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

Fayette County Commissioner Steve Brown.

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.

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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.

ginga1414
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What The ARC Has Planned

For everyone concerned about what the ARC has planned for our future, there are several meetings this week that we all need to attend.

The Association of Fayette County Governments will hold a meeting tonight (Tuesday, March 8) at 7:00 PM. Representatives from all of the municipalities, including our commissioners, will be discussing transportation projects relating to HB 277. We need to be there!

"The Civic League for Regional Atlanta and the Atlanta Regional Commission are hosting five Neighborhood Forums designed to involve the citizens of the region in the plans and decisions shaping the region."

"All Neighborhood Forums are free and open to the public, though registration is requested to ensure that we have enough seating and materials (and snacks!) for everyone. Forums run from 6:45 to 9:00 PM."

"Schedule
March 10 – Wendell Coffee Golf & Events Center
1963 Hwy. 74 N, Fayetteville, 30214
(Fayette, S. Fulton, Coweta and Spalding counties)"

The link for that meeting is: www.civicleagueatlanta.org

That is where you will find a highlighted "registration" point.

You will notice that the Neighborhood Forum meeting on Thursday coincides with our Commissioners' Meeting. Unless you have the ability to split yourself in two, it will be impossible to attend both meetings on Thursday. However, we need to pick one of those meetings and participate in what is planned for our future.

BHH
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Decades?

Well, what do you know? It has been decades, as of this year TWO to be exact and what have we gained for it? So far just the threat to be taxed for NO return.
Twenty years and we are no better off than when we joined the ARC.

mwbarrow20
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Mass transit from Fayette

Train from Peachtree City to Hartsfield is needed. Absolutely no buses!

BHH
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hutch866

My commuting days as you understand them are over. I'm just interested in improving the livability of the area.

moelarrycurly
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.

.

BHH
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Avoid ARC at ALL cost but

We cannot continue to ignore that the traffic through our county is increasing regardless of OUR population growth.
Speed humps on every road will force them around us.

NUK_1
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ARC

OK, since the ARC has always been the main proponent of the EPB, I guess we shouldn't build it?

It's so hypocritical, NIMBY and intellectually dishonest for some to criticize the ARC concept over and over and yet point right to the ARC study when discussing the "need" for the EPB.

FC is either part of the Atlanta region(and it definitely is and has been for decades), or it's not. FC either has a chance to have a even a small voice in the region or be left behind with a shrinking tax base, escalating taxes and reduced services, which is already happening. Or, we can all wait for all the great jobs to suddenly relocate to FC.

I can understand that some in FC moved to FC for certain reasons. However, others moved to FC for entirely different reasons. That's why we have elections and alleged political leaders, as well as E-SPLOST/SPLOST/T-SPLOST referendums that get either approved or denied by the voters.

Appoint me King of Georgia and I bulldoze Abandoned Mall in Union City(something my Mother proposed 5 years ago as a joke :), extend the train line(or create a new one to hook into MARTA even if people can't get over puking when the name MARTA is mentioned), and turn it all into a transportation center with park and ride and no shortage of parking.

BHH
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So?

So what do you think about more speed humps and stop signs?

NUK_1
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BHH: "Traffic Calming devices"

Please use that official government term for impeding the natural traffic flow due to horrendous planning on government's part :)

I'm all for stop signs or speed-breakers when used in areas that need them like some neighborhoods that attract cut-through traffic. Ask Planterra Ridge or Flat Creek Trl/Golfview residents about the downside of that when they went griping to PTC and got a ridiculous solution that was so incredibly dumb at first that it had to be changed a few times before what you have now that isn't so great either. The fact is that stop signs and "traffic calming devices" affect the homeowners where they are located the most, and it's an example of being careful for what you wish for when you get Planterra Speed Bumps version 1.0 which told every resident there that PTC has no one with half of a brain in charge of creating a solution.

No one that lives in a neighborhood/subdivision wants some idiots going 50mph by their houses. They also don't want the "government fix" that tends to be done by people of little experience on this issue, so it is what it is. I'm for the basic concept of using "traffic calming devices" in areas that need it, and totally opposed to using them when it's totally not needed(the stop sign at Willowbend/Olive Drive being a perfect example of stupidity).

