The problem with education is both Democrats and Republicans are involved. They have tried throwing money at the problem with little success. The standards will not help either.
You're a little weak on the cons ... 1. The transit projects are only have funded. 2. Even the pro-TSPLOST people admit they have no idea how to fund the transit operations and maintenance costs in the future (looking a $3 billion now). 3. Clayton County has no plan (per Chairman Bell) on how they are going to fund their bus system in the future. 4. Metro Chamber of Commerce expert Chris Leinberger admitted "the goal of having a rail system is not for traffic relief, but for economic development. " (Marietta Daily Journal).
This goes on and on ...
Scott, you shouldn't have taken the shot before you wrote this piece :)
I just debated the scenario you proposed this morning. There are lots of examples of "getting it right" the second time around.
This we're all gonna die and go to transportation hell if the thing doesn't pass is just plain crazy.
How ridiculous! The guy who tries to save you $2.50 on an airfare says we should take an $8 billion "leap of faith."
The sad part is Clark knows nothing about the TSPLOST. We are taking half ($3.2 billion) and spending on expensive transit option that will, by government estimates, remove 1.8% of the AM/PM commuter vehicles off the road and Clark thinks this is bang for the buck?
The Atlanta Regional Commission officials have said they have NO IDEA how we are going to pay the future huge operations and maintenance costs (in the billions) and Clark wants to leap of faith into that debt?
Even the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce's expert, Chris Leinberger, "said the goal of having a rail system in not for traffic relief, but for economic development," (Marietta Daily Journal, July 14, 2012). Clark, wake up, it's they are doing a multi-billion dollar stimulus program, not traffic relief.
Either learn the facts or go back to advising on airfares.
As a longtime "Clark" listener I was shocked to hear his very vague assessment and support of the Transportation Investment Act in Atlanta. I certainly hope that he attempts some research on the subject before he offers another opinion on the subject.
Here is what Clark does not know:
1) 52% of the region-wide funding ($3.2) is being used to expand mass transit. Current transit has huge financial losses and declining ridership.
2) Gov. Deal’s transportation policy director (Toby Carr is now the State Transportation Planning Director), Speaker of the House Ralston and Todd Long of GDOT were asked, by me, how we are going to pay the exorbitant operations and maintenances costs of an expanded transit system that is already bleeding red ink in the billions and the answer was they did not know. Those additional costs will be in the billions.
3) State and regional leaders are lying to the citizens by telling them a vote for TIA will build various rail and bus lines because the projects are only half-funded. Gwinnett Chairman Charlotte Nash asked (“1 percent sales tax for transportation: For first time, officials acknowledge it may last more than 10 years,” The Saporta Report, July 21, 2011) asked what would happen to the projects if the TIA was not passed for a second 10-year period. No one could offer an answer.
4) The ultimate goal is to create a regional MARTA, so that the transit system can pull funding from all 10 counties in the region, but we do have anywhere close to the ultra-density needed to sustain a full fledge regional bus and rail.
5) They want to eventually emulate Chicago and implement a permanent regional sales tax for transit. (AJC Editorial Board, “More unity equals greater mobility”, AJC, Feb. 6, 2011)
6) They want the implementation of mass transit to drive very different land uses requiring ultra-high density, but MARTA’s current statistics show that 95% of the high density population will not use the transit. Portland, OR is the most transit friendly city in the U.S., and their ridership has flat-lined (12-15%).
The Atlanta Regional Commissions Mike Alexander stated to an audience member in a Cherokee County debate that the difference in the commuter from now to after the $8 billion is spent “doesn’t change too much.” See it on Youtube.com: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I3mXVTbX3jE…
MARTA General Manager Beverly Scott asked, “Because many of the [TIA] transit projects on the list are not fully funded, several questions would need to be answered in order to make sure they are built, [MARTA CEO Beverly] Scott said. Who would take ownership of the system? What is the big picture? How much does it cost? How are you going to fund it? How are you going to govern? How are you going to manage it? What kind of accountability would there be?” (“As Beverly Scott begins her final year at MARTA, she says there’s ‘unfinished business,’” The Saporta Report, Jan. 9, 2012).
Clark, Beverly Scott is right. And NO ONE has answered a single one of her questions.
Why should we vote on anything when we cannot answer the most basic questions? You are leading us headlong into a financial disaster.
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