TSPLOST has plenty of funding for Cobb
January 24, 2012 12:00 AM | 725 views | 13 13 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
DEAR EDITOR:

Kudos to MDJ columnist Don McKee for acknowledging Gov. Nathan Deal’s support for critical transportation improvements that will “get our people and goods moving again” (“TSPLOST or TIA, it needs TBF — to be fixed — by the Georgia Legislature,” Jan. 11).

The governor’s rousing support for this effort stems from his belief that it’s good for our economy, for future growth and for jobs-creation for voters to support the largest investment in transportation and mobility our region has ever seen.

Unfortunately, McKee seems under the impression there is not enough in the referendum for Cobb commuters, citing “$689 million for ‘enhanced premium transit service.’” In reality, Cobb will receive $1.05 billion in transportation improvements — more than its fair share of the $6.1 billion for the 10-county region. Cobb commuters will also benefit from transportation improvements throughout the region.

McKee also quotes James Bell of the Georgia Taxpayers Alliance that “only after the tax is passed will feasibility studies be done.” Actually, feasibility studies are under way and preliminary results will be available in May prior to the July 31 referendum.

The Transportation Investment Act specifically includes Bus Rapid Transit that builds on the success of Cobb Community Transit Route 10, one of the busiest public transit bus routes in the Southeast. Bus Rapid Transit from Acworth to the Arts Center Station, will include platforms and stations, right-of-way, parking and operations and maintenance costs. This project will improve operations, relieve congestion and serve local and commuter trips.

Cobb leaders responded to public input by including $47 million allocated to improvements to the heavily congested interchange at Interstate 75 North and Windy Hill Road. This project can be completed and open to traffic years earlier than under current state funding.

As Gov. Deal noted, “Georgia can either go forward with this wise investment or our transportation system will be stuck in the past while we’re stuck in traffic.”

We’re confident the citizens of Cobb will vote for transportation improvements that will relieve congestion in the county and will greatly enhance their commutes throughout the entire metro region.

Bob Voyles

Chairman

Michael E. Paris

Vice Chairman

Metro Atlanta Voter Education Network
Comments
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James Bell
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January 24, 2012
We have Bob Voyles quoting Don McKee quoting James Bell. Bob I can't wait to see your propaganda. It's going to be hoot. Why not tell us what you are studying? Where can we read about this online? What does the study cost and who is conducting it? Where is the public involve in this process?

Let's go MAVEN! Give us some answers. EDUCATE US!
@JenLH
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January 24, 2012
This citizen is not retired and commutes daily. Today, my commute was more than double its usual time due to a wreck on I75 (2nd time this week). I hate the commuting problems and the expense that I personally incur as well as my employer's loss of productivity from me. I don't know anyone who's okay with it. We get that.

Those retirees whose opinion you discount matter, too. The "senior tsunami" (baby boomers aging) results in drivers with poor reflexes, eye sight problems, etc., who still have to get places. A convenient, cost effective rapid transit system would be wonderful for them as they grow older and experience less confidence and capability in driving! You'd think they'd selfishly jump at the chance to get a system, leaving the bill to generations that follow... but then, there's the wisdom of their years. They know that you don't buy more than you can pay for. They can recognize a bait and switch when they see one.

You asked for alternatives to be offered. Mr Hovey did a fine job explaining that. Go read his letter again!

As for Denver, they're right to chuckle about our failure to act to resolve our traffic congestion issue here. (I'm sure their collective nose is a mile high in the air over the issue.) Just because our leaders have had a sudden awakening to the need doesn't entitle them to be fiscally reckless in their addressing it.

It would be reckless for voters to approve the TIA, even with the proposed changes to the funding levels to include the lane revisions on I75/I575. The result would be

1) joining the fiscal mess of MARTA

2) a commitment to yield to the strings and delays attached to federal funding,

3) a fix which would fail to resolve the traffic congestion issues we currently face, and

4) operating and maintenance subsidies required for generations to come.

Our leaders may have meant well, but the resulting bill was a mess and politics entered in to take advantage of it.
SG68
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January 24, 2012
@JenLH

Then you haven't really been listening.

There are plenty of alternative solutions that have been offered, but the people who are in charge (the Chamber and the Cumberland CID) simply don't listen.

The so callled leaders in Cobb are lead around by the nose by special interest groups that have only one agenda. Personal enrichment.

Why hasn't the leadership of Cobb County embraced private legitimate sector solutions?

