Atlanta, GA---A transportation referendum that would have increased spending on transit, sidewalks and bike lanes in the Atlanta Region seemed poised to fail today.
“This was a real loss for clean air and transit but it can’t be the end of the story,” said Policy Advocate Jennette Gayer. “Atlanta is known for sprawl and smog and the best way to fix those problems is to build more public transportation---we’ll start tomorrow looking for the next best option for transit.”
The Transportation Referendum would have raised the sales tax by one percent for 10 years and spent the money raised on 157 transportation projects. Over half of the regional money raised would have been spent on transit projects including a new rail line to Emory and the CDC and rail on the Atlanta Beltline.
“Our volunteers worked hard to turn out YES votes for the referendum, and we know that there was tremendous support for transit,” continued Gayer. “One of the most challenging problems was a lack of trust in the elected officials and agencies that would be implementing the transportation projects—it is a problem that we need to address moving forward.”
Future options that could help the region invest in transit include a fee on parking in downtown Atlanta and an increase in Georgia’s Gas Tax, with a specific carve out for transit projects.