Finally some sense out of Cobb County and the MJD! I know that the blasphemous comments being made at some of these anti-TSPLOST meetings, and on so many comment boards do not generally represent the population of Cobb County as a whole, but it is nice to finally see someone step up and say something. And that someone has a bit of experience in leadership to be qualified to say it.
Mr. Dunaway hit on everything from crime to subsidies and did a great job of bringing a sensible point of view to the topic of transit in Cobb County. I also have to salute his ability to balance both the needs of his locale with the benefits the rest of the region, particularly Atlanta, offers to everyone.
What I found to be the most interesting was his take on “immediate gratification.” While not talked about as much as many other topics, I do feel that this need for immediate results might be holding some people back that may vote for TSPLOST. Mr. Dunaway exhibited a great deal of selflessness by stating: “These projects might not be completed in my lifetime, but that does not stop me from wanting us to make decisions now that will give the county the best future.” It is a refreshing break from what many counties have been exhibiting in their “me first-what do we get out of this-I want results now” attitude that they have been bringing to the table.
Maybe it’s the uncertainty that most of us face currently, or maybe it’s the transferring of expectations of immediate results due to what is slowly becoming an over dependency on technology and apps that deliver what we want, when we want it. But regardless we are becoming a rather impatient collective of citizens. And many of us are also the type who want a great deal of change to be made, but don’t want to participate in the process. Rather, just wanting to sit on the sidelines and wait to reap the benefits of others’ work, and criticize when it doesn’t go how they anticipated. We need more people working for this region and leading the conversation on everything from jobs to transit, that understand the amount of time it takes to make great changes. It took decades of poor decisions that put Atlanta in the traffic mess that we are in today. To expect results that would reverse this only taking a handful of months or years is unreasonable.
Much like Mr. Dunaway stated as well, we have to also think beyond how this impacts us. Maybe by the time many of these projects will be completed you won’t be living here, or will be at a stage in your life where you do not feel as if you will benefit from them. But that does not mean to vote it down. Just because something doesn’t benefit you directly, doesn’t mean it will not impact future generations, or prospective new residents or increase the quality of life for someone who lives a few blocks from you.
I definitely do not intend for this to be some kind of “holier than you “ type of post. My impatience is exactly what drove me away from my previous home. But that desire to jump ship came from seeing a stagnant move towards improvement. By voting down TSPLOST because of not seeing traffic congestion reduced the day after the vote, could drive many current citizens of Atlanta and the region to feel the same way. Some view insanity as a repeated behavior while expecting different results. By not diversifying our transportation options and further focusing on roads and road construction would be to do exactly that. I know none of this is knew, but a little reminder from time to time never hurt anyone.