Monday, May. 4, 2015    Login | Register           

In 3-2 commission split, Fayette to stay in regional transit plan for now

An effort by newly elected Fayette County Commissioner Steve Brown to remove Fayette County from conceptual plans for regional bus and commuter rail service was rebuffed by a majority of the Fayette County Commission Wednesday afternoon.

Although all five commissioners said they opposed mass transit coming to Fayette County, there was some sentiment that the matter needed to be studied further based on the potential growth projected for the county and the metro Atlanta area in future years.

Currently, there are plans but no funding for a bus system that would run between Newnan, Peachtree City, Fayetteville, Lovejoy and McDonough, with a separate line going from Fayetteville up Ga. Highway 85 between Forest Park and Hapeville.

Also there are plans but no funding for a regional commuter rail service that would begin in Senoia with stops in Peachtree City, Tyrone, Union City and College Park among others on the way into downtown Atlanta at a future multimodal station. Commuter rail sends one-way trips into metro Atlanta in the mornings, with return trips in the afternoon and evenings.

Those plans are part of a regional transit plan that encompasses 10 counties in the metro Atlanta region, so funding for any such project would be competing with similar projects for other jurisdictions.

Commissioner Steve Brown argued that a regional transit authority is being formed that could force mass transit on Fayette County in the future whether citizens want it or not.

Currently, mass transit cannot be brought to Fayette County without the approval of Fayette voters, according to Commission Chairman Herb Frady. Brown said he agreed that is the case.

But if Fayette is included on the regional plan for bus and rail service, the proposed regional transit authority will be able to mandate their implementation, Brown said.

“The citizens of Fayette County moved here to avoid the urbanization and mass transit,” Brown said.

Commissioner Lee Hearn said that Fayette County has routinely resisted overtures from regional officials to change density to accommodate mass transit.

The Atlanta Regional Commission “has suggested that we modify our land use plan to support transit, but our board of commissioners have always refused that,” Hearn said.

Hearn said he wants to postpone a decision on removing Fayette from regional mass transit plans until after the planning process is complete for the regional transportation sales tax.

Commissioner Robert Horgan noted that Peachtree City, after its mayor recently threatened to initiate a move to leave the Atlanta Regional Commission, lost several million dollars in funding via a decision by ARC leaders.

The insinuation was that if Fayette didn’t cooperate with metro Atlanta, the county might not get much traction in getting regional sales tax funding for key projects.

Brown and fellow commissioner Allen McCarty favored a resolution to remove Fayette County from all regional mass transit plans, but the remaining three commissioners — Frady, Hearn and Horgan — said they wanted to get more information before making up their minds.

Hearn said since Senoia is listed as being on a proposed commuter rail line along with Peachtree City, he wants to get input from Coweta County on the matter.

In 2002, the county commission turned down a proposal from the Georgia Regional Transportation Agency to implement a commuter bus system here that would have sent routes from the county into downtown Atlanta and MARTA stations on weekday mornings and evenings.

The commission’s main reasoning for turning down the bus service was the significant expense the county would incur: $1.2 million toward three years in operating costs. The remainder of the tab, estimated at $12 million, would have been paid for by GRTA.

===========================================================

EARLIER VERSION for print edition — Wednesday afternoon, Fayette County Commissioner Steve Brown will ask his fellow commissioners to approve a resolution that would remove Fayette County from all regional mass transit plans.

Currently, there are plans but no funding for a bus system that would run between Newnan, Peachtree City, Fayetteville, Lovejoy and McDonough, with a separate line going from Fayetteville up Ga. Highway 85 between Forest Park and Hapeville.

Also, there are plans but no funding, for a regional rail service that would begin in Senoia with stops in Peachtree City, Tyrone, Union City and College Park among others on the way into downtown Atlanta at a future multimodal station.

Further complicating the rail proposal is the fact that it hinges on the use of existing tracks owned and operated by CSX Railroad, requiring an agreement to be hammered out to accommodate commuter trains.

One of Brown’s chief concerns is an initiative to create a regional mass transit system for Atlanta, which could potentially be funded by a regional transportation sales tax.

Brown’s opposition to mass transit is on two other fronts: the type of crimes associated with it and also the exorbitant cost. He also notes the east-west line through Peachtree City and Fayetteville won’t bring commuters to regional employment centers in Atlanta and beyond.

“I cringe when I hear local government officials say if gas prices get around five dollars a gallon we will have to rely on mass transit,” Brown said in a statement.

