Pro_Transit versus Anti_Transit signs.jpg

Did Gwinnett County voters approve the transit expansion referendum that appeared on ballots for Tuesday's election?

Well, it's hard to say.

Passage of the referendum would have provided a way to pay for transit expansion. The results right now are effectively split 50-50, however, with the "No" votes holding a 1,749-vote advantage and thousands of absentee and provisional ballots left to be counted.

County spokesman Joe Sorenson said there are still 4,400 absentee ballots that were turned in by voters on Tuesday that still have to be counted. There are also nearly 1,000 provisional ballots that need to be dealt with as well.

"My biggest concern right now is the transit vote," said Nicole Love Hendrickson, who claimed victory in the county commission chairman's race, on Tuesday night. "If that fails, then that is now going to be the (Board of Commissioners') challenge to start focusing on on Day One: How do we start to build out a comprehensive transportation plan that connects us to the region? 

"We were really depending on that (referendum passing) to really help move us forward with mobility, connectivity, to help us manage our growth." 

The transit referendum would have implemented a 30-year sales tax that would have funded an expansion of Gwinnett County Transit and paid for an extension of MARTA heavy rail from the Doraville station to the Jimmy Carter Boulevard corridor. It included bus rapid transit, expanded local bus service, additional express and paratransit service in addition to the heavy rail extension.

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I'm a Crawford Long baby who grew up in Marietta and eventually wandered to the University of Southern Mississippi for college. Earned a BA in journalism (double minor in political science and history). Previously worked in Florida and Clayton County.

(5) comments

irishmafia116

NO means NO. However with the new liberal commission you can bet that they will not let it rest, it will be back again bigger, and more expensive they have to to take care of all the low income housing residents they are recruiting to the county. That will insure votes to keep them in power. Oh BTW look for major tax increase ,increase in crime, and lower performing schools over the next decade

Maddawg316

Here's a thought, since only the Norcross area and points south will benefit from any heavy rail extension of MARTA into Gwinnett County, why not let the citizens in those area carry the Tax Burden? The plan, as proposed, shows the MARTA line making a hard right hand turn, away from the existing railroad line that it follows out of Atlanta, to allow the line to hook up with I-85 near Jimmy Carter. Who came up with that thought? Instead of having to purchase (or take by Eminent Domain/Condemnation) all of that land, which has existing buildings on it already, why not just pick up the MARTA Rail Line at the DeKalb/Gwinnett border and run it along the existing railroad right-of-way all the way up into Sugar Hill, Buford, and Mall of Georgia area. That way, Drivers from the Northern part of Gwinnett County would never have to get onto I-85, which would reduce traffic for those from the Eastern and Central parts of Gwinnett who need to use the Interstate. Sure, we have the Express Bus system that one can access at the I-985 Park and Ride in Buford, but the Pick Up and Drop Off times for that Route are highly restrictive and make use of it not feasible for most who work in Downtown. 2nd Option, follow California's lead and "Double-Deck" I-85 from Hwy 316 to I-285, now then we'd be Cooking With Peanut Oil, and jobs, jobs, jobs in the Road Construction biz to boot.

Stranger

Buses are half empty - we have transit. Many buses run with a few folks on them some times during the day (where are the climate change people howling when one bus is dirtier air than 50 cars?). Nobody is driving to Jimmy Carter for Marta unless it's a sporting event...and even then, Braves no longer needed for Marta. Tax, tax, tax.

CC

Busses being dirtier than 50 cars is simply untrue. Unless those cars are electric cars, which the "climate change people" actually want. Saying that 1/2 empty busses is evidence we don't need rail mass-transit is like saying 1/2 empty, rickety bridges is evidence we don't need better bridges.

asheldon

Nicole is absolutely right. If it fails the plan will ahve to be revised again and presented to the voters. Gwinnett has no chocie but to expand transit as road building is no longer addresing the growing congestion problem caused by our growth which despite the wishes of some is coming and there is no stopping it short of a recession. Biut as the 2009 recession proved any stoppage will be temporary. The plan proposed to the voters was better but still flawed compared to the plan last year. It would have had to be revamped but now if it doesn't pass funding will be put off and costs will increase as the land necessary to build the system increases in value and the cost for materials and construction labor increase due to inflation. For the good of the reidents here and coming we must hope this passes with YES votes from the uncounted ballots.

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