If the steady flow of traffic in and out of Bryan County on workdays shows one thing, it’s this:
There probably isn’t much car pooling going on.
That’s not surprising, because even with gas climbing toward $4 a gallon, local commuters still seem to prefer the comfort and convenience of their own vehicles, no matter how much it costs or how much it clogs roads built when there were far fewer people in the Coastal Empire.
In the meantime, the growing amount of traffic here and elsewhere in Georgia has left state legislators pondering ways to alleviate the pressure on increasingly congested byways and highways. That’s how the idea of local sales taxes to support road improvements was born.
It basically works like this: officials in neighboring counties with similar transportation needs and problems would be able to propose regional local option sales taxes for road improvements.
If voters approved the SPLOSTs, the money would be used for road building and improvements. With the Georgia DOT suffering a budget crunch of its own and metro Atlanta getting much of the attention, that may be the only way for Bryan County to get the money to address problems caused by rapid growth.
When we asked readers in an online poll several months ago whether they favored such a tax, a large majority said no. That's not surprising either, given most folk's antipathy toward more taxes at a time when many are already taxed to the breaking point.
But speaking of taxes, there is something else our legislators may want to think about down the road. Why not offer meaningful tax breaks to motorists who regularly car pool and can show proof they do so?
That may finally get more people to think about leaving the driving to others - and take some stress off the morning and evening commutes.
Bryan County News
March 26, 2008