The gas tax is only a partial user fee
I've got a better idea: screw all of the tunnels and infrastructure improvements and just toll existing freeways. This will internalize the costs (because the gas tax only covers around 63% of revenues used for highways, the rest comes from local sources) and cut down on congestion by making drivers pay for the true operational costs of using highway facilities. Much cheaper, much more effective.
-- Patrick Bradshaw
Who do these people think they are and how do they manage to convince themselves that this many times failed before approach of building even more polluting roads is going to alleviate congestion? What needs to be done should be based on the model set by Portland Oregon, establishing smart-growth boundaries delineating where certain development will occur and which areas will remain pristine (Sorry, developers, you lose here). One contractor's profit today will soon become our burden tomorrow. The current paradigm for so-called "progress" needs to shift. "Progress" is not intelligently planned. Think about it, people.
-- Chad K.
Transit Doesn't Work
You will not get the majority of Atlantans to use mass transit in our lifetimes. Bummer. I wish it weren't true. It sucks. Deal with it. Now let's have an intelligent debate about how to effectively manage traffic congestion with the REALITY that people are not going to give up the flexibility of individual vehicles. The Reason Foundation may be wrong, but at least they're trying to deal with reality... as opposed to inside-the-Perimeter do-gooders who confuse their wishful thinking with the on-the-ground reality of Atlanta's geography and demographics. Deal with facts, people!
Ooops, just a few $$$ off
According to ARC, the numbers the Reason Foundation used were off just a little bit... 780%! So this plan wouldn't cost five billion, it would cost $195,000,000,000!!!! Now how is that dealing with reality?
For the mathematically challenged out there, Jason's straw man figure of $195 billion is probably within an order of magnitude of the entire real estate value of downtown Atlanta. Based on this summer's selling price, that would buy 447 office towers, each one equal to the Bank of America Plaza at Peachtree and North Avenue. Clearly, you could dig a bunch of tunnels for a lot less than that. Naiveté and hysteria don't contribute to intelligent debate. As I said, I don't know if the Reason Foundation is right or wrong, but they've put forth a coherent proposal. If people like most of the respondents to this thread just huff and puff and make outraged noises... who do you think the politicians will listen to?
Maybe I'm biased since I live right next to a great path that runs from downtown to L5P and Va-Hi, but, I'd like to see a law that says for every x dollars you spend on roads, y dollars have to be spent on sidewalks and bike paths. Sidewalks and bike paths get pedestrians and bicycles off the roads, and people respond to that. If you build bike paths people will use them to get groceries, dinner and go to a cafe or a movie. With a bike path, trips in the 1-5 mile range are cake, and you know what, it's also fun. When I drive, it's horn honking, people that run stop signs and red lights and people who just stop in the middle of the road to make a phone call or chat up some booty in the bus stop. When I drive, I get pissed off and want to take a knife and start cutting people in their chest and neck areas. I don't get these feelings when I ride my bike. Besides, we'll need the bike paths in 20 years when we have all these mega tunnels and no cars since we have no gas.
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