Is Georgia ready to leave its anti-transit past in the past?

“I want to be clear on something with regard to MARTA and transit in general. One of the things about enacting the best policies is the willingness to change your opinion when new data and new facts are presented. I don’t know if MARTA will expand, and if it does, I don’t know what it might look like.

“But what I do know is that major companies who seek out our state want reliable public transit options in metro Atlanta. If we expect to continue to attract global firms such as Mercedes Benz, we have to be willing to leave the past in the past and think more about the future…. Whether we’re talking about roads, bridges, public transit or our ports, we have to look beyond that which is politically expedient and seek out real solutions, those policies that will empower the continued economic growth of this state, or choose stagnation.”

— Georgia House Speaker David Ralston
Dec. 2, 2015

Talk like that has been a long time coming.

But as House Speaker David Ralston noted in a pre-legislative breakfast speech this morning sponsored by PolicyBest, new facts and new data had better lead you to new conclusions. In this case, they better lead you to the conclusion that Georgia can no longer afford to treat public transit as some evil leftist conspiracy designed to undermine the truly American development model of five-acre lots, 3,000-square-foot houses, three-car garages, hour-long commutes and strip shopping malls.

If you want those things, fine. It can still be a wonderful way to raise a family for those who choose it. But that development model cannot be the only model available, not if this state and region intend to thrive. And the prior dominance of that model certainly wasn’t as market-driven as its pre-recession defenders often argued. With every transportation dollar in the state devoted to building highways and interchanges through open farmland, with suburban zoning boards and county commissions outlawing high-density development in favor of sprawl, and with transportation policy perceived as a means to enforce racial and economic segregation rather than interconnection, that model was dictated at least as much by government policy as it was by the demands of the market.

And the market has changed dramatically, even if government policy has not. With the obvious and frankly illogical exception of the Atlanta Braves, major employers increasingly see an absence of transit access as a disqualification when it comes to expansion or relocation. As Ralston suggested, an effective public transit system is not an option or an amenity for a metro region the size of Atlanta and with the ambitions of Atlanta. It is an absolute necessity, and after decades of hostility, Georgia’s leadership is finally coming to accept that fact.

That realization is far from universal, of course, both in the General Assembly and in local government. A lot of difficult conversations and decisions have yet to take place, on issues from funding to governance to geographic scale. But those communities that continue to reject public transit as a threat to their identity — Cobb County, Johns Creek, Gwinnett County, among others — are making a bet that tomorrow will be much like yesterday, and that isolation rather than integration — in all senses of that word — is an economically viable course.

In a future in which interconnection is the primary requirement of success, that’s a bet that you’re almost certain to lose.

Reader Comments 0

496 comments
Bill OrvisWhite
Bill OrvisWhite

Just say NO to mass transportation. Throwing people en mass onto moving vehicles is the dream of dictators, ayatollahs and thugs. Moving around in one's own vehicle is the American way. If you don't like it, then move to be with your friends in Cuba, Venezuela, Communist China, Red Russia, Iran and North Korea. Now that fact is laid out here on this lefty blog, let's look at the FACTS! Mayor Quasim and his buddies cannot afford to build more tracks. My pals, more MARTA cannot happen and WILL NOT happen. MARTA is expensive, creates more traffic and brings crime to its neighborhoods. All one has to do is ask anyone who lives or does business around MARTA. They are all in crime-infested neighborhoods. It's a fact - look it up. My pals, companies will keep moving here no matter what because the honorable men who are in Georgia's General Assembly will always be pro-business. Good night. Amen, Bill 

DS
DS

@Bill OrvisWhite "MARTA... creates more traffic and brings crime to its neighborhoods."

Not true. Mass transit has much higher capacity to move people than cars on roads.

"...an uncongested highway lane can move as many as 1,900 vehicles per hour. A congested highway lane may only see 700 vehicles per hour. In comparison, a light-rail train running four-car trains every four minutes at maximum capacity can move up to 12,000 riders per hour in each direction."

http://leadership.saportareport.com/transit/

And studies have been done in Atlanta to determine whether MARTA expansion increases crime. No correlation.

"It is ironic that rail access is actually found to reduce crime in the representative white suburban neighborhood, because most of the opposition to rail transit has come from white suburban residents. This opposition, however, may only superficially have to do with concerns over crime. The real motivation may be racial bigotry (Bayor 2000)."

http://www.citylab.com/crime/2014/12/the-myth-that-mass-transit-attracts-crime-persists-in-atlanta/383609/

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

Just read about the San Bernadino shooting.

Apologies for my previous comment. If I could delete it, I would. 

