Georgia Unfiltered

Search This Site

03 June 2010

Make Transportation The Issue In ClayCo

With a few strokes of his pen, Gov. Perdue signed into law a massive transportation funding bill that includes a provision allowing Clayton County to decide on whether they will join MARTA.

The countdown to July 2012 started Wednesday as Gov. Sonny Perdue signed legislation allowing Georgians to vote two years from now for what would appear to be the largest single increase in transportation funding in the state's history.

In a nod toward a growing need for mass transit that can’t legally be funded with the gas tax, the law allows funding for a variety of transportation types and will let Clayton County decide whether to join MARTA.

The new law takes a major crack at an issue metro Atlanta has struggled with for decades -- increasing congestion that is choking the region’s growth, every year costing its drivers $3 billion, with each commuter wasting about 57 hours.

Hart, Ariel (2010-6-3). With signing, Perdue sets transportation plan into motion. Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved on 2010-6-3.

AJC reporter Ariel Hart writes that the next steps for Clayton County is a non-binding referendum on MARTA in this July's primary elections. But more importantly, Hart writes, a real referendum on MARTA in Clayton County can only happen if the Clayton County Commission authorizes such a vote.

Last year, Clayton County's commissioners voted 4 - 1 to end their bus system; C-TRAN. This year is an election year, and of the four county commissioners who voted against C-TRAN in 2009, two are on the ballot with opposition.

There's only one thing left to say. Make transportation the issue in Clayton County.

The unions, the community organizations, the community itself should make it clear that without a real referendum on ClayCo joining MARTA, some elected officials will be sent home this fall. That is that.

Two years ago, Clayton County's vital issue was its dysfunctional school board. This year, the vital issue is transportation and not one candidate for public office should be given a pass on committing to MARTA.