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Chance to express HOT lane frustration at new town hall

LAWRENCEVILLE -- After outraged residents walked out of a town hall meeting this week, Howard Rodgers jumped at the chance to host another event to talk about the controversial HOT lanes on Interstate 85.

Rodgers, a Lawrenceville man who is gathering signatures for a petition at stopthehotlane.com, is working to coordinate an event at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 17 at the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center.

He was approached about the possibility Monday by Sen. Renee Unterman, who invited State Road and Tollway Authority and Georgia Department of Transportation officials to a GOP event Monday.

But when many of the more than 200 residents at the meeting expressed frustration that they were not allowed to speak out, both Unterman and Rodgers wanted to plan another event.

This time, Rodgers said, he has invited officials to answer questions, but he plans to leave at least an hour for members of the public to talk and ask questions.

"We will open up the floor," he said, adding that people who want to express frustrations about their commutes will have the opportunity. "Those are the things that SRTA, GDOT and the senators need to hear.

"This is a value issue for Gwinnett County," added Rodgers, whose own commute has increased from about 45 minutes to nearly an hour and a half. "This is affecting our families and our livelihoods."

And of course, it'll give him another opportunity to gather signatures for his petition, after more than 100 signed at Monday's event, giving him more than 3,000 names.

Comments

CD 2 years, 5 months ago

I wonder why the Chamber and the Gwinnett Republican Delegation of Gluttonous Heathens chose Unterman to be the point person on this, the "window dressing" that it is hoped will smooth the feathers of the taxpaying public so that we can further tax ourselves into oblivion and provide the monetary vehicle for further-increased theft and corruption in Gwinnett, A.K.A T-Splost?

I will not attend the meeting, but my hope would be that the citizens merely make the following statement, one by one, then take a seat: "As evidenced by the Hot Lane approach and the disastrous, ongoing effects this has on traffic, we will vote down any transportation tax increase sought by the Republican Delegation now or in the future."

Deny the heathens the tax dollars they wish to waste! Vote NO to T-Splost!

If Unterman knew about and understood Hot Lanes and did nothing she is complicit in the double taxation scheme. If she did not know then she is incompetent. Which is it, Unterman?

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HonestIngine 2 years, 5 months ago

Yes Unterman is taking the heat on this issue, and Tom Rice is thaking the heat in Peachtree Corners,along with Lannette Howard and Francis Millar. All these Republicans need to retire to the Democrat Nursing Home, for old out of touch with their constituents. The Republican party is not living up to the core of the Party... TIME TO VOTE THEM OUT OF OFFICE, First chance we get....

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JohnGalt 2 years, 5 months ago

Well, Atlas is shrugging. I'm getting ready to formulate an exit strategy. I'm sick and tired of Gwinnett's BS, and compound it with allowing outside interests that benefit themselves at my expense? I don't think so. I will never pay a toll in Georgia for any reason. They didn't live up to their agreement with GA400. They utilized and emphasized the need for HOV lanes to "save the environment". What a crock.

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KP 2 years, 5 months ago

You all need to stop getting your blood pressure up. If the state is making money on the deal things will not change. They might tweek it here or there.but they will not remove it.

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economist 2 years, 5 months ago

LOL!!! "...Rodgers, whose own commute has increased from about 45 minutes to nearly an hour and a half..." How stupid!! Here's an idea....pay the buck and a half and get there quicker!! My commute is down to just under 30 minutes and I rarely drop below 60 MPH the whole way!! I want to say "thank you" to all the people who like to sit in traffic and then complain about it instead of just paying the toll. I will happily continue to pay the toll as it is a service that is worth far more to me that $1.50. Thank you to Gwinnett County and the Georgia DOT for this wonderful idea. (I'll wave to all you people on the right as I drive by!!)

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danolator 2 years, 5 months ago

What a simple response by a person with a "holier than thou" attitude. My commute takes me past I-85 on the top end perimeter. My commute has increased 45 minutes per day due to traffic backing up all the way to Roswell road by 4:30 PM each day. The traffic is almost completely stopped in the two entrance lanes at the Spaghetti Junction interchange due to this idiotic move by the DOT. Hey economist, glad you find happiness in the sorrow of others. Hope you sleep well at night.

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ACC12_SEC13Booster 2 years, 5 months ago

Don't pay any attention to economist, he's probably a lowly government employee at SRTA where they were probably planning all along to feel better about themselves by making EVERYONE else's lives more miserable while making a quick buck off of that increased misery to boot.

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Mack711 2 years, 5 months ago

Your speed will increase if all just "pay the buck". That lane will be just as slow as the rest of the others when everyone will "pay the buck. Have you been behind a GCT bus yet? 45 at the best.

