Is the End of the Ga. 400 Toll a ‘Good Deal?’

Will Gov. Deal's announcement help to get TSPLOST passed? Whatever the outcome, what is next after the TSPLOST vote?

I’m sure that there were plenty of us over the past two years who felt like going to the Ga. 400 tollbooth to exclaim, “Mr. Deal, tear down this toll plaza!” Well, that dream came true this week when Gov. Nathan Deal announced that the Georgia 400 toll will end in late 2013. Now, scores of Porsches, BMWs, Hummers, assorted trucks, SUVs, minivans and sedans will get to zoom up the Alpharetta Autobahn unfettered.

Many are pondering the timing of Governor Deal’s announcement. The announcement came less than two weeks before the July 31 TSPLOST vote. Many argue that this was a calculated move to inspire more “Yes” votes on TSPLOST.  If that theory is true, will it work? Is this a win-win or a lose-lose gamble on the governor’s part?

If TSPLOST passes, will we indeed see jobs created and less traffic congestion? Some citizens agree with this assessment and others do not believe these promises. If TSPLOST fails, what will happen? Will companies bypass the Peach State and locate their businesses in Charlotte? Will Georgia’s infrastructure crumble?

The fact is the Peach State and more importantly, the Atlanta metro area needs to invest in its infrastructure and increase its road expansion and transit projects. If I were the CEO of a company looking to locate a business, I certainly wouldn’t locate it in the Atlanta metro area. There are tons of properties to locate a business – such as Peachtree Corners, a perfect place to set up shop. But, if my employees couldn’t live near my place of business, I wouldn’t wish to put more hard-working people on the metro area’s highways.

With a lack of practical transit options, congested roads and increased smog, this area is not attractive to economic expansion. The cynical view on TSPLOST is understandable, but there needs to be a solution. What are the alternatives? If TSPLOST doesn’t pass, what should be the recommended funding scheme for basic maintenance, improvements and expansions? 

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Clive Spines July 25, 2012 at 09:23 PM
The State of Georgia seems to be doing quite well according to a recent CNBC study which rated Georgia as #3 in the nation for infrastructure. What Georgia and the Atlanta Metro area do not need is more transportation "monuments," like MARTA, Brain Trains, high speed rail lines from Florida to Tennessee, etc. These types on monumental projects consume huge amounts of scarce resources (taxpayer's money) for construction and operation. Nationwide, rail transit systems are failures in that they require enormous subsidies while serving a miniscule portion of the populace. The only public/private agreements should be franchise agreements, with incentive clauses for economical operation, with privately-owned transit companies who are not tied in knots by the strings attached to Federal grant money. Transit can be self supporting, as it was prior to the mid-50's, if only the government will stop meddling with the free market.
Jimmy Orr July 25, 2012 at 09:36 PM
Mr. Spines, AMEN, AMEN, & AMEN!!! Your comment really shucked the corn.
Racer X July 25, 2012 at 10:44 PM
Thank you Clive Spines. Well said.
Rusty Taylor August 15, 2012 at 02:52 PM
Atlanta is #3 for the worst traffic in America and #1 in the south!
Rusty Taylor August 15, 2012 at 03:00 PM
The money for MARTA is paid to the executives!!! Check out some of their payscales!!! This article says it all!!! http://www.atlantaunfiltered.com/2009/04/19/cash-strapped-marta-awarded-114-pay-raises-topping-10/


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