Editor Jonathan Cribbs firstname.lastname@example.org
2:44 pm on Thursday, February 21, 2013
Sorry - just seeing that full link didn't paste. I think you need real player for it to work.
10:45 am on Thursday, February 21, 2013
Hey folks, State BoE is aware of tech issues and has been working on them. Try this alternate link.
10:23 am on Sunday, January 13, 2013
I don't think it will. I think the existing board will still be in place on 1/23 as it's unlikely the State BOE and the Governor would act by then.
Under the statute, the Governor has the power to select new board members if the existing members are removed. If it gets to that point, I am confident that he will accept, for lack of a better term, applications from interested citizens. In addition, it is my understanding that, if removal occurs, the Governor will take input from members of the DeKalb legislative delegation. If removal occurs and I receive more information about this, I'll post another piece.
5:18 pm on Thursday, August 9, 2012
Thanks for your continued interest. I appreciate your input and agree with you that reforming and improving GDOT should be the priority, and I will make it so. It probably makes sense to continue this discussion via email. Mine is email@example.com.
11:27 am on Tuesday, August 7, 2012
Again, the fight over T-SPLOST is over and I’m not debating that. The question now is how to move forward from here. I don’t believe the answer is to do nothing, and that is what I was referring to as the status quo. I hope our region and our state continues this spirited debate about our needs and priorities, and I hope we can find some workable solutions. Thanks again for sharing your views.
We haven’t spent effectively on transportation assets that work for Atlanta, and we haven’t invested in transportation assets that will sustain our economic competitiveness statewide. We have problems that need to be solved. Mobility in Atlanta is awful and growing worse. Brookings rated our transit system dead last in connecting people with jobs among the ten biggest cities in America. Congestion costs us all in an enormous amount of lost productivity and frustration. It is also Atlanta’s Achilles heel in economic competitiveness. Congestion is a factor businesses consider when deciding to relocate and our congestion is not an asset. Outside Atlanta, the challenges are different. There, we need an efficient logistical network for moving goods. That is a prerequisite for creating economic opportunity in rural Georgia and in Georgia’s smaller cities. The transportation network we have today isn’t up to the task of handling the anticipated growth of, among other things, Savannah’s port or the expected increase in cargo at Hartsfield. I’m thankful we have the Port of Savannah and Hartsfield, and those were the items I was referring to as the bright spots in our state’s economy because they are helping to fuel growth, as evidenced by the CNBC report. But my concern is that we have world class ports (air and sea) but not the other pieces of the transportation puzzle.
11:26 am on Tuesday, August 7, 2012
Thanks J for sharing. I appreciate your interest in this subject. If every member of the General Assembly would do their homework like you do, we’d generate better bills than the T-SPLOST.
In large measure, I think we agree on where things are. For the sake of argument, I’ll accept that Georgia’s spending on transportation ranks more like 44th based on the data you provided (if you’d like to post your source, I’d be happy to look at it). But that only tells us that some places are probably falling behind the curve faster than we are, or simply aren’t able to grow. I’m not going to throw up my hands and join in a race to the bottom. I believe most citizens in my district and around the state probably feel the same way. Responsible policy is to find a way to fix our problems.
3:43 pm on Monday, August 6, 2012
The CNBC report mentioned in the comments can be viewed here, http://www.cnbc.com/id/46413842. Georgia fared well in this report, but it is important to understand what they were measuring. The grades in this report were based on “the value of goods shipped by air, land and water.” It can’t be a surprise that we rated highly under that measure. This is a bright spot for our state’s economy. The potential tragedy is that we aren’t investing to keep these assets competitive. For example, the Port of Savannah is finally on the fast track to receive federal money to be deepened so that it can accommodate the bigger ships that will soon come through the Panama Canal. What happens if we don’t have either the road or the rail capacity to transship all the additional freight from the port to its eventual destination? There are no transportation planners who would argue that we have all of the infrastructure we need to keep our state competitive. I don’t know if you are making that argument. If you are, I strongly disagree with you.
Lastly, I’d recommend to anyone who is interested in this topic a short article from the Brookings Institute on what comes next. http://www.brookings.edu/blogs/the-avenue/posts/2012/08/01-atlanta-transportation-tomer I don’t think there’s any chance for a second referendum, but the article contains some interesting food for thought.
Thanks again for your comments.
I sincerely worry that the status quo on transportation is a threat to our future prosperity. Notwithstanding J Kilgore’s personal attack on the Minority Leader, Rep. Abrams’ statement is absolutely true. Georgia has definitely shortchanged transportation. But J, you’re right about one thing. Some of the money that Georgians spent in the past has been wasted on extravagant roads to out-of-the-way places. I totally agree that we need to make sure that we invest in infrastructure that will move people and goods efficiently. I don’t like government boondoggles any more than you do.
To understand exactly where we are on transportation in Georgia and this region, let me suggest some original sources. This report from the Georgia Public Policy Foundation is a good place to start. (http://www.gppf.org/pub/Transportation/120523IATSPLOSTFINAL.pdf). Page 37 states that Georgia is ranked 49th in transportation spending. The American Society of Civil Engineers issued a report on Georgia’s infrastructure. Road and Transit received grades of D+ “due to below average funding, higher than average fatality rate and congestion issues in large metropolitan areas.” http://www.ascega.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/2009_GA_ASCE_Report_Card.pdf. See page 45.
3:42 pm on Monday, August 6, 2012
I appreciate the comments. One thing on which we can all agree, I think, is that there’s no profit in sulking about what might have been.
That is surely true about MARTA. I completely agree that Atlanta’s current transit system is far from ideal. Sure, it would be great if folks had made different decisions back in the ‘60s and ‘70s so that we would have a truly regional transit system with fair contributions from across the region and also from the State. But that’s not what we have. And history teaches that as long as we leave this question just to the legislature, this is what we’ll be stuck with. Just this session at the General Assembly, suburban and rural legislators continued to vote no when proposals to help fix MARTA’s funding problems were proposed. I’m sympathetic to DeKalb voters who feel like they’ve paid more than their fair share in the past. But we can’t fix the past. We have to figure out how to make a better future from the cards that we’ve been dealt today.
I was not yet in the House when the T-SPLOST referendum was approved for the July 31 ballot. But it is my strong impression that the legislators decided to give this issue over to the voters specifically because they could not find a solution on their own. And voters rejected the referendum primarily because of a distrust of government.
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