Today may very well be Atlantans’ last chance to weigh in on the project prioritization process for the Renew Atlanta and TSPLOST infrastructure improvement programs.
In November, Saporta Report discovered that Renew Atlanta and TSPLOST—two major programs comprised of roughly $940 million worth of proposed citywide upgrades—were worth only about $540 million, meaning many of the promised projects will likely be cut or seriously underfunded.
Having to come back to the table to help officials reprioritize the project lists—“rebaselining,” as city leaders have called it—is surely ruffling some feathers, considering Atlanta voters approved the two programs in 2015 and 2016.
Right now, though, it’s crunch time.
Later this month, officials will finalize the project lists, which could be approved as soon as April.
The preliminary staff recommendations currently call for $80.2 million of the $540 million to be put toward “complete streets” initiatives—upgrades to pedestrian and cyclist infrastructure—$79.9 million for road resurfacing, and $6.4 million for roadway and intersection improvements.
Many a time, Atlantans have made clear their desire for complete streets projects to be carried out, and when the Renew Atlanta and TSPLOST funding shortfalls were first reported, people worried crucial initiatives would be kicked to the curb.
Some much-needed complete streets projects, such as the one proposed for car-choked Howell Mill Road, seem like they could be fully funded, according to the staff recommendations.
Others, such as the complete streets plan for the dangerous DeKalb Avenue, however, might only get design funding. Implementation would be another story.
And a handful of the complete streets and other projects will inevitably fall by the wayside.