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Transportation is the important topic again

Sallie Satterthwaite's picture

Dear Mayor Haddix,

I don’t believe we have formally met, and I should rectify that. But I’m writing now to express my hope that you will be taking your place on the regional transportation planning group with enthusiasm and openness to ideas once believed to be unpopular.

There is a knee-jerk response among elected officials here that regional mass transit is not welcome in Fayette County, that we don’t need it, and that it will bring crime to the area. You are in a perfect position to help dispel those notions and show leadership in bringing Fayette into the 21st century.

Mine is also a knee-jerk reaction, I’ll admit it. When the words “transportation” and “planning” appear in the same sentence, I feel a compelling need to fire up my laptop and remind whoever is representing us how some Fayette County citizens feel about public transportation. If this sounds familiar, it’s because there aren’t that many ways of saying that the Atlanta area, of which we are a part, needs travel options that will reduce ground-level emissions and fossil fuel dependence.

Begin by ditching the oft-repeated falsehood that “No one in Fayette County wants public transportation,” a.k.a. “We’re not ready for public transportation here.”

I know we pro-transits are in the minority, and have soft voices, but make no mistake, I am not alone in wanting transportation options in this community. And as the county’s population ages, more and more will join me.

We kid ourselves when we look at sunlight filtered through tree leaves and believe our air is safe to breathe. In 2008, according to Georgia’s Environmental Protection Division, the metro Atlanta area, which includes Fayette County, exceeded federal standards 24 days; in 2009, 16 days; and thus far into 2010, 16 days.

Among those who would benefit most from public transit:

• Seniors leery of Interstate-driving and hard-to-find parking;

• College students who now have to choose between the high cost of living in Atlanta or driving daily from Fayette;

• Aficionados of Atlanta’s cultural arts who don’t wish to drive to town, especially at night;

• A small but deserving disabled population who cannot drive;

• A surprising number of people who cannot afford car ownership and are essentially stranded unless they can arrange rides with friends.

In 2002, in an AJC op-ed piece, Peachtree City’s then-mayor, Steve Brown, argued that the building of too many roads produced the congestion the north metro counties are suffering, then proposed that the state buy up rights-of-way to attract economic growth on the south side.

Road-building in northern counties causes congestion; road-building in the southern tier alleviates congestion and makes public transit unnecessary? What odd reasoning.

Asphalt and clean air are counterproductive to reducing traffic, hence cleaning air.

The mantra, “If you build them, they will come,” has proven to apply to roads at least as surely as to baseball diamonds. Time and again, the expansion of highways has resulted in an even greater glut of traffic with its inevitable surge in bad-air days.

Our elected officials often seem to think we want it that way. They are wrong.

Fayette County needs:

• An open-minded transportation authority or commission within the county to put together a transportation plan that relies on something other than cars and more road construction;

• Designated walkways along city streets and across large parking lots;

• A tram circulating through our large shopping centers;

• A shuttle looping through the county, linking government offices, Fayette Pavilion, Peachtree City shopping centers, the hospital and medical centers;

• With our huge airline and frequent-flier population, links to Hartsfield, connecting with MARTA and downtown’s entertainment, educational, and business amenities;

• Bus service, for openers, and eventually commuter and regional rail alternatives to air travel.

Only government is big enough to pull such services together. For openers, they must bring existing services, like the MARTA system, to accountability for safety, dependability, and well-maintained equipment.

Would public transportation be expensive? Certainly. Would it pay for itself? Of course not. Neither do sewers or highway systems. For local-transit success stories, look at Portland, Ore., Chattanooga, and Knoxville where buses or trolleys circulate through downtown loops – free to the public, paid for by merchants and/or government.

Peachtree City has done as poor a job planning for transportation as Fayette County itself. In our 1960s fervor to prevent downtown blight, we have eliminated downtown, distributing stores from Kedron to Redwine Road, about seven miles. Except for quick golf cart trips to a food store near you, you cannot reasonably run errands here without a car.

There is still not one hardware store accessible by golf cart. And even when you drive your car to a shopping center, you can’t realistically carry purchases from one end to the other, from Kroger to Kmart, say, or from Williams Sonoma to Atlanta Bread Company, without driving.

The same is true in Fayetteville. No one is going to pick up fertilizer or a new screen door at Home Depot and then walk nearly a mile to Kohl’s or Walmart. You drive from one end of the Pavilion to the other.

Mr. Mayor, present the case for public transportation when you meet with your colleagues. Take the lead in bringing Fayette County into the 21st century.


