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Old 03-18-2019, 11:30 AM   #1
Parlay Slow
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Gwinnett County MARTA referendum

The Atlanta mass transit system has the unfortunate distinction of being the only major mass transit system in the country with no state funding. It is currently funded via sales tax in the three metro counties with service. Tomorrow (tue 3/19) there's a referendum to bring in another major county (Gwinnett) to expand service dramatically.

Traffic in Atlanta is famously terrible, and major businesses have cited a lack of transit as a negative for the area. Expansion of transit in Atlanta has been notoriously fraught with racial politics, and tomorrow's referendum is not looking good.

https://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na...318-story.html

Quote:
“We don’t want more riffraff,” said Danny Watson, 65, the white owner of a pest control company, as he headed to an early-voting polling station recently.
Quote:
Jeanetta Shepherd, 57, a white property manager who lives and works in Duluth, said she opposed the plan because she was unlikely to travel by bus or train and suspected the services would be used mostly by low-income residents and immigrants, who she referred to as “illegals.”

“Why should we pay for it?” she asked. “Why subsidize people who can’t manage their money and save up a dime to buy a car?”
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Old 03-18-2019, 11:38 AM   #2
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Re: Gwinnett County MARTA referendum

I read this and say no State Funding? What about Federal Funding? Here in our city in Canada the funding is split between all three levels of government. Plus our province has a carbon tax that helps fund green . I just cant fathom a city paying for this themselves
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Old 03-18-2019, 04:40 PM   #3
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Re: Gwinnett County MARTA referendum

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Originally Posted by lozen View Post
I read this and say no State Funding? What about Federal Funding? Here in our city in Canada the funding is split between all three levels of government. Plus our province has a carbon tax that helps fund green . I just cant fathom a city paying for this themselves
The days of local government expecting federal handouts should be gone and over with. Why should someone in Oregon (for example) see their tax money going to fund a five-mile project that is nearly three thousand miles away and for which the Oregon taxpayer derives precisely zero benefit from?

Public transportation such as MARTA seems to be proposing funds itself through bonds and the nominal sales tax increase that impacts those in the affected area. The problem that tends to come into play is that the planners promise the world but all too often fail to deliver. We saw this in Austin where CapMetro screwed up light rail by shutting it down far too early when it could have done a good job of getting the drunks home after their night of partying downtown.

I have no idea about the efficiency and effectiveness of current MARTA operations...don't live there and have no plans to move to the Atlanta area. However, off-cycle elections are something that rarely works well if there is opposition to bond or other fiscal measures. Turnouts are often in the single-digit range and those that turnout are the ones most likely to be opposed to paying for something they won't use. Where the expense is justifiable, the entity pushing the measure gets it on a ballot for a cycle with good expected turnout...
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Old 03-19-2019, 12:03 PM   #4
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Re: Gwinnett County MARTA referendum

Thing is, Gwinnett already has a local transit authority. It sucks, but instead of improving it internally, there is now this proposal to outsource public transportation to an outside authority (marta), with its own jurisdiction (they have their own police force, eg) and a setup designed for a dense, municipal environment (whereas Gwinnett is much more open and spaced out, the largest county by area in the state).

The proponents of the plan are selling it as a major traffic relief program, but that's a load of ****. There's no light rail, other than a connection that will only/mostly serve north Fulton County (paid for by Gwinnett). They want to sell a bunch of MARTA buses to Gwinnett, which will only increase traffic and driving delays because people with cars aren't going to start taking a bus instead.

Last edited by iamnotawerewolf; 03-19-2019 at 12:11 PM.
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Old 03-19-2019, 12:13 PM   #5
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Re: Gwinnett County MARTA referendum

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Originally Posted by lozen View Post
I read this and say no State Funding? What about Federal Funding? Here in our city in Canada the funding is split between all three levels of government. Plus our province has a carbon tax that helps fund green . I just cant fathom a city paying for this themselves
Federal funding usually comes attached with strings, and frequently states, particularly in the South, don't like them.
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Old 03-19-2019, 12:20 PM   #6
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Re: Gwinnett County MARTA referendum

OP cherry-picked quotes citing racial animus.

The article actually describes swaths of POC who oppose the measure.


Also,
Quote:
Gosha, who is black, said her job required her to crisscross the metro region and she was not likely to switch to public transit. But she hoped her commute would be smoother if others did.
consider this logic for just a moment.
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Old 03-19-2019, 12:26 PM   #7
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Re: Gwinnett County MARTA referendum

There is no logic when it comes to the prospect of abandoning one’s single-occupancy vehicle.
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Old 03-19-2019, 12:28 PM   #8
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Re: Gwinnett County MARTA referendum

Much easier for Gwinnett to improve as part of greater Atlanta since most of its transit issues revolve around commuting in and out of Atlanta anyway.

Even the light rail is more likely to be expanded under an unified public transport system.
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Old 03-19-2019, 12:29 PM   #9
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Re: Gwinnett County MARTA referendum

lol, werewolf simply will not stand for someone accusing suburban redneck Boomers of being racist.