Because they are liberals in conservative clothing.

Why hasn't the leadership of Cobb looked beyond the federal big brother government of Barack Obama for answers to our transportation problems?

Because they have lost faith in the private sector.

Nobody is closing the door to creative solutions. We are closing the door to the same "good ol' boy cronyism that led us to this ridiculous situation in the first place.

We may not represent the majority of Cobb County voters, as you contend, only those that put some thought into the crap that is being offered up as a solution.

If you continue to support the rascals currently in power, you will be stuck in your car for another twenty years.

JenLH
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January 24, 2012
Let me ask you this, Cobb County citizens: What is your plan? Aside from stifling economic development and sending jobs elsewhere. Just ask the Mayor of Denver who has jokingly thanked Atlanta for not fixing its failing transportation system--it's of great benefit to his city's economic growth.

You are all excellent at name calling and nay saying, but I have not heard one single person offer up an alternative solution to this crucial issue. Can any of you say anything productive and progressive?

I have news for you. You can not close the door to the region and not let anyone else in. You can not live in the yesteryear of your lives. Is anyone writing these comments under the age of 40? You speak loudly and often, but I do not believe you represent the majority of Cobb County voters. Most of us are not retired. We'd love to counter you at public meetings, but, well we're stuck on I75 coming home from our jobs in Atlanta.

In short and with all due respect, either offer up some constructive criticism or shut up.
frogbreath
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January 25, 2012
Why didn't you settle into Atlanta?? Can Atlanta and the general area provide the infrastructure,(water, etc) to support this urge to "grow". I am not opposed to growth, but what is your reason to want growth?

Do you want a city like New York, perhaps Newark, NJ? Do you pick Denver for a special reason?

How many people do you know who came to Atlanta in the hope that it would grow as big as it has gotten? How many people do you think came here because it wasn't as big as NY or as bad as Newark?

What amount of growth will make you happy, while numerous other folks, quite honestly, like me, sit and rue the growth of the area.

Also, in my previous life, I spent some time in Denver.It also wouldn't hurt if you were to check the smog index that accompanies many large size cities.
Last GA Democrat
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January 25, 2012
JenLH:

"In short and with all due respect, either offer up some constructive criticism or shut up."

You first!

Feel more than free to take your own advice as I don't see you coming up with an "alternative solution" or a viable plan of your own.

Since you feel so inclined to rudely tell others to shut up and not use their God-given right to express their own opinions, why don't you put forth a viable cost-effective multimodal transportation plan of your own? We're waiting....

TIC
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January 24, 2012
Poor effort guys.

Surely with all of the funding you have collected to "educate" the ignorant masses in Cobb County and Atlanta about the TSPLOST you can come up with something better than this.

Of course Tim Lee and Faye DiMassimo haven't given you much to work with.

URKiddingRight?
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January 24, 2012
C'mon Guys!!

Your points about trying to relieve traffic congestion and stimulate the economy etc. etc. are all true and are certainly worthy goals.

I actually support the concept of the TIA as a financing mechanism for transportation solutions for our region.

However,

The fact of the matter is that the projects being proposed in the TIA/TSPLOST do little or nothing to address the congestion problems in the Metro Area.

It is NOT a regional solution. It is not even a good start at a regional solution.

The Roundtable screwed up!!!

For the most part, the projects are locally focused transportation projects that have minimal regional impact. (i.e the Atlanta Beltline trolley)

Go back to the drawing board and give it another try.

True. Cobb County is getting it's share of the TIA funding, IF the referendum passes.

The thing that irks those taxpaying citizens in Cobb County who are actually paying attention is that a good deal of that $1.05 Billion ($859 Million) is going to be wasted on

either

- A Bus Rapid Transit system that was a half baked idea when GRTA originally proposed it and it is still a half baked solution to our congestion problems in Cobb County. It's a band aid. We need major surgery!

or

- A light rail line that is located 95% in Atlanta and does nothing to relieve congestion on I-75 north of I-285 is an equally bad and expensive proposal. It's major surgery it's just being done on the wrong part of the body!!!

As for the Alternatives Analysis. It is a waste of money and time.

The preliminary results, and I dare say, the final results have already been determined.

Going through the motions of the study is simply window dressing by Cobb DOT to justify those conclusiions.

The Feds will probably reject it as a legitimate, well based analysis.

