State has fix for traffic congestion

The emphasis on tolled express lane expansions in metro Atlanta announced by Gov. Deal “Tolled express lanes part of transportation project” (AJC, Jan. 13) is the most encouraging sign yet that the state is serious about congestion relief. A seamless network of these express lane additions throughout the region’s interstate system will offer all people — including both auto drivers and transit riders — an alternative to congestion.

The key part that was apparently left out of Gov. Deal’s announcement was a comprehensive plan to use transit buses to share this new express lane infrastructure throughout the region. Large numbers of buses can go into the high-density neighborhoods, and then use the express lanes to deliver large numbers of people, quickly and comfortably, to the many high-density business centers throughout the region. Making this a comprehensive, regionwide, all-in-one project will make a dramatic improvement to congestion problems in the area.



State should stop ‘pay-to-pray’ plan

I was stunned by the news in the AJC that the Jekyll Island Authority has decided to charge five bucks a head for people who want to visit the state park’s Faith Chapel, whether to meditate, pray or simply experience this historic church. With $65 million taxpayer dollars provided by Gov. Nathan Deal for Jekyll’s remake, the JIA should certainly have the means to keep Faith Chapel — the spiritual hub of Jekyll’s Historic District — open and free, as has been the case for nearly 50 years. Morally wrong and politically foolish, the “pay to pray” edict, which is scheduled to go into effect on Feb. 1, should be canceled, if not by the governor-appointed JIA board, then by the governor himself.