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R 2 years, 5 months ago

Enjoy your govt sponsored pass

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Hangdog 2 years, 5 months ago

I wonder if anyone from SRTA or GaDOT will actually attend. I don't know who they sent to the first one, but Unterman essentially said after that one that "if you are mean to the SRTA and GaDOT people, they won't come back."

CD, I like your thoughts. There is no way I'm voting for any more transportation-related tax increases based solely on the state's handling of this hotlane mess.

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JohnGalt 2 years, 5 months ago

They were your quintessential gov'ment workers, puppets mind you, that displayed their arrogance, pompousness, and disdain for the great unwashed greedy suburbanites. They said, "send in the clowns", and that's what showed up on stage. I'm not interested in listening to any more puppets. I want politicians to go head to head with these idiots, and rectify this.

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Mack711 2 years, 5 months ago

If you think for one minute that anyone will be at this meeting from the SRTA who can answer our questions with any authority will be doubtful at best. This may be another dog an pony show but will be worthwihile to attend jsut to watch them sweat. They know that this is not what the citizens want but like the garbage plan will be here to stay, for awhile. They are counting on us to go ahead and 'pay up' in order to get there faster. But when you do that we will be right back where we started from before this plan went into affect, just lighter in the pocket book. Double taxation that is all this is.

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Ragnar 2 years, 5 months ago

I won't go as far as "economist" and I DO understand the objection that this obviously does not reduce overall congestion. OTOH, my commute is a good 20 minutes faster than it used to be at a cost each way of about seventy cents for the portions I use when I use them. That's well worth it to me, so all in all from a purely selfish perspective I like the lanes. I like them a LOT.

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ACC12_SEC13Booster 2 years, 5 months ago

HOT lanes LITERALLY give a whole new name to "HIGHWAY ROBBERY"...

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R 2 years, 5 months ago

Sudden requirement to attend a seminar at the “Joe Biden School of Communications” perhaps?

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ACC12_SEC13Booster 2 years, 5 months ago

The powers-that-be are gonna find out just how "AWESOME" hot lanes are when the proposed T-SPLOST that they've seemed to have pinned all of their high-priced self-serving hopes and dreams is overwhelmingly and resoundingly defeated and goes down in flames.

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Mack711 2 years, 5 months ago

Katrhryn: When everyone pays the extra tax for the use of the HOT lane you will think that is the slow turtle lane just as before. So waste your $$$$$ and enjoy the HOT lane for now.

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ACC12_SEC13Booster 2 years, 5 months ago

The set of HOT lanes on I-85 between Chamblee-Tucker and Old P'tree are just the beginning as the state has plans on the books to take the same HOT lane concept that has so increased congestion and gridlock in Gwinnett and expand it to encompass up to at least 285 miles of freeway throughout Metro Atlanta to the tune of $16 BILLION, much of which the state is quietly planning to pay for by raiding the T-SPLOST revenues for many of the respective counties that the HOT lanes are planned to run through.

A link to this article about the bungled implementation of the I-85 HOT lanes in Gwinnett provides some insight into the extent that the state plans to implement HOT lanes all over Metro Atlanta, much of which will involve converting existing free HOV-2 lanes AND free GENERAL PURPOSE lanes to HOT lanes so that many stretches of the freeway system will have TWO HOT lanes in each direction (be sure to scroll down to the section of the article titled “Managed Lane Network”):

http://www.tollroadsnews.com/node/5540

The state also plans to convert yet ANOTHER lane on I-85 in each direction so that there will be TWO Lexus Lanes on each side of the roadway in either direction.

Even after all of this, the state wants to take away another lane of traffic, this time converting a general purpose lane to a HOT lane.

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Mack711 2 years, 5 months ago

everyone should read the toll road article to see what is in store fot the futre of toll roads in and around the Metro area. There after all is a hidden agenda that has been exposed. It seems that not only Georgia is involved. The Federal government is also behind this plan. Simple soulution: SAY NO TO THE FEDS.

