Gov. Nathan Deal called me. He tracked me down and kept calling back until I was off work and headed home around 7:30 p.m. He responded to my unhappy letter regarding the spending of our Georgia tax dollars and my discontent with toll lane creations.
He informed me that the board members of the state Department of Transportation, not the governor’s office made the selection as to the targeted projects to be completed using our tax dollars. The board representative from our District 9 resides in Hiawassee.
He reviewed the projects targeted and the infrastructure/bridges to be replaced in our Hall County area. He pointed out that toll roads would be created with and paid for with toll dollars. He reminded me that he was the one who disbanded the long ago paid for Ga. 400 toll booths. Kudos to him for that one!
He listened to my ideas concerting Georgia Regional Transportation Authority:
Creating lists of major Atlanta employers in traffic gridlocked areas and asking them to alter their hours/shifts and/or change to four-day work weeks to help reduce rush hour traffic and to get our roadways moving again.
Requesting county and city school systems in these same gridlocked traffic areas in Fulton, DeKalb, Gwinnett, Cobb and Forsyth areas to delay their openings or change to a four-day week to reduce our traffic congestion during peak rush hours. He listened and informed and reminded me that the governor’s office did not have control over local school hours.
He listened to my recommendations to:
Offer more GRTA locations/choices to commute via buses from the Forsyth, Dawson, Hall and Lumpkin County areas.
Create more community GRTA bus stations in empty local church parking lots and shopping center lots along Interstate 75, 85 and Ga. 400 corridor areas in exchange for state assistance in paving these lots and upgrades to these areas as needed. These large parking lots usually sit idle Monday through Friday.
He also spoke of the lane expansion of lanes and concrete dividers along Thompson Bridge Road in Gainesville, and Wilkie/Toto/Ga. 60 bridge replacements scheduled for needed and overdue infrastructure replacements.
Thanks, Gov. Deal, from my Gainesville, for promptly calling me back. You can read more about how our state dollars are being spent at www.garoads.org.