Will the TSPLOST Optimize Traffic Congestion Relief in Cobb?

Patch.com published an opinion on the proposed transportation referendum. Vinings resident questions just how many cars would be taken off the road as a result of a Cumberland-to-Midtown light rail.

By Ron Sifen

More and more community leaders in Cobb are realizing that the light rail proposal will consume a lot of tax dollars, but deliver little improvement in traffic congestion.

State Rep. Ed Setzler (R-Acworth) has criticized this project, saying that it “is not about traffic relief: it’s about economic development.” Setzler has recommended an alternative package of projects that would do far more, short term and long term, to alleviate traffic congestion in Cobb.

The Atlanta newspaper recently published a Politifact fact check on State Sen. Majority Leader Chip Rogers’ statement that rail “doesn’t do a great job of lessening traffic.” PolitiFact judged this statement to be “Mostly True,” and cited strong evidence to support that judgment. They downgraded to “Mostly True” only because they thought he should have added that adding lanes also doesn’t do a great job of lessening traffic in the long term. (I think that rail designed to alleviate traffic congestion can be successful. The problem with the proposed Cobb Parkway light rail concept is that it is designed to promote development, at the expense of traffic congestion relief.)


One thought on “Will the TSPLOST Optimize Traffic Congestion Relief in Cobb?

  1. Editor says:

    From Ms. G Hall
    Old Dawson Project
    Needs Major Scrutiny

    Sometimes government is baffling and sometimes it’s downright wrong.
    Planning to spend $28 million to widen Old Dawson Road without already involving taxpayers – except to take their money – appears to be both.
    We wholeheartedly agree with the mounting base of property owners who are concerned about reconstructing Old Dawson from Pointe North Boulevard to Byron Plantation Road. The neighborhood’s integrity and landowners’ pocketbooks are at stake, for certain. Further, the storm drain, curb and gutter construction details are significantly impactful to the existing water management system.

    Especially troubling to us, though, is that there’s a plan on the table to four-lane Old Dawson with a new transportation tax and stakeholders – the affected property owners and the citizenry at large – have not been notified of the project. Ultimately, this project may make sense; certainly, though, there are alternative solutions worthy of considering. Among them: Center turn lanes could be installed and there’s an opportunity to re-route pass-through vehicles from Terrell and Lee counties.

    There’s also the issue of the massive price tag. Where is the analysis that shows that this is the best way to spend more than $28 million of money that we don’t have? In other words, if the community were asked to prioritize its transportation needs, how would the Old Dawson project rate? We’re not sure, but we know: we haven’t been asked, as was the case with the unneeded $10 million taxpayer-funded bus station that city officials are forcing upon us downtown, and the $16 million of our money that the former city manager attempted to pump into the old Heritage House.

    Here’s another reason to be concerned about what is transpiring behind the scenes: It is, indeed, transpiring behind the scenes. We asked City Engineering Director Bruce Maples and his boss, City Manager James Taylor, questions about the project this week and they refused to answer them. That’s a huge red flag, any way you look at it.
    Here are the questions we asked (and are still asking):

    – What are the various funding sources: how much would each agency have to pay?
    – Has it been approved by any governing body? If so, by whom and when?

    – What’s next in the planning/approval; is there an upcoming vote that’s binding, meaning that it can’t be reversed?

    – Who among the citizenry and elected officials are on record supporting and opposing this project?

    – What are the pros and cons and what has been done to consider all the info and perspective available?

    – What specifically has been done, if anything, to involve the affected property owners — directly and indirectly in the project’s planning and approval?

    As those directly affected by the project say, additional spending does not automatically produce better quality of life. This is not Gillionville or Oglethorpe or Clark or Westover or Nottingham; this is an exclusively residential area.

    Once again, it appears that it’s the government, not the citizenry, who seem to be to forcing us to pay for projects that we don’t necessarily want.

    In other words, it’s business as usual at city hall.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: