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GA 400 TOLL coming down by December 31, 2013 !

Posted: March 13th, 2012, 10:10 am
by Nydia Tisdale
Public Information Open Houses

Georgia's "Hospitality Highway" may become inhospitable to motorists. GA 400 Highway is being considered for H.O.T. (high occupancy toll) lanes. Garland Favorito says this is grand theft of the taxpayers.

Georgia DOT has scheduled open houses to keep the public informed about the GA 400 Feasibility Study and seek input as options are developed to improve commute times.

March 13, 2012
The Cottage School
700 Grimes Bridge Road, Roswell, GA 30075
5 PM - 7 PM

March 15, 2012
Piney Grove Middle School
8135 Majors Road, Cumming,GA 30041
5 PM - 7 PM

March 20, 2012
First Baptist Church Sandy Springs
650 Mount Vernon Hwy, Sandy Springs, GA
5 PM - 7 PM

GA 400 Express Lanes

Posted: March 13th, 2012, 10:12 am
by Nydia Tisdale

The GA 400 Express Lanes Feasibility Study study is looking at options to improve mobility along the GA 400 corridor between the I-285 interchange in Fulton County and Buford Highway/SR 20 in Forsyth County, a total length of twenty-four miles.

The study is considering the possibility of adding improvements such as tolled Express Lanes and High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes to the corridor. The study is currently in a feasibility stage to determine if a more detailed study of alternatives should move forward.

Express Lanes create traffic problems

Posted: March 13th, 2012, 11:25 am
by Nydia Tisdale
Focus on Forsyth County, GA
March 13, 2012
By Bill Evelyn

Express Lanes do NOT solve traffic problems; they create traffic. They simply remove road real estate from the mass of drivers and turn it over to a minority. The majority still sits in traffic, but with less real estate on which to drive.

Residents upset over proposal for toll lanes along Ga. 400

Posted: March 14th, 2012, 11:15 am
by Nydia Tisdale

DOT pitches HOT lane for Ga. 400

Posted: March 14th, 2012, 11:40 am
by Nydia Tisdale
DOT pitches HOT lane for Ga. 400

By Jay Black and Richard Sangster
News/Talk WSB

Now it may be Ga. 400’s turn to get a HOT lane.

The Georgia Department of Transportation unveiled plans Tuesday night for a new set of express toll lanes that would go on Ga. 400.

At a public forum in Roswell, GDOT engineers said Ga. 400 is one of the most congested roads in metro Atlanta. The only way to alleviate the problem is to add another lane and make it a HOT lane.

The proposed HOT lane would go for a 24 mile stretch on Georgia 400 from I-285 in Sandy Springs to Highway 20 in Forsyth County.

“We are at a point with our infrastructure that that it is so expensive to expand and refurbish that it is simply going to require more money,” said DOT spokesman David Spear.

But those who heard the DOT’s pitch were not impressed.

“It will not help the situation,” one man told Channel 2 Action News. “It will make it worse.”

Roswell resident Bernard Ransby added, “We pay enough already. The Peach Pass on I-85 is not really working.”

But others said if it opens up Ga. 400, they will take anything

“It ends up less congestion,” said Valerie Gourley of Roswell. “So that would be a good idea.”

There is no timetable from the DOT on when Georgia 400 will add the toll lanes.

“The study is considering the possibility of adding improvements such as tolled Express Lanes and High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes to the corridor,” the DOT said on its website. “The study is currently in a feasibility stage to determine if a more detailed study of alternatives should move forward.”

The DOT will hold another public hearing at Piney Grove Middle School in Cumming Thursday, followed by another one at First Baptist Church Sandy Springs March 20.

HOT lanes have been in operation on I-85 in Gwinnett and DeKalb counties since October.

Last week the State Roadway and Toll Authority said it has made about $400,000 in December and January from the toll lane.

The interim DOT commissioner said in January that the state is still looking at plans for reversible toll lanes on I-75 and I-575. The governor pulled the public-private partnership that would have helped pay for the project up front.

Now the state will have to come up with the nearly $1 billion it will take to fund the project, likely in several stages.

GA 400 "Silent" Town Hall Meeting

Posted: March 14th, 2012, 6:00 pm
by Nydia Tisdale

Focus on Forsyth County, GA
By Kathryn DelBove
March 13, 2012

I just returned from the GDOT/SRTA Open House in Roswell. It was considered a "Silent" Town Hall Meeting. A room was set up with a video and power point presentation. Another room had stations with charts from the GDOT website and tables for people to sit and fill out questionnaires.

Individuals from SRTA and GDOT were milling about the room making themselves available for questions. One table had a poster upon which people were allowed to write their comments. (Most were angry about the Monies/Tolls/Taxes and the lack of details.)

