Down the Rabbit Hole with John Breedlove

John Breedlove, SRTA Director of Operations and Member of Alliance for Toll Interoperability

French prostitute beckons customer, Edouard Manet's Olympia- 1863

John Breedlove, Director of Operations for the Georgia State Road and Tollway Authority, is also a member and trustee of the Alliance for Tollroad Interoperability. This organization has members from various state road agencies, who are directors of operations of state transportation agencies with the specific purpose of implementing standardized toll collections systems that will work the same in all the southern states with the eventual goal of a national standardized system. They plan to use the uniform standards and protocols of the cell phone industry and the banking industry to create a virtual tolling system. If you get a chance to look around you while drive around I-285, I-20, I-75, and I-85, you will see these tall towers will cameras and antennas. That equipment is being put in place before SRTA goes through the motions of getting public input. ATI will make sure those systems operate well with systems in Florida, Texas, Oklahoma, North Carolina and other states of the South. The cameras will be able to take pictures of your license plates in order to record and transact eventual “settlement” from you, the driver. If you read the ATI documents the word “settlement” is used over and over again.

Eventually video recognition of license plates will be replaced with RFID technology. As ATI says video tolling is a transitional technology. The new technology will use 5.9 Gigahertz signal transmission to read the RFID tags. Travelers of Georgia’s roads will someday be bathed with microwaves impulses from those huge concrete towers you see now on the side of the road. Those towers seem to be built out of the nightmarish peregrinations into the addled brain of a science fiction author who took one too many doses of amphetamines.

The President of ATI, J.J. Eden, is an interesting gentleman with a connection to a military defense contractor. Mr. Eden was once a manager for the Martin Marietta Corporation. His official position was in Martin/Marietta IMS as ETC director. He is also tied into Transcore, the toll road systems integrator. He was a Vice President in charge of Marketing and Business Development for Transcore. Given the provenance of ATI’s president, it seems that John Breedlove is a member of sales producing organization, not a neutral organization for operations managers.

When Mr. Breedlove retires from the state of Georgia after successfully implementing the ATI game plan, we can be sure he will be very popular in the infrastructure industry. In the meantime we will have to live in an extortion/spy racket grid on our highways.

If you would like to contact Mr. Breedlove with your concerns, you can email him at jbreedlove@georgiatolls.com or you can phone him at (404)-893-6155. Please be polite.

References:

ATI Board Meeting Minutes, July 12, 2010.

ATI Board Meeting, August 4, 2009.

John Breedlove’s resume on Linkedin.

J.J. Eden’s resume on Linkedin.

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With Federal DOT Bribe Money, We Will Have Highway Robbery

Faust and Mephistopheles coming to terms on a contract, painting by Delacroix.

The US Department of Transportation under Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood is offering $1.5 billion in grants to the states to help convert Interstates and state highways into toll roads. This funding begins the initial conversion the roadways into RFID scanning grids. The title of program is euphemistically called “Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery” or TIGER. As to how burdening commerce and working citizenry with usage fees will provide economic recovery is a total mystery to me.

Mr. LaHood, whose name reminds me of the mining boss from a Clint Eastwood movie, is very enthusiastic about “innovative” schemes to implement the “Value Pricing Program” of the USDOT. He has referred to the fuel excise tax as a “dinosaur”. Yet a study by Washington State Department of Transportation determined that fuel excise taxes were collected more cheaply than taxes on toll roads. On average it was determined that it took only $ 0.88 in expenses to collect $100.00 in tax revenue through the fuel tax. The same $100.00 in tax receipts collected from toll roads required an outlay of $22 in the state of Washington.

As to this toll road conversion plan of the US DOT it has been pushed by the prior Bush administration under the direction of Transportation Secretary Mary Peters. With Obama’s administration pushing this extortionate plan we can only conclude that this an agenda of the federal government regardless of the political party.

As to LaHood, he was once the US Representative from Peoria, Illinois. So as a politician from Illinois, it would seem that he knows how to get things done. What Lahood’s plans portend for Georgians’ use of public freeways can only prove ominous.

References:

http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/26/2664.asp

http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/obama-continues-bush-push-for-toll-roads/


http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/24/2438.asp


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pale_Rider

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Barnes and Deal on the Toll Road Issue

Whom do I trust more on keeping toll roads to a minimum? I do know that Mr. Nathan Deal did say that GA 400 commuters were taxed enough already and that once the bond on the highway is paid in 2011, travelers on 400 should be free of this tax. I wished that Sonny Perdue felt that way about all Georgia commuters when it came to I-75 and I-85, but he is going to go away soon. I pray that Deal if elected can reign in GDOT and its atavistic cousin organizations. They seem to lurch forward like sharks honing on a struggling swimmer who got caught in the undertow. They seem to heed no one.