“Their inexperienced and unqualified opinions prove they have no idea that only around 20 percent of the operating and maintenance costs of local mass transit are cover by rider fares. Guess who is paying the balance?”

Brown asserts that a mass transit train to Peachtree City will cost about $144,000 for each roundtrip rider.

In 2002, the county commission turned down a proposal from the Georgia Regional Transportation Agency to implement a commuter bus system here that would have sent routes from the county into downtown Atlanta and MARTA stations on weekday mornings and evenings.

The commission’s main reasoning for turning down the bus service was the significant expense the county would incur: $1.2 million toward three years in operating costs. The remainder of the tab, estimated at $12 million, would have been paid for by GRTA.

Neighboring Coweta County implemented commuter buses back in 2005 and agreed to spent $850,000 towards the program.

In his complaint about mass transit crime, Brown cites several salacious crimes that have occurred in recent years associated with MARTA buses and rail stations.

However, Brown in this assertion makes no distinction between MARTA, which operates continuous service in and through the downtown Atlanta area, compared with commuter trains, which go one way in the mornings with return trips in the late afternoon and early evenings.

Topic: 
Location: 

Comments

“Brown’s opposition to mass transit is on two other fronts: the type of crimes associated with it and also the exorbitant cost. He also notes the east-west line through Peachtree City and Fayetteville won’t bring commuters to regional employment centers in Atlanta and beyond.”

OK Mr. Brown, show me the crime statistics associated with mass transit. Show me the studies, by anything/anyone competent.

Hell, let’s just Google it.

Public Transportation Adds Value to Your Home, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS

“It’s an urban (and suburban) myth that proximity to public transportation systems decreases property values and increases crime rates. In fact, just the opposite is true.”

Crime and Mass Transit (AIArchitect)

“In fact, a report by the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy states that after the installation of the TransMilenio bus rapid transit system in 2000, violent crime dropped by 50 percent in the city. (Also, traffic fatalities dropped by 30 percent, commute times dropped by 32 percent, and noise pollution decreased by 30 percent.)

Home buyers are moving closer to public transit
1. Home buyers are moving closer to public transit | Marketplace From ...

“Even though a nice house out in the suburbs with a white picket fence is the prototypical American dream, a lot of home buyers are voting with their feet and choosing to live within walking distance of public transit.”

Center for Transportation Excellence
What the Critics Are Saying

“Light rail cannot displace the same or a greater number of automobile passengers.”

* This argument inaccurately compares the capacity of highways and rail transit to move passengers. A look at any transportation engineering manual will tell otherwise. According to the Highway Capacity Manual, highway operations are described as Level of Service (LOS), ranging from LOS A to LOS F. Peak highway capacity is typically regarded as LOS E (2,000 passenger cars per hour per lane). If you multiply that number by the Average Vehicle Occupancy (AVO) which averages 1.25 persons, you get 2,500 persons per lane per hour on a highway. For transit, a typical 6 car train can carry 750 passengers. Running at 20 trains per hour, per direction, that equates to 30,000 passengers. It would take a twelve lane freeway going in one direction to equate the same amount of capacity of one light rail line.

* Beware, critics like to make inaccurate comparisons between maximum highway capacities and actual light rail ridership numbers.

Yes, we would be better off if we just deleted Brown.

suggarfoot's picture

I do know traffic. When I lived in LA and ATL, the mass transit buses were allowed to use some kind of fuel that was polluting. In LA, if you wound up in traffic long on a street that ran these buses, you were sick by the time you got home.

In ATL, being on a street that ran the Marta buses was horrible. They clogged the traffic. I felt I could get out and walk quicker than be behind a buss that pulled over every three blocks and stopped traffic.

I've lived in several large cities and have yet to see one that handled this well.

As for crime. Years ago, I tried taking MARTA to work. Not only did it take me twice as long, if I stayed late, it was really really scary what was on the train with me. It took me only a couple of times catching MARTA after the 9-5 crowd was around to feel I was putting my life in danger.

I might also point out, and this is something to REALLY REALLY THINK ABOUT...

When MARTA 1st came into the ATL airport, the airlines had a serious problem. The homeless were taking the train into the airport and sleeping all over it. When passengers were stranded overnight in the airport on weather days etc, they wound up sleeping next to some that should have been in the nut house. These passengers routinely had their pockets picked, and some female passengers were groped.

The city at first ignored the airlines, sort of a 'better thee than me' type attitude... they were glad to be rid of the trash downtown. The airlines stood their ground n made the city get police to run them out.

