The GreenRoom: January 2006
Former MARTA General Manager Nathaniel Ford, Sr., who has resigned to head the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, leaves MARTA in a better situation than he found it, having, among other things, called attention to its plight. The timing of Ford’s departure, coinciding with that of Grady’s Dr. Andrew Agwunobi, reveals the troubled state of two entities funded by two counties but serving a 20-county metro region. If the crisis is not addressed, the two systems, which have become critical to working class Georgia, could collapse, with harrowing consequences. A new regional authority with teeth and a funding mechanism, such as a statewide or regional sales or gas tax would work; and it may not need to be limited to one function but could absorb the many individual and local agencies currently on the transit front, perhaps incorporating Atlanta Beltline and Streetcar groups.
The Upper Chattahoochee Riverkeeper (UCR) reports that Georgia Power admitted it failed to comply with state law in clear-cutting along the riverbank (Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin took a photo of the site which made front page news in August). “GP is now working with the Environmental Protection Department to remediate the damaged area … and evaluate its practices statewide near waterways to develop control measures that comply with the law,” says UCR’s Sally Bethea.