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Old 12-27-2010, 12:39 PM
 
2,831 posts, read 2,481,137 times
Reputation: 1249

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Someone mentioned doing this, so I decided to start a thread about it.

One common complaint you hear about MARTA is that "it doesn't go anywhere". Well, now is you chance to voice where you think it needs to go.

Say that MARTA gets a grant from the Feds for $2 billion in expansion capital, and you get to decide how to use it. Our budget cost for expansion is $50 million/route mile alongside existing freight rail corridors (as much of the current system was constructed), and $100 million/mile going along other corridors or through development.

For the sake of argument, assume that surrounding counties are all part of MARTA funding or will be if rail extends to them. Also, assume the Beltline is going forward.

As background, here is an existing map of MARTA with my best approximation of daily boardings at each station, where data was available. There are a couple different ways of measuring data, but this one is closest to apples-to-apples. If anyone has a more complete data set, please post it!



Obviously the base map is courtesy of www.itsMARTA.com

My goals are as follows:
1) Ease traffic congestion & increase commuting options
2) Provide transportation to people without cars, people who have trouble paying for their cars, and tourists
3) Encourage new, dense developments in areas served by heavy rail (such as Lindbergh)
4) Creating vehicle-free access to recreation and park areas, as many systems in Europe do
5) Improve access to historic town center districts

Anyhow, here's a list of my expansions:

1) Extend the Green Line to Stone Mountain. 9 miles alongside existing CSX track @ $50 mil = $450 million budget. The Green Line will Branch off of the Blue Line after the Avondale Station and curve northwards, following the tracks.

New stations: North Decatur (@ North Decatur Road), Clarkston (@ North Indian Creek), Memorial (E Ponce @ Hwy 10; Park and Ride for inbound commuters on Hwy 78), Stone Mountain (Downtown Stone Mountain). Additional project: Work in conjunction with the Park to rehabilitate the Stone Mountain train's tracks into downtown Stone Mountain, for those whole don't want to walk the half mile to the base of the rock; encourage visitors to the Park to use the train to see the historic Downtown Stone Mountain area.

Users: Commuters inbound on 78, who currently have to jump through hoops to get to Downtown & Midtown; Tourists going to Stone Mountain from downtown; people within walking distance of the stations in Clarkston, North Decatur, and Stone Mountain; rationalizing bus routes in Dekalb County to reorient them around the stations.

Why? DeKalb County has stuck along with MARTA for decades, providing a vital chunk of money while getting only 9 or the 38 stations despite being almost as large a county as Fulton. In additon, this would give tourists and other carless folks a way to see one of Atlanta's main tourist attractions in a stress-free, efficient, way. Also, Hwy 78 has always been a stunted commuter corridor due to its terrible access to downtown; giving the folks in southern Gwinnett a limited-access way to reach a MARTA station that takes them straight downton would appeal to many. Right now, their best means of accessing MARTA is by going to the Kensington Station, which is an extra 10 circuitous miles from Stone Mountain. In case a commuter rail line to the east ever emerges, Stone Mountain could be an interchange point with MARTA.


2) Reroute the gold line to go up I-75, ending at Cumberland Mall/Cobb Galleria area. 10 miles of new corridor @ $100 mil = $1.0 billion budget.

New Stations: Northside Drive/Howell Mill, Collier Road, West Paces Ferry, Chattahoochee River, Cobb Galleria, and Cumberland Mall.

Users: Bi-directional commuters: inbound on I-75 & from intown to the Galleria area. Future connection to commuter rail @ Cumberland Mall. Improve tourist and improved access to the recreation area around the river. Serve people within walking distance of the train stations, rationalize bus routes in the area. Encourage Higher density TOD area at the northwest corner of Collier/I-75.

Why? This one will really stitch together the business and commercial areas in Cobb County with Atlanta's core. Potential for TOD. This is a serious proposal that has been studied, so there isn't as much need to elaborate.