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

For some strange reason, this made me chuckle.

Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour has been seriously wounded in Pakistan in a shootout between senior members of the Islamist movement, Taliban sources said on Wednesday, but the group's main spokesman dismissed their report as "baseless".

The conflicting accounts deepen the confusion over the already opaque leadership situation in the Taliban following the death of the movement's founder Mullah Mohammad Omar and cloud prospects for any resumption of stalled peace talks.

Two Taliban commanders said Mansour, whose authority is disputed by rival factions in the Islamist movement, was wounded when fighting broke out over strategic issues in the house of a senior Taliban leader called Mullah Abdullah Sarhadi outside Quetta in western Pakistan.

"During the discussion, some senior people developed differences and they opened fire on each other," one of the commanders said.

He said five senior Taliban members had died on the spot and more than a dozen, including Mullah Mansour, had suffered serious bullet injuries. Mansour was being treated in a private hospital after being hit four times by bullets from an AK-47 assault rifle, the Taliban commander said.

"Come on guys...nobody wants this...we're supposed to be fookin' professionals!"

Reservoir Dogs---mexican standoff scene.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ju65gr9sUjk

Yeeeaaahhhhhhhh.

aaaaahhhhhhhh


King_of_Kolob
King_of_Kolob

Waaahhh!! The paywall now reduced from 5 to 4 free articles..Bwaaahh haa haa (Sob! sob!..Whimper! whimper!!)

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

From 2014 FBI Crime Report

There is an estimated 350 million privately owned firearms in the United States.

Half of those have been purchased since the early 90's.

Violent crime peaked in 1991, about the time gun sales started rising.

Violent crime is at a 44 year low.

6% of murders involve shotguns and rifles while 13% were from "edged" weapons (knife).

There is no correlation between high rates of crime and a states' gun control laws.

Large cities have a disproportionate share of violent crime with 4.7 per 100K while cities outside metro areas had a 3.9 rate. Suburban areas 3.0.

The murder rate in Detroit was 43.5 per 100K, and they have Michigan's gun registration law.

Baltimore with a rate of 33.8 has Marylands gun laws that include a waiting period.

Jacksonville where the Right To Carry movement started had an 11.2 rate.

Chicago had the most murders followed by New York, Detroit, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia.


Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

@JohnnyReb Any gun control laws that are not comprehensive are pointless.


Tough gun laws in Chicago. Fine ill drive to Indiana. 


It isnt that far.


http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/10/us/rate-of-gun-ownership-is-down-survey-shows.html


BTW Gun ownership is down DRAMATICALLY since the 70's


The household gun ownership rate has fallen from an average of 50 percent in the 1970s to 49 percent in the 1980s, 43 percent in the 1990s and 35 percent in the 2000s, according to the survey data, analyzed by The New York Times.


Fewer and fewer homes have guns. And its continuing to drop.


 While household ownership of guns among elderly Americans remained virtually unchanged from the 1970s to this decade at about 43 percent, ownership among young Americans plummeted. Household gun ownership among Americans under the age of 30 fell to 23 percent this decade from 47 percent in the 1970s. The survey showed a similar decline for Americans ages 30 to 44.


And its going to continue to drop.

King_of_Kolob
King_of_Kolob

@Hedley_Lammar @JohnnyReb number of gun owners going down. number of guns going up. Less people owning more gun. And the Gov is trying to force our police chief to resell recovered firearms.

NWGAL
NWGAL

@Hedley_Lammar @JohnnyReb Young people want to live in cities. Guns are a liability in a city. many of those buying so many guns are living in a fantasy that they can fight off the government, totally forgetting that drones can target you without providing the gun owner with anything to shoot. That is not an even playing field.

fedup52
fedup52

Some of the shooters escaped in a black SUV

TBS
TBS

Headly

I didn't say it was an excuse. That was you who said that

I said sadly it is the American way and I don't have the answers

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

@TBS But it isn't " The American Way ". Thats bulls**T


If that were the case Japan would have this problem. 

They have a violent past too. 


Sorry that doesn't hold water

ByteMe
ByteMe

OOOhhh... pie fight!  While we're waiting for CNN to get the shooting info right....


The employee fired after being blamed for a massive data breach at the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office said Wednesday he has been made a scapegoat by the agency.

In an exclusive interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, longtime state programmer Gary Cooley said he did not have the security access to add millions of Social Security numbers and birth dates to a public data file — something Secretary of State Brian Kemp accused him of doing.

