Taxes and Scandals. O how I love politics!
I’ve been silent because I’ve been really busy doing transit advocacy stuff all the time. I’m working on a campaign for the TIA, and frankly, some days I’m all transit funding out. And I do know how much you love your transit funding news, dear readers.
It’s down to the wire. Well, the first wire anyways. Tomorrow we should see the draft project list for the Atlanta region. This will be our first glimpse at what the TIA could be. Will it be favorable for transit? Will it be all roads? So far, it looks like we may get some great new transit projects out of this.
As of yesterday, the list looked like roughly 50% of the $6.1 billion generated by the sales tax could go to transit, specifically the Beltline, the Clifton Corridor, GRTA bus service, Clayton County bus service, MARTA state of good repair funding, the I-75 corridor, and some funding for the I-85 line. Outer suburban counties will receive $700 million for their road projects and other road projects that will be on the list are both I-20 and 285 interchanges and the 285 to 400 interchange. That leaves the big question of the other roughly $1.5 billion or so. Will it go to roads? Will it go to transit? Will we actually fully fund some of these projects whether than half-@$$ it by giving partial funding, i.e. $100 million for the Gwinnett light rail?
And what was up with the roundtable road summit yesterday, anyways? If you haven’t heard, the meeting ended abruptly yesterday before coming to any agreement about when to finish the road list or hearing all the public comments, of which there may have been over 20 in favor of transit on the I-20 corridor.
On the other hand, the roundtable has tasked county staff to come up with a $6.1 billion list by 5pm today. They’re meeting at 12:30. I intend to crash that meeting. Let’s see if I get kicked out.
In other news, one of the consultants for the First Friday Metro Chamber we-don’t-give-a-d@m campaign “quit” last week. By quit, I mean was fired because apparently he doesn’t play well in the sandbox with the other kids but they wanted to save face. So even though they’ve fired a consultant and haven’t hired the local staff yet, they’re right on target for where they need to be at this time! Good for them it’s officially likely the vote will change to November rather than being held next July.
Look for way more updates in the next three days. So how do y’all feel about this TIA thing, anyways?