The People’s Transportation Plan had a busy week last week. Commissioner Carlos Gimenez, a steadfast critic of the way the CITT has been mismanaged, has formally proposed sending the item back to voters for a referendum (in the hopes it will be repealed). This couldn’t come at a worse time for MDT considering looming service cuts on the horizon when property values are reassessed this year and the county has to scramble for all the cash it can get its hands on. Commissioner Gimenez: what is our ‘Plan B’? We cannot simply remove a major source of funding from our system. Yes promises were made, and the money was never sufficient to make big moves. but we need to make sure that we don’t cut off our nose to spite our face.
In what seems like a strange coincidence (read: sarcasm), the first major rail project funded by the PTP finally broke ground after seven years. Yippie. We can finally get to the airport (arguably the first place the Metrorail should have gone). Now all we have to do is get it to go to the beach. Now that George Burgess and Commissioner Jordon have squeezed out the only positive PR they are going to get out of the PTP, I wonder what their next steps are.
“Our challenge now is to creatively fund other corridors on a priority basis,” said County Manager George Burgess, who said voters were over-promised in 2002.
Ok, we were over-promised. We get it. Now what? Are we operating under the PTP, just looking for ‘creative funding’? Are we considering cheaper BRT options? How about streetcars? There needs to be more transparency in the planning process. The failure of the PTP was not that it over-promised, but that it was not marketed correctly. We should have been looking for creative funding since 2002 (in addition to the CITT). Surely, no one thought the tax was going to answer all of our problems. The CITT shit sandwich that we are all eating won’t taste good until we have a workable plan for implementing the PTP (or its descendant): it’s time to get moving.
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