Decatur Diner Open…Really!

Both Joey and Rusty report that the Decatur Diner’s doors are open and there are paying butts in the seats!

UPDATE: Lots of pics after the jump from Rusty, Parker, Marcia and Greg.

Continue reading “Decatur Diner Open…Really!”

Roads Don’t Pay For Themselves Either

Road advocates often get worked up about the fact that public transportation systems, like MARTA, don’t pay entirely for themselves through user-fees (aka fares).  Currently, MARTA’s ridership fee covers about 32% of costs to run the transit system.  As many of you are aware, much of the remainder is paid for by a 1-cent sales tax in DeKalb and Fulton counties.

The common continuation of this critique usually points to roads and highways as a better model of user-fees (aka the gas tax) paying for a large majority of the transportation costs..  But a recent study just released by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (U.S. PIRG) hope to disprove this point.

First, as the graph above shows, only around 50% of highway funding is currently off-set by user-fees.  And over the last 50 years that number has continued to fall, mainly because the gas tax isn’t adjusted for inflation.  And the future outlook looks even worse.  Not only do cars continue to become more fuel-efficient, and drivers end up paying less annually in gas taxes for the same number of miles driven, but people are driving less than in previous years.  Oh, and then there’s this lovely Catch-22…

On one hand, for a new or expanded highway to “pay for itself,” it must result in a significant overall increase in miles driven and fuel consumption. On the other hand, however, increasing the number of miles driven on a highway undercuts the most common rationale for highway construction: reducing congestion. Indeed, if a highway expansion project truly succeeds in reducing congestion, motorists will sit less in traffic and burn less fuel—reducing gasoline tax revenue.

So while we will continue to argue the pros/cons of all transportation options, it seems pretty clear that the pay-your-way argument doesn’t really pan out for ANY current transportation method. And if the current popular conception is to deem all forms of transit a “social program”, than roads and highways should also carry that label.

h/t: LandMatters

CSD Central Office Closed Today, But Open Rest of Week

I received a note this morning from Assistant Superintendent Thomas Van Soelen yesterday responding to a FFAF question about CSD’s Central Office hours this week.  He tells me that while Westchester will be closed today, it will in fact be open the remainder of the week.

He also said that he would add the info to CSD’s website ASAP and that going forward they would make sure to have info like that posted there.

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed on Meet the Press

The AJC believes Mayor Reed “held his own”. What do you all think?