May 5, 2022 - News

Your voting guide to Atlanta's TSPLOST

Illustration of a road in the shape of a dollar sign.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

This month, Atlanta voters have an opportunity to knock a $750 million hole in the city’s $3 billion infrastructure backlog.

Why it matters: By the city’s estimate, Atlanta’s population could reach 1.3 million people by 2050. Those people will need to get around safely and efficiently — and that costs money.

  • Plus, you’ve seen our roads and sidewalks, right?

Here’s what you need to know about City Hall's three "Moving Atlanta Forward" ballot measures:

Details: Voters are being asked to renew a 0.4% sales tax created just for transportation projects (what you’ve heard called the TSPLOST) and approve or reject two bond issues (which the city is calling the infrastructure bond).

  • The TSPLOST would pay for roughly $350 million in new bike lanes, new sidewalks and paved streets.

The project list dedicates $460 million to moving people around Atlanta and includes:

  • More than $100 million to build safer streets with protected bike lanes.
  • $18 million to replace, repair and maintain bridges.
  • Nearly $200 million for trails and sidewalks along Lenox Road, Northside Drive, Marietta Boulevard and major state roads like Moreland Avenue and Memorial Drive.

The infrastructure bonds would cover roughly $400 million in “horizontal” fixes (streets, sidewalks and other transportation) and “vertical” (public buildings) improvements.

  • Roughly $40 million in upgrades to recreation centers in Grove Park, Peachtree Hills, Kirkwood and other neighborhoods, plus cameras in parks.
  • $15 million to build the second phase of DeKalb Avenue.
  • $3 million for council members to spend on projects in their districts.

What they’re saying: Mayor Andre Dickens says the $750 million in new funding could improve city services, make Atlanta safer, and allow more people to connect with outdoor spaces that were over-loved during the pandemic.

The other side: The city’s record on spending infrastructure funding is spotty at best, some mobility advocates say.

Supporters, including the mayor, point to Atlanta's relatively new department of transportation, which will oversee many of the projects, and new council members to oversee the program.

  • The Atlanta City Council is considering legislation that would add layers of oversight to the programs — and make the project lists binding. Council member Matt Westmoreland, the measure's sponsor, says he wants to pass the legislation before Election Day on May 24.

What’s next: Early voting started on May 2. To find your polling place, visit the secretary of state’s voting page.

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