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ARC: 10 Facts About the Regional Transportation Referendum

The Atlanta Regional Commission emailed these "10 Facts about the Regional Transportation Referendum" on Monday morning.

The Atlanta Regional Commission emailed its "10 Facts about the Regional Transportation Referendum" on Monday morning. The 10 points are listed below.

  1. Low spending and high congestion: Georgia ranks 48th in the nation in transportation spending per capita, and ranks 4th in total hours the average commuter spends in on the road each day.

  2. Little room for expansion: Without additional funding, about 70 percent of metro Atlanta’s scheduled transportation dollars for the next 30 years will be spent on maintaining our current transportation network, leaving little room for expansion.

  3. Congestion will increase as revenues decrease: Congestion will get worse as the region continues to grow – by some three million more people in the next 25 years. Meanwhile, gas tax revenues will continue to decline as cars become more fuel-efficient.

  4. Money stays here: All monies generated here by the 10-year, regional transportation referendum would stay in metro Atlanta and be invested in high-priority projects throughout our 10 counties, from interchange improvements at I-285 and GA 400, to road and safety improvements, to a new light rail line from the Lindbergh MARTA station to the Clifton Corridor.

  5. Positive return on investment: The economic impact over time on the Atlanta region would be far greater than the 1996 Olympics. The referendum investment would result in a $34.8 billion increase in gross regional product in the Atlanta region by 2040. That’s a 4-to-1 return on investment.

  6. Job creation and retention: Some 200,000 jobs would be created or retained through the build-out of these new transportation projects. The positive economic effect equates to approximately 7,100 jobs each year from 2013 through 2040.

  7. Business and workforce development opportunities: Policies for strong small business and minority contracting and workforce development efforts have been developed and adopted by key agencies responsible for the project build-out.

  8. Cost savings to commuters: Commuters spend an average of $924 each year due to traffic congestion. Collectively, the time and fuel savings generated by referendum projects would allow residents to save $9.2 billion by 2040.

  9. Decrease in travel delays: Travellers will enjoy a 24% average decrease in future travel delays on roadways improved through road widening, new construction and improved interchanges.

  10. Air quality benefits: Air quality improvement would be equal to taking 72,000 vehicles off the roads daily.

Do any of these 10 points sway how you will vote on TSPLOST? Tell us why or why not in the comments below.

