TSPLOST has failed. So, what's next?
In Cobb, the transportation referendum received a "no" vote from roughly 70 percent of voters. However, many had various reasons for voting no. Voters in all the other 10 counties included in the Metro Atlanta TSPLOST rejected the referendum as well.
Throughout all the debates, forums and rallies, the one thing TSPLOST supporters and opponents agreed on was that something needs to be done about the transportation problems in Metro Atlanta.
It's just that no one has decided exactly what that would be.
There are several reasons for voters' opposition to TSPLOST:
Most people just didn't want any more taxes, especially during this economic downturn.
Some like Ron Sifen, a transportation activist and Vinings resident, supported the concept of TSPLOST, but not the project list.
Others, such as former Cobb Chairman candidate Mike Boyce, wanted to wait until Cobb completed its alternative analysis study before voting for the transportation tax.
Additionally, others felt like the TSPLOST simply would not benefit their community. District 4 Commission Candidate Lisa Cupid said, "Just because jobs are coming (as a result of TSPLOST) doesn't mean jobs are coming to us."
Now that TSPLOST has failed, what's Plan B? What are your suggestions and ideas for improving traffic problems in Metro Atlanta? Tell us in the comments below.
For any and all of these reasons, it failed, so what's Plan B? Is there a Plan B?
Various elected officials, organization leaders and stakeholders claimed there was no Plan B to TSPLOST. Politifact Georgia deemed that claim to be "mostly false" in a recent assessment.
During a July 23 TSPLOST forum in East Cobb, State Rep. Ed Setzler, who chairs the Cobb delegation, said, "We can come back in two years with a project list that's worthy of our support."
Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers (R-Woodstock) said flat-out, "There is a Plan B."
The Atlanta TEA Party and Sierra Club have already drafted a plan B, which includes allowing local governments to form fiscal partnerships with GDOT.
Sifen wrote in a recent Marietta Daily Journal column that Plan B must begin by "establishing sensible criteria." One of his criterion was, "Regional road projects must be designed to reduce commute times in corridors that serve at least 60,000 car trips per day, and where traffic flow is impacted for at least 5 miles."
What criteria would be needed for you to vote for a TSPLOST Plan B?