Last edited by Trolly McTrollson; 03-19-2019 at 12:36 PM.
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Old 03-19-2019, 12:43 PM   #10
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Re: Gwinnett County MARTA referendum

Quote:
Originally Posted by iamnotawerewolf View Post
OP cherry-picked quotes citing racial animus.

The article actually describes swaths of POC who oppose the measure.


Also,


consider this logic for just a moment.
Quite a gotcha example you cited there. A black person who supports the idea is not what you think it is.
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Old 03-19-2019, 03:18 PM   #11
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Re: Gwinnett County MARTA referendum

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Originally Posted by True North View Post
There is no logic when it comes to the prospect of abandoning one’s single-occupancy vehicle.
I would be happy to pay twice the proposed sales tax increase to have some rail connecting the various county municipalities, the county courthouse, and the county sports arenas, with bus service in each of the surrounding areas. What I don't want is bus service slowing down the already congested main thoroughfares.

If MARTA wants a cut, maybe they can split the costs of connecting their existing endpoint stations to the contemplated GCT ones.

Last edited by iamnotawerewolf; 03-19-2019 at 03:26 PM.
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Old 03-19-2019, 03:23 PM   #12
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Re: Gwinnett County MARTA referendum

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Originally Posted by grizy View Post
Much easier for Gwinnett to improve as part of greater Atlanta since most of its transit issues revolve around commuting in and out of Atlanta anyway.

Even the light rail is more likely to be expanded under an unified public transport system.
Atlanta's roadways are ****, and its parking is obscene. Gwinnett does not have those problems because it is not as dense.

I don't understand why a 1% tax can only pay for infrastructure if it is under MARTA authority.
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Old 03-19-2019, 03:26 PM   #13
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Re: Gwinnett County MARTA referendum

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Originally Posted by markksman View Post
Quite a gotcha example you cited there. A black person who supports the idea is not what you think it is.
that was not an example, it was a separate point (thus the "also", not an "eg")

the examples are:

Quote:
“I don’t want to be paying taxes for something that 10 years from now hasn’t taken effect,” said Jamell Cottrell, a black, 50-something program manager who lives in Lawrenceville, a city about 30 miles northeast of downtown Atlanta.
Quote:
Cottrell, who moved to Gwinnett 13 years ago from Long Beach, Calif., understands the Atlanta area’s traffic is bad. But she worries the project will take too long for her to benefit from the extra taxes she would pay. She is also not sure she wants her community to be more connected with Atlanta and the rest of the metro region.

“I love living in the suburbs, away from the bustle of the city, away from the crowds and buses and trains,” she said. “I prefer not to be in the city.”
Quote:
About 62% of whites and 57% of Latinos and Asians were opposed, while 62% of African Americans supported it.
Quote:
In fact, some minority voters were mouthing the same talking points as older, white Republicans, he said, telling canvassers they were not likely to use public transit or that empty buses would clog up the roads.

“Minorities who choose to live in Gwinnett often move there for lower taxes and for the same reason that others do: They don’t want to be in the city,” Hicks said.
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Old 03-19-2019, 03:41 PM   #14
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Re: Gwinnett County MARTA referendum

lol at that first quote above: "a black."

The opposition to expanding MARTA in to the suburbs has always been very much about racism. Cobb County has opposed it forever because they somehow think "black thugs" will hop on trains and commit crimes in lily white neighborhoods.

https://www.atlantamagazine.com/grea...ransportation/

Quote:
The 1965 and 1971 votes against MARTA by residents of Cobb, Clayton, and Gwinnett weren’t votes about transportation. They were referendums on race. Specifically, they were believed to be about keeping the races apart. Consider the suburbanites voting back then. The formerly rural, outlying counties had exploded with an astonishing exodus of white people fleeing the city as the black population swelled during the civil rights era. This mass migration came at a time when Atlanta was known through its public relations bluster as “The City Too Busy to Hate.”


The 1960 census counted approximately 300,000 white residents in Atlanta. From 1960 to 1980, around 160,000 whites left the city—Atlanta’s white population was cut in half over two decades, says Kevin M. Kruse, the Princeton professor who wrote White Flight: Atlanta and the Making of Modern Conservatism. Kruse notes that skeptics suggested Atlanta’s slogan should have been “The City Too Busy Moving to Hate.” “Racial concerns trumped everything else,” Kruse says. “The more you think about it, Atlanta’s transportation infrastructure was designed as much to keep people apart as to bring people together.”
It's not just MARTA, either. The highway system was designed to **** with black communities.
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Old 03-19-2019, 04:03 PM   #15
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Re: Gwinnett County MARTA referendum

Quote:
lol at that first quote above: "a black."
sorry bud, but it wasn't "a black.", it was "a black, 50-something"

when listing adjectives, you are supposed to put commas in between them



Consider: I have listed multiple reasons to oppose this particular proposal, all of which are completely race neutral, and some of which have been echo'ed by POC, yet still you are so sure that it is actually about race anyway.
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Old 03-19-2019, 04:03 PM   #16
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Re: Gwinnett County MARTA referendum

Quote:
(whereas Gwinnett is much more open and spaced out, the largest county by area in the state).
Not sure where this came from, but it's nowhere close to the largest.


