By Ron Sifen
Most people agree that one of the reasons that the TSPLOST failed was because government lost the trust of voters.
TSPLOST supporters want to believe that all of the distrust is only because of the Ga. 400 toll debacle. They refuse to admit that voters figured out that most of the money was going to projects that would not help to reduce traffic congestion on our roads. The projects list also contributed to the increased distrust of government. Read more
By Ron Sifen
Voters in Cobb County and the entire Atlanta region have spoken and delivered the following clear message. It is not the job of government to invent boondoggles on which to spend our money, and then increase our taxes to pay for boondoggles.
Many groups did a great job of putting together factual information and getting the information out to the public without much money. The Traffic Truth group, Tea Party groups, along with the Sierra Club and NAACP, plus the phenomenal analysis performed by the Georgia Public Policy Foundation and Reason Foundation, and numerous state legislators who were outraged over the projects list, all worked together to inform the public about many things that were wrong with the TSPLOST. Several columnists also helped. Read more
The Cobb County Civic Coalition released this statement on their website today:
The Cobb County Civic Coalition (CCCC) respectfully requests the Cobb Board of Commissioners rescind their July 24th vote on the $3 million Environmental Impact Study (EIS).
On July 24th, one week prior to the TSPLOST vote and also prior to the conclusion of the Northwest Corridor Transit Alternatives Analysis (AA), the Cobb Board of Commissioners voted 4-1 to approve a new $3 million contract for a new EIS to move forward with whatever transit is recommended by the AA. Commissioner Bob Ott strenuously opposed this action, and correctly pointed out that it was premature to initiate an EIS, when the AA had not yet identified what would be studied.
On July 31st, Cobb voted 69% – 31% to oppose spending $689 million to enhance transit service on Cobb Parkway.
Cobb County should respect the vote of its citizens and rescind the decision to spend $3 million tax dollars to move forward on a project that Cobb taxpayers oppose.
via CCCC requests Cobb BOC rescind July 24th Vote | Cobb County Civic Coalition.
Before the TSPLOST issue, I was speaking out about Cobb’s SPLOST “renewal” in 2011. While we were successful in defeating TSPLOST, we were narrowly defeated on the Cobb 2011 SPLOST. Many of us opposing that SPLOST argued that many of the projects were merely “wants” and not needs. One of the projects I specifically pointed out was the $750,000 going to a Skate Park in Kennesaw. I didn’t think it was appropriate to include this project in a SPLOST, especially at at time when the economy is in such bad shape. This is a lot of money going to something that is not necessary and certainly not needed.
Our friends at “The Kennesaw Watch” have uncovered that the company chosen during the bid process, California Skateparks, has been named in recent lawsuits:
“Kennesaw Skatepark named in allegations of multiple felonies against Pro Skateboarder Rob Dyrdek and his business associate Joe Caglia, president of a construction company, California Skateparks:
1. Attempting to collude and bid-rig the Hansen Dam skate park project.
2. Perjury & fraud arising against the City of Los Angeles pursuant to the Skatepark Agreement.
3. Perjury, fraud, and violations of the California False Claims Act on the following specific bids and projects: Hansen Dam Skate Plaza, Stoner Skate Park, the Jackie Tatum Harvard Recreation Center and the Southeast Valley Roller and Skateboard Rink.
4. Fraud in securing a design-build project in Kennesaw, Georgia– including misrepresenting California as Los Angeles’ “Preferred Skatepark Vendor” in the Kennesaw proposal.”
via The Kennesaw Watch.
How will this affect the skatepark and more importantly, our tax dollars?
TSPLOST was trounced in the Atlanta Region on Tuesday evening. The No vote won with 63% of the vote to the 37% Yes vote. The pro-TSPLOST campaign was stunned by the fact that that throwing $8-10 Million into advertising didn’t work out too well for them. The grassroots “pennies” campaign on the other hand proved that voters are tired of the Chamber, CIDs, lobbyists and political cronies that think they can buy an election with lies. We don’t trust the politicians and over and over again they prove why we shouldn’t.
A huge thanks go out to everyone in the grassroots effort that made this happen. The Transportation Leadership Coalition atTrafficTruth.net did an excellent job spreading the TRUTH!
By Ron Sifen
The TSPLOST was supposed to be about reducing traffic congestion.
The Atlanta Regional Commission has conceded that the TSPLOST projects list will do little to reduce regional commute times. The ARC says they are defining “alleviating traffic congestion” as meaning increasing the number of people who can reach a point in the region within 45 minutes. The ARC has conceded that this has nothing to do with improving the flow of traffic, and that it will have an insignificant impact on reducing commute times. Read more
By Ron Sifen
TSPLOST supporters have brought in a Washington, D.C. developer, Chris Leinberger, who is also a consultant on urbanism and smart growth, to race-bait the TSPLOST.
