Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Tea party's newest reason to oppose rail: It's a possible terrorist target

Posted By on Wed, Sep 14, 2011 at 2:56 PM

The Marietta-based Georgia Tea Party — one of the Peach State's 20 or so liberty-lovin' groups — says it will oppose the regional transportation tax that voters will decide next year.

In addition to the usual reasons some anti-tax advocates have given to oppose the measure, GTP Chairman J.D. Van Brink says a proposed light-rail line between Midtown and Cumberland Mall area — which could be built with revenues from the tax — could become a tempting target for The Terrorists©. Via the MDJ:

“If anyone doesn’t believe me — England and Spain,” Van Brink said. “Now, if we have a more decentralized mass transit system using buses, if the terrorists blow up a single bus, we can work around that. When they blow up a rail, that just brings the system to a grinding halt. So how much security are we going to have on this rail system, and how much will it cost?”

The tea party group's opposition is the latest against the proposed light-rail line, which critics say only serves a few miles of Cobb County and doesn't do enough to reduce congestion. Such opponents have managed to rally local elected officials in a call for the $800 million that's earmarked for the rail line to instead fund... more roads. (It's hard to gauge whether GTP's opposition — or any other tea party group's — will have any effect. Peach Pundit's Todd Rehm eloquently expresses why here.)

The regional transportation tax is still very much in flux. Atlantans have a chance to give planners their input at City Hall tomorrow night at 6 p.m. The roundtable of 21 elected officials who will decide which roads and transit lines will receive tax funding are scheduled to meet Friday morning. They must approve the project list before mid-October.

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