There was no "open forum." People were waiting in line at each to the chart stations to have someone explain that particular chart. I spoke with Mike Dover, P.E., Assistant State Innovative Program Delivery Engineer for the GDOT. He stated this meeting was very preliminary and kept stressing this was only for feasibility studies, some of which are budgeted in the million$ for just the "studies" not the construction or other costs.

He stated the funds would come from Federal Funds, the reserve funds currently held at the SRTA, (no one could tell me how much was in reserve, or how much was coming from Federal Funds), and future toll receipts. Mr. Dover stated some projects have already been "LET" for April 2012 start and construction contracts awarded.

No budgets or proposed construction budgets were posted. When I questioned where I could find information on funds in reserve or budget proposals, Mr Dover introduced me to Patrick Vu, P.E., the SRTA Administrator. He suggested the GA 400 McFarland to SR20 would probably run close to a Billion$ and that it is reasonable to spend $12 mil on the feasibility study.

As I left the meeting, you couldn't help but overhear people in the parking lot expressing their frustration over taxes, tolls, broken promises, and a desire to vote out of office ALL of the current elected officials with a "D" or an "I" next to their names.

GA 400 High Occupancy Toll lanes?

Posted: March 14th, 2012, 7:23 pm
by Nydia Tisdale

HOT lanes on Ga. 400?

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
By Ariel Hart
March 14, 2012

The Georgia Department of Transportation is holding three public meetings in Fulton and Forsyth counties this month to explain the idea and gauge public opinion. The state is planning a network of optional toll lanes across metro Atlanta's interstates, and Ga. 400 north of the Perimeter is a prime target.

If approved, they would take several years to implement on Ga. 400, and would likely come well after projects on I-75 in Henry County and on I-75 and I-575 in Cobb and Cherokee counties.

Like the HOT lanes on I-85 in Gwinnett County, the lanes on Ga. 400 would be tolled electronically. The toll price would rise and fall along with congestion in the main lanes, always aiming to stay high enough to thin out toll lane traffic so it's free-flowing. They might or might not allow three-person car pools to ride free.

Although state officials say public opinion will influence what is built, there is no public vote on the decision. But officials are making their case all the same -- a tough job, judging by comments at the first meeting, which was Tuesday night at a school in Roswell.

A comment board for attendees blistered with protest. "NO TOLLS," someone scrawled in 3-inch-high orange letters. Others wrote that it was "another dumb idea" and "self-defeating."

They said the same in interviews. "Judging by the, shall we say, phenomenal success of I-85," scoffed Alpharetta retiree Alexander Williamson, "I think that needs a rethought."

The Ga. 400 meetings are part of a feasibility study slated to cost up to $2.8 million, according to DOT spokeswoman Jill Goldberg. Unlike the I-85 HOT lane, which converted the free HOV lane into a pay lane, the Ga. 400 project could add a new lane. That also would make it much more expensive than the I-85 lane, which cost about $50 million or $60 million to implement. Such lanes generally don't recoup all their costs in toll revenue.

DOT has worked for years on adding optional toll lanes alongside Ga. 400 north of I-285. The state in 2008 canceled a privately funded proposal to build the lanes, but said the idea there remained a top priority.

State officials said they do not have enough money to add lanes in the traditional manner. They say that with optional toll lanes, at least every commuter will have the option of deciding whether they can pay to take the toll lanes.

Adding optional toll lanes is not the only idea in the works to make more space for Ga. 400 commuters. A pilot project announced by Gov. Nathan Deal in January would convert the highway's shoulder into a new travel lane between Holcomb Bridge Road and the North Springs MARTA station. The state DOT has said it hopes to have the project finished this year.

Public meetings

The remaining meetings to discuss toll lanes on Ga. 400 are scheduled for 5 to 7 p.m. for:

• Thursday, March 15

Piney Grove Middle School
8135 Majors Road, Cumming

• Tuesday, March 20

First Baptist Church Sandy Springs
650 Mount Vernon Highway, Sandy Springs

GA 400 Toll Removal — Monday June 25, 7 p.m. Roswell Library

Posted: June 17th, 2012, 9:30 am
by Nydia Tisdale
Finally as promised, a presentation on the GA 400 toll and how to remove it will take place at 7pm sharp, on Monday June 25 in the Roswell Library on 115 Norcross St., Roswell Ga. 30075. The presentation will cover:
  • · The ordinance requiring toll removal upon construction repayment

    · Funding, bonding and construction repayment for GA 400

    · The current financial status of GA 400

    · Broken pledges to remove the toll

    · Where surplus toll revenue is being spent

    · Who has authority to remove the toll

    · How the toll can be removed this year
Don’t’ miss it! This 45 minute presentation with a 15 minute Q&A should answer all of your questions with a stunning array of facts. We will also have an action plan ready to implement. Please be prompt. The presentation will start exactly at 7pm and the library closes at 8pm.