3) Hapeville extension. Follow the NS corridor through downtown Hapeville and terminate at the International Terminal. 3 miles along rail corridor @ $50mil = $150 million, 2 miles additional to the airport @ $100mil = $200 million; $350 million budget.

New stations: Hapeville (Virginia @ Central); old Ford Factory redevelopment, with airport/downtown Park & Ride; International Terminal. Create a new line for this called the Brown Line, which will take over the Gold Line's existing route in north Atlanta.

Users: Commuters from the south I-75 corridor into Atlanta. Arriving and departing passengers at International Terminal. Transit-oriented development at Ford Factory. Visitors to and residents of Hapeville.

Why? Complete the MARTA access to the airport's new terminal, streamline future MARTA bus service into Clayton County, and encourage improved density and better land use near the airport.

Total budget: $1.8 billion; $200 million contingency.

My completed MARTA map:




Keep in mind the map is not to scale--the Green Line expansion is in fact huge. Sorry the map is kind of crappy--time is not an infinite resource. The yellow line would of course stop at all the stations.

Don't worry about being as detailed or thorough as I am in my proposals; just say what ideas you like or don't like, or what you advocate as the best possible MARTA expansion given a reasonable budget constraint.


What do you guys think the best possible MARTA expansions would be?
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Old 12-27-2010, 12:57 PM
JPD
 
7,934 posts, read 8,219,056 times
Reputation: 3649
You really want to have a "brown line" going through West End/Oakland City after the dust-up MARTA experienced over the "yellow line"?
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Old 12-27-2010, 01:16 PM
 
2,831 posts, read 2,481,137 times
Reputation: 1249
ffs

Fuchsia Line. Who cares?
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Old 12-27-2010, 02:24 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
969 posts, read 1,080,613 times
Reputation: 618
I like what you have there. To add to it, I would like to see the red line extended further north to Roswell and Alpharetta/North Point Mall and the existing gold line to Norcross. Maybe even extend the blue line west to Fulton Industrial? I think it might make more sense to have a station in the Windy Hill area than Cumberland Mall since the Galleria station could serve the mall too.

Also, about the line to Cumberland up I-75... if you look where the red and yellow lines cross I-85 and go underground right before Arts Center, you will see they built two additional tunnel entrances next to it for a line to go up towards Cumberland. I'm not sure how you would get the train up that way other than doing it completely underground, along I-75, or in the median of I-75 (probably on an elevated bridge). I think it's important to connect the core of Atlanta with the Cumberland area. It would also create a better connection for the future Cobb and Perimeter light rail lines.

Last edited by mike7586; 12-27-2010 at 02:33 PM..
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Old 12-27-2010, 02:25 PM
 
Location: East Side of ATL
2,746 posts, read 3,114,186 times
Reputation: 907
Nice plans.

Need one of the lines to hit Gwinnett imho.

For the blue line, I would extend it to the Mall at Stonecrest and one of the P&R in Rockdale County.
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Old 12-27-2010, 03:19 PM
JPD
 
7,934 posts, read 8,219,056 times
Reputation: 3649
I'd like to see more hubs. Maybe Decatur as a hub for another N/S (or diagonal) line, to name one example.

I'd obviously be nice to have a station at Emory. I'd like to see statiions at Northlake, Tucker, Oak Grove, Toco Hill, East Atlanta Village, Mercer, etc.
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Old 12-27-2010, 04:55 PM
 
2,831 posts, read 2,481,137 times
Reputation: 1249
Yeah, all of the above would be good. I thought about Blue Line extension to hit 285, Fulton Industrial, and it might as well go to Six Flags at that point (hopefully you could coax a big investment out of them if they're going to get public transit access). That would give a viable alternative to get to downtown for a lot of people in the I-20 corridor and the NW side of 285, provide access for a few working class jobs, and it would give out of towners yet another thing to do, especially families.

