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The most common answer to Atlanta's traffic problems has become, not public transportation, but toll or HOT lanes. In Gwinnett County, HOV lanes requiring two or more automobile occupants were converted to HOT lanes beginning in October 2011. Vehicles with three or more occupants can use the lanes for free, but must first set up a PeachPass account for $20. All others are charged a variable rate through their PeachPass account depending on traffic.

At first the tolls were high enough to discourage drivers who stayed away in droves. The normal travel lanes were burdened with more drivers who had only one rider and could formerly use the HOV lane for free before the toll implementation. Tolls were lowered and more drivers began using the HOT lanes.

However, with increasing use the tolls,which are variable, have crept upward. According to Atlanta Business Chronicle, June 27, 2013 the toll reached an all-time high of $7.00.

Now Governor Nathan Deal has declare the HOT Lane concept to be a success and the Georgia Department of Transportation is planning more HOT lanes in the future. Money from gas taxes will be used to fund the construction. The toll lanes will be reversible, going toward Atlanta in the morning and away from the city in the evening. Tea Party members feel that this is the way government should use tax dollars.

While there was opposition to the HOT Lanes in 2012, organized opposition seems to have disappeared. The local TV stations' news reports show people who approve and disapprove, but the "fair and balanced" approach seems weighted for the HOT Lanes and resistance appears to be futile even as public hearings are being held.

I feel that this is just another sign of our two-tier society, where those with money live easier, more privileged lives, while the rest of us suffer in silence. When I Googled "ALEC and HOT Lanes" I found this:
ALEC Statement of Principles on Toll Roads - American Legislative ...
 

www.alec.org/model...alec-statement-of-principles-on-toll-roads
ALEC Statement of Principles on Toll Roads. Search in Model ... Across the country, states are implementing High Occupancy Toll (HOT) lanes. These lanes ...
I didn't click on the link as WOT warned me away with an evil red circle, but the above seems to indicate that HOT lanes are part ALEC's agenda. This doesn't surprise me. Every day in so many ways ALEC manages to impose its will on us. What ALEC footprint did you see today?

Links and disclaimers below the orange thingy.

I saw a report on HOT lanes planned for Cobb and Cherokee counties for I-75 and I-575 reported on WSB-TV news at noon today, July 10, 2013, but I couldn't find a link on their website for that story.

http://www.myajc.com/...

http://www.bizjournals.com/...

http://www.ajc.com/...

http://www.ajc.com/...

http://www.peachpass.com/...

http://southeast.construction.com/...
(beware of cookies on this site)

I include this link to the Reason Foundation website touting the wonderfulness of HOT lanes to show the propaganda effort which has brought this policy to life.

http://reason.org/...

This is a link to a Wikipedia article on the Reason Foundation describing it as "an American right-Libertarian research organization."

http://en.wikipedia.org/...

Originally posted to Lily O Lady on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 11:56 AM PDT.

Also republished by Kos Georgia.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (9+ / 0-)

    "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

    by Lily O Lady on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 11:56:20 AM PDT

  •  There Is A Huge Fight In My Area About This (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lily O Lady, Sychotic1

    we are building a new bridge from IL to MO (St. Louis). MO wants tolls to pay their half. We, well we don't like that idea cause our side of the river has lower income areas. You now the workers that will drive over the bridge to clean your hotel room or serve you a beer at a Cardinals game.

    •  This is a bit different from toll roads. This is (4+ / 0-)

      a two-tier system where the free lanes are highly congested, so extra toll lanes have been designated or constructed. The poor swelter away in traffic while those with money breeze by in the toll lanes.

      Tolls are tough on those who have the least either way.

      "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

      by Lily O Lady on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 12:16:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I Lived In DC For Many Years (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lily O Lady

        and worked in Nothern Virginia. Toll roads where about the only way to get around. You get out around Herndon and Reston and it was just "private" roads with pretty large tolls.

