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Old 01-09-2010, 06:02 PM
 
3,875 posts, read 9,141,874 times
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I saw this article today in AJC:

State's new plan for transportation *| ajc.com

It is about the plan that the head of DOT pitched to Gov. Purdue regarding improving the transportation in GA. Apparently GA is the 2nd least state that invests in transportation (1st least is TN). The plan includes adding tolls on expressways, improving MARTA, and the Beltline and Streetcar project. Hopefully they would add commuter rails and intercity hi-speed rail as well, but the DOT is currently against the latter.
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Old 01-09-2010, 08:32 PM
 
Location: West Cobb (formerly Vinings)
3,615 posts, read 6,677,313 times
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Without investment in new rail, the state will continue to fall behind. Same old story. We have to get these dinosaurs out of the state government and keep booting them out until we see some real progress. Talk is cheap.
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Old 01-09-2010, 10:50 PM
 
Location: West Cobb (formerly Vinings)
3,615 posts, read 6,677,313 times
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So my thoughts were correct. Not only did the yearly spend on transit not increase between the new 2010-2013 plan (the 2010-2030 plan link is broken) and the 2001-2025 plan, it decreased by about 200 million per year. Additionally transit spend as a percentage of total spend has decreased. Look where the 2001 plan got us. Obviously, more sources of transit funding need to be found. Source: Statewide Transportation Plan and STIP
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Old 01-09-2010, 11:23 PM
 
Location: West Cobb (formerly Vinings)
3,615 posts, read 6,677,313 times
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You can get the 2010-2030 plan here SB200 (http://www.it3.ga.gov/Pages/SB200.aspx - broken link)

I believe this is what the article was referring to. At least this plan discusses a change in strategy and the scarcity of funding as being a major problem. It first breaks funding into metro Atlanta and the rest of the state also argues for a $29-$36 billion funding just for Atlanta, and for $14 billion for the rest of the state. That's $65 billion combined, or 3.25 billion per year. A vast improvement.

However, I believe the development strategy is wrong. It talks about connecting from the core of MARTA outward and seems to be Atlanta-centric versus metro-centric. It talks about short-haul light rail or light rail loops starting at the MARTA core and working outward. However, I believe that the main focus should be on intra-activity center development connecting from the perimeter 285 beltway outward between activity centers, since that will be where most of the people movement will be. I get concerned if when talking about suburban commuter rail being the last thing, if they are talking about Kennessaw to perimeter connection, for instance. Do they really want to wait that long?

I'm also concerned about the lack of concern for high-speed inter-city rail. GA has the potential to be a leading state. The passenger rail plan combined with a strong rail network in metro Atlanta could essentially transform the state into a patchwork of connected cities, all attracting businesses. It could also allow corporations "growing up" in Atlanta to easily add offices without the need to travel between them by car. Finally, a high-speed rail connection to Savannah could spur a huge amount of tourism to the beach, especially if it cut down the trip by a couple hours. I believe they should at least consider tapping into the high-speed rail corridor. The lack of interest in high speed rail will again doom GA to get no federal funding and set GA back. At least the Chattanooga to Atlanta to Savannah and Atlanta to Charlotte corridors should be considered.

Edit: I guess they didn't completely ignore activity center to activity center travel (p. 19).

Quote:
The second challenge is meeting the increasingly dispersed nature of travel patterns. For a variety of reasons, jobs and people have increasingly settled in suburbs and a smaller share has located in traditional “downtown” areas. Today, only 21 percent of jobs in US metro areas are within three miles of the Central Business District (CBD). Meanwhile, nearly 45 percent of jobs are at least ten miles away from the CBD.7 In metro Atlanta, this disperse employment pattern is even more evident. Roughly 63 percent of jobs are more than ten miles away from the CBD. The result is that the traditional “radial” commute patterns (traveling from suburb to an urban core) are no longer the norm in metro areas.
Quote:
As trip patterns have become more dispersed and complex at the system level, they are also more fluid for individuals. Labor turnover has accelerated in the US economy in the past few decades, and today a typical worker is changing jobs every two to three years. Hence, a worker that moves to Gwinnett County initially for a job at Gwinnett Place may need to travel to Clayton County three years from now for a different job. If congestion is too severe and there is limited rapid transit available, every time a worker changes employers, he or she will need to change residences. Alternatively, that family will not pursue the job in Clayton County and will limit their search to jobs closer to home. To maximize the opportunities available to families, a transportation network must connect as many major employment centers together as possible, rapidly and reliably.

However, one other concern I have is the "one-size-fits-all" approach their draft makes. E.g. different approaches may work in different areas of the state or Atlanta metro area. However, instead they ranked programs based on their overall effect. If you look at specific areas, however, some programs they ranked as less effective may actually be more effective in certain areas. For instance, the strategy in Cherokee county and Forsyth county will need to be different than that between Cumberland/Smyrna/Vinings and Sandy Springs/Dunwoody

Also, programs like connecting Savannah to Atlanta by high-speed rail may spur high growth even if not eliminating traffic. Just the thought of being 2.5-3 hours from the beaches around Savannah would make Atlanta seem more attractive, even for people who inevitably end up not going there very often just as could be the case for people moving to Pasadena California. I believe the lack of proximity to major recreational areas is a severe hindrance to Atlanta. The state should take that into consideration.

Finally, I believe the government severely underestimates the population growth Georgia will see in the next 20 years.