In other words, if FC and PTC had some people on staff who knew at least a tiny bit concerning traffic flows and planning, stop signs and breakers would be useful tools. Alas, that isn't the case right now. We simply don't have the knowledge base to deal with this unless you include your "planners" looking on Google for solutions.

BHH
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I agree with you on this

I never said they were a good idea but that they are what come next when nothing else it done.

bad_ptc
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To all, STOP signs are NOT "Traffic Calming devices"

It is illegal to use a 'STOP' sign as a trafic calming device. PTC has already learned that lesson via Gulf View.

Anyone who is considering using stop signs as a means of diverting trafic is a fool.

Why would there be commuters if there were adiquate employment oppertunities available here localy?

Maybe because there aren’t adequate employment opportunities for locals to afford this town and its ever increasing taxes.

Those with lesser minds think that building more roads is the answer to the ever increasing commuter traffic. Then again we have people that think stop signs and commuter humps are the answer.

Those of us with brains know that no amount of highways or access to over crowded interstates will solve our commuter problems.

How is PTC/Fayette County to attract industry to our hobbit without first providing commercial access to the interstates?

PTC/Fayette County is destined to be a blue-hair retirement community with the current Steve Brown mentality. I just wish someone would ask our divine savior how he expects to pay for it once we commuters leave.

BHH
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Bedroom community is what we are

And what we have been for many years, probably since the beginning and we've done pretty well. Only about 20% of our population commutes and most of them from PTC. The majority of our traffic passes through from other counties. We can't ignore this fact by refusing to accommodate. The jobs you want to draw to the county only attract more traffic and don't guarantee jobs to locals. The biggest traffic problem is at I85 and Hwy 74 which is outside our border. We have the most control inside our borders and that is what we need to concentrate on. Those outside our borders are under some one else' control. The ARC is baiting us with it and we seem to be taking the bait. Now we pay through the nose for the long run. All to benefit the few who commute out of PTC. Try getting one of those job already in PTC that some one outside our county is filling instead of attracting more jobs to be filled by commuters from outside our borders. Don't be so worried about yourself that you're blind to the needs of the rest of the county. We are a bedroom community and 80% percent of us like it this way.

Robert W. Morgan
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Good start on Union City King NUK

Agree that is a good first move for the King of Georgia (be sure you introduce yourself the way Tim Wilson does in his King of England bit).

But then, what do you for an encore? with the WFB and EFB? with the PTC industrial park? with the access ramps at 74/85? west village annexation? senior apartments?

Handle all that then, on the seventh day a well-deserved rest.

And you are correct. We have been part of the ARC for decades and to even consider pulling out is irresponsible. Test question. Do you see the state officials that were at the Sany opening last week encouraging their relocation to a site in a second-tier Regional Commission?

NUK_1
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Morgan

I'd cancel both the WFB and EFB immediately. I don't really care about the fact that there are limitations on what the tax monies already paid can or cannot do. Neither are necessary and it's a real joke that one group of bypass folks hate WFB but love the EPB since it doesn't affect them at all. That doesn't pass muster in my kingdom.

The cloverleaf idea at 74/85 is a starting point(and not a bad one at all) for discussion on how to improve the interchange to benefit Fairburn/SoFulton/PTC/FC, and, to a lesser extent, Coweta folks that live close to the PTC line and don't know of the much better way to get on the interstate. The Steve Brown "miserable failure" approach isn't he way to go as scorched earth platitudes and ignorance doesn't seem to sway a lot of people outside of his very narrow base of acolytes who wouldn't care if he got convicted of pedophilia as long as he's against the Three Stooges and the WFB.

There's a lot of common ground on the 74/85 issue with more than just commuters of Fayette,Fulton, Coweta. 2 of these 3 entities are already members of the ARC and Coweta could care less about the "Three Rivers Commission" for that matter as they are only a provincial member and they will do what benefits Coweta and don't give a damn about anything else and why should they? That's the FC attitude for that matter. May take a broadside on the head with the King's crown to get them talking since they have a lot less at stake on 74/85 than does FC/PTC/Fulton/Fairburn. Coweta has plenty of easy interstate access and that's why it's in serious growth mode right now.

Westside annexation? The best deal ever was proposed long ago and rejected by the Lenox council. Can't blame that one on Brown either. PTC Council formed a Westside study group with a variety of pretty knowledgeable and diligent people, then totally left them out to dry after several months of hard work and progress. I'd revisit the annexation before it becomes something that PTC has no control whatsoever over because that has always been what will eventually happen otherwise. Sooner rather than later on Westside.