Quote:
Gosha, who is black, said her job required her to crisscross the metro region and she was not likely to switch to public transit. But she hoped her commute would be smoother if others did.
This logic seems sound to me. While it may not work for your particular circumstances, it will for many. Every person on the train or bus is one fewer car on the road. That would easily be worth the few hundred bucks a year in sales tax for me.
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Old 03-19-2019, 04:07 PM   #17
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Re: Gwinnett County MARTA referendum

Quote:
Not sure where this came from, but it's nowhere close to the largest.
wow yeah, I was way wrong there, sorry
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Old 03-19-2019, 04:08 PM   #18
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Re: Gwinnett County MARTA referendum

apparently also wrong on density (I thought Fulton > Gwinnett)

Quote:
1. 2,608.2/sq mi Dekalb, GA / 707,185
2. 2,057.7/sq mi Cobb, GA / 708,920
3. 1,928.0/sq mi Gwinnett, GA / 842,091
4. 1,830.7/sq mi Clayton, GA / 264,221
5. 1,809.9/sq mi Fulton, GA / 967,100
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Old 03-19-2019, 04:45 PM   #19
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Re: Gwinnett County MARTA referendum

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Originally Posted by Parlay Slow View Post
Not sure where this came from, but it's nowhere close to the largest.




This logic seems sound to me. While it may not work for your particular circumstances, it will for many. Every person on the train or bus is one fewer car on the road. That would easily be worth the few hundred bucks a year in sales tax for me.
The problem is that EVERYONE uses this logic. Everyone thinks someone else is going to get out of their car and onto transit, and so nothing changes as long as cities don’t do anything to reduce demand for car-based commuting.
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Old 03-19-2019, 05:03 PM   #20
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Re: Gwinnett County MARTA referendum

The lack of public transport makes getting around for people who can't drive nearly impossible. My epilepsy, which prohibits me from driving, would make living in most of America completely unrealistic. I was restricted to using Uber to get around Atlanta when I went there on a short vacation. Wasn't horrible for a vacation but is ridiculous for a living. It really threw a wrench in my trip to have to deal with that.

Any boost in public transport is beneficial to the community as a whole.
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Old 03-19-2019, 06:55 PM   #21
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Re: Gwinnett County MARTA referendum

I would love it if MARTA was up here in Cobb County. I stay up in my little suburban bubble mainly because it's such a pain in the ass to drive into Atlanta. I feel fortunate I don't have to drive into the city for work. Being able to drive a few minutes to a train station and chill out for a commute or for a night out would be nice.

On rare occasions, I've driven to Sandy Springs to take MARTA into the city for a big sporting event or something. It was crowded as hell when near the arena/stadium, but still better than dealing with traffic and parking for major events.

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Old 03-19-2019, 07:06 PM   #22
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Re: Gwinnett County MARTA referendum

As to the racism reasons for MARTA not being in the northern suburbs, pretty much every honest assessment/recounting of Atlanta history will tell you it was a MAJOR factor. Nowadays, people put forth other arguments like cost, which aren't necessarily invalid, but the racism factor still exists and it was very significant back when MARTA started.
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Old 03-19-2019, 07:54 PM   #23
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Re: Gwinnett County MARTA referendum

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Originally Posted by dlk9s View Post
The opposition to expanding MARTA in to the suburbs has always been very much about racism. Cobb County has opposed it forever because they somehow think "black thugs" will hop on trains and commit crimes in lily white neighborhoods.
Quote:
Originally Posted by dlk9s View Post
As to the racism reasons for MARTA not being in the northern suburbs, pretty much every honest assessment/recounting of Atlanta history will tell you it was a MAJOR factor. Nowadays, people put forth other arguments like cost, which aren't necessarily invalid, but the racism factor still exists and it was very significant back when MARTA started.

This happens in every metro area in the US except I guess wherever notawerewolf's pack lived. I remember in the DC suburbs there was huge pushback at expanding the metro farther into the suburbs because people were afraid it would allow black people to take the metro in and steal your TV. Anyway the whole point of living in a white flight suburb is that privileged whites don't have to live near people of color.
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Old 03-19-2019, 08:11 PM   #24
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Re: Gwinnett County MARTA referendum

Literally every white person I have ever talked to from Atlanta has informed me MARTA stands for Moving Africans Rapidly Through Atlanta. Lol the south, always.
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Old 03-20-2019, 09:54 AM   #25
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Re: Gwinnett County MARTA referendum

the vote failed, 54% against

https://www.gwinnettdailypost.com/lo...254ec809d.html


Quote:
Lawrenceville resident Marsha McCutchen said she did not think the county would get enough in terms of heavy rail
yup



and before everyone gets all "racist!" about it, note that former Gov. Nathan Deal and current County Sheriff Butch Conway (who proudly endorses ICE detainers and has consulted with Trump on the same) & District Attorney Danny Porter (all Republicans) backed the plan

opposing the plan was the recently elected Solicitor General Brian Whiteside (Democrat)
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