Do we really need trolley service?

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An article in The Augusta Chronicle on July 8 ("Trolley study is mostly praised") says that the Downtown Development Authority plans to spend special purpose local option sales tax funds to study the possibility of constructing a trolley from the Medical College of Georgia to downtown Broad Street.

What would be involved in doing this?

The streets would be dug from MCG down Fifteenth Street and Broad Street to lay the tracks. An overhead wire would be put up to run the trolley. The railroad would be crossed (perhaps by a bridge?). The canal would be crossed (another bridge?). The disruption of traffic would continue far beyond the construction.

Who wants it? Transit planner Uriah Lewis is quoted in the article, saying that a bus trial of the route didn't work because of the traffic in the area around Harper Street. An alternative interpretation would be that there was insufficient demand for the service.

Margaret Woodard, the authority's executive director, said that a trolley would help revitalize downtown Augusta, and that powering it by the Augusta Canal would be the first such trolley in the country. These are romantic ideas, in my opinion.

Without more information that we need this, I would be opposed to the proposed study as a waste of SPLOST funds.

Leonard Brubaker, Augusta

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DeborahElliott2
4
Points
DeborahElliott2 07/16/08 - 03:31 am
0
0
Unless you vote these people

Unless you vote these people out, they will do what they want cause they have a need to know for the good of Augusta. I agree with you that a trolley will not be viable in that it would definitely use a LOT of electricity and/or gas, a commodity that all of us need to conserve but don't, and yet, if they really look at it, they should do more to conserve energy such as allow bike rentals, horse and buggies, or even those fancy two wheeled energy efficient riders that only go so fast to be rentals. The problem with our current commissioners is that they are set on traditional methods when thinking outside the box would be more productive, effective, and necessary to keep jobs in the marketplace and people will be more susceptible to change their ways too. Change will happen, whether it is waste of taxpayer dollars, or when people start marching on the steps of the Mayors office, but either way, change will undoubtedly happen. Downtown is old, and historically speaking, looks wonderful if only people took the time to view it. Build a place where kids can go and you employ 20 people or more. You get rid of gangs faster this way.

rainh2o
0
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rainh2o 07/16/08 - 05:22 am
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I don't know whether a

I don't know whether a trolley would be prohibitively expensive, but Augusta needs something. Its about as charming as James Brown's last mug shot.

patriciathomas
42
Points
patriciathomas 07/16/08 - 06:27 am
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Half of the county wants

Half of the county wants Augusta to be a socialist enclave and the other half is moving out of the county. What do you think the city needs rainh2o?

Little Lamb
49038
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Little Lamb 07/16/08 - 07:02 am
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0
Mr. Brubaker makes some good

Mr. Brubaker makes some good points. We need to nip this trolley idea in the bud. Please contact your commissioners and say, "NO!"

lifelongresidient
0
Points
lifelongresidient 07/16/08 - 07:07 am
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hold on paroperty taxpayers

hold on paroperty taxpayers here comes another "if you build it they will come" this is whats best for augusta idea. gee...if only the property owners would have had the pleasure of paying for the ellis street option as well, augusta would have had it all.. years of diminished downtown business due to construction, then go 2 blocks over and you will be in the middle of a war zone of crime, gangs, prostitution..but hey cleaning up downtown is not important, that's too much like common sense to make the same people who you want to come downtown to feel safe to do so...you would think that would be the smart thing to do..but i guess it makes more sense to spend tens of millions of taxpayer dollars to build a trolley just because little rock arkansas has one

getalife
4
Points
getalife 07/16/08 - 08:43 am
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I thought I would never say

I thought I would never say this, but Marion Williams idea of a drag strip makes more sense than tearing up half of Augusta to build a trolley system, a canal or a baseball stadium. You will never have major retail businesses downtown, just more cafes, bars and shops with overpriced goods. Business has moved to the mall and the strip centers near where the population resides.

disssman
6
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disssman 07/16/08 - 08:44 am
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Think people!!! I don't

Think people!!!
I don't recall seeing this on my ballot for Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax needs. Where are they comming up with this extra money. Either they are badly estimating cost or they just don't care , because they know YOU don't matter. I always thought SPLOST was for KNOWN special purpose items at that time, not hairbrained ideas thought up by the DDA. By the way who is running the ship is it the commissioners or the DDA? It seems the commission is willing to rubber stamp anything the DDA sends them. Remember SPLOST starts with something that IS needed and identified upfront at the time of balloting.