I do not have much confidence in Mr. Roy Barnes keeping Georgia citizens safe from the toll road barons as his misappropriation of toll money from GA 400 shows him to be tempted by this revenue stream to do good works. Property in the Atlantic Station area of Atlanta was purchased by $10 million in tolls from the GA 400 highway. State officials had estimated that the state at Barnes direction had overpaid by about three times for the property.

Imagine Barnes in his latest fit of charitable impulse getting a report from Electronic Transaction Consultants or Transcore declaring an El Dorado gold mine from the soaking of Georgia drivers with some elephantine toll road enhancements. I imagine there will be a large number of Georgia citizens staying home to collect checks rather than pay a king’s ransom to hit the big I, which proves that if you want to destroy commerce then you should heavily tax the movement of goods and people.

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Governor Rod R. Blagojevich in HOT Water

I am beginning to hate the acronym HOT. If we fully implement the HOT system in Georgia, then we deserve to wear donkey’s ears and a dunce cap. An article in a website called Truth about Cars mentions that HOT conversion of freeway lanes to toll lanes is worth billions of dollars in the state of Illinois. Apparently, Rod’s Chief of Staff, Mr. Alonzo Monk asked for $500,000 for the Governor’s campaign fund from a cement contractor in a $1.8 billion toll road contract. In addition the high cabal of Blagojevich, Rezko, Monk, and Kelly met to discuss skimming hundreds of thousands of dollars off of every toll road deal as alleged by Assistant US Attorney Christopher S. Niewoehner.

Do we know if Barnes and Deal had accepted any toll road campaign money? My nose is wrinkling as if I had smelled a party of vultures tearing away on an over ripe, expired pig.

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Georgia Toll Roads and the JP Morgan Connection

I was reading a story on the Alligator Alley Turnpike of Central Florida, when I saw JP Morgan as a possible vendor to the State of Florida. It seems that JP Morgan consults with states on how to turn their highway infrastructure into investments that corporations and wealthy individuals can use as securities. Anyhow the state of Florida was thinking about leasing the turnpike to private interests.

Strangely enough, the state of Georgia uses J.P. Morgan as a lending agent for marketing the debt of Georgia. It seems that JP Morgan is well positioned to offer its services as an investment underwriter for Georgia infrastructure, since they already help the state service its debt.

Also turning up like a bad penny is ETC Corporation, Electronic Transaction Consultants Corporation, who in partnership with Atlantia SPA, an Italian Corporation would lease Alligator Alley Turnpike if they got government approval. It is a shame we don’t have any real journalism in the state of Georgia to cover the tolling of our freeways. The Atlanta Journal Constitution has not covered the story. None of the newspapers in outlying Georgia towns seem interested either. I have not heard anything from the Athens Banner Herald, nor from the Gainsville, Macon, or Augusta newspapers.

References:

http://www.tollroadsnews.com/node/4427

http://www.naplesnews.com/news/2008/jun/05/eight-companies-bidding-lease-alligator-alley/

http://www.thefreelibrary.com/The+State+of+Georgia+Office+of+Treasury+and+Fiscal+Services+Selects…-a0133603251

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FAQ- Tollroaders’ Lexicon

This FAQ will describe terminology used by toll road advocates as well as many acronyms for agencies, and bureaucratic shorthand.

CRD
– Congestion Reduction Demonstration. These are modifications done by GDOT, Georgia Department of Transportation, to condition the highway for eventual usa as a tollroad. GDOT gets a grant from the United States Department of Transportation to implement preliminary systems that will condition the highway to accepting tolls.

GRTA– The Georgia Regional Transportation Authority. This agency has a vast amount of discretion that is not checked by the Georgia Statehouse to approve projects that will tax Georgia citizens. The problem is that with any other tax besides toll taxes, the public has to approve them by referendum or the Statehouse has to take a full vote to pass an increase in Georgia taxes. This authority is both legislative and executive in power. The members are not elected by the public, and cannot easily be recalled by the public. SRTA- State Road and Tollway Authority. This agency has presently awarded a contract to Electronic Transaction Consultants Corporation to implement HOT, High Occupancy Toll on the I85 interstate that goes through Gwinnet County.

HOT– High Occupancy Toll. This is part of managed traffic flow that includes charging travelets money to drive on fast parts of the highway.

