Saturday, October 04, 2008

Sound Off: Transportation Alternatives

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Photo courtesy of J.P. Griffin

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In case you haven't been paying attention. There is a gas shortage in the South and the city of Atlanta, and I am guessing here, was the hardest hit, leaving tons of Gas stations without fuel. Mainly for three reasons; One, there was already a fuel shortage. Atlanta drivers were already changing their driving habits due to the steady increase in the price fuel.
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The double-whammy of Ike and Gustav came as supplies were already low. Refineries in the Gulf had begun to ramp down production of summer fuels before Ike, meaning supplies were already crimped in anticipation of the Oct. 1 switch to higher-sulphur winter blends.

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Two, then came Hurricanes Ike and Gustav and the oil refineries were shut down and that meant less fuel through the pipeline. Three, add to that the EPA requires Atlanta to use a special blend of low-sulfur gas in order to comply with the Clean Air Act.

Gov. Sonny Perdue's solution is to first be in denial and then ask President Bush to release oil from our Strategic Petroleum Reserve to ease the pain of drivers in Georgia. What I want to know is when will our politicians start talking about other options? Such as giving people Transportation Alternatives. I for one feel incredibly fortunate that I live in an area where I can pretty much walk, bike, and MARTA to anywhere that I need to go. This is unfortunately not true for large parts of Metro Atlanta. Atlanta should have better options for its citizens to ween them off gas. We need more and better sidewalks for walkable communities, bike lanes, buses, commuter rail all of these options should be on the table. Instead we keep hearing Drill Baby Drill. And even though Republicans are easier to pick on, especially on this subject, I am not hearing better options coming from the Democrats in my state. Democrats had control of the state for decades and still control the city of Atlanta and are largely to blame for sprawl and the belief that the best options were to build wider roads. At least Senator Obama has managed to capture the crucial Bicycle Swing Vote and the Crucial Train Swing Vote and has promised to increase funding for Public Transportation. We shall see and I will be watching.

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