“Legislators critical of proposed rail line”

Interesting article in the Marietta Daily Journal about the fault lines that are appearing in the political support for the transportation tax increase. You can read the whole thing here but below are some of the juiciest tidbits:

Cobb lawmakers on Monday criticized the proposed light rail line from Midtown  Atlanta to Cumberland Mall which constitutes the majority of Cobb’s take in next  year’s vote on a regional TSPLOST.

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The $856.5 million number is the conservative estimate. The maximum cost is  targeted at $1.234 billion, according to the county.

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“We’ve got huge infrastructure needs in far west Cobb  County, and to ask those people that I represent to support a mile’s worth of  rail that’s finished in 2026 when they have to drive to work every morning would  be something that doesn’t fix the here and now, and I doubt they’d be very happy  with me for supporting something like that.”

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Cooper said the rail line would clearly benefit one area of the county, the  Cumberland Community Improvement District.

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Setzler reiterated what he told the Journal on Friday, which is the rail line  would only benefit five percent of the county while at the same time costing  each household in Cobb $4,000.

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“We know that rail offers some things that you can’t get from just building  roads,” Rogers said. “But we also know that rail doesn’t do a great job in  lessening traffic, and at a time when we need traffic to be lessened  significantly..”

Although this article is about legislators in Cobb County it is especially relevant to the people of North Fulton county for three key reasons:

1. The political climate in North Fulton is almost identical to that of Cobb County.

2. Elected officials in Cobb County acknowledge transit is really just a subsidy for commercial property owners in the local CID.

3. Traffic is the primary concern for voters in both areas yet transit projects will have no positive impact on traffic during the supposed 10 year duration of the tax.

As North Fulton opponents of the tax increase become more vocal I expect we will see our elected officials do the same.

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