Sallie Satterthwaite


There ain't a darn thing wrong with you. I don't care what you said last week!

The problem comes with us not designing exactly what WE want and not waiting for what we don't want to be forced upon us for the public good.

Someone is missing a golden opportunity right now by not starting transit right here in PTC. It would require public tax help for a period of time, but a good plan approved by officials to suit us would be outstanding.

See above to Sallie from me.

I don't think anyone is proposing MARTA for PTC---not seriously anyway---the heritage is too different---not better, just different.

We need our own before we are forced onto someone else's dream! Will be too late to fight them off and do nothing here on our own.

It seems one half of PTC is on Social Security; military pension, Airline fortune or pension, or some other government issued pension! Someone paid for that!

Yet most seem to detest government, and high prices---especially taxes!

was just handed to them. Is that how you got your retirement? Those receiving pensions be they former airline, military, government or other have worked for that pension and in most instances paid in their fair share. Yes, someone paid for it--usually the person receiving it. Are you on social security? Didn't you, regardless of whether you wanted to or not pay into it? Do you believe people receiving Social Security are not entilted to it? Did you refuse yours? Did you work and pay into a pension plan? Are you receiving it or did you refuse this also? It gets a little boring to hear you constantly belittle people receiving monies they have worked for. Unless you are not receiving any pension, social security or any benefit from any former job or organization, maybe it is time you found some other dead horse to beat.

I don't know about your accusation of "constantly." I think I only say something when someone don't seem to want anyone else to get anything out of taxes! And no, most people don't even pay 1/3 into Social Security that they get out of it and that is not counting Medicare which could run hundreds of thousands for old timers!

I can assure you that many of the corporate pensions until very recently were not paid by the employee to any significance. Military pensions would be fine if paid at 65 like others. I have known many at 38-48 getting pensions for life, and health coverage. Plus a dip or two. Then I can't understand their objection to some getting tax benefits for other reasons! Comparing hard lives is not useful! I didn't have one.

Now you are interested in me and any pension I might get! Don't know what that has to do with anything here!

I'll bet you get at least two!

I was born with a silver spoon in my mouth. I didn't even have to dress myself, nor help with food preparation. The French cook we had made it difficult for me to eat field peas, grits, fat back, pinto beans, re-fries, french fries, and hamburgers and hot dogs. Big Oranges however seemed real tasty with a moon pie. I just couldn't stomach the boiled peanuts however. All these horrible mixtures people pour over BBQ hog fat
is almost impossible to ponder! Then a cheap beer to wash it down quickly.
Boxed wine and $6 bottle wine are revered as delicacies with all kinds of dip and fatted chips.

I don't really know what income I have. My people take care of all that sort of menial stuff, and I also don't have any idea how many scores of thousands of dollars I pay in taxes--I never miss it so don't look.

"Entitlement" and "dead horses," are both non-starters! No one is "entitled," and a "dead horse" better be buried quickly with the energy taken to beat on it or the stink will arouse the city!

By the way what is your definition of "worked for it?" Burger Kingers work for it but get nothin!

Now it is up to you to pull out my meanin with this allegory! I've discovered that around here people get upset at straight to the point talk!

plowed the back forty? Since you are so wealthy I feel you should share that wealth with the less fortunate. As for the Burger Kingers--if they pay taxes they get it just like everyone else does. As for the service personnel, I think they earn every penny and if they can choose to retire at 25 or 30 years more power to them. Except for policemen and possibly firemen, most people do not go to work with the understanding that they may not return--so as far as I am concerned they deserve everything they can get. Service personnel spend many months and sometimes years away from their families--sometimes those familes left behind endure many harships, financial as well as others--again they deserve everything they can get. I begrudge them nothing--same with police and firemen. As for your allegory--it is much like most of what you post--something that makes sense only in your own mind. So, get one of your many servants to turn the TV on to Fox and relax with your dimpled darlings and let the fog dissapate.

Yeah, I'm for all of those people you mentioned "getting all they can get," also.

I'm for everyone getting all they can get. Retire at 30 if they can! Actually more construction workers don't come home than the ones you mentioned. And they don't get motorcycle grave escorts.