Next stop on the train....Union City...Peachtree City anyone? If you are homeless and your mental elevator doesn't always go to the top, the woods of PTC would be a great place to explore and camp. For entertainment, it would great fun to look in those windows at night n see what those rich people were doing.

Get real, Brown is on top of this. In the short time he has been in office, he has identified problems and instead of sweeping them under the rug, hit them head on!

Thank you Mr Brown.

Yo's picture

Woo hoo...I'm rich!!!

[quote=suggarfoot]I do know traffic. For entertainment, it would great fun to look in those windows at night n see what those rich people were doing.

Thank you Mr Brown.[/quote]

YO

suggarfoot's picture

Anyone can read what I said and that is ...NOT.. it!!! What have you been sniffing?

just go to Newnan they already have homeless people I see em almost every time i go down 34 now

RKS's picture

Look at what mass transit did to Clayton County? You don't need stats to see what happened there....just drive down GA 85 and through the main roads and you will see. Keep the thugs out of this town, put up a fence!

No relation between good well maintained and supervised public transportation and thuggery! They moved there and don't ride in and out to be thugs!

Every civilized country in the world has adequate, inexpensive public transportation for work and shopping and travel.

OK big fellow, show me one neighborhood in Clayton County that improved in value because they had a bus service. How about DeKalb County or Gwinnett County?

If the bus services do so much for the community, how come they're empty most of the time??? How come they can't come anywhere close to breaking even???

Get a grip patner!!!

of your 'perceived' problems; you can't.

Have you ever seen a 'bus' rider carrying a 40" HDTV? If you have seen it post a picture.

Study after study has shown that proximity to mass transit increases the property values, both commercial and private, of that area.

Additionally there have been NO studies that attempt to claim that proximity to mass transit is a direct link to increased crime. <a href=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metropolitan_Atlanta_Rapid_Transit_Authorit...”>See Criminal activity</a> under MARTA.

You would be more successful in claiming that highways offer the criminal element greater access to you and your property. Try reading the Citizen article entitled, “PTC family safe after late night home invasion”. Did the perpetrator take the bus to PTC?

The home invasion perpetrator didn't take the bus to PTC because there isn't a bus to take THANK GOD but he came from the neighborhood with mass transit. I guess the perpetrator's home values weren't going up fast enough and he had to go stealing to make up the difference.

My nephew just moved his business out of East Point which was a short walk from the train station because they were broken into for the fourth time in two years. When his Daddy owned the business before the MARTA days in the 60's and 70's there was little crime and you could get a decent price when you sold your house. Those days are long gone in MARTA infested East Point.

Is that like "It came from outer space"?

Oh, I get it.

PTC is fair game for criminals from anywhere that has mass transit even if the perpetrators didn't take the bus but drove here instead.

Please tell me o-wise-one, just how many crimes have been committed here in Fayette County where the criminal took mass transit?

F.Y.I. there have been more crimes committed by people on golf carts here than people that took mass transit to get here. By your way of thinking we should outlaw golf carts too.

How much pot, meth, crack or coke has been sold to the high school kids here that came via mass transit?

You sound like you’re afraid of anyone who doesn’t have your same taste in clothes or speaks with an accent. God forbid they don’t share your skin color.

If that's the case then you better start lobbying good ole Steve for check points, guard towers and attack dogs on all roads leading into and out of Fayette County.

Everybody attempting to enter Fayette County should have to show a government issued I.D. card and submit to a full body rubdown before being allowed in. Maybe we should contact TSA for advice on how to make Fayette County safe.

Do you suffer from debilitating delusions or hallucinations in conjunction your paranoia?

Leave Clayton , Fulton and Henry counties out of this equation. We have enough hoodlums coming into Fayette/Coweta from these areas. Maybe buses that stay within each county would be sufficient.

ginga1414's picture

This information comes from someone who knows MARTA from the inside out.

My father was Chief Traffic Engineer for MARTA from day one. Before that, he was Chief Traffic Engineer for the Atlanta Transit Co.

Before his retirement, my father came home on a daily basis with one horror story after another about bus drivers being assaulted, robbed, and even killed. Passengers were assaulted, robbed, and raped right on the buses. Then when MARTA started using trains, Daddy came home with stories of folks being robbed, assaulted, beaten, and raped in the stations and restrooms. There were fights where people were pushed onto the tracks.

We lived in Atlanta but when the buses came within a mile of our home, my father sold our home and we moved.

