Tag Archives: todd long

Transit tax might fall back to November

27 Jun

From Creative Loafing:

Georgia Department of Transportation Planning Director Todd Long told the Augusta Chronicle last week that the state is considering re-scheduling next year’s vote on the transportation tax from July to November.

If held in November, the tax would be on the ballot for the general election, whereas in July the vote would occur during the state’s Republican primary.

While voter turnout for the general election will be higher than for the Republican primary, the later date will also require an additional four months’ worth of privately-funded marketing expenses, Long said. There’s also the chance that, with more candidates and issues on a general election ballot, voters won’t give the transportation tax the attention and consideration that its backers hope for.

Whittling Down the Wish List

4 Jun

Georgia DOT issued the latest version of the regional transportation wish list Thursday. The roster of prospective projects will be funded by the one-cent sales tax that comes up for a vote next summer.

State Transportation Planning Director Todd Long had the task of adding and subtracting projects from the original list, compiled in April. The new version will now go before the 21-member regional roundtable, whose members have to slice approximately $15 billion worth of projects from the list’s current total of $22.9 billion – a reduction of about 65 percent. The reductions will bring the projects’ price tag in line with the $8 billion that the transit tax is expected to generate in its 10-year lifespan.

Here’s a searchable database of the new wish list as well as an interactive map for locating projects in your area. Fact sheets for the projects on the updated list will be available here on June 9.

What’s on, what’s off ?

Afternoon commuters pass through the plaza at Five Points Station. The transportation tax would fund improvements like removing the non-functioning sign from the ceiling.

So far bus rapid transit for the portion of Piedmont Road between Roswell Road and Lindbergh Station is still on the list, as are funds for improvements to Five Points Station. Those improvements will include removing the mammoth yellow contraption – once a sign – hanging from the ceiling in the plaza, as well as fixing the skylights.

A circulator bus system for Fulton and DeKalb counties, on-board security cameras for all of MARTA’s bus, rail and paratransit vehicles, and and set-up of a distance-based rail fare system are also still included.

An extension of the Silver Comet Trail from Cobb County to Centennial Olympic Park and an ad system for MARTA’s rail tunnels were both axed.

What’s next?

An Atlanta Regional Commission informational meeting will be held June 9, followed by a meeting of the executive committee for Atlanta’s regional roundtable. The executive committee meeting will be open for public input on the first round of changes to the wish list.

A “telephone town hall meeting” for Fulton County residents is scheduled or June 22.

Details are on the roundtable’s meeting page.

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