As one who has been involved professionally and avocationally with virtually all forms of transportation over the past 60-plus years — newspaper circulation truck driver, Savannah State Docks pr rep., Ingalls Shipbuilding pr rep; Piedmont Airlines ad agency writer and exec.; AAA officer and director ; promoter of what became MARTA; promoter at Cobb Chamber of Commerce of what became Cobb transit; past director of Ga. Assn. of Railroad Passengers and National Assn. of Railroad Passengers — I am not enchanted by your lack of vision on this subject.
I’m not claiming expertise, but I do claim experience and knowledge in this field. I have never understood the “knee jerk” antipathy of fellow conservatives (often Republicans) for progress in transportation that includes passenger rail in appropriate transit corridors. All over the U.S., metro areas comparable to metro Atlanta are investing in one mode or another of passenger rail. Somehow, Georgia, and Cobb, seem destined to be “left at the station” once again due to being clueless as to future transit needs.
As for the “popularity”, of lack thereof, of “mass transit” among Cobb citizens, you seem to have more faith in “town hall meetings”, populated generally by folks with agendas, not always informed and sometimes just a step away from being a “mob”. Reporters love these events, especially if controversial, and tend to give them more importance than they deserve. It’s rare to see a reporter or editor at such meetings as a citizen, preferring as I do to express opinions through media or in smaller groups where mutual respect and civil discourse is called for.
I recognize this message is probably falling on deaf ears. I have tried over the years to confine argument to people I know and/or respect, and who know me….but I needed to get this thinking conveyed and hope it has not engendered personal antipathy toward me, even as your antipathy toward mass transit continues. ..
I am not opposed to passenger rail. The issue in the TSPLOST and Cobb’s part of it is twofold: first, what should be the priority — (1) a rail line that will serve only a fraction of the need in Cobb 15 years from now or (2) more immediate congestion relief projects, mainly widening key roadways? And if there is to be a rail line, other routes must be considered; for example, from Cobb to the Perimeter Mall MARTA station and from there to downtown Atlanta. Or why not, as some officials suggest, utilize existing rail? Further, Cobb already has a transit system, Cobb Community Transit. It connects to MARTA and serves more of the county than the proposed rail line would.
There is so much more to this issue than the simple choice between a light rail line connecting Cumberland Mall to Atlanta MARTA in 15 years or having no line at all. Let’s create the best transportation plan for Cobb now and in the future.