There are a lot of factors that come into a company like SANY locating in PTC and none can be discounted. Anything positive becomes a selling point and some rinky-dink "commission" of no importance or standing doesn't help when compared to the resources the ARC brings to the table that most dismiss out of complete ignorance.

BHH
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No thanks.

We have enough clowns trying to at like kings already.

BHH
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Typo

I meant " We have enough clowns trying to act like kings already.".

AtHomeGym
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BHH, Nuk & Kings

BHH, do you realize you've destroyed someone's lifetime dream? Couldn't you at least offer a Mayoral or County Commission position as sop?

NUK_1
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"..If every fool wore a crown......."

"we could all be kings." :)

BHH
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That's the common philosophy here

Too many kings and not enough subjects. We've proven it CAN work I suppose.

Robert W. Morgan
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Certainly agree on all that - especially the "bypasses"

Never could figure out what was being bypassed. And right you are - throwing good money after bad is just plain stupid.

Yes, the ARC keeps us in the major leagues. Why give that up.

Forgot about the westside study group. I was almost on that but had to drop out before the first meeting. They did have a good plan and I sort of remember why it was rejected. Density maybe? Probably the tree-huggers sabotaged it, not willing to admit density was what got the bridge paid for. Oh well.

Clearly things are getting worse with each passing year and by the time there is a market for any additional housing in the west village we will all be dead, so who cares. No hope for a connection to 74 for all those Coweta commuters.

BHH
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Bypassing our community

Our bedroom community is what we'd like them to bypass. But they insist on driving through it so we need to adjust their path. Now do you get it?

More Cowbelle
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Don Haddix

I think of you everyday during my crappy commute. It's good to know you and Steve Brown are working to make it better.

BHH
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Why are you commuting?

Move closer to your work and when you can break away move back here to paradise. If your commute is out of Fayette County, WHY are you here?

NUK_1
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LOL at "paradise"

I had no idea that PTC or FC had the monopoly on paradise. Of course, there wouldn't be a PTC(or much of FC) without commuters and it would have been developed like Clayco without the same proximity to the airport and Atlanta. I've lived in FC for over 40 years and I seriously question exactly where most of the people have lived before, because it seems to not have been reality there and it sure isn't here. It also shows a tremendous ignorance for one very basic concept: they quit making land long ago, but they have been making people constantly throughout...I wonder what the end result is going to be?

Here's an idea: when all of you non-commuters, retirees and other whiners want to pony-up and pay all the taxes for everything good about FC schools and all the amenities of all cities like PTC, THEN we can have a conversation. Until then, you all want everything to be the perfect(for you only, see WFB/EFB) without paying for it and then whine about not being able to afford it or the reduced services because the tax base cannot support existing services and amenities. DUH! Gee....how did that happen?

There are plenty of places to still move to where you don't have any development, amenities, high taxes......they are also called "BAD PLACES TO LIVE, BAD PLACES TO RAISE CHILDREN, BAD PLACES DUE TO HIGH CRIME."

So, instead of telling the people who subsidize YOUR existence, school system, amenities,etc. here in FC, why not go ahead and YOU move so the rest of us don't have to pay for your somehow God-granted lifestyle? "We" commuters maintain YOUR lifestyle of "all-for-nothing," and frankly, we're sick of it. I'd be glad to see YOU move away instead of hearing your BS about how "we" should instead.

bad_ptc
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BHH, like any parent

my concern is with my child’s education.

That being said, if PTC/Fayette county wishes my tax dollars for the future they need to provide accommodations to keep me here.

As of yet, they have not.

Hence, once my children are done with their HS education PTC/Fayette county is done receiving my taxes.

Once my kids are at college, why would I stay in one of the most heavily taxed communities in the state?

BHH
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Good private schools are everywhere

If that's the way it is then take nothing but pictures and leave nothing but foot prints. It's our paradise for now.

hutch866
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Same can be said to you

If it's so hard to commute on 54, why don't you move to an easier commute?

BHH
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Try it yourself

I'm not a commuter any more and I have moved but still in Fayette County. Try it you'll like it.

Don Haddix
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Haddix: Alternatives, More Cowbelle

I commuted for 21 years. But I value what we have and did not support giving it up.

