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T-SPLOST Won’t Work

Too Little Congestion Relief

T-SPLOST is weak and late on congestion relief.  Assuming drivers will take trains and buses is naïve at best and dishonest at worst.  Congestion relief requires establishing a grid,   T-SPLOST doesn’t do that.

What T-SPLOST Does

T-SPLOST is designed to bail our MARTA, expand wasteful public transit, fix a few expensive GDOT mistakes, make Greenies happy with walk and bike trails,  Make convention-addicted Atlanta happy with a beltline,  make the Amtrak folks happy with a terminal, widen a few roads, fix a few bridges, not have any appreciable impact on our traffic congestion and take decades to implement.

All Roads Lead to I-285

The worst congestion causer is I-285 and T-SPLOST doesn’t solve that problem.   This is an Interstate bypass and should be funded with federal and state transportation funds from gasoline tax revenue.    It worked when the population was 3 million.  It wasn’t expanded as our population went to 5.5 million.  The combination of no real grid of highways and continued interstate traffic ensures gridlock.  We need lanes, not trains.

Public Transit – a loser

Trains and buses are a mal-investment for Atlanta.  Only 3% of the population uses the MARTA trains and only 2% use the buses.  Expansion won’t change this.   MARTA’s annual budget is $750 million a year and revenue is $120 million a year.  The annual loss is $630 million a year and has been made up from tax subsidies and grants.  Few cities on the planet have a population density that will support public transit.   Atlanta isn’t one of them.    All bus service should be privatized.

Companies Don’t Locate on the MARTA line

Companies locate to the exurbs or suburbs.  They don’t locate next to train and bus routes.  They go to Duluth,  Athens,  Suwanee,  Forsyth and  Peachtree City.

Overcharges on Roads

Cherokee County comes up short on the T-SPLOST list.  Besides a bridge re-do for $7 million, they are being charged $190 million to turn 11 miles of Hwy 140 from a 2 lane to a 4 lane.  That’s $17.3 million per mile.  The Generic Cost Per Mile for this is $2 million per mile.   Google (cost of road construction)  to see the Generic Cost Per Mile pdf.   Cherokee would be better off if T-SPLOST fails and they get their County Engineer to have this done for $22 million.  Vote NO and save $168 million.

Dunwoody has a $12 million re-do of 3.5 miles of Mt Vernon Road on the list.   That’s $3.4 million per mile.   Again,  the Generic Cost Per Mile lists the cost of milling and resurfacing is $200 thousand per mile.   Dunwoody would be better off if the T-SPLOST fails and they get their Public Works Manager to do this for $700 thousand plus slight widening to allow traffic to flow past left turners.   Vote NO and save $11.3 million

Cobb County is being charged $695 million for an “enhanced premium transit service”.  This means bus service.  They already have this bus service.  It goes from the MARTA station at the Arts Center to Town Lake, Ackworth and Kennesaw.   Vote NO and save $695 million.

Bad Deals with No Roads

Cobb gets a $695 million bus service it doesn’t want and won’t use.  It’s a jobs program for MARTA bus drivers and General Electric.  This runs for 14 miles from the MARTA Arts Center to Ackworth.

Gwinnett County has a $95 million charge for a “North Transit Corridor” planning and engineering and a walk and bike trail along side of I-85.  Construction to begin after 2040.  Will cars be able to use this if walkers and bikers don’t keep it jammed ?

I-20 gets a bus freeway for $225 million, east to Hwy 278 at the DeKalb County line that opens after 2040.

Clifton Corridor has a $5 million study and a walk and bike lane for 8.8 miles on the site of what is planned to be a $10 billion light rail from Lindburgh to Avondale that wouldn’t be approved until after 2022, if at all.

Close to $500 million is planned to fix what wasn’t put in correctly in the first place.  It’s for error correction, tinkering, studies, EPA overreach, pipe dreaming and full employment for GDOT.

Bike lanes on the street are not viewed as useful .  Moms don’t want their kids to use these.  They want them to use the sidewalks.  We are told that younger families will want these because “a study” says so.   I think this is multi-modal  nonsense.  Buses should be private and bikes belong on the sidewalk in Atlanta.

No  Congestion Relief for Decades

All Projects on the list are bottlenecked inside the GDOT and scheduled starts are spread out over the next decade and beyond.    The multi billion dollar light rail and heavy rail expansions won’t be done for 40 years and they will still only be utilized by 3% of the population.

Pro-T-SPLOST Propaganda

A huge propaganda campaign is underway by Pro-T-SPLOST groups who have some special interest in this useless, wasteful scam.   The Untie campaign, MAVEN, MARTA, engineering firms, Atlanta Journal, chambers of commerce and elected officials will be stumping for this.  This plan is so bad, it needs a big advertizing budget.

– Norb Leahy,  Dunwoody GA Tea Party Leader

© 2012, Transportation Leadership Coalition, LLC, 880 Marietta Hwy., Suite 630-359, Roswell, GA  30075  Phone/Fax: 800-821-0102