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Old 03-25-2009, 05:00 PM
 
1,301 posts, read 1,862,257 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnatl View Post
You would probably be happier in Montana or Wyoming.
Nope, I would be happier if this town resembled more of the place that I grew up in and not a crime infested dump where the "nice" parts of town are over run every 10 years with criminals and incompetents! Where else in the US do you have to move every 5 to 10 years to avoid this?
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Old 03-25-2009, 05:16 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
7,732 posts, read 11,831,057 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suprascooby22 View Post
Nope, I would be happier if this town resembled more of the place that I grew up in and not a crime infested dump where the "nice" parts of town are over run every 10 years with criminals and incompetents! Where else in the US do you have to move every 5 to 10 years to avoid this?
The place you grew up in is long gone.

I have lived in the same neighborhood for over 14 years in DeKalb, and have somehow escaped this vicous cycle you speak of - but I am not afraid of people who don't look like me.
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Old 03-25-2009, 05:53 PM
 
54 posts, read 209,740 times
Reputation: 37
Criminals don't ride the bus and train. They drive!! How else are they supposed to get that flat screen that they kicked your door in for to their home?
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Old 03-25-2009, 10:40 PM
 
Location: Augusta GA
880 posts, read 2,478,787 times
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And another example is Gwinnett. They were so adamant about not having MARTA extend rail up into their county, and yet they have become one of the largest drug distribution centers in the area (mainly due to their road networks). Just does not make sense to me. Fayette also voted against express bus service a couple of years back. This is a system that has no real risk of bringing crime along with it since it is really just for local workers to use to get back and forth from job centers. Where is the downside in allowing a program like this to be created?
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Old 03-25-2009, 10:58 PM
 
Location: West Cobb County, GA (Atlanta metro)
9,190 posts, read 29,690,684 times
Reputation: 5095
There are several arguments for and against suburban rails. Some of the arguments are valid, others are not.

Valid arguments "for":

1) It takes cars off the roads, reducing the overall volume of cars, and gives drivers an alternative so they can relax and be safer than on those roads.

2) It helps the environment by taking emissions out of the air.

3) It reduces our Country's dependence on foreign oil if the right technologies are used.

4) It gives one car or no-car families an alternative for commuting (which below may also be seen as an "against").

Valid arguments "against":

1) If not planned and budgeted right, costs can exceed need. The right plan, placement, and tax-based sources need to be in place to fund it or it's a waste of money in some areas.

2) Petty crime (by teens - smash and grab quick burglaries) can increase within walking distance of rail stations. Yes, home invasions and large scale burglaries definitely are committed by those with SUVs and getaway cars, but small petty stuff like teen breaking in and grabbing whatever will fit into their pockets, as well as some roaming of vagrants who travel the systems, CAN occur, if the transit police/local police do not keep up on it.

3) The "carless families" issue: Transit helps them get around, but then in more upscale areas, the argument of home values come up if lower income people who can't afford cars move into apartments built in areas near transit. It sounds snubby and stuck-up, but it's still a valid argument (within reason).

4) Management. MARTA is well known for being poor managers and having their share of controversies. If people had a voice as to who ran their local agencies, they are typically more open to it, but if they're told that MARTA will run it, they will almost always vote "no". A couple of recent valid stories about such leery feeling can be found in THIS story, as well as THIS one, but there have been lots like this over the years.


I strongly support commuter and light/heavy rail throughout the metro area, and do think we are very much lagging behind where we should be on it all. But I wouldn't expect every area of the metro to just open their arms and allow any agency to just do what they want, where, how, etc., either. There ARE valid arguments to be heard. Not necessarily against the need for rail, but the way it's proposed in some areas.

Some of the arguments are still steeped in deep racial prejudices, but others are legit. Don't dismiss everyone as a redneck racist just because they say, "hold on there" about it, but then, those people need to hear and weigh all of the benefits as well, and dump the "if I'm not going to use it, it shouldn't be here" attitude, too.

Lots to hear from both sides.
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Old 03-25-2009, 11:03 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
7,732 posts, read 11,831,057 times
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Well, in all fairness to Gwinnett, they haven't voted on MARTA since 1990. There was a straw vote recently that was just to gauge opinion, and the vote was very close.

I work out there and have a lot of friends out there. I honestly believe that if the right plan was presented - with the details spelled out, it would pass handily today.

I just hope the Legislature passes the bill that allows regions to join together to tax themselves.
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Old 03-25-2009, 11:12 PM
 
44,924 posts, read 43,502,437 times
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I think a part of it is racial. I keep hearing the catchphrase "crime". That doesn't work for me because I was actually mugged in Kennesaw, and not on a bus line either. The thieves took off in a car. That pretty much tells me that you can't keep the crime out by keeping transit out. Many people aren't going to like what I have to say, but it should be said. Part of this opposition to expanding the transit has to do with race. Many people(not all) move to the suburbs to get away from the large numbers of blacks or other minorities. Some people won't admit this. Not all people move to the suburbs for that reason and not all people who live in the suburbs oppose transit, but the ones who do oppose it often do so due to a fear that large numbers of blacks would come into the area. The argument of crime is often used because many of the areas that blacks live in often have higher crime rates. Nowadays a person can't say that he/she wants to keep minorities out or try to enact a sundown ordinance. That won't work today because there would be lawsuits involved.
The one viable downside of expanding transit would be a tax responsibility. Many people in Atlanta hate taxes and have a "me me me" mentality. Alot of people have this mentality of "I don't use the transit, so I shouldn't pay taxes to have it expanded and if someone can't drive, they shouldn't live here." Many people would rather spend the equivalent of a work day per week or more in their car driving than running the risk of "one of those people" getting to their suburb or paying a tax. At least a tax for expanding an electric rail would do some good for people.
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Old 03-25-2009, 11:25 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
7,732 posts, read 11,831,057 times
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I think the race card when it comes to suburban transit is way overplayed around here. That used to be the case back in the 80's and early 90's, but I don't think that holds much water these days. You have to remember that "white flight" has been over around here for a long time. All of these people moving to the suburbs are not fleeing Atlanta, they are moving here from across the country, and increasingly, the world. Whites from the suburbs are actually moving back into the city these days.

You have to remember, the last time the suburban Counties voted on MARTA was DECADES ago. The huge influx of people to Cobb and Gwinnett were not even here for the last votes.

I think if GRTA takes over MARTA, renames it Metro or some such and has a concise plan that spells out all of the details - we will see transit expand throughout the region. I think more people are opposed to MARTA in particular than rail in general.
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Old 03-25-2009, 11:25 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
625 posts, read 916,074 times
Reputation: 227
public transit in rural areas is stupid. Empty buses create more pollution. The only reason they do this is for federal funding.
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Old 03-26-2009, 12:34 AM
 
Location: Augusta GA
880 posts, read 2,478,787 times
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The suburbs are not exactly rural and Fayette is not a rural county. It has over 100,000 people and can get quite backed up on the roads during rush hour. Highway 74 in Peachtree City was just widened to 6 lanes in areas due to traffic volume. Gwinnett may not have voted on MARTA in several years, but one of the big selling points against it was crime and in the years since certain criminal elements have come to the county anyway (due in large part to interstate access).
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