Crime associated with MARTA/mass transit has not improved in the least. It has progressively escalated even with the presence of the MARTA police force.

My daughter's tires were slashed in the East Point MARTA station and she was accosted by a thug as she was trying to enter her car for protection. Her tires were slashed to hinder her escape. There wasn't a MARTA cop in the parking lot. If she hadn't had a cell phone, I cringe at what might have happened.

WHY IN THE WORLD DO ALL OF THE MARTA/MASS TRANSIT SUPPORTERS SUPPOSE THEY HAD TO ESTABLISH THE MARTA POLICE FORCE?

Before MARTA had their own police force, my father used to tell us about the plain clothes off-duty Atlanta police officers who were hired to ride the buses and trains to help protect passengers and bus drivers.

The first murder of 2011 happened at a MARTA station.

I don't need MARTA, ARC, realty companies or consultants to tell me that public transportation is safe, wonderful, and will raise my property values. Statistics are skewed every day of the week and I know MARTA in an up-close and personal way.

Just think, you'd have to live under and even bigger rock than the one you currently reside under.

As far has having their own police force is concerned why is it that the U.S. Capital has its own police force? Are our elected officials that bad?

For that matter why does PTC have its own police force? Doesn't Fayette County already have one?

Please, go back to being the irritable stop sign running soccer mom you truly are and just bake some cookies.

ginga1414's picture

Any government which represents the citizens of that jurisdiction also finds it a responsibility to protect the citizens who pay taxes to that entity.

MARTA is supposed to be a "for profit" business concern. Because of the rampant crime associated with MARTA/mass transit, a police force had to be established to protect the law abiding people who use public transportation because local police forces could not handle the crime. Mass transit is a company that moves people from one area/city/county to another. No one city or county police force could handle a criminal element that quickly escapes via mass transit. As far as a criminal element is concerned, the operative word is "TRANSIT."

MARTA is so constantly in the hole financially speaking why in the world would they resort to the expense of a police force if it were not needed?

Have you ever stopped to think that the U. S. Capitol's police force may have missions other than the conduct of our elected officials, such as dealing with terrorists, threats to our entire country, etc.?

Another hair-raising drive into the city this morning. I really appreciate you wanting to deny me and every Fayette commuter any other alternative way to get to work.

I guess when you heven't had a real job for the past ten years it is easy to forget how hard commuting is.

birdman's picture

that he will use "hot button" items to advance his career. He may or may not genuinely oppose mass transit. That doesn't matter. What does is his need to oppose EVERYTHING that Frady, Horgan, and Heard favor. Guarantee if the "big 3" propose a major tax cut, Brown will oppose it. If they try to bring business to Fayette, Brown will oppose it. No matter what they do, Brown will oppose it. And public transportation is easy. Just read the blogs. Too many simply think all the inner city criminals in Atlanta will jump on Marta and ride to PTC and steal tv's. Now that would be a site, a bunch of inner city gangsta's on the train with TV's on their laps. In fact if the "big 3" had opposed mass transit, Brown would have come out in favor of it. GUARANTEED!!!!
But if everyone would simply look at the plans and ideas and at least give them due consideration, who knows. Most obvious idea is that MARTA would have a station around I-85 off ramp and you'd drive to the parking lot. Or maybe Fayette County would have a commuter bus system to get to the Marta station. Who knows, because the plans and ideas haven't been explored! How about it Stevie, could we at least HEAR them out BEFORE we KICK them out?
Let's face it..... $5 a gallon.... it's on the near horizon.

ooh...ooh...here's an idea.....how about we do something very VERY foreign to Brown.....how about we come up with the proposals, publicize the proposals, and actually....now I know this will be hard for King Brown...actually PUT THEM TO A VOTE OF THE PEOPLE!!!

Come on Stevie....you know....transparency....citizen input....voting...I know you've HEARD of the idea...you've just never IMPLEMENTED the idea.

mudcat's picture

Small point of style is that putting "career" in quotes instead of "hot button" would have been more accurate. The "all about me" stuff that Brown thrives on has now been exposed to a whole new audience, the 100,000 people in Fayette County. Where does his "career" go from here?

And you are so right about where he gets his ideas. If "they" are for it, he's against it, no matter what "it" is. And if "they" happen to be the so-called "power structure" or "good old boys" or, God forbid, "developers" then Katie bar the door.