That makes them like me and I just sneak around and see that they don't actually get much! (I don't really---but some do that)

I fully agree, and would like to add another group. Daily work commuters to Atlanta.
When we moved to Peachtree City 12 years ago, I knew my job would require a lot of travel, so moving here made a lot of sense. Easy airport commute. However, when I had to go into the office here in Atlanta, I had to get to Buckhead. 1/2 drive to college park, then a 1/2 hour ride on the train, still pretty easy. That was 8 years ago however. Toward the end of my commuting days, I had to get to College Park before 7:00, or the lot would be full. Many a time it would take 2 to 3 HOURS to drive home when I drove all the way to the office. Then, more and more people also started getting up early, and the ride on 74 north became more and more challenging and dangerous, especially at the 85 on ramp. On the ride home, the exit lane stacks up for a mile or more at the PTC exit. Excepting of course, the dare devil's that zoom all the way to the front and then cut in, causing the "stop and go" forward movement to be even worse than it is with the lights and having killed at least one man who slammed on his brakes and was run over by a large truck.

Our population here is ageing. Who is going to buy all of these nice expensive safe homes as the kids move out and mom and dad move to smaller digs? If the City really wants to regain the tax base (and maybe you don't) you have to attract people who earn enough money to live here. The high paying jobs are in Atlanta.
I love Peachtree City. The schools, the paths, little league games on Saturday, HS baseball and football games on Friday night. The lakes, cart paths, swimming pools...everything.
But if I were re-locating to Atlanta today, and I had to work in the big city, PTC would not be an option. You can't get there from here.

Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
Benjamin Franklin

I never lived more than 3-4 miles from my work for a whole career!
I didn't buy any other bill of goods from developers.

Thank you for writing this and adding some sanity to a Hot Button issue. People are always afraid of what they don't know (experienced) or it's outside their comfort zone. I would predict that: If they build rail, they will ride it. There is talk of building I-3, let's ruin the N. GA mtns and just destroy Eastern Tenn. If you read down to 1 comment, the old Outer Loop has new life. Put the money in Rail / Mass Transit.
The argument that mass transit doesn't pay for itself is invalid. Roads are subsidized thru all manner of public funds other than road tax. Every car off the road lessens the traffic & the congestion for those that must drive. It seems to work in Europe & Japan. It seems to have a positive effect in NYC, Boston, Chicago, SF and DC.

NUK_1's picture

A lot of people seemed to have forgotten that they stopped making land a long time ago yet are still making people. When you have a finite amount of land and you crowd more and more people into it...hmmmm.

People need to grow up and get over the public transportation fears because the reality is that "building more roads" ceased to be effective in most cities long ago. The public is already paying for infrastructure and no, it's never been self-supporting nor was it intended to be. It's a service that tax money is used for and how that money is allocated is now the issue.

The idea here that horrendous gridlock is an "Atlanta problem" is so stupid but I am not going to go off on a rant this early in the AM. If it were up to Atlanta, they would put toll booths on 75/85 in both directions to tax the hell out of all the NON-Atlanta citizens coming into Atlanta to work and play. Traffic gridlock is way beyond a one city issue.

Eventually, people in FC will realize what many here already have: what happens in neighboring cities/counties has a direct impact on FC. Does it seemingly take twice as long to get to the airport as it did 10 years ago? Gee, wonder why?

The ARC is a concept that hasn't delivered on its promise yet, but the idea of NOT having a regional approach to traffic and other issues is backward thinking. FC is already in a slight decline now and it will go full-scale once people decide the commutes from FC to/from work are not worth it any more. It's impossible for FC to attract the kind of jobs that can sustain FC and no one have to leave the county to get to work, and that's going to become a big issue in the near future.

ginga1414's picture

Sallie, I have continually enjoyed many of your articles. However, I have to disagree with your views on public/mass transportation.

Considering the fact that we already have very compromised air quality in Fayette County, is that a pass to further compromise our air quality with buses belching out cancer causing diesel fumes? Do we want to participate in a regional transportation SPLOST where we are paying good hard earned money to further dirty our children's and grandchildren's air?

Seniors who are "leery" of driving the interstate highways are just as leery of public transportation. Seniors who can no longer drive their cars absolutely cannot utilize public transportation. I have taken care of many seniors in that position and I know for a fact that they could not independently use public transportation.

You said, "Take the lead in bringing Fayette County into the 21st century." So far, I have not been impressed with anything that has transpired in the 21st century in Fayette County or the world for that matter. We have been subjected to county commissioners who lie to the voters, conceal facts, break laws and are convicted of ethics violations. Some of those commissioners have been voted out of office. However, law abiding citizens have been left to the mercies of those same commissioners who flagrantly mandate the voters future to the commissioner's "conflict of interest," personal agendas and ethics violations.

