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Thought Leader Transit

Let’s Get Heavy Rail Up GA400 Corridor Moving

By Phil Downing

I support heavy rail up the GA400 corridor to at least Windward Parkway.  I live in Alpharetta and must commute every day to my office in a building literally across the street from the Sandy Springs MARTA station.  I would definitely use MARTA for my every day commute as well as my frequent trips to the airport.

Extension of MARTA heavy rail north of North Springs is long overdue.  I’m disappointed that the process is taking so long.  I can only hope that somehow we can accelerate the analysis and community input process – as well as the lengthy environmental studies – to get this project moving.

One would think this is a win for many interest groups:

  • Environmentalists would see reduced emissions and pollution from all the cars on GA400
  • Commuters would have options to reduce their drive and get to locations in Atlanta quicker without having to sit in traffic – not to mention reduced gas use, fewer accidents, lower insurance rates, lower stress, more productive time, etc.
  • Employers would gain improved productivity, fewer problems with missed time due to traffic issues
  • Traffic through mid-town would be cut by removing some of the cars from the road ( or at least reducing the rate of growth of the number of cars), positively impacting other citizens in the community
  • The surrounding GA400 corridor communities can further promote quality of life and the positive impact reduced traffic will have on secondary roads
  • It will be easier to get convention attendees from the airport to North Fulton locations driving utilization of convention facilities and local hotels which in turn drives greater economic growth and higher tax receipts for Roswell, Alpharetta, and Johns Creek.
  • Higher tax receipts takes the pressure off having to increase millage rates and that benefits all the homeowners in the area

Atlanta is no longer a sleepy, southern town.  It is a modern, international city with millions of citizens and it should have the transportation infrastructure commensurate with a global city of our size.

I can only encourage MARTA to please do everything you can to accelerate the process and move this forward as quickly as possible.  At some point in time – and I believe we have surpassed that time by years – we need to move past analysis and take action.  Time to get this project started!

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