That's my seminar on "quotes" but I caution you that it is possible to overuse them.

birdman's picture

I'm afraid that where Brown is concerned quotes need to be used. Example when talking about Brown the following need to be in quotes:
career
developers
leadership
experience
intellect
job skills
listening to the people
doing the right thing
knowledge
ethics laws
concern for the citizen
transparency
working for the people
fiscal responsibility
working with others
community relationship
budgeting
lowering taxes
compromise
reasonableness
had support for
promised to
promised not to
represents all people
respect
etc.
etc.
etc.

Gonna be a long 4 years. That's CAPITAL LONG.

highflyer2's picture

It's about trying to keep blacks out of Fayette County! The SAME PEOPLE that laughed and called Kenny Melear a redneck and Jack Smith a "good ole boy" are now saying that Marta would ruin the county!
You people make me sick! You talk out of both sides of your mouths! MAN UP and say what your REALLY thinking!
You don't want a bus system because you don't want minorities coming into our county! Now don't you feel better :)

ginga1414's picture

Your comments are typical of what I would expect from one of Eric Maxwell's good buddies.

Your ignorance is showing here, high.

When you can't rely on factual information to support what runs around in your brain, you resort to imagination. Imagination is a very telling factor!

highflyer2's picture

I read your blog about YOUR experience and YOUR dad's experience about MARTA, SO please pull your head out of the sand and tell us WHY YOU DON'T WANT MARTA?
I'll be the first to call you a liar if your #1 reason is NOT the fact that YOU don't want the people coming into the county that MARTA would bring!
BTW: Take your imagination and stuff it!

NUK_1's picture

I'm one of those few individuals not afraid of considering commuting options(that means MASS TRANSIT TOO..OH MY GOD!!!) that also think that Melear and some others happen to be rednecks. Most of the crowd here is too cowardly to say what they really mean and want to say what they think is the "politically correct" terminology. They are the scary rednecks too chickensh.. to say how they really feel.

At least the Melear's crowd were honest bigots about it. That takes some principle that most in FC don't have the spine for or try to get around with fuzzy language. Cowards.

highflyer2's picture

For a second there I felt us bonding NUK_1
:)

birdman's picture

you are partly right. In Brown's case it's about getting rid of everyone and inserting himself in charge. A coup so to speak. A government overthrow. Establishing a short dictatorship with Brown as dictator. Just as he did in PTC. He overthrew (in his mind) Bob Lenox (even though Lenox didn't run). He conducted a purge of City offices that Stalin would have been proud of. He worked diligently to install "his" people on the City Council and to purge the Council of anyone who opposed him.
That is what he is doing here. He wants to be Chairman. Hearn, Horgan, and Frady are stopping him. In his eyes they must go. He hates Ken Steele. That is because Steele didn't cowtow to him when he was "super mayor." And Steele doesn't cowtow to him now. So Steele must go. Haddix is "his guy." So not only can Haddix stay, but Brown was very outspoken about Steele replacing Haddix (his guy) as our representative on the ARC committee (?).
So how does Brown do this? Well, he finds the most emotional issues and uses them against people. In PTC it was WalMart. For Commission it was the West Fayette Bypass. And he accuses those he wants to eliminate of wrongdoing. In PTC it was Lenox, etal. of conflict of interest, taking bribes, profiting illegally. In Jack Smith's case it was making loans to Developers and voting for the WFB so the developers interests would go forward (same "evildoers" as he used in PTC). In doing so he indicates that Smith personally profits, illegally. Only problem is he offers NO proof, NO evidence, files NO charges.
As for Mass Trans., Brown isn't racist, but he has no problems on feeding the fears of those who are. He has no problem with creating the fear of those who aren't. Witness PTC's Walmart. When running for mayor Brown stated that Walmart would create so much crime that we would need to locate a Police Substation in the Walmart parking lot (see any similarity?). Reality check....didn't happen.
Merits of Mass Trans. should be debated. Cost vs. viability, use, etc. should be debated. But King Steve doesn't want debate. Simply read his statement: "I am introducing an official resolution ... You need to be at this meeting in a show of support." No "hear my side," no "public comment," no "debate the issue." Simply "you must support MY plan."
And of course there is Browns assertion: “Their inexperienced and unqualified opinions...." But King Steve offers no evidence of their inexperience, or lack of qualifications. And NO evidence of HIS experience and qualifications. And who are "they" anyway? I guess the "big 3," and all others who don't wholeheartedly support King Steve.
So anyway, your points are right on. But King Steve isn't the racist, he is actually the boy crying "wolf." He is chicken little screaming that the sky is falling. He is a politically smart fear monger that prays upon the emotional fears and concerns of the electorate. Then he inserts himself as the only one who can save us. You'll see, it's "his" plan or "his" idea, or only "he" can see what those evil developers, commissioners, Jack Smith, Ken Steele, Harold Logsdon, Bob Lenox, are really up to.
Welcome to the PTC Rocky Horror Picture Show part II. Fasten your seatbelt and hang on. It'll be quite a ride.