ARC recognizes we cannot sustain Transit at our current population levels. So what is their solution? Urbanize and grow the density. Over double our population. Basically turn us into something like Athens-Clark, meaning a merged County/City entity.

So which is it? Urbanize or become a job center? One or the other, not both.

There is no third option. Everyone must chose.

Right now the vast majority says no to Urbanizing.

Mike King
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Mayor

The decision to grant the 'senior' apartments was indeed a step toward urbanization, and your council was unanimous in backsliding.

Well Don, it seems your anti-business/anti-developer positions have finally placed you in a most awkward position. You and your pal Brown have stained the landscape in bringing in new industry while simultaneously thwarting the efforts of developers that actually made our city unique. You preach bringing in new jobs while the vast majority of employed citizens within the city limits commute, yet you bemoan transit of any type without considering any benefits.

The majority employed within the city limits live outside them, your new DAPC Coordinator has but a few months remaining on his ten month contract, and of the last three mayors to bring industry to the city was Logsdon (Sany). Your actions to date has justified the previous Council's decision to not grant your pay raise.

BHH
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Mike King, HELLO!!

You do know that PTC only recently was considered the #5 best retirement community in the US don't you? Seniors all all about retirement and retirement is all about seniors.

Robert W. Morgan
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That is in fact "extreme urbanization" and I'd like to know why

Increasing the density by a factor of 5 is extreme urbanization and not one person seems willing to comment on how that all happened. Threat of a lawsuit that was apparently filed, but never reported on by any local paper. And a complete unanimous cave-in by city council on a multi-family project? These people don't do unanimous anything after the pledge of allegiance and now they agree that 100 apartments are a good idea? There is a story behind this and we are being mushroomed.

roundabout
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Mike K

I doubt that "anybody" brought SANY to Peachtree City!

They do their own research about such things.

Of course they talk to local officials but only to get tax breaks, etc.

Politicians want to feel important by taking credit for such things. They usually just give them what they ask for to come.

Why would you want to say that Logston did something unique to get them to build here? Frankly, it will probably cost us more for at least ten years than they contribute.

BHH
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roundabout

Very well said.

BHH
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Thank you Don

Please hang in there and keep working for the majority of us. The ARC has NEVER been a good idea for Fayette County. We should stop backing it IMMEDIATELY and maybe we can live peaceably for another 30 years or so.
I see no reason why we can't contribute to multiple regions at the same time without being smothered by one. Don't let the under toe suck us in.

roundabout
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BHH

Why would you want anybody in office to "hang in" when the results are inevitable?
People who want everything to stay just as it is are simply looking out only for themselves and not the future!

Besides, that is the basic flaw of all politicians---saying what people want to hear and knowing better.

NUK_1
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roundabout nails it.....

Can't believe it, but Bonkers/dollarsanddays/courthouserules/roundabout just succinctly nailed it:

"People who want everything to stay just as it is are simply looking out only for themselves and not the future!"

Very true, and I don't care who said it.

BHH
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Don seems to be the only

Don seems to be the only person (and maybe Steve Brown) in office that realizes the ARC is not good for Fayette. The inevitable result if we remain a member of ARC is that we will be steam rolled at every turn into funding things that do not help us at all. Our traffic needs are more specific to south of I285 at Harsfield and the ARC members north of that line have no concern for us. The ONLY potential leverage we might have as a member would the ability to vote AGAINST things proposed in neighboring counties. There is a possibility that we can convince ARC to put entrance and exits at I85 and 92 a little sooner. The fact is that this will likely be done even without our voice. We all realize that change is inevitable. It's just a matter of guiding it in the direction that best suits our needs.

hutch866
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Hey Morgan

No highjacking here, just plain old Don, you have lost so big.

Robert W. Morgan
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Yea, well, you guys provoked him

I don't want to call it cheating, but you guys start posting things about traffic and the ARC on here and that's like eating sushi in front of a flock of seagulls. That's not fair!

I do accept the fact of his addiction, although I do believe he was clean and sober for almost 2 full weeks. That must count for something. Doesn't it?

bad_ptc
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Huthc, dead guy owes you double

The Don couldn't stay off the blogs if his life depended on it.