Leinberger told the Cumberland Area Community Improvement District board last week that “MARTA really stands for ‘Moving African Americans Rapidly Through Atlanta.’ You’ve racialized it. The white suburban neighborhoods and places have completely ignored the economic development potential that MARTA could have been and will be in the future.” Read more
Here is an excerpt from the email that went out today. If you don’t have your yard signs, bumper stickers or push cards, visit TrafficTruth.comnow!
“Only 25 days remain before the big July 31st referendum for the Regional Transportation Tax. The proponents are unleashing an $8,000,000+ war chest of propaganda to sell you on this tax. We don’t have that kind of money but what we do have is the TRUTH and PASSION. It’s time for us to do all we can to get the word out. We’ve got new resources that will help us do just that: yard signs, bumper stickers and push cards. We’ve packaged these up in convenient bundles that can be shipped to you directly.”
The Transportation Leadership Coalition issued a Press Release today about the TSPLOST Ballot Language:
Media Contact: Claire Bartlett, 404-384-3256
Transportation Leadership Coalition Initiates Legal Inquiry Against Secretary of State Brian Kemp
Kemp has no legal authority to add promotional language to Georgia ballot.
July 2, 2012, Roswell, GA – Today, the Transportation Leadership Coalition (TLC) took the first formal step towards litigation challenging Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp for adding promotional language to the official state ballot in order to promote passage of Referendum 1. Referendum 1, commonly called T-SPLOST, is an $18B transportation program funded by a sales and use increase that is subject to voter approval in the July 31, 2012 primary election. Read more
Thanks to Bob Jackson of Cobb for sending me this Flyer “Referendum for Another 1% Sales Tax!”. I especially like the “Feed the Pig” pic. Take a look and feel free to print it and distribute it around. It is meant to be printed double sided and then cut so that it is 1/2 sheet.
By Ron Sifen
Last week, Cobb DOT presented its interim report on the Connect Cobb – Northwest Transit Corridor Alternatives Analysis.
I have been talking about huge cost differentials for different kinds of transit for a long time. This report confirms how extreme these differentials are. (Please note that Cobb presented national averages, and not Cobb-specific cost projections for this corridor.)
Costs to build:
* Light rail: $40 million to $120 million per mile
* Bus Rapid Transit (or BRT): $4 million to $50 million per mile
* Express Bus: $1 million to $2 million per mile.
Annual costs to operate and maintain:
* Light rail: $13 million to $33 million
* Bus Rapid Transit: $4 million to $29 million
* Express Bus: $4 million to $10 million Read more
By Ron Sifen
If the TSPLOST is approved, and after the projects are built, will you have a shorter commute time? The ARC recently admitted that the answer is NO.
Instead, the ARC says that “alleviating traffic congestion” is defined as increasing the number of people who can hypothetically reach a given point within 45 minutes. Paying $6.14 billion of your tax dollars for this projects list equals no reduction of commute times.
Light rail typically provides a much longer commute time, compared to driving. Here are links to two articles to support this point:publicpurpose.com/charlotte.htm#_ftn14, and ajc.com/opinion/the-real-issue-is-1236560.html
Among the conclusions from the PublicPurpose study is “On average, during peak travel periods, light rail operates only slightly faster than buses and barely one-half as fast as automobiles.” Read more
The Transportation Leadership Coalition, LLC now has Vote NO signs available for order. Here is what their email stated:
“We need to have orders in as soon as possible so that we can place this first order of signs. The deadline for you to participate in this order is Monday, May 21st at midnight. The best pricing is to get a minimum order of 1000 signs. The cost per sign is $4.00 each. This includes stand, freight, and taxes.
Once the signs have been produced and delivered, we will notify you of a date and time to pick up your signs. If you are out of the region or need your signs shipped, there will be an additional packing and shipping charge.”
Click on the sign to order>>>>>>
The Transportation Leadership Coalition, LLC has announced it’s new website TrafficTruth.net. The website is a grassroots campaign to inform voters about the Truth of the July 31st Sales Tax Referendum. They have a Fact Sheet, mailing list sign-up, online Donation and Facebook & Twitter Links. Take a look and see why “Another Tax won’t help your Traffic Jam”.
Vote “NO” On Regional Transportation Referendum – July 31, 2012.
By Ron Sifen
In the last few days, several pro-TSPLOST advocates have challenged me regarding my opposition to the Cobb light rail project.
One emphatically defended the Cobb light rail project. Another emphatically denied that the Cobb light rail project is on the TSPLOST projects list. Hmmm.
Let’s take a closer look at this “phantom” light rail for Cobb. Read more