I most certainly have not been impressed with the 21st century and the utilization of buses in Fayette County will do nothing to help that situation. That's just my opinion.

NUK_1's picture

"Seniors who can no longer drive their cars absolutely cannot utilize public transportation. I have taken care of many seniors in that position and I know for a fact that they could not independently use public transportation."

So....what do u propose to serve the needs of seniors who can't drive and can't take any form of public transportation, which I assume also includes taxis? Do we need a lot more taxes, government, etc?

All I see from u is constant whining about everyone and everything else, so why not tell us all what your solution is besides laughably voting for Steve Brown and against the WEST FAYETTEVILLE BYPASS OH MY GOD!

Go ahead....let's hear what YOU think should be done in Fayette County. How do we transport seniors? How do we reconcile the voter's wishes from 2 or 4 years ago with today? What's the plan? Don't say it's electing the "right people" when you were gushing over a miserably failed politician like Steve Brown and some nobody who all they had to do to get ur vote was to say "I'm against the WFB!"

ginga1414's picture

When my daughter was a student at Georgia State University in Atlanta, she lived at home and thought it would be a great idea to drive to the MARTA station and take the train to school. In the process, her car was vandalized, broken into, and the tires were slashed. She had to continually fight-off harassment from other train riders. She witnessed other college students having to endure the same thing. She was constantly accosted by people wanting money and on occasion when she didn't provide it, she was spit upon.

Her adventure of riding the MARTA train to Georgia State University lasted about a month. Fortunately, her car was the only thing that received any physical harm during that month.

That doesn't speak very well for the 21st century or mass transit.

such as trolleys or shuttles for local transportation to stores and shopping malls. You state that people would not want to carry bags of fertilizers or doors from the store to their parked car---I can't see anyone waiting for and getting on a bus with bags of fertilizer and definitely not a door.

If I am not mistaken, Peachtree City was built on the village concept--each village would have a small shopping area--such as Braelin, etc. There certainly is room enough for a hardware store in any of our villages, evidently no one has chosen to open one. We can try to bring certain stores into an area but you cannot dictate what store a merchant opens (unless it is something that was definitely unsuitable and then we would probably still have a law suit on our hands.)

I am a senior, and I am, while not incapacitated, disabled,on social security and still I would be against mass transit coming to Peachtree City. I think people tend to forget why we moved here in the first place. Those I speak with moved here because they wanted to be away from the congestion, away from mass transit and all it brings. Other states that have excellent mass transit systems have them because they are kept clean, are efficient and run on time. I have been on Marta and it does not do any of those things. You are subjected to rude, threatening people who harass you by demanding money, the busses are filthy and certainly do not run on time. If Marta has not been able to deliver the type of service we all would desire up to now what makes you think the service we would get would be any better? We knew what we had when we moved here--those wanting mass transit should have located where it was available.

As to the trolleys or shuttles, yes, that would be a good idea, but I doubt if it would happen. If it is to benefit incapacitated or disabled residents will the trolley/shuttle have to go to every home, every subdivision? I know in South Florida they do have the busses take seniors to the shopping malls one day a week but I do believe these are supplied by the senior resident homes. If some company would supply a clean, dependable bus to run through each subdivision and pick up riders and take them to either The Avenue, Wal-Mart shopping center, Publix,etc, they could charge a nominal fee, but would there be enough riders each day to keep them solvent? It is a dilemma but I do believe that is why Peachtree City was built on the village concept; so each village shopping area could supply the basic needs for residents-- for our shopping centers to attract the shops we need. Mass transit would not meet any of those needs.

ginga1414's picture

You have written a very thoughtful piece. In my experience of helping to care for seniors who no long drive, the best solution would be to have transportation pick-up and deliver those folks at their individual homes. It just wouldn't be practical to expect most of our seniors who no longer drive to walk to a bus stop. It wouldn't be practical to expect seniors to carry purchases from stores to a bus stop and then from a bus stop back to their homes.

Experience is a great teacher, MYTMITE. Thank you for sharing your experience and wisdom.

I've been a senior for almost 20 years and don't see a serious socioeconomic condition with those few seniors who can't get around without help. We moved to Fayette County to get away from the urban stench and decay caused by bus lines and mass transit. I defy any of the proponents of mass transit to name one place they would like to live near an existing bus or rail line in metro Atlanta. Certainly, that place would not compare with Fayette County's quality of life.

