Atlanta Voters Approve $250 Million Bond By 9-to-1 Margin

Wowza.  From the AJC

Only a fraction of the city’s voters turned out on Tuesday, but they sent a big message: yes to two separate bonds that will chip away at the city’s billion-dollar infrastructure backlog. With all the votes counted, the bond initiative passed by a nearly 9-to-1 margin.

The first bond, worth $188 million, will be spent on transportation projects, such as bike lanes and street improvements. The second bond, about $64 million, will fund municipal buildings and recreation centers.

As reported previously, two big transportation items of the current list of projects – removing DeKalb Avenue’s reversible lane and making it more bike/pedestrian friendly, and also syncing traffic lights around the city.

Photo courtesy of Google Streetview

17 thoughts on “Atlanta Voters Approve $250 Million Bond By 9-to-1 Margin”

  1. Low turnout yes, but if you extrapolate from the results as if it were a poll with a large sample, there’s huge support for this.

  2. I wonder how many “yes” voters truly understood what they were voting for, given Reed’s references to the bond being needed to fund an “infrastructure backlog,” and the media’s repetition of the same. A backlog generally refers to needed projects that have been put off, as opposed to a wish list of progressive behavior modification efforts. This project includes a heavy dose of the latter, DeKalb Ave included.

    1. Love the term “progressive behavior modification efforts” especially since it begs the question of what “unprogressive behavior modification efforts” would be.

      1. “since it begs the question of what “unprogressive behavior modification efforts” would be.”

        In this context, anything that lowers the price of gas would be one, since apparently temporarily lower gas prices encourages people to shortsightedly run out and buy big trucks.

    2. One man’s “progressive behavior modification effort” is another man’s “meeting pent-up demand.”

  3. I wonder what Mayor Reed (and the average Atlantan for that matter) would think about all the comments from Decatur and points east people who see DeKalb Ave as their route to downtown. Maybe they would think that, since they are paying for it, they get to decide what kind of road it is going to be. They might suggest some state roads (Ponce and Memorial for example) or even an interstate are more appropriate for putting commuter traffic first.

    1. This seems to assume the inevitability of design changes making traffic worse, yet we haven’t even seen any schematics yet. From all the amassed comments, the need for dedicated left turn lanes seems a consistent prescription and those can certainly be factored into Complete Street designs. Why so sure that improvement for some users will automatically cause meaningful problems for others?

    2. Decatur has it’s own list of “road diet” projects including College Avenue into Avondale. Funny how folks in Decatur don’t want their precious commuting corridor into downtown to be touched, but don’t seem to object much to the same steps being taken heading east out of town.

    3. There are people who live on or near Dekalb Ave in Atlanta. Whose needs should they address, the people who live and are affected daily by the current dangerous configuration of Dekalb Ave or the M-F commuter? Btw, that commuter could also take MARTA from the Square downtown pretty easily. Just a thought.

      1. Individuals who purchased/live on or near Dekalb Ave did so with the knowledge that they were on or near a major thoroughfare. That was their decision and these individuals likely paid less for their property because of the close proximity to a busy road. Should the public subsidize a street transformation to benefit the lifestyle and finances of a small number of people at the expense of the taxpaying public and commuters who will be bogged down in additional traffic created by a road diet?

        Dekalb Ave is not only a major artery to downtown but also to the 75/85 connector.

        1. Dekalb has an accident rate 4X higher than other comparably busy roads. The public isn’t subsidizing lifestyle improvements for the people living along it, so much as it’s subsidizing improving safety in the corridor for all users.

        2. There is a misconception in this city that you have a right to the fastest car commute possible. No one has some sort of unalieanable right to streets being designed solely for the use of cars going as fast as possible.

          However, people DO have the right to live in a safe community. If it is a proven fact that the current configuration of Dekalb Ave is only beneficial to commuters and outright dangerous to other users of the street, then of course it should be changed.

        3. The average Atlantan cares what Decaturite commuters think about the DeKalb changes as much as Decaturites care about the effect of slowing down Scott Blvd/Candler/Clairemont/Columbia traffic on out-of-city commuters: not a whit.

    4. If you live in Decatur and work downtown, there are very few reasons not to take MARTA. It always amazes me how many people could take the train, but don’t.

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