I Have No Trust Left
Call me skeptical if you wish, but I think the decision has been made to build more HOT lanes.
In today’s column, we pretend we are a fly on the wall down at GDOT when they are trying to figure another way to stick it to the taxpayers. With a recorder going, we hear one of the people say: “I know, we will tell them that by building another lane all the way to the ocean, congestion will be relieved on the Gwinnett Interstate.” Another says, “Oh, no, they would not believe that.” Someone else adds, “I know, let us tell them we will be able to make $100 million by adding a user fee to the lane we build.” Someone asked rather shyly, “Will we really make that much money?” “Of course not, silly,” is the reply, “but the people will believe anything we tell them.” Someone else speaks up with these great words of wisdom, “I know, let us do a lottery prize with the Georgia Lottery where a person gets a life time free ride in the HOT lane on a scratch off ticket.” Laughter fills the room!
I believe you get my point in this little make-believe meeting. Call me skeptical if you wish, but I think the decision has already been made to build more HOT lanes (Highway robbery lanes) and they want us to believe that following a public hearing the decision will be made because people will beg for congestion relief. I agree, the congestion needs be addressed but in a sensible way. Taxpayers (road users) are going to pay for the added lanes to be built. After the lanes are built, they want to add another tax and try to make us believe it will pay for the lane that has already been paid for.
Do you want the toll lanes extended to Hamilton Mill or perhaps beyond? Let us know in the comments.
The first hearing is set for March 21, at the Gwinnett Center Atrium located at 6400 Sugarloaf Parkway in Duluth. The second hearing is scheduled on March 28, in Braselton. That meeting is to be held in the community room of the Braselton Municipal building at 4982 Highway 53, Braselton. You can tell they really want a large crowd of taxpayers to attend the meetings as they are set to begin at 4 p.m. when the majority of the people will still be at work and worried about how they are going to negotiate the rush hour traffic to get home by 7 p.m. when the public hearing will have ended.
As the meetings have been announced, let us try to make both meetings and see how many people actually show up to speak their mind on this issue. Try to get off from work early one of those days in order to attend the meeting and let the people from GDOT (who promise they are going to listen to the taxpayers opinions on the issue of HOT lanes) know where you stand on the issue.
From where I stand, when GDOT changed HOV to HOT and charged a fee, any trust I had for that agency was gone.
Follow Ray Newman on Twitter @RayNewmanSr
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