        •  I lived in NoVA from the early 60s to (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          webranding

          the mid 70s and then several times since then. I remember when the Beltway opened. I remember when Dulles Airport first opened. We went out just to look at it.

          There were toll roads around Richmond, but tolls didn't arrive in the DC area until what feels to me fairly recently.

          The first commuter lanes were reversible on I-95/Shirley Highway, but all you needed to use them was three passengers.

          So many people from the Herndon area used to drive to Dulles Airport to use the Dulles Access Road that the first toll lanes were constructed to end the abuse. It was all free before that.

          Construction on the Metro was held up for years because some congressman wanted yet another bridge (the Three Sisters) over the Potomac. As it was, I only got to see the construction for the first tunnels before I left my job at the Department of Agriculture when I got married and moved away. I didn't get to ride Metro until I returned years later.

          You probably couldn't imagine the DC area I grew up in. Burke was a Post Office and a fire station and you got to it by driving on a road that had a stream running across it. It's all crazy now.

          "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

          by Lily O Lady on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 12:35:33 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I Lived There From 1992 To 2001 (0+ / 0-)

            Worked in Tyson Corner. The old gas station I used had pictures from when you lived there and the place was nothing but fields for as far as the eyes can see. Now the exact opposite.

            •  It's horrible. My husband worked (0+ / 0-)

              there in the early 80s and I'd drive him sometimes so that I could use the car. The gridlock was incredible even then. I don't want to think about what it's like in the 21 Century.

              "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

              by Lily O Lady on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 12:47:21 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  Isn't that also the bridge where the name was (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      webranding

      being hotly contested between the two states?

      "We don't analyze the behavioural traits of people who carry weapons. We're looking for terrorists," -- TSA spokesman.

      by here4tehbeer on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 01:09:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes. Rachel Did A Great Piece On It (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        here4tehbeer

        MO wants it to be the Stan Musial Bridge. IL (my state) want it to be the Veterans Memorial Bridge. Rachel noted why not call it the Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge.

        It is kind of embarrassing cause these two states have been fighting about this bridge for more than a decade. And it is sad cause if you don't live in this area you might not realize there is this large body of water called the Mississippi River. You might think there would be a lot of ways to get across, alas there are not.

        And the current bridge is literally falling down. I mean literally.

        •  I believe TRMS is where I first heard of it, but I (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          webranding

          couldn't recall which two states were at odds.

          As for the river itself, I remember quite well the great flood of 1993 and how it crippled the midwest.  Lots of folks took those routes for granted until they disappeared.

          "We don't analyze the behavioural traits of people who carry weapons. We're looking for terrorists," -- TSA spokesman.

          by here4tehbeer on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 01:25:39 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  It Is FUBAR. The Highway In IL is 64 (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            here4tehbeer, Lily O Lady

            but changes to 40 when you get to MO. We can't even agree on the name of the road. Heck it is a major highway. IL upgraded and expanded the lanes to it ten years before MO could get it done (and we had an agreement to do it at the same time).

            And in a lot of other comments here I mentioned our rail system, which is actually kind of nice. That is a total other cluster fu*k.

  •  Maybe I should have titled this diary, "ALEC (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    webranding, Sychotic1, sebastianguy99

    strikes again!"

    "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

    by Lily O Lady on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 12:18:29 PM PDT

    •  The Only Good News Is My Local Politicans (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lily O Lady

      are pretty good with public transportation. We fight with both MO and Chicago to keep our rail line fees as low as possible. I ride it all the time and it is a stark reality that in the higher incomes areas nobody uses it. I am at the end of the line and I am usually the only person on it. But as you get to the lower income areas that places fills up very quickly.

