Category: Transportation

Bumps in Study on Speed Humps

By Randal O’Toole and Kathleen Calongne A recent paper purporting to show that speed humps make residential streets safer for children actually shows nothing of the kind. In fact, the study’s data can even be interpreted to mean that humps make streets more dangerous. Speed humps are annoying and potentially dangerous to drivers and can cause deadly delays to emergency service vehicles. But an Oakland, Calif., study (seehttp://www.ajph.org/cgi/content/abstract/94/4/646) claims to show that speed humps make streets 50 to 60 percent safer for children. The study used a database showing when and where 1,600 speed humps were installed on Oakland streets between 1995 and 2000. Ideally, the researchers would have compared accident rates on those streets before the speed… View Article
Benita M. Dodd Georgia faces a $7.7 billion transportation funding shortfall over the next six years, the state Department of Transportation reminds us on its new Web site, www.whatsthebigidea.us. Bridging that significant gap requires policy-makers to adopt a combined approach involving taxpayers, transportation users and the private sector. Cynics and supporters of big government portray private investment as greedy capitalist pigs controlling our roads and redirecting traffic to “their” streets based on a profit motive. They propose using federal or state funds for projects – as if it’s other people’s money, not our own paychecks involved. They wonder why government can’t simply raise the gas tax to fund the needed maintenance and enhancements to transportation. Bear in mind that… View Article
By Benita M. Dodd Transportation proposals are chasing lawmakers at such an exciting and breathtaking pace this year that the convergence of plans under the Gold Dome seems destined to outdo NASCAR’s legendary pileups. Just last November, Georgia Public Policy Foundation senior fellow Robert Poole, who is the Transportation Director of Reason Foundation, outlined a massive, innovative and astonishingly bold plan to get Atlanta out of the congestion forecast for the metro area. It included an express network of high-occupancy toll (HOT) lanes instead of planned high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes; a tunnel from the southern end of Georgia 400 to I-20 and on to I-675; an east-west toll route from Lakewood Freeway to I-20, and a truck toll tunnel that… View Article

Telework: Transporting Workers into a Global Economy

By Michael J. Dziak  Just a dozen years ago it was considered avant garde for an organization to allow employees to work from home. Today, increasing numbers of employees are quietly migrating away from noisy distracting offices to crank out productive work wherever they happen to be.   With ubiquitous mobile technology, portable work, and high-speed digital “hot spots” within reach of PDAs, “26.6 million Americans worked at home in their primary job at least once a month” according to a recent eMarketer Spotlight Report. Research firm IDC projects more than 878 million remote workers “globally” by 2009.   “Globally” is the operative word: Today’s technology makes communicating with an employee in London as easy as with one in a home office… View Article

Road to Congestion Relief Paved with Common Sense

By Benita M. Dodd When the Georgia Public Policy Foundation presented testimony to the State Board of Transportation’s Intermodal Committee in September opposing the proposed Atlanta-Lovejoy commuter rail line, the goal was not to sabotage a transportation alternative. The Foundation’s goal – a longstanding goal – was to urge the implementation of cost-effective, commonsense and viable transportation options that will actually relieve congestion in the metro Atlanta region.  In that vein, during a public comment period that ended November 30, the Foundation commended the innovative promise in the Governor’s Congestion Mitigation Task Force, representing a team of state and metro Atlanta agencies – and urged it to remain committed to its directive: providing a measure to prioritize congestion mitigation.  Judging… View Article

Georgia Tackles the Toll of Truck Traffic

By Benita M. Dodd Georgians, particularly those in and around transportation corridors of metro areas, deal on an almost-daily basis with congestion stemming from truck-related traffic incidents. The bigger the truck, the bigger the headache and, of course, the greater the risk of injuries and fatalities. Motorists complain bitterly. One irate commuter demanded in a newspaper article that Georgia reduce truck speed limits. It’s irrelevant to commuters that 65-75 percent of wrecks involving trucks are the fault of passenger vehicle drivers. What hits home is that for each minute of incident delay on our highways, traffic takes seven minutes to recover. The fervent wish that each side get out of the other’s way will intensify in the next quarter-century: Commercial… View Article

Confusion Takes Its Toll on Transportation Solutions

By Benita M. Dodd Are toll roads HOT, and when is HOT not cool? That’s not a trick question or a riddle. It’s a serious policy consideration, and whether the lack of distinction between toll roads and High-Occupancy Toll (HOT) lanes is deliberate or unintended, the consequences could be dire. Confusion about whether, when, where and how the state should allow toll roads or HOT lanes threatens to undermine this state’s ability to utilize an increasingly popular and vital transportation tool. Why is the ability to charge tolls vital? The Georgia Department of Transportation’s statewide transportation plan through 2025 anticipates $36 billion in federal and state revenues, but it estimates “needed” transportation projects will cost the state $51 billion. Georgia… View Article

HOT Lanes Moving Right Along For Georgia

By Benita M. Dodd Help is finally on the way for frustrated travelers once resigned to the absence of wide-open roads in metro Atlanta as policy-makers conquer the anti-automobile agenda and focus on reality-based transportation solutions. Two promising signs came just this week. One was the Atlanta Regional Commission’s official adoption of its $53 billion Mobility 2030 transportation plan for the region. The ARC allocates more than half of the $53 billion to routine maintenance and operations. About $8.2 billion will add roadway capacity; $5 billion will increase transit capacity; $4.6 billion will add high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes; about $3 billion will focus on transportation technology and $1.1 billion will be spent on bicycle and pedestrian facilities. Unfortunately, the ARC… View Article
By Steve Stancil (Excerpts from the transcript of the Sept. 14 speech by Steve Stancil, executive director of the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority, at the Georgia Public Policy Foundation Policy Briefing Luncheon.) This region has a traffic problem, and we don’t have enough money to fix it. With the $50 billion that will be available over the next 25 years for transportation improvements, we’re barely going to hold the line on congestion. That’s not totally bad – because we sure aren’t holding the line on population. Our population is going to increase by 2.3 million over the next 25 years – about half from births and half moving in – and none of them are bringing transportation infrastructure with them.… View Article

Agenda 2005: A Guide To The Issues

Transportation Agenda Traffic congestion, while inconvenient, is a sign of a thriving economy. Focus transportation planning on increasing mobility. Facilitate private enterprise involvement in transportation improvements. Rethink how we price roads. Plan for increased capacity in growing urban areas. Relieve congestion by expediting truck traffic. Encourage types of transit that are competitive with automobiles. Deregulate the urban transit market to improve service and choice. Utilize competitive contracting to reduce costs. Reduce the role of the federal government in the transportation funding equation. Use objective criteria in choosing commuter and intercity passenger rail routes. Facts The Federal Highway Administration expects vehicle miles of travel to increase by another 42 percent between 2003 and 2020, with the growth rate for heavy trucks… View Article

“I am here today to thank the Georgia Public Policy Foundation for your role in building a fiscally conservative, pro-growth state. Not only did you help pave the way for a new generation of leadership, you continue to provide key policy advice and to hold us accountable to the principles we ran on. In short, you have had a transforming influence on this state. We are healthier, stronger, and better managed because of your efforts.

State Senator Eric Johnson, President pro tempore, Georgia State Senate more quotes