The TSPLOST referendum will have a significant impact on the Atlanta BeltLine. If you have not made up your mind yet as to how you plan on voting, or, if you have not yet blocked off an hour of your time on Tuesday to vote, I hope that you will choose to do so. For my closing argument, I’m going to turn this post over to my friend Jenny Pittam*, who brings an Atlanta BeltLine-centric argument to the fore. Please read. Please vote (yes):
Next Tuesday, July 31, is the 10-county vote on the Transportation Referendum (TSPLOST) that would build allow the BeltLine to build 10.2 miles of transit. About 5 miles would be on the old BeltLine rail corridor on the east and west sides of town. The other ~5 miles would be crosstown connections through downtown and Midtown (with links to MARTA stops and the Atlanta Streetcar). These crosstown connections will not happen without the Referendum (there is no funding in the foreseeable future). No Referendum means several years tacked onto the build-out of transit. It also likely means limited future federal funding since the U.S. government won’t give money to a region that won’t take care of itself. It would be a huge set-back for our city in terms of staying competitive with similar metropolitan areas.
The Referendum would also build a MARTA extension from Lindbergh to Emory / CDC, build bus rapid transit to south DeKalb, build a transit line to Cobb County from Midtown, build at least 29 miles of bike improvements (and not all cities have even published their local project lists yet), and continue the BeltLine’s existing multi-use trail near Piedmont Hospital across Peachtree and Piedmont Roads to Lindbergh.
I’m asking for your help in voting YES! I’m also asking that you pass this along to anyone who lives in the 10-county region who might also vote YES!
(The 10 counties are DeKalb, Fulton, Cobb, Gwinnett, Cherokee, Clayton, Fayette, Henry, Rockdale, and Douglas.)
I don’t usually get political, and I know nobody likes new taxes, but this is the biggest thing to ever happen to my work and to Atlanta. This is an off-season vote and voter turnout will determine the outcome.
Voting has already started. Find out where you can vote early.
Find out where you vote on July 31.
*Editor’s Note/Full Disclosure: While Jenny does work for the Atlanta BeltLine, the opinion above is her personal opinion, reflected from her personal email account.