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Sidewalks a priority if Roswell gets local T-SPLOST dollars
by Joan Durbin
July 11, 2012 04:25 PM | 2036 views | 11 11 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend | print
As the July 31 vote on the Transportation Investment Act looms, many Georgia cities and counties have still not identified ways in which they would spend the local money authorized by the referendum if it passes.

Some major projects are already set in stone on the TSPLOST list for funding. In Roswell, the TSPLOST would pay for a complete revamp of the Holcomb Bridge Road/Ga. 400 interchange, eliminating the reversible lane on Ga. Hwy 9 as part of its Gateway Project from the Chattahoochee River to Marietta Highway, and joining Alpharetta and Milton to make improvements on Houze Road.

Those projects would account for around $48 million. But Roswell would also get a 15 percent local government distribution of TSPLOST funds amounting to around $1.9 million annually for 10 years, and on Monday night, Mayor Jere Wood asked council to determine what they would like to do with the funds.

“This would let citizens know that if they should approve the referendum, how we might spend that money,” he said.

The TSPLOST, also known as the TIA referendum, would allow a new 1 percent special local sales tax in 12 separate districts in the state.

The money raised could be spent only for design and construction of transportation projects in that district.

Transportation Director Steve Acenbrak mentioned a few possible candidates for Roswell’s local share, such as installing sidewalks and a multi-use trail on Ga. Hwy 92 all the way from Roswell’s borders on the east and west, or building sidewalks from all schools in Roswell to the nearest parks.

One potential project, endorsed by Councilwoman Betty Price, the council’s transportation liaison, would be a bridge over Holcomb Bridge Road at Eves Road to connect schools with East Roswell Park and the soon-to-be-built new library.

The mayor said he wanted to identify at least one project that the city could begin if the annual funds became available.

“I don’t want to commit for 10 years out. I’d like to leave some flexibility for future councils,” Wood said. “But I’d like to develop a short term plan, maybe a four to five year plan, and at the top of my list would be a sidewalk on Holcomb Bridge Road on at least one side all the way to the Gwinnett County line.”

Acenbrak said council could also decide to allot the annual funds to three different “pots” for projects to be determined later. Those categories would be for sidewalks, congestion relief and redevelopment support.

That was the direction a majority of council wanted to go. “I’d like to keep things more fluid,” said Councilwoman Becky Wynn.

With council members Nancy Diamond and Jerry Orlans absent, council approved Price’s motion that if the T-SPLOST does pass, Roswell’s 15 percent local share will go into the three pots for future use in those categories, with an emphasis on sidewalks.
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Just Nasty & Mean
July 18, 2012
WAIT a minute!! I thought TSPLOST funds were intended for traffic congestion relief. Now we see the City of Roswell planning for sidewalks, walking bridges and bike paths (for God's sakes!).

Want to know why TSPLOST is going down? Look at this waste and misdirection of funds!
July 19, 2012
That is a way to relieve traffic, by offering people ways to get around with out their car. Less cars equal less traffic. Plus its healthier.
Mike Lowry
July 18, 2012
The metro Atlanta region desperately needs real transportation planning and solutions. Unfortunately, the TSPLOST doesn't provide it. Putting $billions into transit is not a solution. Atlanta simply doesn't have enough density to support it.

We need a grid of continuous-flow arteries that don't have stoplights every 300 yards.
SW Gal
July 18, 2012
Thanks for this eye-opening article. The Atlanta metro area is the least dense of any city its size in the world. Density is required to support rail. MARTA loses over $500 million every year with billions of unfunded maintenance and operating costs. Yet, our elected officials want us to throw more money at a project with a failed track record used by less than 5% of our population? Follow the money. As the ARC folks have admitted, this tax will do very little to solve our traffic problems. They admit that it is all about development. That gang of opportunitsts and their friends stand to make a lot of money on this endeavor. I vote NO, not with my money you don't!
July 11, 2012
When I vote against T-SPLOST, it's not in support of the "Tea Party" but because public transit continues to take a back seat in Georgia. People don't ride MARTA in Atlanta, because it doesn't go anywhere. ( The landscape will change at $5 a gallon. We needed viable alternatives yesterday. )

Even if you refuse to ride public transit, you will see congestion relief when others do.

Too expensive now ? Wait ten years . . .
July 13, 2012
Please educate yourself, Mr. Morgan. The T-SPLOST list includes engineering and design work for the MARTA North Line extension. Transit is not built in a year or two. It is a start.
July 13, 2012
Where did I miss the boat ? Public transit gets a STUDY and roads are to be built. ( Georgia has had decades to design a transit system. ) The result of T-SPLOST is to continue down the same ROAD.

After the careful reconsideration you suggested . . . I'll still vote NO.
July 14, 2012
TSplost isn't perfect but it is a start. The project list was developed with a lot of public input - more than any other transportation initiative that I know of. It is our opportunity to begin to address congestion. Without it, we will continue to see businesses leave for places like Dallas and Charlotte where they are addressing congestion issues. I do wish TSplost had more transit and that it would address ongoing transit operating costs. But, even with those issues I am voting for TSplost.
Just Nasty & Mean
July 19, 2012
Please educate yourselves! Spending Billion$ to serve less than 5% (and declining!) of commuters is a horrific waste of time and money!

What is it you just don't get? Expensive Transit is NOT GOING TO SOLVE THE PROBLEM!

If you are hell bent on riding transit---move someplace that it will work (none on the planet are self sustaining). But stop trying to make Atlanta behave like a high-density city (which it is not) focusing on moving people to downtown (which is coming to an end). We are a city of sprawl. I happen to like it. If you don't well then....tough!
July 19, 2012
Seems the Atlanta culture is based on sitting in traffic. The future is focused on building a bigger parking lot.

T-SPLOST with greater road emphasis is not the answer for the future, particularly as energy costs rise.

Public transit, without support or funding, is cutting service and the public cheers the loss?

As the gridlock prospects continue and Atlanta becomes less attractive, I'll do my part and go home.
July 20, 2012
The August 2012 issue of "Atlanta" magazine has an interesting perspective in the article "WHERE IT ALL WENT WRONG." (Check it out.)
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