      •  Wow! Americans are too tied to our cars. That's (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        webranding, HeyMikey, Tinfoil Hat

        the problem here in Atlanta. People who can't afford cars will use public transportation, but so many just don't want to give up their cars. Sadly, public transportation has suffered because it hasn't been developed in favor of roads for cars. If we had more comprehensive public transportation, it would be easier to use, but since it isn't easy to use, we don't get to have better public transportation. :(

        "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

        by Lily O Lady on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 12:41:17 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I Mentioned We Fight With Chicago (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Lily O Lady

          cause they get the bulk of public transportation funds. Ridership here is much lower then expected, so less fees collected. They wanted us to raise our fees. Literally both Republicans and Democrats from my part of the state joined together and said they'd shut down the state government if they forced us to raise our fees. We won.

          Now I LOVE my car, but living in DC a block from Union Station I got used to using public transportation and fell in love with it.

          I mean I live in a rural area and I can walk two blocks, get on a bus, and in less then five minutes get to a metro stop. Heck even if I drive parking is FREE. I can also ride all day for $7. Bus transfers are FREE.

          Most folks I know think I am crazy for using it. Why not drive? But I'd rather use it and read then drive and get stuck in traffic.

  •  Usually tolls go to build the road (4+ / 0-)

    or to pay off the bonds that were used to build the road, really.  I don't know why any other revenues would be used for a toll road, unless the tolls go to general revenue and pay back the taxpayers.

    "We're now in one of those periods when the reality of intense pressure on the middle class diverges from long-held assumptions of how the American bargain should work" --James Fallows

    by Inland on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 12:46:47 PM PDT

    •  That Is Changing In Many Places (4+ / 0-)

      to where it is a money maker, not just to pay for the road. I view it as another example of a two tier system in this country. Lily O Lady mentioned above tolls had reached $7. If you work at a WalMart or wash dishes you might have to work almost two hours just to pay to get to and from work. That is outrageous IMHO.

      •  The question is: Compared to what? (3+ / 0-)

        I've lived in the Atlanta area since 1985.

        In general, a major problem in Georgia is that we're a low-tax, low-service state. Our taxes should be higher. (Well, not while unemployment is still high. But sadly, that seems not to be a consideration, so we're discussing long-term changes.) So the question is: what taxes should we raise? Um, a tax on car commuting (which is what a HOT lane amounts to) should be high on the list of any progressive.

        In other words, I wish we had more HOT lanes, not fewer.

        "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

        by HeyMikey on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 01:40:36 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You might have hit upon a way to kill it. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          HeyMikey, jabney

          An HOT may well be described as a "Green Tax".  Another effect of the HOT would be to make more people live closer to their work, which would be terrible for suburban sprawl and thus environment-friendly.

          Such memes do not play well in Red States.

          "Politics should be the part-time profession of every citizen who would protect the rights and privileges of free people and who would preserve what is good and fruitful in our national heritage." -- Lucille Ball

          by Yamaneko2 on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 02:25:59 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  But I don't WANT to kill it. (0+ / 0-)
            Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.

            --Napoleon

            "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

            by HeyMikey on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 02:43:13 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  At tax on car commuting might make sense to (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Be Skeptical, jabney, nchristine

          you, but many people must have a car to get to even the most menial job. Atlanta sucks in the area of public transportation. If it were a matter of incentivizing people to use existing public transportation, I would agree with you. But since public transportation is very scarce, especially on the south side, such a "tax" merely penalizes low wage workers who may be late to work because of one of Atlanta's daily traffic snarls. If that lateness results in them loosing that employment, then they are in a terrible bind that the well-heeled don't experience.

          "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

          by Lily O Lady on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 02:32:43 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  i could be wrong, but doesn't the money for the (0+ / 0-)

          tolls go to a private company? if the hot lanes tolls were a tax used for the general good, that would be one thing, but if it's just taxpayer money being used to build roads which private companies then take over & do nothing but collect toll money, that sucks.

  •  Pay back the taxpayers? In Georgia? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sychotic1, bluezen

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    Private health insurance: a protection racket without the protection.

    by rustypatina on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 12:51:55 PM PDT

  •  Making drivers pay is fair. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HeyMikey, Be Skeptical, JamesGG

    I can understand being suspicious of market-based solutions but in this case conservatives and liberals should be able to find some common ground. There are a lot of reasons progressives should support congestion tolls.