As far as geometry of the I-75 connection is concerned, the existing tunnels would seem to be of kinda limited use if they are pointed northeast. It might make more sense to just curve out to the west underground and poke through near where Buford Highway runs into Spring Street. That's a tough part, and I guess that's what the billion dollars is for!

Getting MARTA to Rockdale would be great, but it's far and expensive. The Blue Line currently ends in such an ungraceful way--it basically pokes right into the side of a neighborhood. Would be difficult to extend. I guess that's where commuter rail would ideally come to play.

If it's hubs we want, I actually have an idea for that.

Stations at:

Atlantic Station, then go over the existing rail bridge over I-75 and pull through...
Peachtree Amtrak Station, then line up with the existing alignment and have an infill...
Armour Yard Station Hub (with Lindbergh-style TOD), which interchanges with the Red/Yellow lines/Beltline and then continues east along the CSX alignment to
Morningside Station at Cheshire Bridge, continue to
CDC Station, continue to
Emory Station, bend south at the existing wye (along the abandoned nearly unused portion of the CSX corridor) to
Clairemont Station, then spend a bomb tunneling to the
Decatur Station Hub

By my budget, this would cost like $600 million. But honestly I think there would be so many viaducts and tunnels and things associated with working in such an urban area it would probably top that. That would definitely be the one that does the most for intown, though.
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Old 12-27-2010, 06:01 PM
 
2,397 posts, read 2,110,082 times
Reputation: 1195
Quote:
Originally Posted by testa50 View Post
Someone mentioned doing this, so I decided to start a thread about it.

One common complaint you hear about MARTA is that "it doesn't go anywhere". Well, now is you chance to voice where you think it needs to go.

Say that MARTA gets a grant from the Feds for $2 billion in expansion capital, and you get to decide how to use it. Our budget cost for expansion is $50 million/route mile alongside existing freight rail corridors (as much of the current system was constructed), and $100 million/mile going along other corridors or through development.

For the sake of argument, assume that surrounding counties are all part of MARTA funding or will be if rail extends to them. Also, assume the Beltline is going forward.

As background, here is an existing map of MARTA with my best approximation of daily boardings at each station, where data was available. There are a couple different ways of measuring data, but this one is closest to apples-to-apples. If anyone has a more complete data set, please post it!



Obviously the base map is courtesy of www.itsMARTA.com

My goals are as follows:
1) Ease traffic congestion & increase commuting options
2) Provide transportation to people without cars, people who have trouble paying for their cars, and tourists
3) Encourage new, dense developments in areas served by heavy rail (such as Lindbergh)
4) Creating vehicle-free access to recreation and park areas, as many systems in Europe do
5) Improve access to historic town center districts

Anyhow, here's a list of my expansions:

1) Extend the Green Line to Stone Mountain. 9 miles alongside existing CSX track @ $50 mil = $450 million budget. The Green Line will Branch off of the Blue Line after the Avondale Station and curve northwards, following the tracks.

New stations: North Decatur (@ North Decatur Road), Clarkston (@ North Indian Creek), Memorial (E Ponce @ Hwy 10; Park and Ride for inbound commuters on Hwy 78), Stone Mountain (Downtown Stone Mountain). Additional project: Work in conjunction with the Park to rehabilitate the Stone Mountain train's tracks into downtown Stone Mountain, for those whole don't want to walk the half mile to the base of the rock; encourage visitors to the Park to use the train to see the historic Downtown Stone Mountain area.

Users: Commuters inbound on 78, who currently have to jump through hoops to get to Downtown & Midtown; Tourists going to Stone Mountain from downtown; people within walking distance of the stations in Clarkston, North Decatur, and Stone Mountain; rationalizing bus routes in Dekalb County to reorient them around the stations.

