Sightseeing. A periodic tour of CVI news, views and events.

July 31st Transportation Referendum - Why Your Vote Counts

Beltline Vote Graphic

If you are not a driver, does the Transportation Referendum vote on July 31 mean anything to you? You bet!

Here are the facts: On July 31, voters in the Atlanta region will decide whether to add a sales tax of one cent, which will expire in 10 years, to fund 157 specific projects to enhance transportation in our 10-county metro area.

While supporters may have their own favorite projects within the specific improvements that will be made, many of the plans have direct impact on pedestrians and public transportation:

  • Funding for the Gwinnett County transit and GRTA Xpress bus service, which will be discontinued unless the referendum passes
  • A MARTA Mobility call center for persons with disabilities and older adults
  • Enhanced transit service from the Arts Center Station to Cumberland for Cobb County residents
  • A Clifton Corridor transit project to link the Lindbergh Station with CDC and Emory which may open up employment opportunities for non-drivers
  • And, my personal favorite, support to create 10.2 miles of pedestrian-friendly rail transit for the Atlanta BeltLine and Streetcar projects.

Several weeks ago my husband, Phil, his guide dog, Santiago, and I took the free BeltLine tour and now I’m encouraging everyone to do so. Tours are offered on Friday and Saturday mornings, leaving in a luxurious bus at 9:30 A.M. from the Inman Park MARTA station and returning around 12:30 P.M. You must make a reservation and tours fill up fast so if you are interested, click on this link www.tours.beltline.org or call 404-446-4400 to learn how to make your reservation.

Whether you are a native Atlantan or a transplant, you will be fascinated to hear the tour guide’s stories of the historic neighborhoods involved and see the circular path that will create public transportation using old railroad tracks. On the day of our tour, we weren’t able to see the “crown jewel” of the tour, the old Bellwood Quarry site that will be transformed into Westside Reservoir Park, becoming Atlanta’s largest public park. I’m signing up for a second tour—I really want to see the quarry!

But back to the July 31 vote. The transportation referendum is a great example of bi-partisanship as Democrats, Republicans and Independents have crafted the plan and supported its passage. Will it solve all traffic problems? Certainly not, but it’s a good step forward. And it’s designed to give everyone a slice of the pie--drivers, pedestrians and businesses. It could be a shining example of working together to make the Atlanta region the place we all want to live and work.

Subie Green
CVI President

For additional information and to read various sides of the issue, we have listed a few websites below:

1. AJC Editorial:
http://blogs.ajc.com/atlanta-forward/2012/07/13/sunday-issue-t-splost-referendum

2. Transform Metro Atlanta:
http://transformmetroatlanta.com/

3. Traffic Truth:
http://www.traffictruth.net

4. Untie Atlanta:
http://untieatlanta.com/

5. Metro Atlanta Transportation Vote
www.metroatlantatransportationvote.com

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