Uh, sir, our county is full of minorities already. The schools are packed with minorities and the administration is scared of most of them. That is why the schools in our county are so "rough" and our children have to deal with more than we had to. Out of curiosity, who classifies as a minority in your dictionary? Honestly it has nothing to do with "minorities" - it has to do with crime - Riverdale moves closer, Fulton county closes in and our crime rate has skyrocketed. And you don't see it all - everything that happens here is not in the paper and certainly not on the news, yet.

Birdman and the other lovers of buses and trains ought to move to Clayton County who's about to vote themselves into MARTA.

Atlanta's Mayor Reed thinks we Fayette Countians ought to be funding MARTA now. It looks like we have a few liberals in town who agree.

Tax and spend, tax and spend, that's all they want to do!!!

BHH's picture

MARTA is NOT interested in the south side of the metro area and NEVER has been. If they were they could have extended rail service VERY far south in Fulton County after all these years but have ignored these tax payers since it's inception.

pyramidman

Read what I said. Mayor Reed said we ought to be PAYING for it now. He did not say we should have the train in Fayette County.

It's that old liberal theme, "It takes a bunch of villages to fund a sinking transit system!!!"

BHH's picture

We in Fayette County may need "regional transit" but it should only go as far north as Hartfield airport and our taxes should support NOTHING more.
We should be coordinating with our neighboring counties that we share borders with for our combined immediate needs and the rest of the metro area should be consulting with us as a separate group. THIS concept is the KEY to the metro Atlanta transit needs. NONE of the metro counties need to be determining what's best for communities they do not even share borders with, much less spending their tax moneys.

pyramidman

DarkMadam's picture

Pleas ekeep in mind that I am not for MARTA, but I have to ask. Has anyone ever done a study...professional or otherwise (called a police station) to see what the percentage of crime was before mass transit was in a town and a year after? I have not done this but have often wanted to. No sense wasting my time if it has been done. Speaking as a person that grew up in Clayton county... it was going to crap long before CCT. It was a decline that no one could seem to stop (or seemed to cared to). The only thing that will stop it this time is if people CARE enough to get involved. I'm just sayin'....

BHH's picture

It seems to me that something similar to the MARTA rail would be good between Fayetteville or PTC & Hartsfield and between Newnan and McDonnough.
The type of rail line being considered to Senoia is not a solution to anything. Buses should never be considered because they slow traffic flow, tear up the roads and create undesirable noise and air pollution, unless they are electric. Atlanta is just out of the question as no one here really wants to go there. And if they did they could transfer at Hartsfield.

pyramidman

ginga1414's picture

Public attendance at yesterday's Commission Workshop Meeting was extremely heartwarming. However, our three holdover commissioners caused every attendee's jaw to drop and the majority of the crowd to walk out of the meeting. People were holding up signs in protest of mass transit in Fayette County. The Atlanta Journal Constitution, the Citizen and the Fayette Daily News had reporters there. Two people videoed the proceedings.

Commissioner Brown presented, "A RESOLUTION ON 'FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY AND PROTECTING FAYETTE COUNTY'S QUALITY OF LIFE' REQUESTING THE ELIMINATION OF ALL PLANNED PUBLIC MASS TRANSIT PROJECTS WITHIN FAYETTE COUNTY'S BOUNDARIES, INCLUDING CONCEPT 3, PLAN 2040 AND ALL OTHER PLANS THAT INCLUDE MASS TRNASIT."

After Commissioner Brown read the Resolution, Frady, Horgan, and Hearn adamantly voiced their opposition to mass transit in our county on the basis of cost and function and denied any attachment to that method of transportation. If that were true, why did they refuse to support Commissioner Brown's Resolution?

It is a documented fact and a matter of public record that Mayor Ken Steele and former Commission Chairman Jack Smith voted in favor of mass transit in their positions on the Atlanta Regional Transportation Roundtable and the Regional Transportation Board. Now that Jack Smith is no longer this county's representative with the Atlanta Regional Commission, current Commission Chairman Herb Frady performs those duties.

