The 509 steam engine train sits in Macon's Central City Park as it has for decades. The Georgia State Railroad Museum in Savannah is negotiating with Macon-Bibb to bring her east. But Macon park leaders are torn by the prospect of losing the train.
The snow is melting, the ice is retreating and stranded cars are finally leaving Georgia’s motorways. But the blame game is just getting started, and the stakes are high enough to rival Sunday’s Super Bowl. Two inches of snow brought metro Atlanta to a standstill Tuesday and much of Wednesday. And now people want to know why – the thousands of Georgians who abandoned their cars and whose children had to sleep overnight at their schools. You know, people who vote.
It would appear two inches of snow can cripple traffic in metro Atlanta. It can force people to abandon their cars and start walking. It waylays children and teachers at schools and keeps workers shut in at the state Capitol. And it can cause even the mightiest of Governors to admit maybe the state wasn’t prepared. But can it turn elections?
Savannah has become the first community in Georgia to offer a public bike sharing program. It’s starting small – just two stations and 16 bicycles. But organizers of the program CAT Bike say they hope to eventually expand the program, which is patterned after those in cities from Boston to Des Moines to Denver. Savannah’s Mayor Pro Tem Van Johnson says the city’s flat terrain and warm climate make it easily walkable and bikeable.
A bill in the state House calls for so-called regional transportation tax, or T-SPLOST, votes to be conducted on a smaller scale. House Bill 195 will allow a few counties and cities to band together for referendums on fixing traffic troubles. The 2012 defeat of transportation tax referendums came after voters in large regions were asked to agree on a long list of big, expensive projects. Out of 12 regional districts, only three regions passed the transportation referendum: the Central Savannah River, the Heart of Georgia Altamaha, the River Valley district.
The American Society of Civil Engineers is releasing a report card for Georgia's infrastructure. The group rates the state every four years. It looks at roads, bridges, ports, airports and other areas related to infrastructure. The overall grade is a C.
Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed says he’s talking with state legislators once again about solutions for the state’s transportation problems. But speaking at a policy conference in Atlanta Wednesday, Reed said it’s unlikely anything will happen before 2015.