DeborahElliott2
4
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DeborahElliott2 07/16/08 - 09:32 am
0
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JohnRDupree, Let me show you

JohnRDupree, Let me show you something. Last year, DOT stopped buses from running in our area due to high gas prices, then complaints came in that buses are too overcrowded, remember that? Have you been listening to complaints about gangs downtown and vandelism that people paint on walls, etc? Which project is more important, making new businesses come back or your trolley? Which will offer more jobs for people? When people have jobs, they spend more, how much more do they spend? What are the real Augusta Issues in this town? Did you hear the people, or are you making plans for something that brings in money but not jobs? If you put up this trolley, how many non skilled laborers will you need? Those are the ones you want off welfare right? This economy is really bad to start with raising tax dollars cause most homeowners are now told that a milliage increase will occur to help a failing school system within Richmond County. Are you aware of this? People are looking at getting 2-3 jobs to make ends meet, even downtown Augusta which made the news. How much more money do you think taxpayers can pay without resulting in more home foreclosures or bankruptcies? Answer?

imdstuf
10
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imdstuf 07/16/08 - 10:04 am
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0
I do not like the idea, but

I do not like the idea, but it is better than the idea they had of expending the canal down Ellis Street.

jack
10
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jack 07/16/08 - 11:03 am
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Instead of tearing up the

Instead of tearing up the streets for trolley lines, try PAVING them as they are the worst in the CSRA. Just ride down Jones St from 13th to 15th streets for a prime example. Like rding on an old country dirt road bumps and all.

Former Augustan
0
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Former Augustan 07/16/08 - 11:31 am
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A trolley? Augusta needs

A trolley? Augusta needs this like a moose needs a hat rack! Why do you people continue electing people who develop and propose losing ideas like this? As another poster said, business will N-E-V--E-R come back to Broad Street again. Even in big cities this isn't happening. People want to shop where they can do it all in one air-conditioned place or small strip shopping centers. Here in California, it's either the mall or one of the many "big box" shopping centers that are crowded. With hare-brained ideas like this, it's no wonder Augusta has been left in the dust by other cities -- and it will continue.

disssman
6
Points
disssman 07/16/08 - 11:41 am
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0
Dear Commissioner Before you

Dear Commissioner
Before you spend thousands of dollars on a study (that you know you are going to approve) let me tell you about the Broad street route. The street you want to use is basically single lane because of delivery trucks and parking in the right lane. If you want a thrill just go to a city with a trolley during a rain storm. The street will be like a piece of ice and if you couple that with the following; bald tires on most cars in this area; about 9 -10 traffic lights and people who proved they could drive by testing in an empty parking lot, then you already know the situation and no study is needed. Do what a previous writer suggested, pave the darn street and do something reasonable!!!

joebowles
104
Points
joebowles 07/16/08 - 02:52 pm
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0
The commission never approved

The commission never approved this idea. Several think its a good idea, but I think it is ridiculuos. To think we are dumb enough to accept the notion that 4 miles of a trolley is mass transit????? This is just another example of a decent idea but no one considers the cost to operate and who will pay for that!

getalife
4
Points
getalife 07/16/08 - 07:34 pm
0
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As we all know, the people

As we all know, the people doing the study will find the idea is great and give their approval. Another waste of taxpayer's money.

As It Is
2
Points
As It Is 07/17/08 - 12:48 am
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0
Why would anyone spend 37k to

Why would anyone spend 37k to study and see if we need to spend 150 million or more dollars to build a trolly system downtown and then spend about 4 million each year to operate it when we cant even afford to keep our citizens safe due to a shortage of funds to cover public safety officers or even pick up the trash in the city. This is one of the more stupid ideas our county has ever had.

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