Just think about it: shiny new German-built streetcars zipping through a walkable midtown. And improved interchanges to clear up some of the worst bottlenecks in one of America's most traffic-snarled cities. And a once-in-a-lifetime chance to add some transit sex appeal to a fading Southern behemoth fighting tooth and nail with Charlotte, N.C., and Houston for supremacy in business boosterism.
Yes, the bid to "untie Atlanta" is a bold one, an unprecedented coming-together of 10 metro counties to propose to area voters an increase in the sales-tax rate of one cent for 10 years, with the money to be used to fund 157 traffic-friendly projects ranging from road improvements to upgrades of the airport control tower.
But as voters go to the polls Tuesday, the push for metro Atlantans to tax themselves to buy a $7.2 billion infrastructure upgrade has become as bogged down as the morning commute on the dreaded downtown "Connector."