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ACC12_SEC13Booster 2 years, 5 months ago

Here's an excerpt from the article in the 10/8/11 edition of the Toll Roads News:

"Managed Lane Network.....For a number of years Georgia DOT and the regional planning organization have been developing a "Metro Atlanta Managed Lanes System Plan." This has looked at developing a 2+2 HOT lane network by adding one lane and converting another lane to each direction of area expressways inside the I-285 belt route and building two extra lanes outside per direction, some elevated........Truck-only toll lanes have also been studied for the more heavily truck routes..........Five stages or "Tiers" are laid out for an 1,100 lane-mile, 1750 lane-km network costing $16.2b of which it is estimated about $9b would be self-financing through concessions with investor groups. The most urgent and financeable projects seem to be on the northern side of Atlanta, notable I-75 to the northwest, GA400 north and I-85 to the northeast together with the segment of I-285 that links all three...........This part, Tier 1 is about $3 billion in project cost. Just this set of projects - if they happen - would dwarf the present and previous toll work in the area.........The overall network of the five 'tiers' has been extensively modeled. In reviewing the studies and presentations we were struck by the emphasis on projected 2035 traffic and revenue numbers and on the phasing and priorities..........It may be that too little attention has been given to detailed planning and management of the early stages. The first week of the first phase of the first Tier of I-85 could seriously damage confidence in the whole larger scheme - if they don't now recover quickly..........We don't have a clue, yet anyway, as to why the launch went so badly, so we have no idea if they can recover."

"Unprecedentedly wild startup....GA/I-85 is by far the wildest start to any of the toll/HOT/managed/express lanes projects in the US so far: - CA91 Express Lanes LA area...- CA/I-15 San Diego...- MN/I-394 Minneapolis...- MN/I-35W...- CO/I-25 Denver...- TX/I-10 Houston...- UT/I-15 Salt Lake City...- FL/I-95 Miami...- WA167 Seattle......These earlier ones had rather uneventful, lightly publicized and uncontroversial startups.....In none of them did a Governor intervene, and take personal responsibility."

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Mack711 2 years, 5 months ago

ALL metro counties will have a toll lane coming soon. read the article and you will see what they have planned but not talking about.

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Enik 2 years, 5 months ago

This is a game changer, people will be moving out of the metro area in droves. I cannot believe that the government is being this arrogant with their citizens quality of life.

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R 2 years, 5 months ago

A system of theft so revolutionary - that's it patentable!

And its one fee that visitors from out of state can't pay and are exempt from - by law!

Not Ready for Prime Time traffic coming to a car near you!

Sponsored by GDOT... GDOT bringing commuters closer together for over 30 years, now moving into the 21 century where we just want to p!ss YOU off and then charge you for the privilege...

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CD 2 years, 5 months ago

R: this may be sponsored by the GDOT, but it was approved by the Republican Delegation. I can't find one piece of evidence where the Republican Delegation of Gluttonous Heathens ONCE spoke out against this before implementation of HOT lanes, a tax upon a tax. It seems as though Gwinnett should continue as their piggybank of choice in their minds.

This HOT lane concept is a done deal, but those politicians that either approved of or knew and did nothing should be replaced. I did not generate my net worth by wasting money. I could use the HOT lanes from a financial aspect, but from a position of what is right, and wrong in this case, I don’t use them. I simply cannot abide excessive taxation, much less blatant double-taxation schemes contrived by the heathens.

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Mack711 2 years, 5 months ago

@ R What? Visitors from out of state are exempt from this and do not pay. Talk about discrination at its best !!! When did this come out? Have family in SC. will use their car next time we go down 85.Then we will not pay for anything!

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PaulDouglasSanner 2 years, 5 months ago

Friends ~ there are some major flaws in the thinking of people like "Economist" who posted above saying in essence...just pay the $1.50 toll and use the HOT lane. One major flaw is built into the system ON PURPOSE! The plan calls for "variable pricing" which raises the toll based upon the highway congestion at the time the toll is paid. And so it's not bad enough that tax payers are DOUBLE TAXED for their highways...they are taxed even more at the very moment they need the lane they've already paid thier taxes to build!.

If you're interested here's a link to an explaination of the HOT Lane strategy:

http://ntl.bts.gov/lib/jpodocs/repts_te/13668_files/chapter_1.htm

If you read Chapter 1.1 you will see that there is built into the plan this variable pricing:

"Value Pricing - The use of pricing to moderate demand during peak periods is common in sectors such as power and air travel. Similarly, the concept of value pricing within the highway sector involves the introduction of road user charges that vary with the level of congestion and/or time of day, providing incentives for motorists to shift some trips to off-peak times, less-congested routes, or alternative modes. Higher prices may also encourage motorists to combine lower-valued trips with other journeys or eliminate them entirely. When peak period volumes are high, a shift in a relatively small proportion of trips can lead to substantial reductions in overall congestion levels and more reliable travel times."

As I have said before the HOT Lanes are an outrage and a form of tyranny! PDS

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Mack711 2 years, 5 months ago

Just read on another web site where the SRTA will not be sending anyone to this meeting. They however will be providing statistics on lane use in the future. What do they have to be afraid of, after all we are only the taxpayers that pay their salary. Remember as said here in this blog that numbers can be changed to show any thing you want. Corruption at its best!!!!!

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