Another Atlanta-area official, Atlanta Regional Commission Chairman Tad Leithead, said the ARC has no opinion on the project yet, and would have to study it extensively if it were to advance in the planning process. However, he added, very preliminary data show a funding gap, a possible $8 toll and not enough lanes, adding up to a project that "doesn't make any sense."These issues, of course, don't even get into the neighborhood disruption issues. It simply doesn't make sense as a transportation project of any kind, much less one that could have a negative impact on long-established communities in intown Atlanta.
Still, the tunnel isn't going away any time soon. They seem determined to make this work somehow:
DOT is planning a forum to discuss the tunnel idea with tunnel company representatives in the spring. The forum is intended only for the most basic information-gathering on the project's possibilities and pitfalls, the director of DOT's toll program, Earl Mahfuz, said last month.I should note that Kasim Reed voiced vociferous opposition to this tunnel idea, but Tad Leithead is the chairman of an organization that would to approve this damn thing so I think his statement is more newsworthy. I'm also pretty sure he is a Republican - he's given money to Tom Price over the years, at least. His skepticism is important in a way that Kasim Reed's is not, given his position and the political make-up of state government and the DOT.