Dead Guy, you owe Hutch BIG.

hutch866
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Haddix

Don says "Right now the vast majority says no to Urbanizing." Did I miss a vote Don? Can you show me where it says the Fayette people have said that?

Don Haddix
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Haddix: Said

In every Transportation Hearing for years, listed in the Fayette Forward on the County website, the two polls conducted for the TSPLOST and elsewhere.

Even Ken Steele admits 80% are opposed.

There is no doubt about the opposition.

BHH
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Yes, county wide only about

Yes, county wide only about 20% commute. Another study would surely prove that 90% of those live in PTC. The elephant in the room that no one is talking about is all the commuters that are passing through our county and PTC contribute greatly to our traffic problems. And WE have to deal with that. The cheapest solution is more stop signs and speed humps but that is an impractical joke that I like to use.

NUK_1
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EFB is for Clayco commuters

You know, the same group that a lot of people on here hate passionately and basically regard as trash, yet some of those same folks are real ecstatic about building the EFB for them.

EFB does relatively nothing for FC drivers since the EFB duplicates existing routes that aren't crowded to begin with. To some here, it's like someone said every taxpayer gets a $10,000 rebate if the EFB gets built. I've never seen so much joy over a road before that people haven't been demanding whatsoever. Sort of reminds me of the stupid proposal to dump a ton of money into the Crosstown/Peachtree Parkway intersection, only everyone right sees that as a ridiculous waste of money, regardless of their political ties.

hutch866
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Haddix

Who did they poll, I haven't seen a poll on this? So your solution is for everyone in Fayette to get a new job? Where are all these people moving to Fayette supposed to come from, I haven't noticed a surge in home sales, maybe you can point out where that is happening. Funny how when the ARC works to your advantage, they're geniuses, but when you disagree, suddenly they are the boogie man. You and Steve need to pick a side on the ARC, not just cherry pick them.

NUK_1
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hutch: don't lumber people with having to think for themselves

Brown and Haddix are POPULISTS for whatever is popular/unpopular at the time of election! Long-term.....what's that? Who cares? "I can't get elected if I'm not running against something instead of running for something. I have no ideas but have plenty of blame and shame to dish out on everyone else, within the county and outside. All good here!"

The hypocrisy regarding the ARC or the huge support for the EFB is clearly evident that neither Brown or Haddix has much in the way of principles, though that isn't news to you. It would be for others in FC who don't have their head buried in the sand and think both are the Second Coming of Jesus since they oppose the WFB but love the EFB.

bad_ptc
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Hutch, as I preached in the past

Those that pay for PTC work in Atlanta. There are no jobs offered hear in PTC/Fayette county that can pay for housing never mind the ever increasing taxes.

I've asked the mayor, repeatedly, to give us the numbers of those employed in the city's industrial areas vs the number of people that actually live here. He has refused and/or ignored my requests on each occasion. Mayor Haddix knows, as do I, that the majority of those employed in the industrial areas of PTC don’t/can’t afford to live here. Perhaps they should all unionize to increase their wages.

If the current city council thinks it’s hard to pay for services now, wait until PTC is dominated by retirees on fixed incomes.

When I came here 20+ years ago I fully intended to take advantage of the school system for my kids. Now that I have less than a year to go until the last one graduates I’m looking to bail. PTC is doomed as its leadership refuses to acknowledge that without transportation enhancements the blue hairs will inherit this place. Try paying for a new pool bubble or field maintenance when the average age of a PTC taxpayer is 65.

Robert W. Morgan
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Unscientific poll on PTC jobs

On the way back from Chick-fil A, a detour through just 1 aisle of the Cooper Lighting parking lot showed that only 1 in 4 cars were from Fayette County.

And if you want to go sit up on 74/85 in the AM, you'll see hundreds if not thousands of Fayette cars heading north - away from Peachtree City.

Seems to me the city or someone did a survey on PTC jobs a while back and the only number I remember was that at full build-out the industrial park and probably the office parks would have 10,000 employees/jobs. Coincidentialy, there are about 10,000 households here now and given the high percentage that commute to the airport, I can't see any validity to PTC being anything other than a bedroom town for commuters. The industrial park is full of $8 and $9 per hour jobs, but that is almost like it is a different town literally across the tracks.