And while he acknowledged a role in the gaffe, he also outlined a more complicated series of missteps and miscommunication both within the office and with PCC Technology Group, an outside vendor tasked with managing voter data for the state.


http://www.ajc.com/news/news/state-regional-govt-politics/exclusive-fired-kemp-worker-says-he-is-a-scapegoat/npbBC/

ByteMe
ByteMe

@TBS Of course it isn't.  That Kemp is trying to keep a low profile and not answer questions tells you that there's more questions to be answered and that Kemp isn't comfortable with that.

TBS
TBS

I'm thinking this story isn't over just because that individual was fired

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

By the way, if you don't give On The Media a listen most every week, just what the hell is wrong with you?

breckenridge
breckenridge

Jesus Christ. Not again.  Another 20 victims?


America, the land of the free and the home of the violent.



TBS
TBS

As Bro has noted several times, the good ole USA was in part founded with guns and violence

Sad but it is the American way

I surely don't have the answers regarding these type in incidents

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

@TBS Sad but it is the American way


That is no excuse.


Japan historically was one of the most violent societies ever. They don't have this problem .


Of course they have actual gun laws etc too.

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

@TBS I surely don't have the answers regarding these type in incidents


Neither do I. But wouldn't it make sense to at least TRY some of the things other countries do that dont have this problem ?


Wouldn't that make sense ?

Kamchak
Kamchak

It's worth noting that Ronald Reagan and James Brady were both shot while in the protection of the best trained and best armed security detail on the planet, and James Hinkley Jr. was subdued without a shot being fired by the Secret Service.

fedup52
fedup52

@Kamchak That blows away the theory of good guy with a gun......

Smokeyone
Smokeyone

It would be foolish to speculate anything at this time. Please say a prayer for these poor people.

Peachs
Peachs

@Smokeyone if this was Paris, Trump would be pinning it on Obama like he spoke French,but now we are foolish, never Trump but now we are foolish.  You know Obama has tried to stop this kind of stuff, guess who stopped him?

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

Id bet money the guns were bought legally. 


The sad truth is this, it will take someone very high profile or powerful getting killed in one of these things before things really change. Until then the body count grows. 

Peachs
Peachs

@InTheMiddle2 @Hedley_Lammar no I vote we keep everything the same and the last guy just turn the lights out!  I don't think you people realize this is not a reality show, this is really happening. 

stefpe
stefpe

@Hedley_Lammar @InTheMiddle2 "Guns can be equipped much in the same manner. This would stop stolen guns from being fired."

Anybody with a Dremel would be able to disable that stuff.

stefpe
stefpe

@Peachs @stefpe @Hedley_Lammar @InTheMiddle2 Stolen guns are absolutely a problem. I would bet money most guns used in mass shootings are stolen; it's just that those are not the mass shootings that gets lots of press.

ByteMe
ByteMe

@Hedley_Lammar My plan would be that you must have liability insurance to buy or possess bullets.  Let the market decide how much risk the nut job in the wife beater shirt who grumbles about the government really is.

stefpe
stefpe

@Hedley_Lammar @stefpe @InTheMiddle2 The whole point of your iphone is the electronics at the heart of it. This is not the case with a gun.

Besides, it wouldn't surprise me if someone has hacked the finger print authentication on an iphone.

stefpe
stefpe

@Hedley_Lammar @stefpe @InTheMiddle2 Yes, but firing the gun is still just a matter of a pin hitting the primer on the bullet casing. You could motorize that part but that could be ripped out.

I'll give you one thing: It would stop a lot of those accidental shootings where some idiot left his gun accessible to his 5 year-old kid.

Smokeyone
Smokeyone

@ByteMe @Hedley_Lammar "Gun control? We need bullet control! I think every bullet should cost $5000. Because if a bullet cost $5000, we wouldn't have any innocent bystanders." - Chris Rock

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

@InTheMiddle2 @Hedley_Lammar What would you change, the constitution?



No


I would however make it harder to buy a gun. Especially for those mentally ill.


And I would use new technologies. My Iphone requires a fingerprint to logon to it. Guns can be equipped much in the same manner. This would stop stolen guns from being fired.


There are MANY common sense things that can be done. But the NRA blocks them all. Profits come first. 

Peachs
Peachs

@Hedley_Lammar @Peachs @stefpe @InTheMiddle2 i know I just get so mad at all this energy following the Trump explanations while this maddest unfolds every week here and is a direct cause and effect for our way of life.  

Peachs
Peachs

@Hedley_Lammar it is almost a double down every time we don't face the real problem, like nature keeps giving us a second, third chance to come up with the right answer and then it is Anderson Cooper back in Paris reporting non relative stuff, going on over there.