T-SPLOST’s own expert admits, It’s not about ‘untying’ metro traffic

Reading Chris Leinberger in the Marietta Daily Journal today and watching the anger of African-Americans at No-T-SPLOST meetings in Rockdale and DeKalb counties proves to me that T-SPLOST has been fully exposed.

The Metro Atlanta Chamber’s “go-to” expert Chris Leinberger, who personally profits from transit-oriented development business interests, finally came right out and said, “The goal of having a rail system is not for traffic relief, but for economic development.”

He continued, “The No. 1 thing that needed to be done for Cumberland [Cobb County] is to heavily invest in rail transit,” (MDJ, “Expert: White ‘burbs ‘racialized’ MARTA,” July 14, 2012).

Thank you for your honesty, Mr. Leinberger. The initial disguise of a grand plan to save commuters who are wasting their lives sitting in traffic has evaporated.

Just to throw more fuel on the fire, elite real estate and development attorney Doug Dillard, chairman of the Council for Quality Growth, told an audience regarding T-SPLOST, “If we’re going to bring real estate out of this depression, we’ve got to give it some help,” (MDJ, “Lawyer says T-SPLOST too critical to reject,” July 13, 2012).

Conclusion: T-SPLOST ain’t about traffic congestion relief, folks.

I am also seeing something I have not seen at the regional level in a long time. The African-American population is demanding accountability.

These citizens know they were taken for granted in the T-SPLOST process and the pale power structure consisting of corporate business leaders and Republican state constitutional officers have no idea what to do to turn things around. They tried dragging out the old Civil Rights icons, but this new crop of black leaders is too young for that play.

I was always taught never to stand under an avalanche.

By the way, Chris Leinberger, at the request of Atlanta Regional Commission Chairman and the Cumberland CID Chairman Tad Leithead, will be picking up a $190,000 check for a study on “walkable urban” communities in metro Atlanta — convenient.

It always gets a little dicey when the Metro Chamber of Commerce’s T-SPLOST expert is getting paid on the side by a local CID clamoring for unproductive rail transit in the T-SPLOST (for economic development, not congestion relief).

Steve Brown

Fayette County Board of Commissioners, Post 4

Fayetteville, Ga.