Long-term what will happen is that today's commuters will retire and be driven out of town by high taxes and they will be replaced by tomorrow's commuters. After all the housing here is mostly designed for young families - 3 and 4 bedroom houses - very few senior or retirement oriented housing opportunities and virtually nothing for young singles or couples. And very few retired people who think it is a good idea to live in a large empty house with a $5,000 tax bill each year.

Mike King
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bad

You are absolutely correct in that as our population ages, the amount of disposable income will be available to residents will decrease. Our anti-developer mayor has no idea of the ratio of employees employed here that live here. He flatly refuses to consider any transit options while the preponderance of the city's employed commute north.

What he fails to understand is that developers made Peachtree City what it is today. His statement a week ago regarding paving a road so an owner couldn't develop was nothing more than a soundbite (the county has stated its intention to pay for it). I agree, to maintain or better ones quality of life over the next ten years, one will have to consider relocating.

The answer, at least to me, is in making Peachtree City more attainable/attractive to young families. The Haddix mantra of ever increasing taxes certainly doesn't help.

hutch866
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Cowbelle

Don's solution is for you to get a new job, in PTC. See how easy that is?

moelarrycurly
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Hey Cowbelle

Or how about just moving up to Fulton county for that much better quality of life they have waiting for you.

Don Haddix
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Haddix: Transit Comments

First I want to address Commissioner Horgan's statement that we were put on the At Risk List for projects after my comments on leaving ARC. That is is flatly false.

We were notified prior to my comments we were on the List. As well cities who are pro TSPLOST also were on the List and have lost funding as well.

PTC removed all references to Transit from out Transportation Plan and made a strong opposing statement in our letter of endorsement concerning the total County Transportation Plan.

As I warned everyone ARC had formed the Regional Transportation Authority who has now formed the Regional Transportation Committee to oversee and run Regional Transit. Such as Mayor Reed of Atlanta is now pushing for funding and authorizing the RTC from a special Sales Tax, not TSPLOST, on the Region.

Concept 3 is part of the TSPLOST projects. By HB 277 if passed it does not matter what Fayette or PTC says. Buses, per the plan, are scheduled to begin running through PTC and Fayetteville to continue on into Clayton by 2018. Rail is scheduled to be added by 2023.

We are not looking at just Plan 2010 (TSPLOST), but Plan 2040, which runs in implementation parallel to and in conjunction with 2010. There are are also other items as well that will come into play.

Again, as said before, the Plans include Urbanization of Fayette, meaning high density and all the rest Fayette does not want.

If passed we cannot opt out. We have no voice in the Regional plans impacting Fayette. The whole point of these efforts is to stop looking at the future as a City or a County, but a Region. Don't call us Fayette any longer, if passed, call us ARC.

Even without Transit if it passes and the approved projects are all up in the Atlanta and Northside, where indeed all the data points, we are nothing more than a donor County.

What does it take to pass? First, the Roundtable voting to send it to the voters. Second, Fulton and DeKalb supporting it, the other three Core Counties tied to slightly opposing and the Perimeter Counties strongly opposing. That is all it takes as two polls have shown.

We are in trouble. If ARC does not change or we do not leave the efforts will continue until something is passed we do not want.

roundabout
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Mayor, I'm sorry...

...but this comment about ARC makes no sense to me!

Is it basically true what I said in my comment below yours, or not?

You say things like "it passed already," and then it will later be voted on by the region, etc.

If there are two or three plans intermixed in your statement, maybe it would be clearer if you totally separated them!

Don Haddix
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Haddix: Roundabout

Sorry, but not sure what 'comment below mine' means. I thought this was the comment below mine.

The plans are designed to work together. Among the big hitters are:
1. HB 277, now called Plan 2010. After passage by the legislature it has passed the first procedures and the first two votes to go to Director Todd Long.

After processing through Long and GRTA and GDOT review those results will come back to the RTR around October of 2011. At that point final tweaks and the vote to pass along, or not, to the voters will occur. Then voters get a shot at it in 2012.

If passed it will enact in 2013.

2. Plan 2040 is already in effect and its time line directly parallels Plan 2010. Here is the link (remove the space. I don't want the spam filter to strike again):
http: //www.atlantaregional.com/transportation/plan-2040/get-involved

3. The RTA was launched in January of 2010. The RTC has now been formed and is looking for legislate authorization. Again, it will run along with and in cooperation with 2010 and 2040. You cannot really separate them. Here is the website:

http: //www.atlantaregional.com/about-us/news-press/press-releases/regional-transit-committee-adopts-conceptual-transit-governance-legislation

http: //www.atlantaregional.com/about-us/boards-committees/regional-transit-committee

There are other issues out there but these are the Big Three. Every one of them is for all of ARC, not just parts.