Once we get into mass transit, we become homogonized with the College Park, Riverdale, and Old National Highway areas. True, rail lines save time, buy my gosh, look at the price that must be paid. There's so much crime, the bus and rail companies have to have their own police force. Add all that to Fayette County, and we lose our oasis status. Does anyone disagree that Fayette County is an oasis when compared with the surrounding area? Quoting one of the lines from the above article, "Aficionados of Atlanta’s cultural arts who don’t wish to drive to town, especially at night", what lady would feel comfortable taking public transit to the opera at the Fox Theatre on a dark winter night, and returning late at night? I don't believe Ms. Satterthwaite would without plenty of company.

Regarding the travel time to Atlanta, most is spent North of Fayette County. To those who would want to use public transportation, it is available just over the Fulton County line. With the West Bypass still a possiblity, Westbridge Road intersects State Highway 138 at or very near a MARTA stop, and will link Fayette County to Riverdale and Old National Highway. Fayette County is only 5% of the Metro Atlanta population, and simply not dense enough for mass transit. We ought to be thankful for that and endeavor to keep it that way. If it goes through, Fayette Piedmont Hospital will be linked to Fulton County by bus.

Steve Brown has consistently been right in making mass transit and the West Bypass a campaign issue. With Brown, McCarty, and the overwhelming number of voters all against those issues, maybe mass transit can finally be put to rest, and we can get on to another subject. The ARC and developers will use any and all means to sell mass transit, including preying upon our sympathy for the elderly. Mass transit will fuel uncontrolled growth like Gwinnett County, and before you know it, our children and grandchildren will end up with a six lane Interstate Highway spur that is choked with congestion, gangs, and high crime.

So take time and consider the number of people you know who actually are being seriously deprived for lack of mass transit. Then ask yourself, just who are we wanting to bring into Fayette County to fully populate the public schools and buy our unsold homes? While I'm from Georgia, not Missouri, I don't believe that any commenters will be able to specifically show me examples where a rail or bus line actually went into the Metro Atlanta area did not bring crime and a lower standard of living to that area.

We should hang on to our semi-rural society. The only way we can do that is keeping the buses and trains OUT. The way to start that is following Brown and McCarty against the West Bypass. Its a good investment that will be reflected in higher living standards and property values.

NUK_1's picture

It's not about MARTA buses running between Fayetteville and PTC or taking Grandma from the Gathering Place to Braelinn shopping center, and that has NEVER been the issue to begin with, despite some trying to make political gains from it. There is so much ignorance on this issue that it amazes me.

The issue is REGIONAL solutions to transportation problems that takes into account that what County A or City B does has an affect on everything around it and how can everyone work together for a viable solution. In case no one has noticed, what Fairburn does or Coweta does has a definite effect on PTC. Maybe a PLAN might help all involved?

Let's face reality: Coweta is in grow, grow, grow mode and is going to develop right on the borders of PTC no matter what PTC citizens "like" or not. Yep, that includes the same area where TDK was going to be built also. They are going to develop there with or without a road. Due to the short-sighted stupidity from the Brown administration that you yahoos think was so awesome, Senoia is poised to due the same thing with their doubled sewer capacity. Now, why are we talking about some buses running around FC? That isn't the point.

for over twenty years is your problem.

The fact that I have to work in Atlanta in order to pay my Fayetteville /PTC taxes is my problem.

“We moved to Fayette County to get away from the urban stench and decay caused by bus lines and mass transit.” Where the hell did you move from?”

I moved to PTC so that my children could receive one of the best educations that Georgia has to offer.

As best as I can remember, those of us that pay the majority of taxes get to say how and why things are done.

I’m glad you’re removed from the daily grind of commuting to and from Atlanta, blue-hairs on interstates are dangerous enough, but you obviously don’t pay the same level of taxes that I do so please be quiet and continue to pray that Wal-Mart and Eckerd will deliver your Viagra and other meds. as needed.

As for the majority that live here in PTC and work in Atlanta, there are no jobs in PTC that pay $100,000+, so we, that make the money, get to decide what is good or not for our community; not those on a fixed SS income.

Go ahead and tell me to move, you’ll only be the 10,000th person to suggest that option. Mind you; after my child graduates from high school my spouse and I will move from PTC and you will be free to bitch at city and county spending that your social-security check can’t afford.

NUK_1's picture

You really nailed this one 100%. As soon as the daughter is done next year at SMHS, adios.

