Advocacy groups for people with disabilities eye transportation projects

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Advocates for people with disabilities are looking at how projects in Tuesday’s transportation tax referendum could improve the mobility and accessibility of public transit systems.

The Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities and the Statewide Independent Living Council of Georgia said on Thursday the tax would provide more transit options.

In Richmond County, $7.55 million was allocated for operations and maintenance of Augusta Public Transit. That money could be used throughout the 10-year tax collection period, if the vote passes.

Several other projects on the tax list include infrastructure improvements and intersection and pedestrian crossing upgrades.

“Our goal is first and foremost about living independently and having the transit tools that allow us to be part of our community and not be treated any differently than fellow Georgians,” said Pat Nobbie, the deputy executive director of the Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities.

Brian Mosley, an employee of Walton Options for Independent Living who is blind, said he is undecided on his vote for the tax. Although Augusta needs to improve its accessibility, Mosley wants assurance that the tax money will help people with disabilities.

“Sometimes, these decisions are not made with our best interests at heart,” he said, adding that people with disabilities should be included in the decision making processes.

Walton Options is a nonprofit organization in Augusta that has not taken a position on the transportation tax vote.

Marie Young, the advocacy coordinator for Walton Options, said the Augusta bus system needs expanded routes and operating hours. Inaccessible sidewalks and bus stops also cause limitations, she said.

“Pedestrian improvements is really what we need more than anything in Augusta right now,” Young said.

Willie Jones, another blind employee of Walton Options who rides the bus frequently, said more bus routes can help people with disabilities get back into the workforce by having better access to employers. He plans to vote in favor of the tax hoping those improvements will be funded.

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nocnoc 07/27/12 - 12:16 am
As predicted the closer to election the more stories flavors

What follows is NOT P.C., but honestly said without double speak.

What next the TSPLOST is GREEN and helps saves the environment?
TSPLOST will slow Global Warming, TPSLOST is needed for National Security we can't release at this time? How about giant highway signs flashing Vote YES for TSPLOST It Saves Lives? TSPOLOST to save Polar Bears,

Come on enough is enough. They are trying to run the media blitz game from the 1940-70's. But it can't be done in the 21st century with every house interconnected via blogs, electronic media and the internet.

Too many people already know:
* This a steal from everyone to reward the few tax.

* 60%+ is headed to Metro Atlanta and 25% to be dole out by local politicians as political rewards.

* It is a NEW 10 year tax,

* It will cost the average person $834 a year in new and related passed on taxes.

I am waiting for the next argument to support the "predicted" increase in cars. The problem is every car added to the roadways pays TAXES so it is a zero offset.

A honest argument could be made higher MPG cars could hurt the budget planning. But if that be the real case then why a TSPLOST instead of a Statewide Fuel tax increase?

With that aside if the tax is generally expected to pass as they keep harping, why do you think they would be going though all this effort and costs to win votes? They know they are on the ropes and the ugly truth will come out. They know if they don't win this, the next thing approved regarding GA-DOT will be a statewide citizen demanded 3 year deep audit. An in an a major election year we'll get it and will see where $1.9 billions dollars is being wasted every year.

Please vote to keep Ga largest Pork Barrel fix out of Pork Addicted Politician Hands. Help Them ...... Just Say NO.
It is the 1st step in the treatment of a serious addiction, called waste and spending.

useful 07/27/12 - 06:22 am
vote yes

I will vote yes.

nanowerx 07/27/12 - 07:23 am
No, propaganda machine, just no!

Sorry TSPLOST advocates, your sob stories are not going to sway me. Financial theft by pulling on heart should be ashamed. Fix the problem of inept spending, don't tax me because you blow our money fruitlessly and when projects that we need come up...."oh, lets steal from the taxpayer, that will fix everything!" Not now, not ever.

Vote 'NO' on TSPLOST and let the Georgia government know that we would prefer the alternative of a balanced budget and better use of the funds we give you every week. This is too weak of an economy to even think about raising our taxes yet again.

NoHayManera 07/27/12 - 10:50 pm
Pay taxes or pay taxes

I'm voting "yes". At least this way I know how my tax dollars are going to be spent in the area.

I work in Columbia County and I live just outside of it in Richmond County (my wife and I are planning on moving into CC in the near future).

From 2000-2010, CC grew in population over 38%, while RC grew 00.3%. In 2000, CC has was just over 44% the population of RC. In 2010 (that's already 2 years ago), CC grew to just over 61% the population of RC.

Let's face it. Soon enough, CC will be the "metropolitian" area of the CSRA. The area needs this tax (especially if you live in CC) to prepare our roads for the inevitable that's coming our way.

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