff Flake and Ronald Utt Georgia clearly could use an extra $206 million a year to fix its roads and bridges. And it could get that much – without increasing taxes, without cutting other government programs and without borrowing. Georgia and about two dozen other states pay far more fuel taxes into the federal highway trust fund than they ever get back. If Georgia and the other so-called “donor” states were to join forces, the state can start getting its fair share. The combined effort is essential. It will take a concerted push to get Congress to remedy the situation. Many lawmakers fear offending their colleagues from states that get more than their fair share from the trust fund.… View Article
By Benita M. Dodd They weren’t playing nice at the Capitol this year, and when legislators grabbed their toys and went home, neither chamber had won the transportation legislation tug-of war. Just because no agreement on funding was reached, however, doesn’t put the brakes on Georgia transportation policy.   First, despite the criticism over their disagreement, it’s just as well for Georgians that senators and representatives couldn’t find common ground over whether a statewide or regional one-cent sales tax plan could fund transportation. Why? Because carte blanche is passé. Georgians deserve better. They deserve a plan, to know what they’re voting for before they’re asked to pay higher taxes. And because just as Georgians must constrain their spending to their budget,… View Article
By Benita M. Dodd The standoff among the House, the Senate and the Governor’s office over competing transportation proposals continues under Georgia’s Gold Dome, but the Department of Transportation isn’t standing still. The DOT is moving right along with its plan to take Georgia commuters into the 21st century with a series of open houses through April focusing on the state’s first high-occupancy toll (HOT) lane project. The pilot project, expected to be operational in January 2011, would convert 14.3 miles of high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes to HOT lanes on Interstate 85 between Chamblee-Tucker Road (south of I-285 in DeKalb County) and Old Peachtree Road in Gwinnett County. The Georgia DOT intends the segment as the first of “a future… View Article

Road to Congestion Relief Leads … Somewhere Else

By Benita M. Dodd “If you build it, they will come,” was the mantra for opponents of road-building in metro Atlanta, the economic engine of Georgia. So we didn’t build “it.” And still “they” came. Now “it” is almost too expensive. It still needs to be built – just somewhere else, so that those who don’t need to come won’t come. That, in a nutshell, is what the region needs to do to add the necessary capacity for traffic in metro Atlanta. McKinsey and Co., consultants to the Governor’s IT3 transportation plan (Investing in Tomorrow’s Transportation Today) pointed out the challenge recently: “Over the last 10-20 years, Georgia has undermanaged and underinvested in its assets. The lack of improvement to… View Article
By Chick Krautler A recent fact-finding mission to Texas, led by Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue, was an excellent opportunity for Georgia’s state and regional transportation policy-makers to learn from folks who have made progress in attacking their congestion and mobility challenges through tolling, alternative funding and alternative project delivery.  Georgia’s Department of Transportation (DOT) is tackling a funding and project delivery crisis and the Governor is developing a statewide transportation strategy through the IT3 (Investing in Tomorrow’s Transportation Today) program.  Texas faces many of the problems that Georgia does. A fast growing state with significant congestion in its urban centers, it has an estimated transportation funding shortfall of $66 billion and limited opportunities for new taxes. Its aggressive approach to… View Article
By James H. Orr Jr. Will massive, endless subsidies become a way of life for Georgians? Apparently so, if our policy-makers listen to the proponents of commuter rail line and other heavy rail and/or light rail options.  In April, the Transit Planning Board (TPB) held public meetings throughout metro Atlanta to “educate” and get the blessings of the public on the TPB’s Concept 3 Proposed Transit Vision Plan Vision. In Gwinnett County, where the meeting was co-sponsored by the Gwinnett Village Community Improvement District in Lawrenceville, there were just eight members of the public present – hardly a representative sample for public input and opinion. TPB Staff Director Cheryl King, who presented the Concept 3 plan, reinforced several times that… View Article

Express Toll Network Can Drive Congestion Relief

By Benita M. Dodd  How and how much are far from concurrence, but Georgians agree that what transportation needs most is funding. Sifting through the myriad transportation proposals, however, reveals that policy-makers from the nation’s capital to the state Capitol agree on one more need: toll roads and, specifically, high-occupancy toll lanes.  Back in 2005, Georgia’s State Road and Tollway Authority studied the potential benefits of high-occupancy toll (HOT) lanes, which would allow solo motorists access to formerly high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes for a fee. SRTA concluded that these lanes, often derided as “Lexus lanes,” would provide more than just time savings to the drivers cruising in them:  They would also provide a reliable, shorter trip for transit vehicles and… View Article
By Vance Smith (Excerpted from remarks by Georgia Rep. Vance Smith (R-Pine Mountain), chairman of the House Transportation Committee, at a Georgia Public Policy Foundation Policy Briefing Luncheon on transportation.) I know we’ve talked to a lot of you here this past summer when we had the transportation funding study committee. I appreciate you speaking up, letting us know how you feel, because that’s the only way we’re going to arrive at a solution to transportation. There’s no one person, as Senator Jeff Mullis said, no “silver bullet.” There’s no one solution out there. And there’s certainly room for everybody’s opinion; I think that’s very important. If we take our time, be very patient, we have the responsibility first of… View Article

When I served four terms in the state Senate, one of the few places where you could go to always and get concrete information about real solutions was the Georgia Public Policy Foundation. That hasn’t changed. [The Foundation] is really right up there at the top of the state think tanks, so you should be very proud of the work that they are doing!

Congressman Tom Price more quotes