Charles Black July 23, 2012 at 07:38 PM
8 Facts the ARC left out. 1. No matter how much politicians get, they will ask for more. 2. Georgia’s excise tax is currently 7.5 cents a gallon. 3. Georgia adds a 3 percent tax on sales of motor fuel that is classified as motor use fuel tax. 4. In 2008, the Georgia excise tax and both sales taxes combined produced an effective rate of 21.2 cents per gallon. 5. Federal excise tax on gasoline is 18.4 cents per gallon. 6. The total tax on Diesel in Georgia is 39.1 cents per gallon. 7. The United States Highway Trust Fund is a transportation fund which receives money from a federal fuel tax of 18.4 cents per gallon on gasoline and 24.4 cents per gallon of diesel fuel and related excise taxes. 8. The 1956 Trust Fund Act directed federal fuel tax to the fund to be used exclusively for highway construction and maintenance.
Bob Hovey July 23, 2012 at 07:43 PM
Not a word about fixing TRAFFIC CONGESTION ! 2/3 of the project money goes to a train/bus from Acworth to MARTA in Atlanta we can't use. And not a single project that benefits South Cobb. Vote NO on TSPLOST.
Pam J July 23, 2012 at 08:21 PM
So, over the next 28 years, 200,000 news jobs will be created. Great if you are 20 years old. Not to mention that most of the jobs will be physical jobs, and most of those jobs would go to men. Whether or not you vote for this thing somewhat depends on your age. IF I had a job (and, yes, I capitalized if) and had a horrible commute, I probably still wouldn't vote for it because I'm 59 years old. But since I don't have a job and it doesn't look like I will ever get one, it would be hard for me to vote yes.
Joe_Harris July 23, 2012 at 09:41 PM
Voting for the passage of this referendum is the equivalent of making in Atlanta's future. The passage of this referendum will improve not only improve our transportation infrastructure but will improve our quality of life as well.
KellyW July 23, 2012 at 09:48 PM
I will be voting yes for this referendum and encouraging my colleagues to do so as well. This plan is not perfect but our transportation problems in Atlanta are beyond terrible. We have to being to do something about this now.
William Good July 23, 2012 at 09:53 PM
I agree with @KellyW. If we don't begin to make changes to our transportation infrastructure now, then when will we begin to make the changes that are needed for our city? At the constant rate that this city is growing at improving our transportation infrastructure is not an option but a necessity.
Restless in GA July 23, 2012 at 10:00 PM
The Regional Transportation Referendum is a comprehensive list that was drawn up to best serve the needs of the city. Many of the projects on the list will not only improve the traffic concerns in that particular area but in the surrounding areas as well. For example, the GA 400/I-285 interchange improvements will make it easier for the thousands of businesses located in that area and for residents that go back and forth through that area on a constant basis. Also, if this referendum is not passed then transit options such as the GRTA Xpress will be in danger of eliminating its services, hence putting more cars on the roadways. This is the time to make an impactful change on the transportation infrastructure of Atlanta for the better.
SabrinaClarke July 23, 2012 at 10:08 PM
This referendum is definitely a step in the right direction to get Atlanta's transportation infrastructure to the place it needs to be at. Besides being a step in the right direction, there are also no reasonable alternatives if this referendum is not passed. More hot lanes and toll roads would be our likely future if this is not passed.
MatthewThomas103 July 23, 2012 at 10:14 PM
There may be a lot of distrust regarding our government but this referendum has certain measures in place to safeguard against that. One of them being a citizens oversight committee which will have responsibility for producing annual audits of the projects. That has never been done before on any previous splosts.
BrittanyUnderwood82 July 23, 2012 at 10:17 PM
People are complaining about not wanting our taxes to be increased but the reality is that we already have an increased tax with the increasing amount of traffic we have on a daily basis. We pay on average $924 per year on wasted time and fuel. It is time that we begin to do something now to spend less time in traffic and more time at home. Sitting in traffic should not be a way of life.
ErinRogers July 23, 2012 at 10:20 PM
Transportation spending for a region is expensive, however we must begin to do something now to alleviate traffic congestion. We are ranked 48th nationally in transportation infrastructure spending. Now is the time to begin to make investments in GA's future and transportation.
John A Delves July 23, 2012 at 10:28 PM
Truth of the matter is that this funding is heading for Atlanta and not going to do our Cobb County any good. VOTE NO and send the whole durn thing back to the legislature and in the mean time get rid of all those folk who pushed it through the house and are now going, It's not what I thought it was - ie they didn't even read the bill and pushed it through anyway.A NO VOTE in every one of the ten Counties is what is needed to send a clear message to the State House. The folk in South Georgia are not even going to vote it in.
Kim July 24, 2012 at 11:59 AM
I am amazed that anyone living in the metro Atlanta area would actually vote in favor of this absurd referendum. I come from an Atlanta DOT family and I KNOW that the monies they are proposing will NOT be used as they outlined. Why do you think they are cramming it down our throats night and day with advertizements? Do you know how much money they are wasting on advertisements alone??? This shows that spending is out of control in Atlanta and we the citizens, canNOT rely on our elected officials to "make something happen". It has to start with the citizens speaking out, and speaking out LOUDLY through voting this insaine attempt to steal our precious money away from using it how we see fit. Stand up metro Atlanta, now is your time to be heard.
Kim July 24, 2012 at 12:02 PM
