It’s like Todd Long is Santa and today’s better than Christmas!
In my head there are a thousand and one things to write about, but not nearly enough time. You know what that means! One crazy post with loads of crap! I know you’re excited. So let’s jump right on in!
Do you know what today is? It’s Unconstrained List day! If you know what I’m talking about, you must be about to wet your pants because nothing can compete with the joy of Unconstrained List day. It’s pretty much my favorite holiday. If you don’t know what Unconstrained List day is all about, I’m not really sure why you’re reading this blog, because you’re obviously not in our target demographic here.
Today Todd Long and GDOT released the unconstrained project list to be poured over and studied by the regional roundtable, sleeping with it until August as they choose which projects will be funded by the TIA. You can read the list on the Atlanta Regional Roundtable’s website.. If you’d like to read about what didn’t make it through Todd’s feasibility vetting process, you can see those 100 or so projects over here.
A lot of great projects made the list, despite fears of Todd’s intentions, which is exciting. Now it’s all up to the Regional Roundtable and it’s Executive Committee to compile a good list. So let’s all bug the he’ll out of them to do just that. If you need to know who to talk to, just send me an e-mail at email@example.com.
As for that list, if it were up to me, my transit dream would include commuter rail through Clayton to Henry, light rail to Cobb and Gwinnett if we have enough funds, the southwestern segment of the Beltline, the Clifton corridor, BRT down I-20, MARTA heavy rail expansions, some state of good repair projects, and bus service for Clayton and expansion for the other systems, including restoring service to MARTA. And last mile, bike and pedestrian safety projects. Whatever is left can be used for roads and bridges, but no widening projects. But my number one priority is bus expansion and Clayton, followed by commuter rail and the southwestern Beltline segment. Fair is fair, and those three projects will benefit the most people who need it.
In other news, the MARTA Business Management Committee approved the proposed fare increases yesterday, so its up to the board to decide if we’ll see $2.50 fares this fall. I’m not sure how I feel about this, but it needs to happen. Of course I’m effected, but we need MARTA to be an operable system. This fare increase will do several things, the most important of which is to prevent further service cuts. It will also keep the system operable and is decent, barely surviving, financial standing for the next four years or so, slowing down the rate of reserves depletion. Outside of that, it increases MARTA’s rate of fare box recovery to help make it a more sustainable system, hopefully muting conservative arguments of transit being a huge governmental money suck and positioning MARTA to better make the case for additional funding, say from the state. It’s a hard decision for anyone to make, and I don’t want to be in the board’s shoes, but I’ll still be riding.
Tomorrow night there is a community forum in Cobb County being sponsored by the Partnership for Southern Equity and the Livable Communities Coalition to educate folks on the Transportation Investment Act. The event begins at 6:00, with the program beginning at 6:30, at the Cathedral at Turner Chapel AME Church in Marietta. To find out more or to register, please visit www.psequity.org.
Another great event to attend is Friday morning at the All Saints Episcopal Church on West Peachtree, across from the North Ave station. Bill Lind, a conservative proponent of transportation (I know, they DO exist!) will be speaking, and we all have a lot to learn from him. That event begins at 7:00, with the program beginning at 7:30.
Both events will have food, so why shouldn’t you go?
Aight, I’m bored. See you on the other side of the tracks!
Being clever is tiring.