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Old 07-14-2015, 05:36 PM
bu2
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fourthwarden View Post
That's fair. I'm mostly talking about doing what they did in Clayton, but with a better idea of how much their options would cost. It doesn't have to be super accurate, but something in the ball park would go a long way towards helping people making the choice to join or not.



I think you and I agree on this. There is still work to be done before the tax would win, but that one survey was very promising. Keep in mind that it was one of likely voters, with 50% saying they'd approve the MARTA tax. A solid push on campaigning on MARTA's part could very well push that support over the edge.
I think Gwinnett should join MARTA, but slamming them for being cautious with one survey showing support is over the top.

Just up and joining MARTA is kind of like the TSPLOST. They figured out how much money they could raise and THEN tried to figure out which pet projects to throw into the pot. And that vote failed. Clayton had a pretty good idea of what they wanted and what MARTA could provide.
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Old 07-14-2015, 07:24 PM
 
8,321 posts, read 10,270,674 times
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Quote:
Everyone who has taken a poly sci class knows that the majority of people who show up at the polls for non prez elections are white, old and conservative.
I'm not so sure if this is as true as it used to be.

However, those old, white, conservative people can surprise you. After all, the alcohol on Sunday referendum passed by a huge margin.
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Old 07-14-2015, 07:54 PM
 
Location: ATL -> HOU -> DAL
4,395 posts, read 3,561,952 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ATLTJL View Post
I'm not so sure if this is as true as it used to be.

However, those old, white, conservative people can surprise you. After all, the alcohol on Sunday referendum passed by a huge margin.
It may slowly be changing, but with elections cycles taking literally years, it's gonna take a while to see changes.

That's not too surprising, a lot of conservatives (here in metro Atlanta at least) are more fiscally conservative than socially conservative. Besides, what else would unite the masses more than alcohol?!?
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Old 07-14-2015, 08:33 PM
 
Location: Prescott, AZ
5,554 posts, read 3,043,942 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bu2 View Post
I think Gwinnett should join MARTA, but slamming them for being cautious with one survey showing support is over the top.

Just up and joining MARTA is kind of like the TSPLOST. They figured out how much money they could raise and THEN tried to figure out which pet projects to throw into the pot. And that vote failed. Clayton had a pretty good idea of what they wanted and what MARTA could provide.
We're pretty much on the same page here.
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Old 07-14-2015, 10:07 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
6,562 posts, read 7,676,009 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cqholt View Post
Gwinnett County's officials are out of touch with what is going on in the metro. This shows that the older, white, conservative voters still run many of the suburban counties, even though the populations are diversifying.
On this one issue in context, I agree with you.

On the other issues others are trying to bring up and on most other parts of the county management, I don't. Award winning park system, award winning school system, strong growth, and median incomes. The county did a very forward thinking overhaul of the water and sewage system focusing on lowering long-term operations and lowering overall water usage. For the most part it is a very well managed county and most of the populace don't carry large complaints as the county is responsive to most peoples needs.


What I will say on this topic though...

Gwinnett is not Clayton. There are some key important differences.

Gwinnett operates a transit system. I fully admit it is small given the county's size, however it has been fairly responsive at making sure are transit service in key job and denser job corridors. It opens up housing and job options for those that need it, although I have a few opinions on how the county needs to alter bus routes.

They also have a self-funded express bus system. This gets blurred with the GRTA system too much, because they have overlapping routes and the GRTA subcontracts out some routes to be operated by Gwinnett. But Gwinnett operates and pays for their own key routes and those routes are fairly successful. In all the system would equates to an extra lane for traffic capacity during peak commute periods from Gwinnett all the way into Downtown and Midtown.

Basic point is.... they haven't sat still, even if it isn't everything some want.

Secondly Gwinnett is a potential cash cow. Gwinnett is the second most populace county in the area and is projected to close to Fulton in terms of population. It has the most retail spending than any county in Georgia, which is the main provider of the sales tax digest. (We are talking about an amount that surpasses Fulton by a small margin and is about 4.5x the size of Clayton's and about 1.75x the size of Dekalb's for comparison)

The reason I mention this:
1) most plans involving Gwinnett show a relatively short (but important) spur route into the county and perhaps added buses from what we already have, while ...
2) the existing system appears like it would remain bigger and many of the expansion ideas closer intown favor redevelopment vs regional mobility (ie. The Emory LRT wouldn't his the East-West line in a quick manner for connecting more commuters, it meanders through redevelopment areas north of Decatur. There is a pro and con to that strategy. It would make it harder for East line/Decatur to/from Gwinnett to utilize a system).
3) I also don't believe Gwinnett needs the amount of busing present in Fulton and Central Dekalb, yet we would be stuck paying the same amount.
4) Large parts of Gwinnett would be best served by commuter rail and the problem is because of lack of state leadership, because we don't really know how to do a funding model for such a thing. A wide spread system is more likely to be operated by the state. Our money might be better spent if split in different ways.

