Atlanta Bicycle Coalition in favor of Regional Transportation Sales Tax Referendum July 31
During the adoption of our strategic plan last year, our board of directors voted to support passage of the regional transportation sales tax. Since that time, we've worked to inform our members and audience about the regional (85%) project list, advocated for bicycle (and pedestrian) improvements and that roadway projects be Complete Streets, and provided feedback from our members to the city of Atlanta on its priorities for the local portion of the tax (15%).
Now the vote is just 6 weeks away, and we're fielding questions from other groups asking if we support the measure. We do! Here's why:
- 52% of the regional project list is transit. Transit makes biking to get places much, much more feasible in our sprawled region, and we wholeheartedly support the (overdue) investments in transit expansion.
- 45-60% of the roadway projects will be Complete Streets - projects that provide additional access for modes beyond just the car, and facilitate safer biking and walking
- In Metro Atlanta, local governments keep 15% of the funds to spend on local projects. In the City of Atlanta, our primary coverage area, that list is looking good. It would add 29 miles of city streets with bicycle facilities, more than doubling our current mileage. We call that good news. Check out the map we created - below - that illustrates the connections between Atlanta's local and regional projects, or visit the City of Atlanta's website for the full project list.
- Other cities and counties could use their local 15% in similarly sustainable, economically sound ways. Check out this list to find out if yours has released their local project priorities: www.atlantaregionalroundtable.com/local_projects.html.
Cobb County is one example of a local government that has released a local list (transparency - that's good!) that is currently not very bike-friendly (not so good...). If you live in Cobb, contact your county commissioner and/or transportation planners (email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 770-528-1650) to let them know you want more! Encourage them to keep their 2009 Complete Streets policy and 2011 Bicycle and Pedestrian Improvement Program in mind.
On July 10 at 7 p.m., Public Broadcasting Atlanta hosted a live online debate at WABE.org regarding the upcoming transportation sales tax referendum. Guests included Steve Brown of the Transportation Leadership Coalition, Jeff Dickerson of Citizens for Transportation Mobility, and Jane Hayse of the Atlanta Regional Commission. The debate was moderated by WABE's Charles Edwards. Check out the recorded debate at http://wabe.org.