At a recent Fayette Republican Breakfast, Mayor Ken Steele frantically claimed he is in no way supportive of mass transit in our county. Yet, he voted in favor of it every single time it came before the Atlanta Regional Commission's Transportation Roundtable.

Every mayor in Fayette County was given a copy of Commissioner Brown's Resolution and asked to respond for our Board of Commission meeting. Only mayors from Tyrone and Peachtree City responded, both favoring the resolution.

There is a huge undercurrent of saying one thing and doing another among Fayette officials. The positions are very clear at this point and it is tough to get away with telling stories now.

I have seen the plans the Atlanta Regional Commission has for Regional Transportation in Fayette County. Those plans call for buses and mass transit rails all through Fayette County. No doubt those plans will be funded by my taxes and your taxes when the Regional Transportation SPLOST takes effect in 2012.

Herb Frady said yesterday that he wasn't sure he would vote for the the 2012 Regional Transportation SPLOST. If there isn't a huge public effort to stop the other members of the region from voting for it, the 2012 Regional Transportation SPLOST will pass. If every registered voter in Fayette County voted against that SPLOST, but the 20 county area collectively voted in favor of it, the Regional Transportation SPLOST would still pass.

If I understand this thing, the Regional Transportation Board including all counties belonging, will vote our entry into that Region--whether or not Fayette votes for it! We are outvoted.

Now Brown's objection to mass transit into and out of Fayette County is just that--an objection.

Fayette will pay the SPLOST tax when the Region is formed and will have money coming for mass transit. That is why three voted for it. They want the money which our citizens paid for!

All this fussing about not wanting mass transit, not wanting illegals in the county, not wanting section 8 housing, not wanting, not wanting..........
Is deception on those who understand, and is deceit on the part of those who don't because all they want are the votes of all those who don't understand that we are Metro Atlanta and will continue to be.

Mass Transit is absolutely needed for the expansion and to avoid too many roads and cars. Can't estimate how many years that might take---but would guess 10-15 years, but if you wait that long to start it will extremely difficult to even do it!

Thank goodness we have a few people who can see long range planning. Politicians don't care much about it due to votes if they speak up.

I know some of you wish a certain amendment to the Constitution had not been changed so that maybe some of this would not have been necessary maybe!

Steve Brown's picture

FYI: Fayette did not submit any mass transit projects for the HB 277, 2012 transportation referendum.

I don't know what this means!

Could you explain?

Why do we need expansion? There's plenty of homes at rock bottom prices in South Fulton and Clayton County not to mention downtown Atlanta. Why do you want a repeat of their disaster in Fayette County?

Just move north and your problems are solved.

These plans are 10-40 year plans!!!!!
It has all been explained here.

You don't really think that Atlanta won't totally expand into Fayette by 2020-40, do you?

If we wait until then to plan for it, we will have a horrible mess.

I don't know about you but I will be dead by then! I do understand the need then though.

NUK_1's picture

Better to keep your options open, do further research, see what is feasible and what isn't in terms of costs, and NOT try and demagogue the issue like Brown has. Light rail IS a solution, but not one to write a blank check for, especially since it's going to require buy-in from Coweta. Buses are something that I don't think have any traction in FC, despite how we frequently hear the distortions that Smith/Steele/etc. have voted over and over to bring buses into FC. That's a gross distortion that has been accepted as gospel by the Brown sheeple.

The regional transportation plan isn't close to being finalized, yet some would rather walk away totally from it without any consideration or thought. Ironically, when Brown was Mayor, one of his first big issues was a development moratorium(later tossed out and ruled illegal), but he wanted to keep his options open so he went to Weiland as "Citizen Steve" to discuss Westside annexation despite the moratorium. Obviously, Brown has yet again learned absolutely NOTHING from experience.

Steve Brown's picture

<strong>"Although all five commissioners said they opposed mass transit coming to Fayette County, there was some sentiment that the matter needed to be studied further based on the potential growth projected for the county and the metro Atlanta area in future years."</strong>

Chairman Herb Frady has been on the Board of Commissioners for all the years the former Chairman Jack Smith and Mayor Ken Steele had been voting Fayette into the regional mass transit plan. Lee Hearn also has many years of in-depth experience related to Fayette County transportation issues.

One has to wonder why they never asked for studies until the March 2 resolution showed up, especially since they oppose mass transit in Fayette so much?

Here is all the information you need: All government sources say our county's population will not reach 170,000 by 2030-2040. There is absolutely no way our county could sustain mass transit with such low density. Our taxes would skyrocket.

