On July 31, residents across the 10-county Atlanta region will vote on a referendum that would fund $8.5 billion in transportation improvements through the one-cent regional tax known as TSPLOST, which stands for Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax.
There is heated debate about TSPLOST, sometimes used interchangeably with the Transportation Investment Act and Regional Transportation Referendum.
If it passes, there are a few projects on the list that could be of particular interest to folks across the Stone Mountain area as well as parts of nearby Clarkston and Lithonia: changes down a 9.6 mile stretch of Rockbridge Road, and the widening of a section of Panola Road, according to metroatlantatransportationreferendum.com.
Rail isn't on the project list for the area, and some in South DeKalb have a big problem with that, including a few county commissioners.
Here are the proposed Rockbridge and Panola road projects (see the attached PDFs for more details):
- Rockbridge Road. The $7.5 million project would run on Rockbridge Road from Memorial Drive to Rock Chapel Road - a 9.6 mile stretch. The changes would bring additional turn lanes, traffic signalization upgrades, pedestrian crosswalk improvements at transit stops and bicycle facilities to the area, according to the web site.
- Panola Road. The $30.3 million project would cover 2.1 miles, widening Panola Road (from four to six lanes) from Covington Highway to Thomson Mlll. Half of the project cost, or $15.15 million, would be funded under the Transportation Investment Act (also called TSPLOST) and the rest by traditional federal formula funds, according to the web site.
You may also be interested in these related articles and blogs/opinion pieces on TSPLOST: