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Hilton Atlanta, Baker Street

Conventioneers overlooked in Downtown mobility plan; entire concept to be reviewed

Transportation planners overlooked one aspect of Atlanta’s convention industry – the people who attend – and that evidently contributed to Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms’ decision to halt the first step in a plan aimed at making Downtown more pleasant for pedestrians. In addition, the mayor ordered a review of the entire Downtown mobility plan by the city’s newly approved Transportation Department, which is to be functional by late 2020.

Congrestion pricing, toll lanes

Congestion pricing reduces travel times, improves quality of life

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.

Officially or not, MARTA and Gwinnett have a long history

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.

Marsh Creek in the Area of a Proposed Sandy Springs Trail

Building trails can build regional connectivity, state incentives would help

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.”