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How TSPLOST News Is Manipulated

Cumberland CID visits the Charlotte light rails system. Former Charlotte resident explains: "It is just sickening to watch the same lies spread over and over again."

In Friday’s Marietta Daily Journal there is a story describing the Cumberland CID’s visit to Charlotte to examine their light rail system. It’s important to remember that the Cumberland CID and the ARC are both chaired by the same person, Tad Leithead, and have both spent hundreds of thousands of - legally questionable - dollars to promote the upcoming TSPLOST vote.

The news story is that the CID folks came away appropriately impressed with how Charlotte had leveraged their light-rail system to attract Chiquita and other benefits.

What is of real interest is the real story, as told by the first person to comment [on the situation] - a former Charlotte resident who followed the entire development closely. 

It turns out that Charlotte light rail project has become an enormous white elephant and Charlotte had to subsidize Chiquita substantially to get them to move and the light rail transit had little to do with it. 

His concluding comment: “It is just sickening to watch the same lies spread over and over again. If Cobb wants to commit slo-mo suicide, then follow the lead of Charlotte, aka Detroit-on-the-Catawba.”

Georgia, we can do better than this. Let’s vote down the TSPLOST and get on to a real Plan B that can solve the state’s transportation problems.

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ACC-SEC Booster June 07, 2012 at 12:49 AM
@ Frank Jones 7:35 pm on Wednesday, June 6, 2012 Unfortunately, the HOT lanes are not the best example of a road project that can fund itself totally through user fees because the lanes are not designed to transport the maximum amount of traffic during peak periods, but rather are designed to transport only a limited amount of through traffic when traffic is heaviest on the corridor that the lanes are serving as the adjustable tolls rise to whatever level they need to rise to keep the HOT lanes clear of traffic so that buses, three-person carpools and paying single and double-occupant vehicles can get traverse the lanes at least 45 m.p.h. Another problem with HOT lanes is that there is no need for their use by paying customers outside of times of peak periods of heavy traffic as the lanes are not the only through lanes in the corridor they occupy and run parallel to a multilane freeway. HOT Lanes are basically not intended to make a profit as they are designed to transport paying customers only during peak periods when traffic is heaviest (morning and evening rush hours and holiday rush periods) and the tolls are raised to push excess traffic out of the lanes when needed. On the other hand, a toll road like Georgia 400 is designed to transport all through/express traffic on the right-of-way it serves because it is the only expressway within the right-of-way it occupies.
ACC-SEC Booster June 07, 2012 at 12:58 AM
GDOT (the Georgia Department of Transportation) has already had the plans on the books for the type of regional commuter rail transit that you speak of for about the last 20 years or so, it's just they are almost completely unfunded and totally neglected, of course: http://www.dot.state.ga.us/travelingingeorgia/rail/Documents/CommuterRailMap.pdf http://www.dot.state.ga.us/maps/Documents/railroad/nga_passenger.pdf http://www.garprail.org/documents/MACOC_Commuter_Rail_%20Plan_Update_Final.pdf
ACC-SEC Booster June 07, 2012 at 02:25 AM
"Our new HOT lanes don't even part the interest cost much less the maintenance construction and overhead. The proposed I 75/575 HOT is supposed to be built with hundreds on millions of state money and won't be paid for by use fees." The state is somewhat eager and more willing to proceed with the I-75/I-575 NW HOT Lanes project more than any other possible transportation option because HOT Lanes is the only politically-palatable major transportation option available to proceed with at the moment. Pending further dramatic growth and expansion at the Port of Savannah threatens to render I-75 NW OTP (along with the "West Wall" of I-285, I-20 West OTP and I-75 South OTP) almost completely impassable during peak periods with the extremely-heavy truck traffic that that part of the Interstate system already transports. Governor Deal also critically needs the support of Conservative voters in Cobb and Cherokee counties to assure a win in the 2014 Georgia GOP Gubernatorial Primary and easy passage to re-election to a second-term as Governor of Georgia.
ACC-SEC Booster June 07, 2012 at 02:29 AM
Given the understandable aversion of OTP Conservative suburban and exurban voters to rail transit in the I-75/I-575 NW Corridor and the political, physical and financial impossibility of the prospect of a traditional road widening of Interstates 75 & 575 in the form of adding untolled lanes to the existing roadway and right-of-ways of I-75 & I-575, "widening" Interstates 75 & 575 by effectively adding partially-elevated tolled carpool lanes to the right-of-ways of I-75 & I-575 is pretty much the only option available to bring about any type of potentially even remotely immediate traffic relief to the heavily-congested Northwest Corridor.
ACC-SEC Booster June 07, 2012 at 02:43 AM
Political expendience is also the reason that Governor Deal ordered the Georgia Department of Transportation has opened up sections of the emergency lanes to traffic during morning and evening rush hours on Georgia 400 North in Sandy Springs and Roswell as Governor Deal, while he won the 2010 Georgia GOP Gubernatorial Primary, lost the vote to Karen Handel in Cobb, Cherokee, North Fulton and Forsyth counties. For Deal to have any chances of surviving the GOP Gubernatorial Primary and winning re-election against what is likely to be an as-yet unknown conservative challenger on his political right, Deal absolutely must have the political support of Conservative Republican suburban voters in heavily-populated Cobb, Cherokee, Fulton and Forsyth counties. Support from voters in these counties will be even more key in the 2014 GOP Gubernatorial Primary as support for Deal in Gwinnett, Hall and Barrow counties, which Deal won in the 2010 Primary, is nowhere near a given due to continued government scandals and a possible voter backlash against Deal over the implementation of the I-85 HOT Lanes in Gwinnett, the state's second-largest county which has more Republican voters than any other county in Georgia, including traditional conservative political stronghold Cobb County.

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