Impact of the BRAC Impact Hearing

  Last Tuesday evening I got the feeling that most people are still in denial about the huge way our world is changing and how they are going to have to change with it.



  BRAC hearing at Columbus Public Library


  At the BRAC impact hearing at the Columbus Public Library, we all were given the opportunity of saying which of our transportation needs should have the top priority when 30,000 new folks with their thousands of cars and trucks move into the area.



                                          Voting Remote

Casting my vote



  When five options were listed on the screen, we used our voter remotes to register our choices. After all of the clicking was done, not to my surprise, the vast majority, 53 per cent, clicked on “minimize congestion.”  





“Add new sidewalks and bike trails” came in second at 22 percent.


 The one I clicked, “improve transit service” came in 4th at ten percent, beat out by “repair existing roads” at 12 percent.


  Last, and a big surprise to the folks who were conducting the hearing, was “improve access to Fort Benning,” at only 4 percent.  After all, the growth at Fort Benning is the reason for the big influx of people to our area.


  One man in the back of the room said he was surprised that “improve transit service” got such a low vote. I joined him in that opinion and said, “Considering the energy future, you have to wonder why people are still talking cars and roads and not mass transit and rails.”


  The man sitting next to me joined in with, “When gasoline hits $12 a gallon you are not going to have to worry about traffic congestion. People won’t be driving their cars.” 


  Retiring Deputy Superintendent of the Muscogee County School District Dr. Robin Pennock, said, “Solving the traffic congestion problem will take a combination of all of the options on that list.”




  Dr. Robin Pennock, Deputy Superintendent MCSD


  She was right, in my view.


  The BRAC (Base Closure and Realignment Commission) issue is bringing out a lot of other issues that are important to our community. They would be important, even if the

area wasn’t about to grow by about 30,000 people in the next few years.  I’ll be discussing them in future posts.







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4 Responses to “Impact of the BRAC Impact Hearing”

  1. Redoubt Says:

    Just curious and hoping you can shed some light here…

    I have a blogger aquaintance who seems to think that we are looking at the numbers wrong here. He says that the 30,000 are army personnel and civilian contractors only. This includes a large body of constantly rotating students but also, the permanent army armor school cadre who will be long term residents. His figure on the students, permanent personnel plus the families of the school administrators and civilian contractors comes in closer to about 50-60,000, not even counting school age (minor age) children. If you include the minors, the number jumps to about 85,000.

    I was really startled by those larger figures. Have you heard anything like this?

  2. Redoubt Says:

    Correction: Was just reading his email. With minor age children, included into the whole sum, the number he points to is about 50-60,000.

    Still a lot…

    Thanks 🙂

  3. Dick Says:

    I really don’t know whether this estimate is right or not, but an acquaintance told me today that he didn’t think the figure would be more than 25,000. He seemed to think that people are overestimating the impact. He pointed out that only 9,000 troops will be coming. No matter who is right, I think the population bump will be significant to the area.

  4. Ty King Says:

    Do you have any information on them possibly moving the Westgate entrance of Ft. Benning somewhere down towards 165 and Mcclain rd.?
    Any information would be greatful.

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