    They are the most efficient way to reduce traffic. And the alternative is building more roads and encouraging more cars, which is bad for the environment.

    They are a tax on people who can afford to pay more, similar to an income tax. Those who do not need to get where they are going in as big of a hurry do not have to pay to use the toll lanes.  

    Right now drivers in general do not pay for all the negative externalities they cause.  That includes environmental costs, health care costs, and also the loss of valuable land that could generate property tax revenue if we weren't giving it away to drivers. Anything that makes drivers pay more of the costs they are causing is a good thing, including gas taxes, and also tolls for using the roads. Yes this can be a hardship on working class people who have to drive to work. But putting a price on anything has the same effect. It benefits everyone to put a price on the use of valuable and scarce space for roads. Everyone gains from that in the form of cleaner air, reducing carbon, wasting less time in traffic, and saving land from being gobbled up by more roads.

    •  Exactly. And... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Be Skeptical

      ...as driving becomes more expensive, it builds a constituency for public transit. Or (gasp!) smarter land use planning, so people don't have to live so damn far from where they work.

      "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

      by HeyMikey on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 01:36:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  but in Atlanta they are blocking Mass Transit (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lily O Lady, sebastianguy99, bluezen

        because they don't want the "undesirables" in their neighborhoods.

        I am completely opposed to HOT lanes.  People already pay gas tax.  Be honest and raise gas taxes instead of creating HOT lanes.

        "I watch Fox News for my comedy, and Comedy Central for my news." - Facebook Group

        by Sychotic1 on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 01:59:15 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Public transit available. Compared to what? (0+ / 0-)

          MARTA provides public transportation in a few central-metro-Atlanta counties (Georgia counties are small), and GRTA provides public transportation over the larger metro area. The GRTA route map is here: http://www.xpressga.com/...

          I completely agree the gas tax should be raised. But this is Georgia; it ain't gonna be. And I'd like to see the Georgia income tax raised on high earners, but that ain't gonna happen either.

          HOT lanes derive revenue from a subset of the affluent who are engaged in a particularly environmentally and socially destructive activity--long-distance vehicle commuting. That's more progressive than any realistic option for revenue in Georgia.

          AND if HOT lanes prompt people crawling along in the regular lanes to support more public transit and better zoning, so much the better.

          "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

          by HeyMikey on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 02:53:45 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  So we get a little money from people who (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Sychotic1

            get a great convenience in return while the rest of us are still left with an unsolved traffic snarl. There is no incentive to really improve the traffic situation for everyone as long as the well-off have their privileges.

            "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

            by Lily O Lady on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 03:03:49 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Crawling along in traffic is its own incentive. (0+ / 0-)

              Please see my other comment, "That's the problem with democracy."

              "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

              by HeyMikey on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 03:24:06 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  HOV lanes make more sense than HOT lanes if (0+ / 0-)

        you want to reduce the environmental impact. And as Sychotic1 mentions, mass transit is even better. But those with money who love their cars resent "subsidizing" the poor by providing mass transit

        "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

        by Lily O Lady on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 02:36:00 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  it's complicated... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lily O Lady

      What you say makes good common sense, and in my rational brain I agree.  Yet when I think of the masses spending an extra hour in their hot cars every day while they watch new Audi's and BMWs cruise by, it just shrieks "Wrong!"

      •  I'm with you. nt (0+ / 0-)

        "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

        by Lily O Lady on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 02:44:11 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  The masses can vote. And should. (0+ / 0-)

        Whether to fund public transportation is a local political issue. Whether to change zoning laws is a local political issue. The masses should wake up, educate themselves, and get involved.

        "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

        by HeyMikey on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 02:46:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  But it's not truly local though (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Lily O Lady

          The state legislature has set it up such that the 10 counties around Atlanta cast votes for any mass transit funding.  The outlying counties, through referendums and the votes of their GOP reps, kill it almost every time.  They want everything to be spent on roads.  That's it.

