Larger Rail Projects to the ‘Burbs in Jeopardy?

From the AJC this morning

Some of the highest-profile projects proposed for a transportation sales tax may not be capable of completion by the time the tax ends, weakening their chances for inclusion in the referendum. While the projects are not disqualified, if they cannot be finished before the tax ends they will be less attractive to voters.

Local advocates for major transit lines, which they hope could be rail, into Cobb County, across the top end of I-285 and into Gwinnett County said state analysts in preliminary discussions had told them those lines likely could not be complete and running by the end of the tax’s 10-year period. The project advocates emphasized that the state had not finalized its report and did not draw absolute conclusions. The report is scheduled to be out Thursday.

If Cobb and Gwinnett can’t get rail on the transportation list, that’s a big negative for everyone in this sprawly region.  Light rail projects are obviously quite expensive and if Fulton or DeKalb get any and Gwinnett and Cobb get zilch, we’re going to be widening a lot of roads up north to make the tax benefits appear even-steven.   Anyone need a bigger cul-de-sac!?

Hmm…now who could I POSSIBLY ask about all of this… 🙂

2 thoughts on “Larger Rail Projects to the ‘Burbs in Jeopardy?”

  1. As a public transit advocate pointed out to me, the people who want more asphalt find themselves in the position of needing the cooperation of people who are willing to pay more taxes–and generally those people want more rail, not more roads.

  2. I wonder what the % split actually is between public transit advocates (like me) and those who are vehemently opposed to further development of the public transit system at this time? When Brianc says the highway lovers need the cooperation of people who are willing to pay more taxes, I fear that they don’t worry about that at all. Right now, with gasoline prices hovering around $4/gallon, I believe that many middle-ground people will continue to side with the highway lovers and neglect the development of something they will essentially need in the near future. For example, the announcement of the new “discovery of oil” in the Gulf of Mexico is essentially meaningless, because the oil reserves estimated in that discovery will supply only 28 days of U.S. demand/consumption. There is also a floating ad on internet about how the U.S./Canada have these vast reserves of tar sand oil that can be developed and used as a “domestic source of oil.” But people don’t realize how difficult and expensive tar sand oil is to develop and produce, and then refine. Lots of time and $$ and LOTS of environmental damage wrt water resources, air pollution, and land degradation, PLUS a much higher price/gallon. It would be better to reserve future U.S. oil discoveries to their use in petrochemicals and pharmaceuticals, and get on with development of alternate energy sources and public transit. I hope the highway lovers will realize what a corner we are painted into at this time with our limited and disintegrating rail infrastructure before the day comes when they realize how much they need it.

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