ITS Where State Govermments and Private Toll Roader Interests Meet

Brothers Sell Joseph into Slavery, Konstantin Flavitsky, 1855

The ITS of Georgia, Intelligent Transportation Society of Georgia, is one big shopping mall of electrical contractors, computer firms, traffic controls companies, infrastructure companies, and toll road integration companies. If it were just those private interests in one trade association I would be somewhat anxious, but I am petrified with dread to see such governing organizations like GDOT(Georgia Department of Transportation, the Federal Highway Administration, GRTA(Georgia Regional Transportation Authority), the Federal Transit Administration, and various local county and city governments, who are claimed to be members.

The latest project on I-85 through Gwinnett county was given the go ahead in August by GDOT. World Fiber Technologies of Alpharetta, Georgia was awarded the contract to turn that section of road into a cash extorting panopticon. Again, GDOT and World Fiber just happen to be members of ITS of Georgia. Transcore, the usual suspect, is also a member of ITS Georgia. Why didn’t they get that job? I suppose local talent won out this time.

Do we really have state and local governments that deal at arms length with contractors? Why has Georgia state government signed onto an agenda with the federal government that consists of bribery – I mean transportation grants – without really talking about the issue with its citizens? This toll road agenda is not being pushed by the public. It is not a bottom to top solution. The toll road concept seems to be a diktat of the Feds with the high pressure sales techniques of private trade associations.

Here are some of the Georgia and local government officials, who maintain membership with ITS of Georgia:

Anthony Bradford of Georgia Department of Transportation, email: anthony.bradford@dot.state.ga.us

Susie Dunn of the Atlanta Regional Commission, email: sdunn@atlantaregional.com

Shaun Green of the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority, email: sgreen@gtra.org

Tom Sever of Gwinnet County Government, email: Tom.Sever@gwinnettcounty.com

I also have to ask, are government funds being used to pay membership fees to ITS of Georgia? And if this is so, is that a wise and ethical use of taxpayer money?

References:

http://www.itsga.org/members.htm

http://www.11alive.com/rss/rss_story.aspx?storyid=148828

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Anti-Toll Road Websites

Alltolled (Indiana)
Association of British Drivers
Citizens Against Road Tolls (Massachusetts)
Citizens Against Tolls (New Jersey)
Citizens Transportation Coalition (Alligator Alley, Florida)
Count us!(against Indiana road sales)
Driver’s Alliance (organisation set up by Peter Roberts who started the famous petition against road pricing)
Grand Island Tolls (New York)
Highway Robbery Inc (New Zealand)
Humber Toll Action
Mersey Tunnels Users Association
No Toll on Roads (Kerala, India)
No Tolls on 540 (North Carolina)
Notolls.com (opposes the proposal to toll Columbia River crossings between Oregon and Washington State)
No Tolls on I80 (Pennsylvania)
Scrap the Toll (on Swinford bridge in Oxfordshire)
Stop the Pike Hike – Together we can (Massachusetts)
Stop the Whitchurch Bridge Toll Increases
Texans Against Tolls
Texans Uniting for Reform and Freedom
Tolls Create Gridlock (Florida)

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Are You Respected?

I had taken the toll road issue as saw it as important to the economic health of Georgia citizens, but there are many issues that you may interested in at the state level. Whatever your political leanings you may want to try to communicate with your state senator and state representative. If you vote, you many times see your legislators for your district run unopposed. Indeed you may know very little about the man or woman who runs a law firm, a car dealership, a property management firm, a medical practice or an insurance agency who also nominally represents you. Does my representative or senator really value me as a citizen? Here is how you find out: write, call, fax, or email said legislator. If you get no response from your legislator then you know that you have a no good bum representing you, who does not care a smelly codpiece what you think or believe. I know; I have tried that with the legislators representing me. As for a response I got nada, nothing, de rien, zilch, big zero from my local representatives. Never mind your politics, if you cannot even get acknowledgment that he or she values your views then you have been deeply disrespected at the very core of your humanity. If you get a response of some sort then we know that your representative is not a total waste of skin. Please do this experiment and then post in the comment section of this post your experience. You do not have to give your identity, but I, sure as fiery perdition itself, want that the names and responses to your inquiries. If you get a response from your legislators- all to the good. Tell us the human beings’ names. If you get nothing, then I want the public to know these slime-balls. We need to separate the jackals from the lions.

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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 ‚ÄúTransportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery‚ÄĚ 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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