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POLITICAL NOTEBOOK: Senator tries to stop spread of HOT lanes

He may not be able to stop the controversial HOT lanes in Gwinnett, but Sen. Curt Thompson is hoping to stop them from spreading across Georgia.

Thompson, the Democrat whose district includes half of the 16-mile HOT lanes corridor along Interstate 85, presented a bill before the Senate Transportation Committee on Tuesday. The bill would place a moratorium on the development of express toll lanes and would require the General Assembly to pass legislation for them to return.

"While the effort to cut metro Atlanta's unbearable commute times is laudable, it has become clear that the HOT lanes were a poorly researched initiative," Thompson said. "The typical I-85 commuter has seen their drive time doubled, and those who can afford the steep tolls are watching the costs reach all-time highs. ... We need to closely re-evaluate the effectiveness and impact of HOT lanes before integrating them into Georgia's other highly traveled roadways."

Howard Rodgers, a Lawrenceville man who has lead an internet campaign against the toll lanes, testified before the Transportation Committee. The committee did not vote and is expected to take up the bill on a later date.Woodall reads to kidsCongressman Rob Woodall participated in Read Across America Day, the celebration held each year on Dr. Seuss' birthday.

Woodall read to 40 preschoolers at the Lawrenceville library branch Friday. He read "Green Eggs and Ham" and "Meet Me at the Zoo."

"I am thrilled to share in this special day with children and their parents at the Lawrenceville library. I thank David Smith, the Lawrenceville library's branch manager, for allowing me to come and read to the kids," Woodall said.

"The fact that parents and teachers care to bring their children to these kinds of enriching events displays the kind of passion they have for nurturing young people I will continue to do my part in Congress to ensure that parents will always have the first and final say in their children's education," said the Republican from Lawrenceville. "I am always lifted up by the enthusiasm of Gwinnett County students. Today was no exception. I only hope that the kids had half as much fun with me as I had with them."

Woodall also visited Johns Creek Elementary School in Forsyth County to participate in Read Across America events.

Political Notebook appears in the Thursday and Sunday editions of the Gwinnett Daily Post.

Camie Young can be reached via email at camie.young@gwinnettdailypost.com.

For archived columns, go to www.gwinnettdailypost.com/news/local/politics.