By Maria Saporta
An outside review of the official lists floating around on the possible transportation projects that will be part of the regional referendum has determined two disturbing trends.
First, it appears that “roads are faring much better than transit on the official short lists” presented by the staff of the Atlanta Regional Commission — even the list that is considered to favor transit.
And two, the projects that are on “those short lists are lopsided in favor of serving counties that don’t pay for MARTA.”
Those observations have been made by Ken Edelstein, editor of the GreenBuildingChronicle, who said that he has been pouring over the numbers in the various project list options and realized that “the vast majority of transit projects have essentially been pushed off the scenarios.”
To read Ken Edelstein’s analysis of the project lists — titled: “Atlanta Transportation Roundtable’s short lists short transit,” please link to his article. Edelstein has also put together a list of what he calls the “Transit Winners & Losers, So Far.”
The of the balance between transit and roads is becoming the most pivotal issue among the members of the Atlanta Regional Transportation Roundtable and its executive committee.
It is all but certain that the balance between roads and transit will be the centerpiece of discussion at Thursday (Aug. 4) morning’s meeting of the roundtable’s executive committee. That group has until Aug. 15 to unveil its draft project list.
The three options that currently have been presented include one that’s 60 percent roads and 40 percent transit; one that’s 50/50; and the third that is 60 percent transit and 40 percent roads.
According to some people close to the process, there’s a group of members on the roundtable that are calling themselves the “40 percenters” — those who don’t want more than 40 percent to go to transit.
But against that backdrop, there’s also a group of roundtable members that are arguing for a project list that builds a foundation for a regional transit system that can be phased in as money becomes available.
It has not yet been determined which direction the roundtable will adopt, which makes this Thursday’s meeting and the follow-up meeting on Aug. 11 to be even more critical to the region’s future.