|July 30, 2012||My truths about the T-SPLOST referendum||no comments|
Truth #1 – Atlanta will never be the “world-class” city it aspires to be, until it has a world-class transit system to go along with its world-class airport.
Truth #2 – “Atlanta has some of the worst traffic in the nation” (quote from an Untie Atlanta commercial promoting passage of the T-SPLOST referendum) because Atlanta has one of the worst mass-transit systems in the nation.
Truth #3 – It’s too bad Atlanta’s financial movers and shakers (Coca-Cola, The Home Depot, Delta et al) who were each willing to pump $150,000 or more into the Untie Atlanta campaign, don’t have the backbone to admit publicly to Truths 1 & 2. They have the financial clout to get Atlanta moving (pun intended) in the right direction by influencing the political will to get it done.
Truth #4 – If you want to know whose really behind the effort to push T-SPLOST through, look at the number of road-building and other contractors who’ve each contributed $100,000 or more into Untie Atlanta’s media campaign (for chart and analysis, read http://crossroadsnews.com/bookmark/19601629).
It’s easy to see why Cox Enterprises (owners of the AJC, WSB-TV, five radio stations and -- LOL -- autotrader.com) would pump a quarter-million dollars into Untie Atlanta. You can bet their media outlets have already recouped Cox’s investment many times over in the barrage of advertising we’ve all been subjected to. Likewise, you can bet the road-builders are salivating over their paydays to come if the T-SPLOST passes.
Which brings me to…
Truth #5: MARTA biggest problem has nothing to do with race, crime or cost – it’s simply that the rail system doesn’t go where enough people need or want to go. I’ve lived in Atlanta almost 20 years, and I’ve always said MARTA’s rail lines need only mimic its major highways – I-75, I-85, I-20 and most importantly, I-285). Not only that, it needs to be highly visible to motorists on those freeways as much as possible, so all of those single-car commuters (like the actors portrayed in the -- LOL -- aforementioned Untie Atlanta commercial) who are stuck in Atlanta’s horrendous traffic can watch the train go zipping along toward their intended destination.
Unless and until there is a viable alternative to the automobile, building more roads or expanding bus service is not going to solve Atlanta’s traffic woes. T-SPLOST needs to fail so a better plan (one designed by traffic planners and engineers, not politicians) can take its place.