The GreenRoom: October 2006

The Georgia Regional Transit Authority (GRTA) seems intent on alleviating automobile traffic – with buses. GRTA, which is appointed by the state government, now wants to shut down plans for a downtown multimodal station, replacing it with a bus hub bringing commuters from the suburbs to the High Museum, of all places. Joe Bankoff, president of the Woodruff Center, called the plan, which includes no other stops between Cobb County and downtown, “unworkable,” in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Worst of all, a recent MARTA study revealed that buses, not light rail, would be the least expensive option for Atlanta’s Beltline.

The Savannah Morning News noted how the Coastal Marshlands Protection Act of 1970, established to prevent phosphate mining on Little Tybee Island, “gave future lawmakers the needed room to adapt to changing times to protect one of the state’s precious resources.”

David Kyler, executive director of the Center for a Sustainable Coast, responds that “we cannot allow one sector – real estate development – to compromise the future of all other interests,” including fisheries and ecotourism amounting to more than $1 billion and 40,000 jobs. That’s good advice for the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ newly created Coastal Uplands Stakeholder Committee, which, with luck, will be less short sighted in protecting the coast than its transportation counterparts are in their efforts to combat traffic with buses.

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