. . .and us 'blue haired ones' - with a possible hard earned 6 figure retirement will stay and welcome those young parents who want to take advantage of an excellent school system - and a beautiful community. Thanks for taking such good care of Fayette County. We'll try to accept the positive growth - and keep the negative aspects of growth away from the 'door'.

NUK_1's picture

You would always be welcomed in any place I live and I wouldn't consider living somewhere without a David's Mom and others to keep things balanced.

You take a lot of crap here because you are so wrong all the time:)(joke), but I have a lot of respect for you, seriously.


Just because I'm a senior doesn't mean I don't pay plenty of taxes. Social Security is only a minor source of my income. Yes, I went North for better opportunity, too. I made the arduous commute to Atlanta for many years, and I wouldn't wish it on a dog...much less my children. But people who are willing to upset the rural characteristics of Fayette County just to save them a few minutes to work don't have the best interest of the majority in mind. They are willing for us to become another Clayton County just to save a few minutes travel time. It's this kind of thinking that got two commissioners unseated, one of whom voted for mass transit against the will of the people. Looking at inconvenience for of a small number of people doesn't justify going off the deep end and throwing in the towel. Sometimes, the cure is worse than the medicine.

Those who gripe about their commute to Atlanta fail to take into consideration the amount of the total trip spent in other pass-through counties, and the living conditions in those counties. How much of an hour commute to Atlanta is spent in Fayette County...ten or twelve minutes? Yet, they would be willing to bring the same social consequences as are found North of here if they had their way. With only 2% (100,000) of the CMSA Atlanta population (5,500,000+) in Fayette County, our traffic is nothing when compared to those counties with bus and rail service. We don't have enough people who would ride buses and rails to make the bus/rail lines profitable. In fact, all you hear is fare increases, layoffs in services, and worse all over metro Atlanta. Whoops! Forgot the muggings.

Try driving through Fayetteville during rush hour. It only takes 6 minutes, or up to 9 minutes if you miss the traffic lights. It's a misconception that rail and buses solve more problems than they bring...they don't. Rather than telling the opposition to move to another county, I'm simply saying to take a few steps back and view the whole situation more objectively. We don't have any through connections to Interstate highways, and we have no power to motivate Fulton or Clayton Counties to do anything about it. Therein lies the problem. For instance, State 314 is four lanes wide in Fayette County to relieve congestion going North. Yet it drops down to 2 lanes in Clayton County, where the congestion gets worse. Old National Highway is 4 lanes, but hopelessly congested at Godby Rd. So leave ten minutes earlier, or go to flextime. Or better yet, build the West Fayetteville Bypass, feed the developers, and go nowhere.

If people would just leave the county as is, we would become more and more of an oasis as time goes on, and our property values would skyrocket. If we were connected to I-75 and I-85, we would be virtually "run over" with traffic and the "Where there's a Waffle House on every corner" type of development would result. I sent my kids to Fayette County schools because they were far superior to Atlanta's, but I worked in Atlanta. Traffic is down,now, over the time I was working. At least that's what I saw on the news not too long ago.

There's a reason so many of the metro counties mushroomed with development, and through roads are what brought it there. We might have lost some tax revenue in companies choosing Gwinnett, Clayton, or Henry Counties over Fayette County, but we got the best end of the deal. What we don't want to do is homogenize ourselves by inviting an influx from neighboring counties.

I realize that I have opposition, but even the opposition shouldn't want us to change for the worse.

NUK_1's picture

"I sent my kids to Fayette County schools because they were far superior to Atlanta's, but I worked in Atlanta. Traffic is down,now, over the time I was working. At least that's what I saw on the news not too long ago."

You seem to not be able to comprehend the news I guess and also never drive to Atlanta. Down from WHAT? Atlanta has moved up to 3rd place on traffic gridlock in the country and got elevated for the last decade, every single year. Stop being ignorant.