Managed Traffic– This is Toll Roaders’ way of saying that fast lanes and routes will be restricted to those willing to follow certain regulations and payment of tolls for the privilege of traveling on fast part of the road or a fast road itself.

Public-Private Partnership– This is a term that describes having private corporations work with government. The term connotes that the public would benefit from a capitalistic approach to managing Georgia Interstates and roadways. What the term really means that private corporations would be granted monopolies to tolls on once public roads. This actually corporatism where business controls the state in order to make a profit. It is actually fascism. Whenever you see or hear the term PPP(private-pubic partnership) you should automatically think fascism.


Taxways
– Toll Roaders will use this term to shame those who would rather travel on freeways as not paying their fair share of taxes. We already pay for road taxes with the tax on our gasoline purchases.

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GA State Road and Tollway Authority Planning to Get Huge

The SRTA is asking for bids to build a customer service center for toll road collections. The project is ambitious, and it includes cameras to spy on drivers who travel on “managed traffic” roads. The project is expanding regionally to collect tolls on Northwest Georgia highways by 2015. I ask Atlantans and Georgians to get familiar with the term MLSP, Master Managed Lane System Plan as that is the plan that will eventually turn the Atlanta Metro highway system into a medieval extortion grid using advanced technology. The grid won’t even need cops as videos and pictures will be produced for court evidence packages. The title for the bid requests is ambitiously called Request For Qualified Contractors (RFQC) Statewide Tolling Customer Service Center Operations Project

Below is an extract from page 17, Appendix G:

PROJECT OVERVIEW

Georgia’s State Road and Tollway Authority (SRTA) currently operates the Georgia 400 Extension (GA 400) toll road comprised of a single toll plaza with 18 toll lanes that use a combination of AVI transponders and cash toll collection schemes. By the 3rd quarter of 2011, SRTA will open the I-85 Express Lanes Project consisting of HOT lanes that are being converted from existing HOV lanes. In 2015, GDOT plans to open a series of Managed Lanes as part of the Northwest Corridor Project. Over the next 5 years, a number of additional tolling facilities are contemplated throughout the region to accommodate either HOT lane or express toll lane (ETL) operations (i.e. toll lanes, which generally require all vehicles to pay for access) or even traditional toll facilities. It is GDOT and SRTA’s intent for Tolling CSC operations and customer account services for the three specifically named toll road projects to be handled through the contract awarded under this procurement, as well as for any other toll facilities operated, managed or otherwise under SRTA’s or the State’s control during the contract term. SRTA and GDOT are currently working together on a range of project investment strategies designed to address current and future trans-portation needs. These strategies include the implementation of the Atlanta Regional Managed Lane System Plan (MLSP), adopted in December 2009 by the State Transportation Board as the strategic blueprint for addressing urban area congestion in the Atlanta region.

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Electronic Transaction Consultants Corporation

This corporation is responsible for making travel on Texas roads so expensive and arduous for Texan citizens. This is the same outfit that is converting I-85 into a toll road. If this company is allowed to sink its roots any deeper, we may face the possibility that our politicians and administrators will be contaminated with interests of ETC, Inc., Electronic Transaction Consultants Corporation. Please look up Mr. Rob Duncan on Linkedin.com. You will find that Mr. Duncan worked as a call center director for ETC Corp. and he now works for the city of Austin as a Customer Service Operations Manager. I fear that we will have entrenched government managers and administrators with conflict of interest problems in the state of Georgia. It appears a number of other Duncans are quite prominent in the affairs of Austin.

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Atlanta’s Future: Austin’s Toll on the Poor

Atlanta does not have a well developed mass transit. Many of the working poor need to use the interstates to travel to outlying areas. A good many use car pools. Tollroads in Austin have priced out the transportation market for the working poor. I fear this is Atlanta’s future.

Richard Reeves on the Massive Toll Road Plan in Austin TX *Part 2 of 3

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Who Are These People on GRTA?

One of the members of the board as well as V.P. of the board has strong connections to the telecommunications industry. Richard A. Anderson was once Group President with AT&T. Is there a conflict of interest with this man serving on the board? We should note that toll road systems need good communication networks to process toll road users. The new toll roads use RFID chips in cards and placards on the car. Scanning equipment will be needed to read the information and then transmit over wireless internet systems to deduct tolls from client vehicle’s bank accounts. Many communications companies would be interested in getting contracts to build the tollroad electronic networks. Mr. Anderson is connected to the telecommunications industry. Is there a conflict of interest there? We don’t know yet, but we have the right as citizens to be vigilant and suspicious of our government.

Richard A. Anderson Has a Strong Presence in Telecom Industry

 

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