The point is every bit of this is aimed at making all ten ARC Counties one entity in reality. Even if not immediate in every step it is the goal and determination to do this.

Note in every effort control is consolidated to Regional level. Say goodbye to local control and home rule. ARC will be the new local (Transportation LOCAL OPTION sales tax).

Cyclist
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Haddix:roundabout
Don Haddix wrote:

Sorry, but not sure what 'comment below mine' means. I thought this was the comment below mine.

Don't worry Don, we've been trying to figure him out too.

CombatCorrespondent
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Video-Lee Hearn Admits Forced Mass Transit In Fayette Possible

Watch and listen as Fayette County Commissioner Lee Hearn admits that while it hasn't been done before, it is possible that mass transit vould possibly be forced upon Fayette County, whether we want it or not!!

http://www.kombatkamera.com/Journalism/Local-News/News-Stuff/7952631_aot...

Also listen to portions of Commissioner Steve Brown's proposal and Fayette County Commission Chair Herb Frady's reason's for opposing it:

http://www.kombatkamera.com/Journalism/Local-News/News-Stuff/7952631_aot...

johenry
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Get rid of the parasites on the County Commission!

Three cheers for CombatCorrespondent! When people see it with their own eyes that Senile Hearb Frady, Pot Smoker Robert Horgan and Hopeless Lee Hearn have no intentions of getting us out of the mass transit deal, maybe we can get the recall petitions started.

We're not going to take it anymore!

roundabout
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johenry

They can not now do anything about it but maybe appease you verbally!

roundabout
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Combat & Mass transit and road fighters

I don't think all of you get IT.

When the federal government comes along with 90% of the money for roads, mass transit, housing, etc., just how many localities refuse it?

The Interstates were built that way--no government refused them! Of course there were hard-headed small numbers of individuals who didn't want them.

All this Regional commission is for is to be able to do a regional improvement without every single county having to agree---same as the federal philosophy!

The problem is, and why this sort of thing happens, is that some counties with special problems could hold up needed quick changes.

Can you imagine going to war when every county and city in the USA had to pass on it?

National and state elections are important--if we could put the liars in jail who say such things as "I don't want it," yet the minute elected they have many reasons to do it!
Same in reverse.
For instance, Mr Deal wanted illegals out before election----now not so fast! Just as did Perdue!
You must know why this happens?

BHH
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Doug

Thank you. All I can do is put it out there and HOPE someone in a position to make some changes will pick up the ball and run with it until it is in practice.

Doug
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BHH

Your plan would be nice, but according to the article above, the routes are not going to happen that way.

BHH
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We in Fayette County may need

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.

Spear Road Guy
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Give'em Hell Commissioner Brown

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.

More Cowbelle
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Steve Brown - Get a Real Job

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.

Steve Brown
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"We oppose it, but we always vote for it."

"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."

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 the development of land use regulations and patterns that support transit uses. 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; is not constrained by political boundaries (is regionally seamless for the user).”

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
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Fayette successfully kept

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.

hutch866
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BHH

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

bladderq
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"Expressways"

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
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Okay I concede that

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.

BHH
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Wake Up Guys

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.

hutch866
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BHH

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

BHH
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If you insist

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.

NUK_1
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Have to agree with the Three Stooges on this one

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.

ginga1414
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Regional Transportation Plan

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.

johenry
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Roundabout

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.

roundabout
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johenry: please read more

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.

roundabout
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GINGA--other haters of expansion

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
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Roundabout

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

roundabout
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Steve Brown

I don't know what this means!

Could you explain?

BHH
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It seems to me that something

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.

DarkMadam
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just curious...

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'....

Spear Road Guy
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Connecting To Riverdale A Great Idea???

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
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MARTA is NOT interested in

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.

Spear Road Guy
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BHH

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
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We in Fayette County may need

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.

highflyer2
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THIS ISN'T ABOUT TRANSPORTATION

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 :)

hsh87
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newsflash!

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
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Actually Highflyer

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.

ginga1414
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highflyer2, Typical

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!

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