Garland Favorito
(404) 664-4044

Please sign the petition to tear down GA 400 Toll

Posted: June 17th, 2012, 10:20 am
by Nydia Tisdale
Please sign petition to tear down GA 400 Toll:

GA400 Resolution


Posted: July 11th, 2012, 10:25 pm
by Nydia Tisdale

Garland Favorito demands Governor Nathan Deal honor his campaign promise to remove the toll from Georgia Highway 400 in his presentation at the Roswell Public Library on June 25, 2012.

Video by Richard Stansell, One Take Video.

STOP GA 400 TOLL — GA State Capitol, Tues. July 17, 10:00 AM

Posted: July 13th, 2012, 8:00 am
by Nydia Tisdale
Attention all GA 400 Petition Signers,

This is what you have been waiting for. Please join us for this very important press conference at 10:00 a.m. Tuesday, July 17th in the South Atrium of the Georgia State Capitol.

At this press conference we will:
  • · Identify the legal and ethical imperative for removing the toll,

    · Define the financial plan for how the toll can be removed immediately,

    · Make available the hundreds of petitions that we have collected
Please make every effort to attend. You can help save GA 400 motorists $100,000,000 million dollars in unnecessary tolls that are planned to be collected for the next five years.

If you have not signed a petition or know someone who has not, please go to GA400 Resolution. We still want a few more signatures for the presentation.

Also, please forward this invitation to anyone you feel may be interested.

Garland Favorito
(770) 993-3622

Message from Senator John Albers

Posted: July 19th, 2012, 12:00 pm
by Nydia Tisdale
GA 400 Toll is Coming Down!

Today is a great day for North Fulton, Cherokee, and all of Georgia. The GA 400 toll will be removed December 1, 2013.

I applaud Gov. Deal for upholding his promise to remove the GA 400 toll. Although meant to be a temporary source of infrastructure revenue, the 400 toll has become a transportation barrier. In 2010, the DOT and SRTA extended the toll breaching promises and public trust. Today, we helped restore faith in our state government to serve the people with integrity.

Over the past three years, I have held forums, championed petitions and introduced legislation along with Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers and our delegation calling for the removal of the toll on the behalf of communities along the GA 400 corridor. I am pleased with the Governor's response to these efforts and his willingness to listen to the transportation concerns of Georgia citizens.

A promise made is a promise kept. I look forward to bringing my sledgehammer down December 1, 2013 to remove this toll for good.

Senator John Albers
GA District 56

Governor Deal Pledges to Remove GA 400 Toll Again

Posted: July 19th, 2012, 11:00 pm
by Nydia Tisdale
Governor Deal Pledges to Remove GA 400 Toll Again

ATLANTA, GA – Under intense citizen and media pressure, Governor Nathan Deal pledged today for the second time in two years to tear down the GA 400 toll booth that collects the only mandatory road toll in Georgia history. He set a target removal date of December 31, 2013.

Two days earlier, a group of civic leaders representing VoterGa’s Free GA 400 project presented Gov. Deal with 400 petitions requesting that he adhere to the original GA 400 construction agreements between Atlanta and the state. They require that toll revenue only be spent to construct the GA 400 extension inside the perimeter and that the toll be removed now that construction costs are repaid.

VoterGA founder, Garland Favorito, released a statement today on the new pledge: “We are encouraged that Governor Deal has once again pledged to remove the toll so that all Georgia transportation projects are funded in an equal manner for all Georgians. His predecessors took the opposite tack. But we are cautious knowing things can change just like before and the new pledge may not be honored either. Toll removal also requires a vote of the SRTA board which has not yet occurred.”

He continued: “We are disturbed though that the governor has decided to hide behind the phony bond excuse for another year and a half. As we have repeatedly explained, SRTA currently has $68 million which can be used to:
  • · Pay $22 million for completion of the Buckhead interchange ramps;

    · Open a trust, escrow or SRTA account to repay all $34 million bond principal and interest at any time necessary to avoid penalties.
“The governor chose to continue, not suspend, Sonny Perdue’s pet projects that have nothing to do with the GA 400 extension and violate the original agreement with Atlanta. Furthermore, the governor has not yet committed to liquidate the $10 million 17th St. property purchased under Gov. Roy Barnes in 2002 although it had nothing to do with the GA 400 extension. Selling that property could reduce toll collection by 6 months. If the intent is to restore public trust prior to the T-SPLOST vote, I think he needs to be more open and honest about why the state must continue to raid the Fulton County cookie jar for another year and a half.”

Garland Favorito
(404) 664-4044

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me!

Posted: July 19th, 2012, 11:58 pm
by Hal Schneider
And we're supposed to believe this, right?

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me!

Garland Favorito petitioned Gov. Deal to remove GA 400 toll

Posted: August 2nd, 2012, 9:45 pm
by Nydia Tisdale

Garland Favorito petitions Gov. Nathan Deal and Mayor Kasim Reed to remove GA 400 Toll.

Press conferences at Georgia Gold Dome and Atlanta City Hall on July 17, 2012.

Video by Nydia Tisdale for