The Metro Atlanta T-SPLOST will fail today because a good idea got hijacked by politically motivated people and special interest groups, just like the Dunwoody Parks bonds from last November.
Those in favor of the T-SPLOST tax increase talk about 'untie Atlanta traffic'. They say businesses will leave or not even come to Atlanta due to road congestion. "I'm voting Yes for my children and grandchildren" says a grandma on the TV commercial. But what does a 'yes' vote get you?
When people were promoting the Dunwoody parks bonds we heard many people saying to 'vote yes for the kids', yet the parks plan actually had very little in it for 'the kids'. The parks bond had zero soccer fields, zero football fields, zero softball fields, zero gymnastic centers, zero this and zero that. But it did have a theater, a revamped farmhouse, walking trails, and some green space. We were asked to borrow $50 million yet we had no solid plan of what to expect. No way were the residents of Dunwoody going to approve it with so little details and so few actual 'park' amenities added.
Same for T-SPLOST. If it passes will we see Cat bulldozers over at GA 400 and '285' in August? Nope, try in 2020, if there is still money? An outer arc connecting 85 and 75? Nope. But 'we' will get an MLK trolley and Atlanta Beltline. Not sure how those items untie Atlanta traffic. Same for the T-SPLOST walking trails and bike lanes - these things are pet projects, just like Dunwoody's theater and farmhouse. The pet projects are fine, but don't put them into a Transportation referendum or into a parks bond, because they don't fit. Let issues like these stand alone, and be discussed on their own merit.
The result of the failed Dunwoody Parks bonds will result in a revised plan, a plan that addresses specific amenities in short supply in Dunwoody. It may be in 2013, or perhaps 2014. Same for the T-SPLOST. Perhaps a huge thump in the head will wake up the transportation planners and force them to put together a plan that addresses traffic and road infrastructure only, not pet projects and failed light rail. For more information on T-SPLOST visit this other blog HERE.