The Livable Communities Coalition

Working to improve Atlanta's quality of life through smart growth

Lind visits Atlanta; makes conservative case for transit


ATLANTA – It may surprise some that there is such a thing as a conservative case for transit.

That is the point noted conservative transit advocate Bill Lind made at Friday’s Sustainable Atlanta Roundtable, where he was the featured speaker. Lind is the director of the American Conservative Center of Public Transportation.

The challenge ahead for transit supporters in metro Atlanta is to effectively engage conservatives and use the language that resonates with conservatives. If they do not, Lind assures, the transportation referendum scheduled for summer 2012.

“It is entirely possible to convince conservatives to support public transportation, provided the policies and the projects have been thought-through well,” Lind notes. If you ignore them, if you pretend they do not exist, if you  do not answer the critics…if you write them off or try to talk to them with liberal arguments, you will get so few of their votes there is a very good chance your referendum is going to lose.”

Lind co-authored Moving Minds: Conservatives and Public Transportation. The Livable Communities Coalition invited Lind to Atlanta to help transit supporters use the appropriate language in talking to conservatives about transit.

The Livable Communities Coalition has launched the Fair Share for Transit initiative to try to ensure that transit is well-represented in the final transportation list. The Regional Roundtable will now refine the unconstrained list that the Georgia Deparment of Transportation has released to them after their analysis.

The Roundtable must create its final list by Oct. 15.

“As conservatives we know that in a great many ways  what our society once had was a great deal better than what we have now,” Lind says. “And, one of those things was our wonderful streetcar system.”


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