Atlanta Beltline explains Transportation Referendum
Atlanta Beltline talks to SW Atlanta about upcoming referendum.
The purpose of this meeting and 4 others like it throughout the city is to "educate and help residents make informed choices on the upcoming vote," to take place July 31st.
On July 31st, voters across the state will vote on a one percent sales tax increase to fund transportation projects in each of our particular regions. (Georgia was separated into 12 regions) This $8.5 billion project will include funds for changes that will directly affect us in SW Atlanta, such as a redesign for the I-20 and 285 Interchange and funds for the 10.2 miles of Light Rail transit that is to connect in-town neighborhoods and become the Beltline.
The benefits for the project listed by www.TransformMetroAtlanta.com include:
- Improve regional mobility
- New Marta Station at Joseph E. Boone Blvd.
- Less bottleneck traffic in and around the city
- 200k jobs supported
The main complaints from residents who attended the meeting were their disbelief that the project will actually be completed and that Southwest Atlanta will ever see the benefits. "Politics has gotten in the way of transportation in this city," said an older woman who arrived to the meeting using MARTA, "and until that is solved, people will have a hard time voting for this."
Another woman brought up the fact that she is a loyal MARTA customer and has been so for years. She was frustrated by the new plans for transportation. "We have been taken for so many decades. We want something different. (They have) Better buses for residents outside of the city and for those coming to watch a game, but local accommodations for us everyday riders is terrible...delayed or even service cuts that make my commute to church impossible." She finished with, "why should we trust this new transportation plan?"
That was pretty much the consensus in the room. People were not 100% decided and against the referendum, but they have questions of trust and questions that no one seems to be answering. I have not seen more meetings scheduled for Southwest Atlanta particularly.
Hopefully more meetings like this will occur during the lead up to the July 31st vote, and that the community turnout grows. This will be a huge project over the next 40 years and paying an extra penny tax for the next 10 years is no small measure either.