For those outside Atlanta: OTP means ‘outside the perimeter’. People outside the perimeter of the 285 interstate that rings the limits of the city of Atlanta have tended to be against transit funding. But they have no trouble using MARTA when it comes to getting to a game or concert. 

(Source: thomaswheatley)

Tea Party exposes some anti-MARTA tactics
In a dual editorial published this week, national Tea Party Patriots coordinator Debbie Dooley uses some thinly-veiled tactics to skew public opinion against MARTA and public transit funding . Her rebuttal opinion on the transportation sales tax issue contains these nuggets:
1.) Equate MARTA with the negative feelings readers associate with the Nixon administration and the Vietnam War:

Back when Richard Nixon was president and the Vietnam War captured  America’s attention, metro Atlanta voted to purchase a private bus  operator and establish the MARTA system.

2.) Paint MARTA funding as something largely unpopular by needlessly referencing the close vote, 40 years ago, that approved financing:

In November 1971, Fulton and DeKalb County voters barely adopted a permanent, 1 percent sales tax to finance MARTA

Just for perspective, here are some other things that happened in 1971 that captured US attention other than Nixon & Vietnam:
Twenty-sixth Amendment to US Constitution lowers voting age to 18.
Mariner IX, orbitting Mars, takes revealing pictures of the planet’s surface.
George Harrison’s Concert for Bangla Desh
For further perspective, that vote to finance MARTA succeeded finally after years of debate and negotiation that involved racial politics and a heated city/suburbs divide that threatened to scuttle Atlanta’s chances for successful transit of any kind. For an in-depth history of the struggle, read this. The success of the vote could easily be seen as a triumph in the face of considerable conflict.
Photo by Tarrence Brown

Tea Party exposes some anti-MARTA tactics

In a dual editorial published this week, national Tea Party Patriots coordinator Debbie Dooley uses some thinly-veiled tactics to skew public opinion against MARTA and public transit funding . Her rebuttal opinion on the transportation sales tax issue contains these nuggets:

1.) Equate MARTA with the negative feelings readers associate with the Nixon administration and the Vietnam War:

Back when Richard Nixon was president and the Vietnam War captured America’s attention, metro Atlanta voted to purchase a private bus operator and establish the MARTA system.

2.) Paint MARTA funding as something largely unpopular by needlessly referencing the close vote, 40 years ago, that approved financing:

In November 1971, Fulton and DeKalb County voters barely adopted a permanent, 1 percent sales tax to finance MARTA

Just for perspective, here are some other things that happened in 1971 that captured US attention other than Nixon & Vietnam:

  • Twenty-sixth Amendment to US Constitution lowers voting age to 18.
  • Mariner IX, orbitting Mars, takes revealing pictures of the planet’s surface.
  • George Harrison’s Concert for Bangla Desh

For further perspective, that vote to finance MARTA succeeded finally after years of debate and negotiation that involved racial politics and a heated city/suburbs divide that threatened to scuttle Atlanta’s chances for successful transit of any kind. For an in-depth history of the struggle, read this. The success of the vote could easily be seen as a triumph in the face of considerable conflict.

Photo by Tarrence Brown

This should be jolly. Over the next few weeks, the notoriously anti-tax, anti-transit citizens of Cobb County, just NW of Atlanta, will have chances to walk up to a public microphone and spew forth their hatred of the proposed regional tax for transportation/transit funding.

My prediction: some of the most horrifying, vitriolic rants your likely to hear this side of your crazy old, racist Uncle Charlie. Expect to hear plenty of anti-smart growth conspiracy theories bounced around (“government control of housing…packed in together like animals headed to slaughter…personal freedoms…taking our cars away…”).

Anyone brave enough to listen in, join in or (gulp) speak out in favor of the tax can follow the above link for times and places.