You've been a senior for 20 years, and used to commute to Atlanta, and the traffic volume today is LESS? What news do you watch? Is it on the History channel?
Just a thought. When talking about regional transportation (not going to the hardware store, but going into Atlanta where some of us have to work to earn enough to live here) why does everyone think a rail station will be in his or her neighborhood? With the undeveloped land around the bypass to nowhere, build a parking lot and run the trains out there. Or farther out, that's just an example. I really can't see someone carrying your flat screen TV 4 miles through the woods to get to the train. I mean, that’s really the underlying dread of mass transit, isn't it? Clayton County-ites will hop on a train ride down here to rape and plunder. PIPS1414, you envision an oasis in the woods separate from the outside evils of the world, where you can softly fade off into the sunset. PTC however, will live on, and it needs a vibrant community, earning money, to be taxed to support it. Busses? No way! If you're going to sit in traffic, better to pay for the gas so you can set the temperature to suit, play the music you like and have the company you prefer (or not). Hordes of South Carolinians would not be interested in getting off at a stop in the woods. Not to mention that it's usually too hot to carry a bunch of stolen stuff back to a station located appropriately far enough away from your house. Think of it like a Park & Ride. We already have a train running down the west side of the city. It blows its annoying horn at road grade crossings because it is the law. People can't complain that they didn't hear it coming. Other than the horn, where is the major burden of having a railroad off to the side of the city center? MARTA, or suburban light rail, would presumably be designed without grade crossings requiring shrill whistles. Rail travel would also alleviate a lot of unpleasantness caused to our neighbors to the north by the thousands of cars that we drive through their communities daily.
New ideas don't have to destroy the experience that is Peachtree City, but we have to face the realities that commuting to Atlanta is not what it was 20 years ago. To remain relative, and allow young families to take advantage of our great schools, wonderful recreation facilities and to give us their tax money WE have to make it possible. Can we lay off the city staff one by one and cut services as the median income ages away? Sure, but wouldn’t it be more exciting to expand the experiment for the 21st century, keeping the best of what we've built, while making it workable for the next wave of citizens?

Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
Benjamin Franklin

rather than start, all over, at the beginning. (No doubt your senior mind is slipping once again.)

"But people who are willing to upset the rural characteristics of Fayette County just to save them a few minutes to work don't have the best interest of the majority in mind."

Where in hell did you get "few minutes" or "majority" from. Why don't you add at least an additional 30 minutes each way?

I couldn't’t give a rat’s arse about the “rural characteristics of Fayette County”. I didn’t grow up and live within 5 miles from where I was borne. Corn is corn; I don’t care where it came from. Get a life. I’ve lived all over this world and have always encouraged my children to do the same.

When was the last time you commuted from PTC at 7:00 AM and returned or attempted to return at 5:15 PM+?

"But people who are willing to upset the rural characteristics of Fayette County just to save them a few minutes to work don't have the best interest of the majority in mind."

Where in hell did you get "few minutes" from. Please try at least an additional 30+ minutes each way; baring an accident on I-85?

When was the last time you commuted from PTC @ 7:00 AM and returned or attempted to return at 5:15 PM+? ; The problem being I can't "pass-thru" any County.

“If people would just leave the county as is, we would become more and more of an oasis as time goes on.”

That’s precisely the thinking that businesses have; Fayette County isn’t worth the hassle. It's an "oasis" to no where. No roads, no commuter rail no access to interstates, NO.

If access to Fayette County’s transportation isn’t enhanced businesses won’t come here. You and your SS will be left to pay the taxes on $1.5 million tennis centers and such. Good luck with that.

If it is your desire for Fayette County to become an ‘oasis’ for the elderly, that’s ok with me.

If Fayette County is to continue as a possible source of business relocation than it will need some sort of “MASS Transportation” to enable that change to happen.

Either way, in less than two years, I and my $6,000+/yr taxes, are gone from PTC.

If you and others believe that PTC can survive and prosper as a ‘bedroom community’, for the elderly, great.

Those of us that pay the bills around here will be gone and you and Mayor Haddix can thrash it out.

Either way, me and my tax dollars will be gone.

I made the decision to work in Atlanta and live in Fayette County years ago. I realized that it was a long commute, and that the county was not going to decide to accomodate high volume traffic just to appease my inconvenience. There were plenty of times I used every cussword I'd ever heard fifty times before I got to work because of traffic problems. Nevertheless, it was always gratifying to pull into my rural driveway on the return trip.

People commuting from Fayette County to Atlanta constitute only a small portion of Fayette County's population. Most of us work from Hartsfield-Jackson Airport to points South. Are we really willing to become the next Sandy Springs, Woodstock, or Stockbridge? All we would need is a limited access highway like Ga. 400 to pick up the traffic between I-75 and I-85. Such a road would mean the end of our "rural characteristics". True, there are some very nice homes in Roswell and Woodstock, but those who commute to Atlanta complain about 1 1/2- 2 hours commute time each way, putting PTC complainers to shame.

