State Senators upset with GDOT’s lack of progress on alternative transportation
By Maria Saporta
A pretty amazing resolution was introduced this week that basically describes the Georgia Department of Transportation as incompetent when it comes to developing anything other than highways, roads and bridges.
Senate Resolution 1177 was introduced by some of the top senators in the state — Sen. Jeff Mullis (R – Chickamauga) who chairs the Senate Transportation Committee; Sen. Chip Rogers (R – Woodstock); Sen. Tommie Williams (R – Lyons); and Sen. Doug Stoner (D – Smyrna) among others.
Because of GDOT’s inability to develop alternative transportation modes, the resolution calls for the transfer of the Intermodal Division to the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority.
The resolution specifically mentions that “Georgia has fallen behind other states in developing other methods of transportation, including high speed rail and commuter rail…”
it also implies that GDOT is good at building roads and it should concentrate “on more traditional types of transportation infrastructure…”
The resolution goes on to say that GRTA has more expertise and experience in developing “all types of transportation alternatives for the people of this state….”
The resolution is significant in several ways. It points to the continued friction between the state legislature and GDOT. It attempts to circumvent a plan that GDOT had to demote the Intermodal Division. It also clearly shows the disappointment that some state leaders have had in Georgia’s recent inability to receive federal funds for rail projects.
Here is a copy of the resolution:
Senate Resolution 1177
By: Senators Mullis of the 53rd, Rogers of the 21st, Douglas of the 17th, Williams of the19th, Stoner of the 6th and others
Directing the Georgia Department of Transportation to transfer the Intermodal Division to the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority; and for other purposes.
WHEREAS, the key to a bright future for this state depends upon the development of all types of modern transportation infrastructure; and
WHEREAS, the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) does an outstanding job of constructing and maintaining the roads and bridges in this state, and that is and should be its primary focus; and
WHEREAS, Georgia has fallen behind other states in developing other methods transportation, including high speed rail and commuter rail, while concentrating on more traditional types of transportation infrastructure; and
WHEREAS, the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority (GRTA) has the expertise and experience to focus all of its resources on the development of all types of transportation alternatives for the people of this state and to maximize our resources to meet the challenges of the future.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE that the members of this body direct the commissioner of transportation to develop a plan to transfer the Intermodal Division from GDOT to GRTA in order to allow a greater focus on the development of alternative transportation options for the people of this state.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Secretary of the Senate is authorized and directed to transmit an appropriate copy of this resolution to the commissioner of transportation and the executive director of GRTA.