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County to Spend $1.1 Million to Study Transportation Alternatives

Eighteen month long study to be funded in part by Federal Transit Administration grant.

A project described as a “major priority” for businesses in the Gwinnett Village and Gwinnett Place Community Improvement Districts moved one step closer to completion last week as the Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners approved funding for a $1.1 million transportation alternatives and opportunities study.

The study will examine various transportation options along I-85 from the perimeter to Gwinnett Center including light rail, commuter rail, transportation system management, express bus and bus rapid transit. According to a Gwinnett County press release, the study will also look at the effects on traffic, travel patterns, the environment and land use for each option and will include estimated capital and maintenance costs. Ridership forecasts, plans for operation and cost-effectiveness will also be reviewed.

“This project has been a major priority for businesses in the CID for the past several years. We can improve the southern core of Gwinnett by increasing transportation options and providing a significant economic development boost,” said Executive Director Chuck Warbington of the Gwinnett Village CID in a released statement.

Gwinnett Place CID Chairman Leo Wiener described the study as “much needed.”

“We’re pleased to collaborate with the county, regional and federal transportation officials to pursue this much-needed transit alternative analysis and are committed to improving access throughout the greater Gwinnett Place area,” he said.

Gwinnett County chairwoman Charlotte Nash said the study will include public hearings and committees to advise on policies, technical issues and community concerns.

“Gwinnett’s population has increased so much over the last few decades. Today’s commuters need more transportation options," she said.

Half of the $1.1 million, 18-month project will be funded by the 2009 SPLOST program, the rest will be funded through a grant from the Federal Transit Administration

Jimmy Orr July 27, 2011 at 10:06 PM
I am appalled that Gwinnett County government has awarded an amount not to exceed $1,099,216.00 dollars to a firm for an alternative analysis study of the I-85 corridor in Gwinnett County. Never mind that 50% of the funding comes from 2009 SPLOST tax revenues and 50% of the funding comes from a Federal Transit Administration grant, it is simply a matter of principle. This award, in my opinion, is a waste of SPLOST tax dollars and Federal grant dollars on an unworthwhile project. As I have stated previously to Brian Allen, Director of Gwinnett DOT, District 3 Commissioner Mike Beaudreau, and Board of Commissioners Chairwoman Charlotte Nash, they do not want me on a SPLOST project selection committee. WHY? I am not a "YES" man. If I had been a member of a project selection committee considering this project, we would all have been ice skating on the frozen lakes of Hell before I would have put my stamp of approval on this expenditure. If this is the manner that our local SPLOST dollars will be appropriated ongoing, Gwinnett County may have seen their last SPLOST. NOTE: Refer to my article in Dacula Patch Friday, February 11, 2011, on cutting grants and subsidies. It's time to take a "hard look" at the bloated bureaucracy in our Federal government known as the U.S. Department of Transportation and the grant money doled out by the USDOT.
Ed Varn July 28, 2011 at 02:20 AM
Jimmy, if you would run against Komissar Beaudreau, I would volunteer to help in your campaign. This is what happens when you vote strictly by whether they have an R or a D next to their name. And we get what we deserve. People, wake up!!!!!!!!!!!
M.K. OSBORNE July 28, 2011 at 03:02 AM
its also what happens when you give allegence to a party !
Ed Sullivan July 28, 2011 at 12:30 PM
Again we have a committee approach to solutions. If we don't like what is common sense or what the public wants, let's have a committee study it. So what if it costs the tax payers, it is only coming from the Fed's and that which you told us you could do without anyway. The DOT puts together these studies and though they say they have public meeting, the meeting is simply a presentation of what they want and there is no dialog between them and the public. Have you had an discussion with Brian Allan, the DOT, in the last 5 years. No, he does not allow interactive discussion. It is presented as if we, the public wouldn't understand so we won't waste our time. If there is someone who asks question during one of these presentations, there is a great effort to simply explain how they have a plan and they have throughly STUDIED the situation and this is the best solution. If that doesn't work then the answer is, "We will consider at your suggestion". Nothing is every heard from it again. In these times we don't need to spend more money when we are furloughing, eliminating holidays, etc. Where is the fiscal responsibility here!!!
Jim Regan July 28, 2011 at 02:09 PM
I thought the CIDs were supposed to be self-taxing districts to redevelop these areas without public funding? From the quotes in this article we see the CIDs are acting as political action committees to lobby county and state government for public funding of rail projects. So let's understand this, the CIDs want the public to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to provide mass transit to their special tax district, for what purpose? They tell us it will create jobs, eliminate traffic congestion, prepare Gwinnett for the next wave of corporate relocations, lower taxes, protect the environment, and save the whales. You know the stuff they always say when they are trying to trick the public into supporting a bad idea. What they failed to say is that as few as 2% of the population is expected to use a rail system, there is no expectation that it will ever be self sufficient, and that citizens will have to pickup the operating shortfall. They tell us how great mass transit systems are in Europe, but don't point out population densities in Europe are much greater than in the US and that personal income tax rates in Europe range from 20 to 55 percent of personal income. I'm all for relieving traffic congestion, but think there are better, less expensive ways to do this.
R++ One of the Famous Dacula Crew September 08, 2011 at 02:55 AM
Ed and Kevin, It has been reported only 6 percent of the eligible voters came out for the county commissioner vote and that was party “blind” - but primary contests would be good for incumbents … ummm Jimmy?
R++ One of the Famous Dacula Crew September 08, 2011 at 03:31 AM
Jim, It appears we are continuing to “Evolve” … into the New York Tri State area. This conclusion is based on the fact that zoning is passé and is no longer the controlling factor in development; we have CIDs, TADs and Overlay districts to consider too. The CIDs and TADS have operating expenses and immediately begin to expand staff and lobbying for funding in an effort to sustain and expand their power base. The indirect results are more layers of government or “cups” under which to hide the “pea” of the hard earned taxpayer’s dollar. It’s a marketing fact that it’s easier to get 5 percent than 10 percent, but with multilayer approach, is easier for gov’t inc. to walk out with 15 percent than 10 percent - because they only asked for “5 percent” at one time, they just requested it 3 different ways. Back in the day, this used to be a way around the budget controllers in finance which is now us - we the people.
Jimmy Orr September 08, 2011 at 11:25 AM
P.S. Re: My comment posted on Wednesday, July 27, 2011. It is also time to take a "hard look" at reducing the bloated bureaucracy in our state and local governments and get a handle on the reckless way they spend our taxpayer dollars. Bloated bureaucracy? For example, how do you explain a division that has a 2 to 1 ratio of staff employees to field employees? November 2012 will be here before you know it. We will have a good opportunity to make some much needed changes all the way from the Gwinnett County outhouse, excuse me, I meant courthouse, all the way up to the White House. Let's do it!
M.K. OSBORNE September 08, 2011 at 10:11 PM
Mr R i am referring to last opportunity the voters had to release Mr Mike of his duties and not the single race for Chairman brought on by the spanking Bannister received .
R++ One of the Famous Dacula Crew September 08, 2011 at 11:55 PM
Kevin, But the underlying issue is the same, have there been any challengers to Mighty Mike? Relying on parties only is indeed a weak rationale, especially when there seems to be less and less MAJOR differences between the 2. They in fact just recycle each other’s membership. So is there a challenger on the horizon?
M.K. OSBORNE September 09, 2011 at 05:02 PM
Thats true Mr R there has not been a choice , so until we at least place a broom to run against him it no wonder why he has a untouchable attitude toward the peasants. In fact we have been encouragers to his condition . Bless his heart !

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