As the people in and around Atlanta prepare to decide on a sales-tax referendum that could generate $6.14 billion for transportation upgrades, officials are still wavering about the results the move could generate.
Voters in 10 counties will decide the fate of the measure on July 31. If passed, the tax would be collected over 10 years and build projects targeted to help ease the commute. The Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) is using traffic-simulation software to project the results of the funding, and by 2025 metro drivers will burn 128,000 fewer hours battling traffic congestion. Commuters, however, will still be dealing with 1.8 million hours of snarl daily.
The number of motorists able to reach their job in less than 45 minutes out on the road will increase to 6%. It’s even better if you travel by bus or light rail, where the number will spike to 20%. However, the news is brighter for those counties that will receive mega projects to help improve the ride to work. According to ARC calculations, drivers where construction activity will be fierce will see a 24% reduction in congestion when all is said and done.
“You are not going to see all congestion evaporate,” ARC Director Doug Hooker told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “For people who commute very close to home, it probably will be negligible. But it moves the needle forward in a significant way for a majority of commuters.”