So my problem is I would be all on board for something, but I have always been concerned with Gwinnett becoming a long-term donor region given what it would put in.
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Old 07-14-2015, 10:31 PM
bu2
 
10,002 posts, read 6,441,414 times
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What are you saying with #2?
(ie. The Emory LRT wouldn't his the East-West line in a quick manner for connecting more commuters, it meanders through redevelopment areas north of Decatur. There is a pro and con to that strategy. It would make it harder for East line/Decatur to/from Gwinnett to utilize a system
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Old 07-14-2015, 10:41 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
6,562 posts, read 7,676,009 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ant131531 View Post
And Gwinnett gets to ignore the South Gwinnett schools? Not all of Gwinnett schools are good.
I must agree with the others. You're handpicking schools in some areas and trying to compare to the entirety of Gwinnett County.

The reason Gwinnett schools are so good is they are usually ahead of the curve. Lets take two of Gwinnett's weaker schools, Meadowcreek and Berkmar. Ultimately the issue is the socio-economic differences from cheaper rental properties and a more transient population. Yet both schools outperform others with similar demographics. They are ahead of the curve closing the gap.

Gwinnett also takes on a huge load.

Gwinnett has 173k students.
Cobb has 111k students.
Dekalb has 101k students.
Fulton has 94k students.
Atlanta has 55k students.

So with 173k students it is hard to argue that would all uniformly be tip top to compare to smaller isolated regions.

Gwinnett has 18 public school clusters with a 19th about to open up soon. It has one Charter school GMST.

I hate generalizing rankings with something like high schools, but I need something quick and easy.

Out of 445 state high schools ranked by US news Gwinnett has the #1 school, which is a specialized charter school (GMST). Out of the 18 clusters, 11 of them are in the top 50. Gwinnett in all makes up 22% of the top 50 list for the state. 24% if we add Buford, Gwinnett's City school system. That ain't bad. And yes East Cobb, N. Fulton, Forsyth, and Decatur City are all well represented on the same list.
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Old 07-14-2015, 11:05 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
6,562 posts, read 7,676,009 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bu2 View Post
What are you saying with #2?
(ie. The Emory LRT wouldn't his the East-West line in a quick manner for connecting more commuters, it meanders through redevelopment areas north of Decatur. There is a pro and con to that strategy. It would make it harder for East line/Decatur to/from Gwinnett to utilize a system
Sorry my scattered brain condenses arguments sometimes and they don't always come across well.

If you look at what the LPA of the proposed Emorty LRT line ended up being it travels directly to a connecting point of the N/NE/S lines, but when it travels south of Emory it does not travel directly to Decatur or the East line. It meanders around North Decatur in some prime redevelopment areas before ending up in Avondale. It would add quite a length of time for anyone using the LRT line to get to Decatur or another point on the East line.

So the pro is they are encouraging dense redevelopment that connects to Emory/CDC with quick service to Lindbergh. The con is they aren't doing much to give people further east a quicker route to to the North and Northeast lines and they are adding significant track mileage and expense to the project just for the redevelopment areas and they are not connecting Decatur as well.

But to develop this thought process further, Dekalb also would be getting a lengthy extension of the east line and MARTA only pitched Gwinnett a moderate size extension to Gwinnett Place and we would forever be giving more in tax to the system.

The issue is they are making some plans that are good for local redevelopment interest, but not always fast regional connectivity. I think future plans are likely to favor areas within the existing service area, like Dekalb where they generate less tax revenue for the system (if Gwinnett was a part of it).


As-is I know they are trying to get to a point where they can fund this themselves and you can't complain against that, but I'm concerned that Gwinnett's needs and the cost of those needs ends up with less service, but more paid into the system beyond a 10-15 year period once we paid for our own capital start up costs.
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Old 07-14-2015, 11:35 PM
 
Location: Prescott, AZ
5,554 posts, read 3,043,942 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cwkimbro View Post
Sorry my scattered brain condenses arguments sometimes and they don't always come across well.