          •  That's the problem with democracy. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Be Skeptical

            This is the "What's The Matter With Kansas?" problem. If people insist on voting against their interests, you can't have wise government. You can only have varying degrees of stupid.

            A HOT lane is the least stupid thing we're likely to get in Georgia. If people in the slow lanes get pissed off, GOOD. Maybe they'll notice that the buses are in the HOT lanes, and they'll start to ride the bus. Maybe they'll notice that living way the hell out in Deepest Suburbia turned out not to be such a great idea, and they'll move closer to work. Maybe they'll notice that their home county's zoning code prevents having more jobs closer to home, and they'll support changing the zoning laws.

            Shielding people from the consequences of their bad decisions is usually a mistake.

            "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

            by HeyMikey on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 03:20:40 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  "the least stupid thing we're likely to get" (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              HeyMikey

              I agree that the "HOT lane is the least stupid thing we're likely to get in Georgia."  That's the reality we face with most political decisions in the state.

              Another problem is the tendency (no doubt intentional) to schedule local important state and local votes on to be held on "off" voting dates, rather than with the general elections.  

              Maybe I should abstain from the discussion.  I have a 0-5 minute commute and can afford the HOT lanes when I need to take them.

    •  Yes, this. (0+ / 0-)
      Right now drivers in general do not pay for all the negative externalities they cause.  That includes environmental costs, health care costs, and also the loss of valuable land that could generate property tax revenue if we weren't giving it away to drivers.
      If every driver on the road had to pay the full cost of their drive—including road maintenance, the property-tax hit from roadways, the amount of land wasted on parking, and their portion of the total anticipated costs of climate change, among other things—we'd see a hell of a lot more people calling for rail lines.

      The alternative is the present situation, where those of us who don't drive as often are subsidizing the choices of those who do drive.

      "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

      by JamesGG on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 07:51:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  In general and as with all federal regulation (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Be Skeptical, Lily O Lady, HeyMikey

    there are caveats, but generally speaking one cannot use federal dollars to build, maintain or in any other way mess about with toll roads.  So, if federal money was used originally to build these HOV lanes, they should not be able to be turned into HOT lanes.

    "I watch Fox News for my comedy, and Comedy Central for my news." - Facebook Group

    by Sychotic1 on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 02:03:51 PM PDT

  •  The $20 cost -- you get it back when you use $20 (0+ / 0-)

    in tolls yes?  It is more like a prepayment, I think.

    The transponders are free, but only for the first 300,000.  That can't last too long.

    •  If you have a carpool with two riders, then (0+ / 0-)

      the ride should be free. So if you always have enough riders, then you wouldn't use the money in your account. But you'd be paying for a system that allows non-carpoolers to use the same lane. That's what bothers me.

      "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

      by Lily O Lady on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 02:46:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You're worrying too much. (0+ / 0-)

        Suppose I have two friends who are going to carpool with me on a regular basis. Every once in awhile, somebody won't be able to make it. Sick child, sick adult, dentist appointment, school conference, funeral, whatever. With the transponder, I and the remaining carpooler will have the option to use the HOT lane anyway and pay the toll.

        And if there are 3 of us, we can split the $20 cost 3 ways to begin with.

        "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

        by HeyMikey on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 03:15:27 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  As I say below, there are many people who (0+ / 0-)

          must sweat over every penny they spend. You are obviously not one of them.

          "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

          by Lily O Lady on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 03:20:02 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Long term vs. short term. (0+ / 0-)

            FWIW, I have worked extensively on behalf of poor people for much of my career. Yes, at this point I don't have to worry about every $20. But that doesn't make me wrong or right.

            The model of driving to work every day is unsustainable--especially for poor people. Who would benefit most from more public transit? From bikeable and walkable communities? Poor people.

            Anything that moves us closer to more public transit, and less sprawl, is better in the long run for poor people. HOT lanes do that.