We have been trying to do something for years, but the monies we have voted on in the past referendums that were targeted for fixing the transportation problems DID NOT work, are not working and WILL NOT work? Do your homework.......investigate and you will educate yourself beyond what you HEAR on TV!!!
Kim July 24, 2012 at 12:08 PM
Sabrina: they used mones from past referendums to set up hot lanes and tolls so voting yes would only increase this type of traffic. Does that make sense to you. There is an article in the south cobb patch that sums up the facts: TSPLOST: A Noble Idea Has Been Hijacked - The chairman of The Council on Public Policy explains why the organization encourages voters to oppose the Transportation Investment Act on July 31 at the polls.
Greengirl July 24, 2012 at 04:05 PM
For everyone who is voting no I would like to ask a few questions? What plan would you support if any? Do you think we should just maintain current roads and not expand even as our population grows? Do you think investing in infrastructure is necessary for attracting businesses to our area? Just curious as to what folks might find acceptable or if people oppose any and all ideas put forth by the government. Personally, I think this current hatred of our government that many people seem to have will be our ultimate downfall. Not sure how we can progress as a country if we do not invest in infrastructure.
ATLGal July 24, 2012 at 06:24 PM
I will vote YES on the referrendum - I have been in Atlanta for 50 years and hope to be here another 50 and I think this initiative is one of many ways to move ATL into a transit oriented City and get our residents and toursits out of their cars, once again.
Greg July 24, 2012 at 06:53 PM
You need to go online and look at the project list. They are spending money on the Beltline in Atlanta, MARTA (what a joke, it goes nowhere for Cobb people), bike paths, (that's really going to help traffic congestion, Control tower at McCollum airport, and too many more to mention. A few of the projects in Cobb is widening Thornton road. Why????? Roswell Road going to Marietta. Why????? No mention of I-75 at I-285, I-20 at I-285 on the west side. And what about the maintenance after all this money is spent? I have already voted "NO" ! ! ! ! !
Greg July 24, 2012 at 07:00 PM
Also, we are 4th in spending on transportation over the last few years, I bet 20 to 25 years ago Georgia was in the top 3. Also, I read a report last week that the Atlanta area was 14th, in traffic congestion. They (Clark Howard included) keep talking about Dallas and Houston on how good their system is. Well, they traffic congestion is in the top 5. And how do they get to the 200,000 jobs number? Taking 7100 times the 28 years they talk about and come up with 200,000? Like all of those 7100 jobs will be going to someone new each year?
Greg July 24, 2012 at 07:41 PM
I don't think all these people have a "hatred" (which is a very liberal minded word) towards government, I believe it is because government wastes so much money and most do not have any business experience to actually know what they are doing. Governments do not have any money of their own, and when they spend too much or give too much away to take care of people that are too lazy to take care of themselves. What plan would I support? I support that the Federal Gas tax money that Mr. Black above mentioned at 18.4 cents per gallon, that we pay and it goes to Washington so the bureaucrats can dole it back out to which ever state they like and who lobbies them the best. I want that money to stay here in Georgia where it should. I am not blindly going to follow the people who put this referendum together just because it took them 2 years of work to do it. IMO, they did not do a good job and needs to start over. And I bet you a dime to a dollar that there were many special interest groups throwing money around to get what would put money in their pockets. IE. Highway contractors for the roads, unions for MARTA work (since you have to pay Davis-Bacon wages which are at the high union scale), and the big General Contractors.
Greengirl July 24, 2012 at 07:42 PM
We are NOT 4th in spending. The article states, "Georgia ranks 48th in the nation in transportation spending per capita, and ranks 4th in total hours the average commuter spends in on the road each day." 48th in the nation! That’s a pathetic place to be when considering investing in infrastructure is investing in the future. As for projects in Cobb you should check out the link below. http://www.georgiatrend.com/Untie_Atlanta.pdf There are plenty of Cobb projects and the bill requires a certain percentage be spent in the county where it is raised. As for whether or not Cobb should support Atlanta projects, please know that Cobb is reliant on a prosperous Atlanta. We are a region, not just individual counties. The state of Atlanta’s transportation is an important factor for businesses and tourist which brings much economic development not only to the City of Atlanta, but to the surrounding region. Cobb County is not an economic island and surely you can see the importance of regional transportation.
Greg July 24, 2012 at 07:58 PM
My mistake, I meant 48th. Maybe our roads are in better shape than the other cities and do not have to repair them as often. Like I said above, Atlanta area spent billions over the last 25 years to get where we are at and got built out. These other cities maybe just behind. I don't think Cobb is reliant on a prosperous Atlanta. The city of Atlanta is being run into the ground, mismanaged, and if they didn't apply for federal grant money all the time, they would really be in trouble. City of Atlanta is a JOBS program and Atlanta is just a name. I have seen the Cobb project list and again, how are most of these going to help traffic congestion where it gets backed up all the time? Do you ride MARTA? I do not and will not, it scares the hell out of me. It goes nowhere I want to go but to the Braves stadium, and still would not ride it.
jackp July 31, 2012 at 12:19 AM
We do not have snow removal as many other sates do. We have MARTA, a far cry for a giant Mass Transit system. Many commpanies are in the beginning stages of people working from home.........so Why would we vote YES? It does not make sense.

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