Why? DeKalb County has stuck along with MARTA for decades, providing a vital chunk of money while getting only 9 or the 38 stations despite being almost as large a county as Fulton. In additon, this would give tourists and other carless folks a way to see one of Atlanta's main tourist attractions in a stress-free, efficient, way. Also, Hwy 78 has always been a stunted commuter corridor due to its terrible access to downtown; giving the folks in southern Gwinnett a limited-access way to reach a MARTA station that takes them straight downton would appeal to many. Right now, their best means of accessing MARTA is by going to the Kensington Station, which is an extra 10 circuitous miles from Stone Mountain. In case a commuter rail line to the east ever emerges, Stone Mountain could be an interchange point with MARTA.


2) Reroute the gold line to go up I-75, ending at Cumberland Mall/Cobb Galleria area. 10 miles of new corridor @ $100 mil = $1.0 billion budget.

New Stations: Northside Drive/Howell Mill, Collier Road, West Paces Ferry, Chattahoochee River, Cobb Galleria, and Cumberland Mall.

Users: Bi-directional commuters: inbound on I-75 & from intown to the Galleria area. Future connection to commuter rail @ Cumberland Mall. Improve tourist and improved access to the recreation area around the river. Serve people within walking distance of the train stations, rationalize bus routes in the area. Encourage Higher density TOD area at the northwest corner of Collier/I-75.

Why? This one will really stitch together the business and commercial areas in Cobb County with Atlanta's core. Potential for TOD. This is a serious proposal that has been studied, so there isn't as much need to elaborate.


3) Hapeville extension. Follow the NS corridor through downtown Hapeville and terminate at the International Terminal. 3 miles along rail corridor @ $50mil = $150 million, 2 miles additional to the airport @ $100mil = $200 million; $350 million budget.

New stations: Hapeville (Virginia @ Central); old Ford Factory redevelopment, with airport/downtown Park & Ride; International Terminal. Create a new line for this called the Brown Line, which will take over the Gold Line's existing route in north Atlanta.

Users: Commuters from the south I-75 corridor into Atlanta. Arriving and departing passengers at International Terminal. Transit-oriented development at Ford Factory. Visitors to and residents of Hapeville.

Why? Complete the MARTA access to the airport's new terminal, streamline future MARTA bus service into Clayton County, and encourage improved density and better land use near the airport.

Total budget: $1.8 billion; $200 million contingency.

My completed MARTA map:




Keep in mind the map is not to scale--the Green Line expansion is in fact huge. Sorry the map is kind of crappy--time is not an infinite resource. The yellow line would of course stop at all the stations.

Don't worry about being as detailed or thorough as I am in my proposals; just say what ideas you like or don't like, or what you advocate as the best possible MARTA expansion given a reasonable budget constraint.


What do you guys think the best possible MARTA expansions would be?
Putting a station at Cumberland Mall would be the end of the mall, as CCT has already dealt a blow to the mall that has quickly brought about its demise.
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Old 12-27-2010, 06:23 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
969 posts, read 1,080,613 times
Reputation: 618
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stars&StripesForever View Post
Putting a station at Cumberland Mall would be the end of the mall, as CCT has already dealt a blow to the mall that has quickly brought about its demise.
What are you talking about and how so? Cumberland Mall is doing fine and Lenox/Phipps and Perimeter Mall have MARTA access and those malls have the most upscale stores in the metro area.
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Old 12-27-2010, 06:31 PM
 
Location: 30080
1,610 posts, read 2,058,269 times
Reputation: 876
Quote:
Originally Posted by mike7586 View Post
What are you talking about and how so? Cumberland Mall is doing fine and Lenox/Phipps and Perimeter Mall have MARTA access and those malls have the most upscale stores in the metro area.
Its one of those "keep them out" type posts.. and totally wrong since Cumberland Mall is doing better business now than ever. You know you cant give everyone access to the internet. Since 2007 Cumberland Mall has grown in pretty much every way. Hell the renovation in 2003 and more gentrification to that mall is probably the ONLY thing that keeps it afloat.
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