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Position Paper 2003:
GCG Supports Environmentally Responsible Transportation Legislation

Title changed and Revised 2016

The connection between water, energy and transportation should be recognized as guiding factors to encourage responsible state transportation policies. Since 1928, The Garden Club of Georgia, Inc. has been dedicated to preserving, protecting and enhancing the scenic quality of our highways. We view transportation and billboard legislation as significant determinants of the quality of air, water, plants and scenery.

Georgia's rampant growth has placed more automobiles on the highways, which has contributed to the devastating greenhouse gases that increase atmospheric warming. One car gives off close to a pound of carbon dioxide for every mile it is driven. A mature tree can take approximately 26 pounds of carbon dioxide out of the air in a year. Therefore, Georgia needs to protect and preserve its publicly owned roadside trees and vegetation for Pollution and Erosion Control.

The Garden Club of Georgia, Inc. supports federal and local legislation that:

  • Prohibits the destruction of trees on public lands in order to improve visibility of billboards; thereby protecting the natural landscape.
  • Supports the Clean Air Act; including incentives for cleaner fuel and reductions in auto emissions.
  • Promotes landscaping of highways to protect roadside biodiversity, with emphasis on use of native plants, and to protect against destruction or degradation of natural habitats.
  • Protects all historic, cultural and natural assets, and encourages acquisition of easements to protect historical sites and historic trees.
  • Creates additional Pedestrian and Bicycle Corridors.
  • Eliminates greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Rehabilitates canals and bridges.
  • Creates additional scenic byways in our state.
  • Encourages strict adherence to environmental laws, such as the Georgia Environmental Policy Act, when spending transportation dollars.
  • Encourages sound transportation planning to curb sedimentation caused by highway construction projects.
  • Encourages Scenic Enhancement Initiatives.
  • Provides funding for the support and further development of public transportation.
In addition, GCG will

  • Work with Scenic America and other groups to retain and protect our natural landscapes.
  • Continue to oppose the Highway Beautification Act of 1965 because of numerous loopholes that negate the original intent of that legislation.

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