            "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

            by HeyMikey on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 06:08:04 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I wish I shared your confidence. The only thing I (0+ / 0-)

              can see HOT lanes leading to is more HOT lanes.

              "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

              by Lily O Lady on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 06:28:41 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  $20 is not worth worrying about. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lily O Lady

      Here in Cobb County (NW metro Atlanta), riding public transit costs $2.50 each way. So $20 is commuting to & from work for 4 days.

      Assuming a 30-mile round trip commute and 30 MPG (optimistically high), that's a gallon of gas a day. At $3.50 a gallon, you spend $21 in 6 days just on gas.

      $20 is 2,000 cents. Over 300,000 miles, that's 150 miles per penny.

      Average commuting speed surely must be under 30 miles per hour. 300,000 miles at 30 miles per hour is 10,000 hours. If you commute 2 hours a day, 50 weeks a year, that's 500 hours a year. So $20 buys you 60 years of commuting. That's probably enough.

      "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

      by HeyMikey on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 03:02:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not everyone can afford to buy time with money.nt (0+ / 0-)

        "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

        by Lily O Lady on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 03:06:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Drop in bucket. (0+ / 0-)

          Even if you walk to work or ride a bicycle, you spend money on commuting.

          I bike commuted in Cobb for a few years, 14 miles a day. Tires, bike repair & maintenance, helmet, mirror, lock, etc.

          If you walk, you wear out your shoes.

          $20 for something that lasts 300,000 miles is a drop in the bucket.

          "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

          by HeyMikey on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 03:10:32 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  So if you spend some money on communting why (0+ / 0-)

            not spend more? Maybe because you can ill afford what you are already spending. Don't assume that everyone is as well off as you are, HeyMikey. Some people sweat every penny they spend.

            "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

            by Lily O Lady on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 03:15:46 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Please see my other comment... (0+ / 0-)

              ...long term vs. short term.

              "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

              by HeyMikey on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 06:09:46 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  20 years, not 60 years. NT (0+ / 0-)

        "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

        by HeyMikey on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 03:07:15 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Sorry I was away for a while. I had to help my (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HeyMikey

    husband pick up his car from the shop.

    "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

    by Lily O Lady on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 02:37:40 PM PDT

  •  Keep in mind that ALEC is working for (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HeyMikey

    tax "reform" in the 2014 legislative session. The idea is to drop all income tax in favor of broader sales tax, even on food so that everyone could "share" in the tax burden. Of course with this kind of regressive tax, we know who will bear the lion's share of the burden.

    "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

    by Lily O Lady on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 02:48:38 PM PDT

  •  Still refusing to deal fairly with MARTA and a (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lily O Lady, Be Skeptical, HeyMikey

    ...transportation plan for the region.

    One of the areas of change that I will be looking for after Republican rule in Georgia is transportation. They keep building roads and-surprise-those roads become just as congested.

    One day soon we'll return to having politicians in both parties who, despite their difference, understood that what is good for the metro area is good for the state.

    The politicians may be bought, and the system corrupt, but it is our duty to fix these things.

    by sebastianguy99 on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 02:55:29 PM PDT

  •  are the entities that control your toll roads (0+ / 0-)

    private or public authorities? I'm not saying one's better than the other. Texas seems to have great "success" building roads funded by tolls. I'm just curious if your taxpayers are getting the best deal.

    Expect this to increase. Federal Highways traditionally has been rather hostile to tolling but they're really not anymore.

    •  The HOT lanes are administered by the state. I (0+ / 0-)

      do expect this to increase, but mainly because this is part of ALEC's agenda. It helps to create a two-tier society.

      "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

      by Lily O Lady on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 03:09:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I have driven in Atlanta and Ga all my life (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lily O Lady

    and Ga does not have a fit road to pay to drive on IMO HOT..HOV or pig trail ,,,,Lord I hate my home state.

    We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

    by Vetwife on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 03:34:35 PM PDT

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