Commuter response to the recently opened toll lanes along the Northwest Corridor is above expectations as drivers use the toll lanes that run adjacent to the highway system in Cobb and Cherokee counties, according to a report by Moody’s Investors Service.
By Guest Columnist ERIC GANTHER, a mobility planner in metro Atlanta
Congestion pricing manages traffic with money instead of time. Without congestion pricing, we pay by sitting in traffic. With it, we pay a small fee and get a shorter trip. The HOT lanes on I-75 in Cobb and Clayton counties and on I-85 in Gwinnett County are examples of how this works, except with congestion pricing there are no “free” lanes.
Atlanta’s proposed stand-alone transportation department is expected to salvage a mobility system that’s so systemically broken the city has a long history of farming work to outside entities – including the Atlanta BeltLine, Midtown Alliance and Central Atlanta Progress.
At $1.3 million, the grant isn’t big in the context of state highway funding. But Gov. Brian Kemp won praise from local residents for overseeing approval of funding to help restore a road washed out in February by a rockslide in Pickens County – just north of metro Atlanta.
Atlanta’s proposal to create a freestanding Department of Transportation – reporting exclusively to the mayor – was part of the long-term plan suggested by the city’s management consultant, but only after a slow transition to a new department. The Atlanta City Council begins its deliberations on April 22.
New York City has a new method to improve mobility – by charging a congestion tax to raise money to improve transit. Atlanta hasn’t broached this approach and appears committed to sales taxes to pay for regional transit improvements.
Metro Atlanta commuters who received a postcard about a survey being conducted by the Atlanta Regional Commission still have time to respond and enter to win one of 50 Amazon gift cards valued at $250. The deadline is Sunday, March 31.
As MARTA and its advocates in Gwinnett County look beyond the unofficial negative transit vote Tuesday, the Trump administration is looking forward to a transportation future replete with innovations including hyperloops and autonomous vehicles – albeit with no details about how to pay for it or the nation’s existing infrastructure needs.
Moscow is ranked as the world’s worst city for traffic congestion, but motorists there travel 3 mph faster than drivers in Atlanta when it comes to the rate of travel on the last inner city mile, according to a report that could fuel conversation at Tuesday’s meeting about express lanes along Ga. 400.
When I worked as a reporter for the Atlanta Journal back the mid-‘70s, I would rise before dawn to catch a MARTA bus at the corner of North Decatur Road and Scott Boulevard, along with a crowd of commuters who drove every day from Lilburn and Lawrenceville, parked in the North DeKalb Mall lot and made the second leg of their commute by public transit. I recall those days to make the point that however the referendum turns out March 19, commuters from Gwinnett County have been riding MARTA for a long time, and over the years, forking over a share of the sales taxes that support it at Atlanta lunch counters and stores.
By Guest Columnist, MELODY L. HARCLERODE, executive director of the Sandy Springs Conservancy
Engineers from the Union Army noted a tributary in north Fulton County running into the Chattahoochee River as “Mans Cr” or “Mars Cr” on 1864 map. Now, the nonprofit Sandy Springs Conservancy is spearheading the development of the Marsh Creek Trail along Abernathy Road in partnership with the City of Sandy Springs as the initial stage of a city-wide trail system, envisioned as, “a beautiful amenity that can build physical and civic connections in Sandy Springs.”
A huge hurdle has been cleared that is to enable PATH400 to connect Atlanta’s BeltLine with Sandy Springs and, possibly if not eventually, the growing trails system north of I-285. As PATH Foundation noted of this first step: “Federal dollars are involved so it won’t happen overnight, but it’s coming.”
Steve Stancil may not have a household name. But when he steps down Feb. 1 as State Property Officer, he will have affected metro Atlanta since 2003 on issues ranging from mass transit, to development policies, to future development along the Atlanta BeltLine and the future film studio/mixed use development that’s to be built in Atlanta at the old Pullman Yard.
The environmental review is underway for a planned inland port to be built northeast of Gainesville. Presuming it opens, the facility that’s billed as a way to ease traffic congestion in metro Atlanta is likely to be heralded as a success as the state House prepares to update Georgia’s decade-old rail improvement plans.
The Georgia Legislature starts its annual session with a new governor and a lot of new members. The city of Atlanta wants a couple of adjustments to state law, but that’s not all of interest to the city and its residents.
Atlanta Streets Alive has scheduled three events this year and the City of Atlanta intends to provide the sponsor with $200,000 to help cover the cost of closing streets to vehicles so that pedestrians and non-motorized conveyances can have their afternoon on the asphalt during each event.
As Atlanta decides how to try and cover road, sidewalk and other repairs with a pot of money that’s not big enough, city residents can expect to see three scenarios on what high-profile projects in two programs may — or may not — get done.
A crash-plagued intersection west of Athens, on Ga. 316, is to be made safer through construction of a diamond interchange that has received significant federal funding, the Georgia Department of Transportation announced Tuesday.