Unless we would be required to increase our housing densities ...I cite the minutes for the regional Transit Planning Board – Thursday, October 25, 2007: “The primary goal of Concept 3 is to connect people throughout the region to the major employment/activity centers. This will be accomplished by providing an interconnected and expanded regional transit network; that will capture a large portion of the employment trips to activity centers and to include the supporting network of local bus service and <strong>the development of land use regulations and patterns that support transit uses.</strong> This will be a multi-modal network that: Is activity center focused; is an expansion of the rail network and existing transit infrastructure; has different types of bus service; <strong>is not constrained by political boundaries (is regionally seamless for the user).”</strong>

Our former Board Chairman Jack Smith was present at that meeting and presented no objections to the preceding appraisal. We are not making this up, go look at the minutes for yourself.

Especially look up the minutes on the creation of a Regional Transit Authority.

BHH's picture

Fayette successfully kept expressways out of the county for all these years and that's a good thing but as the counties to our east and west have grown they are producing heavier traffic via Hwy 54. And the same thing is now happening as the counties to our south grow so far as Hwy 74 & Hwy 85 are concerned. We cannot continue to ignore that the traffic through our county is increasing regardless of OUR population growth. Our local businesses have prospered from this traffic and will continue for some time to come but there will come a time when we will wish that much of that traffic could bypass us in some way. If not, our future will very much mimic Riverdale's past and present.

pyramidman

Which interstate are you referring to that was successfully kept out of Fayette? Not the south outer loop? I guess I-85 could have clipped that corner of the county up there.
Since I was a child (50+ y/o resident of Coweta), I've been under the impression that GA 85 would be 4-laned to Columbus. The future to solving many of these traffic problems is in rail & mass transit. Having lived in Chicago a number of years, I can tell you, "It ain't that bad." Even a ride on the decrepit "EL" down to Wriggly Field was OK. The extension from downtown out to O'Hare brought cries of the free roaming masses raiding the empty houses of the working elite did not come to pass in Park Ridge & it won't happen in PTC or Senoia. It is very difficult to steal a flat screen on a train. & those dang schedules make a quick gettaway even more so. Much like some of you, no self-respecting crook would be caught on rapid transit. They'd boost your car from the lot downtown & drive it back out to yo crib. The problems in Clayton county did not begin w/ MARTA. Actually it doesn't even go there.
All the talk about fares not paying for service & the need for subsidy, overlooks the fact that roads are HIGHLY supported by taxes.

BHH's picture

I don't see any expressways here. DO YOU? And in Chicago the best way to get around is by taxi cab. That could work here.

pyramidman

hutch866's picture

Just what I thought, you don't have an answer because no expressways were ever planned for Fayette.

I yam what I yam

BHH's picture

The outer perimeter was proposed to pass just south of Fayette County but since we are in the ARC now it will pass right through Fayetteville. Not that it will be built in our lifetimes, but just to answer your question. I don't know who decided how to route I85 and I75 but I'm thankful every day that they didn't come through Fayette County.

pyramidman

BHH's picture

You do make some good points here and we could come to agreement on a rail system. But MARTA has for the most part failed it's obligation.

pyramidman

hutch866's picture

I'm curious here, just which expressway did Fayette keep out, and when was this?

I yam what I yam

Come on out and spend some quality time with us on SR74 and I-85. The last time you were at that intersection was when you and Ross were tieing up traffic with your silly campaign.

The three stooges have got to go!!!

Frady, Horgan and Hearn couldn't punch their way out of a paper bag even if you cut a hole in it. What lame excuses for crying out loud!!! They are totally lost without Jack Smith and Eric Maxwell telling them what to do.

Brown hit the bullseye on the cost issues of those buses and trains. Don't go raising my taxes.

BHH's picture

We in Fayette County may need "regional transit" but it should only go as far north as Hartfield airport and our taxes should support NOTHING more.
We should be coordinating with our neighboring counties that we share borders with for our combined immediate needs and the rest of the metro area should be consulting with us as a separate group. THIS concept is the KEY to the metro Atlanta transit needs. NONE of the metro counties need to be determining what's best for communities they do not even share borders with, much less spending their tax moneys.

pyramidman

Pages

Ad space area 4 internal

Sponsored Content

Sports

Lifestyle

“Flies at the Well,” the exciting new musical re-interpretation of the famous 1948 John Wallace murder trial, had its first staging outside of Newnan last week, April 17-19, at The Fourth Wall, a t