Last edited by netdragon; 01-10-2010 at 12:46 AM..
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Old 01-10-2010, 09:55 AM
 
Location: East Cobb
2,206 posts, read 6,179,143 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by netdragon View Post
Without investment in new rail, the state will continue to fall behind. Same old story. We have to get these dinosaurs out of the state government and keep booting them out until we see some real progress. Talk is cheap.
Georgia voters have the state government they deserve, since they vote for those people. Our state legislators are a bunch of small-town rubes who are cheap whores for lobbyists, according to today's report in the AJC. They're selling the public interest for a few thousand dollars a year in fancy meals and outings. However, most of the voters and the people they elect aren't interested in living in the modern world and wouldn't agree that a modern transportation system is in the public interest, anyway. They think that a bit of right thinking and some more tax cuts will get us back to the happy days of the 1950s, when the USA was Top Nation and everyone knew their place.
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Old 01-10-2010, 10:04 AM
 
Location: Marietta, GA
7,858 posts, read 15,194,376 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RainyRainyDay View Post
Georgia voters have the state government they deserve, since they vote for those people. Our state legislators are a bunch of small-town rubes who are cheap whores for lobbyists, according to today's report in the AJC. They're selling the public interest for a few thousand dollars a year in fancy meals and outings. However, most of the voters and the people they elect aren't interested in living in the modern world and wouldn't agree that a modern transportation system is in the public interest, anyway. They think that a bit of right thinking and some more tax cuts will get us back to the happy days of the 1950s, when the USA was Top Nation and everyone knew their place.
Wow....don't even know where to start with a rant like that. Maybe you'd feel better living in a high tax, high corruption state like RI, NY, NJ, MA, IL, or CA? You can get a bunch of big city, enlightened liberals who will take your money, the mob's money, and spend it all on pet projects and themselves. Would that suit your tastes better?

People forget that all the great transit systems were mostly built before 1960. Other than the Metro in DC, MARTA is one of the only systems to be wholly constructed in the last 35 years. Modern world? Yeah, maybe we should be more like Canada, the epitome of the modern world.
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Old 01-10-2010, 10:32 AM
 
Location: East Cobb
2,206 posts, read 6,179,143 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neil0311 View Post
Wow....don't even know where to start with a rant like that. Maybe you'd feel better living in a high tax, high corruption state like RI, NY, NJ, MA, IL, or CA? You can get a bunch of big city, enlightened liberals who will take your money, the mob's money, and spend it all on pet projects and themselves. Would that suit your tastes better?

People forget that all the great transit systems were mostly built before 1960. Other than the Metro in DC, MARTA is one of the only systems to be wholly constructed in the last 35 years. Modern world? Yeah, maybe we should be more like Canada, the epitome of the modern world.
Yes, actually I do pretty much think that. The conservative Americans I know are always going on about how government has to be cut off at the knees by minimizing taxes and the citizenry should keep itself equipped with guns, because government is inherently corrupt and incompetent. I used to think this thinking was just plain weird, but I've come to think maybe it's actually true in the US. Of course government in Canada isn't corruption-free, but it's vastly less corrupt than down here and reasonably competent, and people there generally believe that democratic government is about the people chipping in to provide services we need in common. Here, apparently we need to look to for-profit corporations to provide for the public interest, via Adam Smith's "invisible hand" I suppose.
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Old 01-10-2010, 11:09 AM
 
Location: East Cobb
2,206 posts, read 6,179,143 times
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Another thought - if you're correct that RI, NY, NJ, MA, IL and CA are high-tax and high-corruption, I guess we should be grateful that GA corruption is probably less expensive. The lobbyists aren't spending all that much per legislator, by the standards of big business. While the GA taxpayers are ultimately funding the golf, meals etc. via higher power bills, health insurance premiums and so forth, I guess according to northern migrants like yourself, we the public are financially better off, net. Cool, I guess.
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Old 01-10-2010, 12:17 PM
 
Location: Mableton, GA USA (NW Atlanta suburb, 4 miles OTP)
11,319 posts, read 22,986,494 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neil0311 View Post
Wow....don't even know where to start with a rant like that. Maybe you'd feel better living in a high tax, high corruption state like RI, NY, NJ, MA, IL, or CA? You can get a bunch of big city, enlightened liberals who will take your money, the mob's money, and spend it all on pet projects and themselves. Would that suit your tastes better?
Why does it always have to be about extremes?

I came from a state (MN) which was high taxes and low corruption by almost all measures, resulting in government services for the people that were sometimes much superior to what is found here in GA, and for the most part it was a wonderful place to live. Yes, people complained about high taxes and other issues, but people complain everywhere.

Georgia is not the paragon of virtue when it comes to government, and there are some areas where this state could actually learn something from other places.

Georgia is ALSO a very good state to live in and arguably does better than where I came from in some areas, but as long as people in power continue to deny the issues and point to any alternative approaches as being corrupt and unworkable, this state will continue to have serious problems with its infrastructure.

Sometimes solutions require change. It's been obvious to me, having lived in this proud state for over five years now, that there are some very serious problems with the Georgia state government. And it isn't just about obvious things like MARTA and Lake Lanier.
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Old 01-10-2010, 02:16 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
3,528 posts, read 4,384,287 times
Reputation: 2299
Nice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RainyRainyDay View Post
Another thought - if you're correct that RI, NY, NJ, MA, IL and CA are high-tax and high-corruption, I guess we should be grateful that GA corruption is probably less expensive. The lobbyists aren't spending all that much per legislator, by the standards of big business. While the GA taxpayers are ultimately funding the golf, meals etc. via higher power bills, health insurance premiums and so forth, I guess according to northern migrants like yourself, we the public are financially better off, net. Cool, I guess.
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