Just a short note regarding your T-SPLOST article — your article implies that the project list, including the widening of Hammond Drive in Sandy Springs enjoys unanimous support. Nothing can be further from the truth.
The Hammond Drive project was rejected twice in the Atlanta Regional Commission staff screening process. It was rejected by the citizen committees convened by the ARC transportation consultant in Sandy Springs. And it has been rejected by the DOT every time the COSS tried to get it on the Revive 285 project list.
It, in fact, is the Sandy Springs version of the bridge (road) to nowhere project. In these austere times, when schools and other worthy and necessary government programs are being cut back, it is an embarrassment that any government, local or regional, would propose such a project. It is a costly local boondoggle that violates the very spirit of the T-SPLOST — “to solve regional transportation problems.” It solves no regional transit problem.
It will strangle the nascent downtown Sandy Springs with cross county traffic, destroy a neighborhood and is an environmental disaster. The project is budgeted at $33.5 million — not $10 million as listed in the T-SPLOST document. Sandy Springs council members are privately saying the real cost will be closer to $45 million and possibly as much as $60 million. The city is planning to try to divert funds from what they claim are over budgeted projects along [Ga.] 400 to make up the additional funds.
The Hammond Drive project was placed on the T-SPLOST list in a last-minute parliamentary maneuver by the mayor of Sandy Springs (not a member of the [ARC Transportation] Round Table) — a round table member from Union City ceded the floor to her and she and she alone proposed the project.
With such cynical manipulation of the process on a project that is such a waste of taxpayer dollars, no responsible citizen should even consider voting for the T-SPLOST.