Don't think the tax would just pay for new transit lines and bike lanes. It would pay for road widenings and expansions that the Sierra Club, which opposes the tax, says will fuel sprawl. There are other head-scratchers contained in the tax. Here are a few of the worst:
The Atlanta Regional Commission has built a website including information about all 157 projects.
Nearly $300 million of tax revenues would pay for this extension of Sugarloaf Parkway from State Route 316 to State Route 20 in Gwinnett County. The Sierra Club of Georgia considers the four-lane asphalt atrocity a return of the so-called "Northern Arc," a controversial outer perimeter road that was shot down during former Gov. Roy Barnes' term — and which the eco-advocacy group helped kill.
More than $3 million of tax revenues would pay for new approaching lights and a tower at the Cobb County airstrip. "Business leaders visiting the area considering their investment options look favorably on an airport that is safe and efficient," according to promotional materials by Untie Atlanta. My, how far you can stretch!
Roundtable members budgeted $102 million to turn two miles of Tara Boulevard in Clayton County into what's essentially a 10-lane freeway, parts of which would be elevated. Sure, traffic planners project that the road would reduce congestion on the notoriously gridlocked route by 81 percent. But it'd also make it easier for commuters to drive to the exurbs, fueling sprawl.
Before the final project list was approved, Cobb County Chairman Tim Lee proposed shifting nearly $168 million from a potential rail line linking Midtown to Acworth to other road projects within the county. Some of that cash went toward widening — and elevating in some areas — busy Windy Hill Road. The Sierra Club opposed the change because it said the tax revenues were better spent paying for transit, while road improvements could be funded by many other sources.
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