If you look at what the LPA of the proposed Emorty LRT line ended up being it travels directly to a connecting point of the N/NE/S lines, but when it travels south of Emory it does not travel directly to Decatur or the East line. It meanders around North Decatur in some prime redevelopment areas before ending up in Avondale. It would add quite a length of time for anyone using the LRT line to get to Decatur or another point on the East line.

So the pro is they are encouraging dense redevelopment that connects to Emory/CDC with quick service to Lindbergh. The con is they aren't doing much to give people further east a quicker route to to the North and Northeast lines and they are adding significant track mileage and expense to the project just for the redevelopment areas and they are not connecting Decatur as well.

But to develop this thought process further, Dekalb also would be getting a lengthy extension of the east line and MARTA only pitched Gwinnett a moderate size extension to Gwinnett Place and we would forever be giving more in tax to the system.

The issue is they are making some plans that are good for local redevelopment interest, but not always fast regional connectivity. I think future plans are likely to favor areas within the existing service area, like Dekalb where they generate less tax revenue for the system (if Gwinnett was a part of it).


As-is I know they are trying to get to a point where they can fund this themselves and you can't complain against that, but I'm concerned that Gwinnett's needs and the cost of those needs ends up with less service, but more paid into the system beyond a 10-15 year period once we paid for our own capital start up costs.
This is a decent analysis as to what the Clifton Corridor is. The key thing, I think, is that the locally preferred alternative, is preferred by locals. They chose, and put their ideas into what they felt would serve them best. I can't say if it's a good choice or not, since my definition of good is different than yours.

Yes it would take a long time to get from Linbergh to Avondale, but it serves so many high-density spots along the way, that it will be most likely used for local transit much more than long-range commuting. Perhaps, if they planned it correctly, they could build the system to run express trains, but I really don't think that the demand would be there for the extra cost to make sense.

As for commuter rail, I agree that Gwinnett, considering how spread out it is, would greatly benefit from a combination of rail services, a shorter extension of the Gold Line, and a pair of Commuter Rail lines going up into the county. I will hold off on how realistic I think that could be done until I see what MARTA does in Clayton Co. If MARTA builds a true commuter rail route, then an expansion of that, using preexisting facilities, could make running commuter rail into Gwinnett rather simple. If MARTA chooses something else, then getting commuter rail started for Gwinnett will be much harder.

With the added funds from Gwinnett, we could also see a MARTA push for a revive 285 style northern arc pushing its way down to Cumberland, providing cross-county connectivity that isn't necessarily in Gwinnett, but benefits them almost directly.

As has been said, a plan / plans would need to be shown, and reviewed, to fit Gwinnetts needs and to show that MARTA has the capability of providing what GCT can't. If that's the case, I don't see to much of a problem in getting MARTA approved. If MARTA can't, then I would honestly rather they keep GCT.
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Old 07-15-2015, 12:34 AM
 
Location: Atlanta
6,562 posts, read 7,676,009 times
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Well the locally preferred alternative is a federal definition and is required to access federal funds in certain circumstances. It doesn't necessarily mean that the locals in that immediate neighborhood got together and said.... yes, that one.

Rather it means the local and regional government officials (in the eyes of the federal government) came up required alternatives and researched all the cost and comparison metrics and then picked. A part of that process tries to get feedback from actual local people and it was in this instance.

I will also say in this case they were persuaded not to pursue any alternatives into Decatur a bit too easily and looked for alternative options over minor concerns.


Now I don't want to have too adamant of an opinion against this, in the sense that for the time being I don't live in a MARTA service area for the time being. However this does affect how I feel Gwinnett joining, because this is the politics we are joining into.

But still what you're saying makes sense. It is also a part of the problem I'm trying to spot out.

It would be a regional system we are joining into. The thoughts and feelings of locals are important, but the more hyper-local we make the decision-making, the more it might not make sense for a regional system.

We'd also be joining a service area where another project in another area costs more, because those locals were more adamant about a more expensive option to add track mileage to support local redevelopment when the cheaper option also better for regional connectivity that could affect some people traveling to and from our area.


I also don't want to re-hash any old T-Splost debates, because most people have negative feelings over it from other projects across the region -they don't like-. There was something for everyone to hate.

But it wasn't lost to me that Gwinnett, had it been voted in, was ending up with less than its fair share of funds. Other areas were getting more than their fair share and still had sizable populations upset they weren't getting a really large project. To a large extent this was Dekalb. They had two really high cost projects in two different parts of the county to only be carried by one 10 years tax.

So the big concern I have, is what keeps this from happening going into the future when we produce so much revenue and I see how costs are quickly added to projects elsewhere?
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