In Texas, they are deciding on a bill to allow regions to tax themselves, and in recent years it's been state legislators who have cut it down for what I can see because they just are against taxes. It's not about letting people decide for themselves that they need more local funding. In fact, this need to raise taxes is a direct function of funding not being allocated correctly in the first place.
If transportation funds were instead allocated on the basis of data, need and transportation impact, metro Atlanta would fare much better. This is where the need is greatest; this is where the impact would be most noticeable. But that’s not how things work.
State leaders are now trying to muscle through a “reform” of the system. But rather than make our transportation planning more professional and data-driven, the goal is to make it even it more political. For example, it is supposedly “reform” to give the Legislature the power to spend up to 20 percent of transportation money on projects it gets to approve. Now, how many professional transportation planners sit in the General Assembly? Do you think that money will be allocated to where it would do the most good for Georgia, or to where it would do the most good for powerful legislators?
I do have to disagree with Jay on one thing, traffic isn't the issue. They've had more than enough money to build roads that are rediculously huge and part of the reason why traffic is so bad is because of Metro Atlanta's land use problem. They have let developers go nuts wherever they want and subsequently people are living in one place and driving everywhere to get there. I highly suggest A Man in Full by Tom Wolfe for some real estate fiction based on Atlanta.