Your letter is a poor attempt to promote the TIA/TSPLOST to Cobb County taxpayers. It rings very hollow to informed voters.

You are trying to defend the indefensible!!
Remedial Education
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January 24, 2012
Dear Bob & Mike, you have condescended enough! Even the name of your organization presumes you to be knowledgeable and the voters not!

We agree on your last statement that "... citizens of Cobb will vote for transportation improvements that will relieve congestion..." But the fact is, we KNOW that there is a whisper campaign to impose technology will NOT relieve traffic congestion, is extremely overpriced, will cause us to have to pay massive subsidies for operation from now on, and perhaps most egregiously, will result in Cobb County quietly joining MARTA. We voters want REAL solutions at reasonable costs, not what you offer!

Your mindset that we must shackle ourselves to federal funding, the ARC and MARTA, is a pathetic enslavement to which we will NOT submit!

Go back to school, boys. You've obviously gotten where you are through social promotion. Now you need to go do some actual learning!!!

TCW (TheCobbWay)
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January 24, 2012
It looks like Bob and Mike also need to work on their reading comprehesion skills.

What Mr. McKee actually said in his column was:

"The tax would raise an estimated $6.1 billion in the 10-county metro Atlanta region including Cobb which would get $689 million for “enhanced premium transit service,” not otherwise identified, PLUS money for road improvements and a new tower and runway lights at McCollum Airport among other things."

Of course, the erroneous and misleading letter response to Mr.McKee's column could have been purposeful.

Maybe just a taste of the MAVEN "educational" strategy we can expect.

Get ready folks.

We will be inundated with half truths, exaggerations, mis information and outright lies about the TSPLOST between now and the referendum.

This is NOT and voter education campaign!!!! It is a deceitful, one sided propoganda blitz aimed at swaying the uninformed voters of the Atlanta Region to support the TSPLOST.

anonymous
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January 24, 2012
--RE: McKee also quotes James Bell of the Georgia Taxpayers Alliance that “only after the tax is passed will feasibility studies be done.” Actually, feasibility studies are under way and preliminary results will be available in May prior to the July 31 referendum.--

In other words, YES the feasibility study will be done (i.e. final...not preliminary) only AFTER the July 31 referendum.

Voyles and Paris obviously missed the TSPLOST town hall meetings in which Faye Dimassimo repeated that the feasibility studies would NOT be complete (i.e. FINAL) until after the referendum.

Voyles and Paris please take your shillin' for the chamber thieves and the incompetent Cobb rino hacks and trot your merry selves into the cool waters of the Chattahoochee!
mk - candy store
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January 24, 2012
Mr. Voyles & Mr. Paris,... how much are you being paid to 'educate' us dummies out here?

I can educate you guys on the fact that at every single meeting I attented, I clearly heard Croy Engineering, Faye DiMasimo & Tim Lee state that the results for the 1.8 million dollar Alternative Analysis study would not be available until sometime in 2013!!

We are smarter than you think!

I have been around Atlanta since early '80's on & off,... and I can see that the congested areas that SHOULD have been fixed long, long ago,.. have been ignored.

I think over the years, since the beginning of SPLOST back in '85, monies were allocated for the Windy Hill flyover bridge. This money seems to get shuffled around , until it magically disappears.

The only committed work to Windy Hill NOW looks like widening in both directions.(big whoop!!)

EVERYONE that drives knows for a fact,.. the major cause for backups all along 75 are due to lack of QUALITY ramp designs & TOO MANY TRUCKS using the 75 corridor!!

10 years ago, there should have been state of the art flyover ramp from 285, OVER Windy Hill.

Guess that money is long gone.

And , does the DOT not SEE the ramp from all the interstates DEAD END right onto Cobb Parkway,... w/ NO-WHERE to go!!

How OUTDATED is that,.. as an entrance to the Galleria area??

What,.. they'd rather sink millions & millions in hideous , overpriced,.. treeless,.. UNused SIDEWALKS???

FYI,....sidewalks DON'T MOVE TRAFFIC!!

...and a train, that will tale 15 years to build,... will be Cobbs nail in the coffin!!

There just doen't seem to be a real 'get it done' attitude w/ the Cobb DOT!!

Last GA Democrat
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January 24, 2012
In other words, give us the $1.05 billion now and we'll tell you how and where we decide to "spend" it later.

As to where we decide to spend it? Here's a hint: MOST of it will NOT be spent in Cobb County.
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