The “Pothole Posse” is back and promises to quickly fill major holes scarring Atlanta’s streets that create hazards for motorists, scooter riders and bicyclists as well as costing taxpayers thousands each year in settlements.
Mayor Andre Dickens announced at his April 4 State of the City he was bringing back the Pothole Posse, a popular program started by former mayor Shirley Franklin in the early 2000s. The goal is to fill 30 potholes a day by crews in the city’s Department of Transportation, Dickens said.
“I know I should get a little applause for that,” he said with a smile.
The news of a new Pothole Posse created plenty of buzz. Dickens is also working hard to generate buzz and support for a $350 million transportation special local option sales tax (TSPLOST) and a $400 million infrastructure bond. The referendums will be on the May 24 primary election ballot.
“TSPLOST 2.0,” as dubbed by Dickens, calls for extending the 4/10 of a penny sales tax approved in 2016. All of the money raised over the next five years would go toward repairing sidewalks, bridges and roads, Dickens said.
If approved, the money from the infrastructure bond would fund public safety facilities, recreation centers, parks and bicycle and transit lanes.
“With a $3 billion transportation need over the next 20 years, passing TSLPOST 2.0 would set the foundation to get us there,” Dickens said at the State of the City.
The infrastructure bond will yield more than $400 million for capital projects including three new or renovated fire stations; a public safety training facility; a Center for Diversion Services; and other public safety equipment and buildings, Dickens said. Additional funding will go toward parks and playground improvements; bicycle and transit lanes; and safety lighting for roads, sidewalks, pathways and trails, Dickens said.
“Taken together, that’s $750 million toward improvements across this city. That’s what I call super-charging city services,” he said. “But to make this happen we need everyone’s support.”
The Atlanta Bicycle Coalition has a breakdown of TSPLOST and bond projects to be completed if voters approve the funding.