Distrustful of government and riven by differences, metro Atlanta voters on Tuesday rejected a $7.2 billion transportation plan that business leaders have called an essential bulwark against regional decline.
Defeat of the 10-year, 1 percent sales tax leaves the Atlanta region's traffic congestion problem with no visible remedy. It marks failure not only for the tax but for the first attempt ever to unify the 10-county region's disparate voters behind a plan of action.
Gov. Nathan Deal's office told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution he would now take a central role in transportation planning for the state's metro areas, and he would not support a sequel to Tuesday's referendum.