Moody’s, the New York-based bond-rating firm, this week noted the damage that could do to the region’s economy, and thus to the bond ratings of local governments. The region “needs major upgrades to its dated and limited transit system and congested roadways to maintain its long-term position as an influential economic center,” Moody warned, concluding that the region now has no means to fund those needed upgrades.
Unfortunately, last week’s vote must also be seen as merely a symptom of a much deeper crisis in leadership, political culture and vision now confronting the Atlanta region and the state. In short, through their own rhetoric and their own actions, Georgia political leaders have succeeded in delegitimizing government as a tool for fixing not just transportation but a whole range of problems, including education. They have led the crusade to destroy public faith in the institutions that they themselves lead, and as a result those institutions have become increasingly useless.
Atlanta and maybe Dekalb County might be able to fund their own intown transit projects, but unfortunately we can’t help that the rest of the region isn’t with us in expanding this infrastructure. Sometimes I get really disheartened at how much we’re a blue buoy in a red sea.
As much as I hate to imagine intown becoming even more isolated from the rest of the community than it already is, sometimes it doesn’t seem like such a bad thing, as long as Atlantans can keep moving forward. Everything I need is ITP anyway, except for my weekly outings to North Fulton and occasional trips down to Macon. It’s quite possibly the most backwards approach to optimism, but the it’s the only one I can find right now.