Friday, October 15, 2010

I-75/I-575 Corridor Project: Elimination of Transit REDUCES Environmental Impact?

This state is nuts. Really. Georgia is absolutely nuts.

Because of a lack of leadership and the continued consequences of the racially-tinged failure of Cobb, Gwinnett and Clayton (all of which now have large minority populations anyway so they didn't even "win" on keeping their counties lily-white) to join MARTA, rather than moving forward on something that would be really, really useful (commuter rail/MARTA extension to Cobb, Gwinnett, Alpharetta/Roswell), we're going to be building a streetcar that is no more than a 30 minute end-to-end walk and is very close to existing heavy rail MARTA lines. (I guess this doesn't explain why we didn't go for the BeltLine; I guess stupidity/anti-tax idiocy/Central Atlanta Progress and businesses not putting up sufficient cash for it).

Instead, we're going to go with, yet again, more highway lanes. Now, I guess two lanes each direction is a little low given the rampant sprawl growth in I-75/I-575 area, so it's not entirely bad.

Except for two thing. The worst part is here, in the project's Winter Newsletter

The Bus Rapid Transit system with supporting facilities
and the Truck Only Lanes are no longer included as part of the project. These
changes result in a reduced project footprint with reduced costs and less severe environmental impacts, while still addressing the original Purpose and Need for the project.

Yeah, elimination of transit will reduce environmental impact. Also, gay people cause earthquakes and the moon landing was filmed in Hollywood.

They're also, of course, basically doing what amounts to $350 million subsidy to a corporation that will be running these additions for a profit (via tolls); of course, the state won't get any of the toll money even though it's paying for a hefty chunk of the road. We could build quite a bit of commuter rail for that much, thereby massively decreasing congestion.

So depressing, Atlanta policy is.

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