To really see what putting in more roads will do, just go to Stockbridge. Henry County decided to cope with the I-75 runoff because it had to. Now look at the amount of time it takes just to go there, much less drive around, especially late afternoons. Better yet, try driving from Sandy Springs to Marietta after 3PM. Do we really want that? If so, we must not be satisfied with #3 worst traffic in the U. S. and want to be #2.

Years ago, I tried getting Fayette County to take down the stop signs at Westbridge Road and Old Highway 138 so that only the dead end traffic would have to stop and Westbridge could become a through road. The county refused. Yet the same people are now fixing the "dead man's curve" part of Westbridge Rd. in the belief that Westbridge will serve as a connector to the West Bypass. Still, two stop signs to deal with, with the second at Ga. 138 in Fulton County. It's a total waste of money, because even if the traffic increases, it will become a parking lot at the 138 intersection. The other idea the county has is funneling traffic up Sandy Creek Road via the West Bypass, where commuters must cross railroad tracks in order to get to Ga. 74, stop, turn right, and finally enter I-85. How's that for improving commuting time?

Those few who complain about the traffic should be grateful for what they already have here, and not try to do away with our rural characteristics. Nobody replied to my point about finding any liveable area in the metro Atlanta area near where rail or bus service already exists. There are some alternatives to improve commuting like flextime. Years ago, I changed my working hours from 8:30-5PM to 6:30-3PM. I was glad to get up early, and made it to and from midtown Atlanta in 45 minutes, saving at least an hour a day.

I would doubt that as much as 15% of the total Fayette County labor force works North of Hartsfield-Jackson Airport. From PTC, instead of taking Ga. 74 all the way in, try getting off below Tyrone, and taking Tyrone Rd. to I-85 until the Ga. 74/I-85 Intersection is widened. Sometimes, the shortest route is not always the fastest.Fayette County can do little to improve the Ga. 74/I-85 intersection that's causing the problem in Fulton County.

Brown and McCarty got elected Commissioners because they realize that the Fayette voters simply don't want rampant commercial development. They focused upon those issues. We must look past trying to make Fayette County grow faster than we can deal with the fallout. We have enough Waffle House corners for now. We have something worth protecting, and if we are pressured to go down, we should turn and make a last stand. To those who believe otherwise, we, the majority, don't want to degrade our living standards. Too bad those with long commutes don't realize that when they retire, they'll find their commuting time was worthwhile.

We've been smart enough so far to keep what we've got. But even the state is threatening to levy a burdensome tax on us to support the other metro Atlanta counties if we don't play the rampant development SPLOST game. Some choice, isn't it? Get overrun, or pay not to.

Many of those who express opposition to public transportation see MARTA "as it is" today, with all its flaws, rather than as it could be. Having had the opportunity to ride the Washington, DC subway system just recently, and also the trains and streetcars of Portland, Oregon, I came back with a favorable impression of "what could be" in the Atlanta area. It takes a sense of optimism to accomplish anything.

NUK_1's picture

OK, enough griping and let's talk solutions. Here's mine:

As part of the ARC plan in progress, we head over to Union City and buy the land for about $100 and a a couple of used pick up trucks where Shambles Mall/Ghetto Station/WhatevertheHellitscalled is and bulldoze that junk down. Now we have a massive park-and-ride lot that is right next to I-85 and a perfect location for rail and even connecting to MARTA train service. Sweet!

Yeah, yeah, I know...there are THOSE BLACK people in that area but the faint-hearted can just keep on chugging it up the interstate and paying the cost of gas, tires, brakes, etc and sitting in nightmarish traffic which will never let up and only get worse.

Everyone wins: Union City how has a large piece of land that is suitable for something viable instead of Abandoned Mall and gives their residents a chance to also get the hell out of Union city and go where the good jobs are; people in South Fulton, Coweta and Fayette have a much more convenient access point to rail than going to College Park/East Point, and it gives MARTA some more coverage. Of course, MARTA needs a lot of improvement but it's easier to improve MARTA than starting from scratch with something new.

Those jokers are out of money and more than likely clueless to that point.

Do you think MARTA is outta money because the law they operate under was written by pols, a majority not living in the service area? You think that the same majority of pols don't have any qualms about spending ATL hwy tax $'s on road construction in SoGA? Sonny don't mind they are "improving" that hwy of his.

kcchiefandy's picture 7 years, but from what I understand, didn't Clayton County 'need' many of the same types of transportation systems/extensions, too, some years ago? I'll be moving soon, so, good luck...

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