Posted by: Cobb County Liberal | July 8, 2009

We’re only *third* worst in the nation? We demand political accountability.

Well gee, new traffic rankings came out and we’re only third worst in the nation.  Shucks.  I’m sure we can do better than that people!  Next time I’m stuck on the perimeter, I’ll be sure to lobby the cars around me, “come on!  We can do this!  Look out number 1!”

Via the AJC:

The report showed the average Atlanta-area commuter wasting 57 hours a year going nowhere in traffic jams. Atlanta had the third-worst congestion in the nation, a better ranking than second-worst two years earlier when drivers wasted 60 hours a year idling. As a whole, the Atlanta area lost more time and money than ever to congestion: a total of 135,335,000 wasted hours in the year of the study, at a record cost of $3 billion.

And, of course, are political and governmental response?

The stakes are high. Gov. Sonny Perdue said a study he commissioned showed the need for transportation investment. Without it, highways would not only become more congested, but the state could forgo 320,000 potential jobs over the next 20 years.

Some measures are on the drawing board, said Chick Krautler, director of the Atlanta Regional Commission, metro Atlanta’s official planning agency. “But when can we promise them depends on, really, the leadership in the state and federal government for providing the opportunity to generate the resources,” Krautler said. “It’s frustrating when you ask the General Assembly to give you the right to ask your citizens to tax themselves, and they won’t even do that.”

The state gas tax, which funds transportation, is charged as cents per gallon, not cents per dollar, so it doesn’t rise with inflation. For the second year in a row, the Legislature this spring failed to pass a measure that would allow Georgians or metro Atlantans to vote themselves a penny sales tax earmarked for transportation projects.

Great job State Assembly.  I remember now why the Republican party is the party of letting local municipalities (and states) decide for themselves.  If that sales tax were up for a vote – I’d vote for it.  I bet many-a-frustrated drivers would too.  But a representative of the Glenn Richardson, speaker of the House, says that we’ll get some sort of traffic proposal to vote on in November 2010 that will “solve our state’s Transportation issues.”  Solve is a pretty big word there buddy.

We, the drivers of Metro Atlanta, demand that every gubernatorial candidate, present us with their statewide, comprehensive, solution to the nightmare that is Georgia Transportation before the primary.  This mess is costing us jobs (companies do not want to relocate to Metro Atlanta due to traffic), costing us money (in revenue from conventions who go elsewhere because of traffic) and time away from our loved ones and our lives (57 hours a year – wasted.)

Enough is enough.


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