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Old 10-15-2011, 12:09 PM
 
9,887 posts, read 5,460,306 times
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If this referendum isn't moved to November, it will fail. And the powers-that-be know it.
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Old 10-15-2011, 12:21 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mutiny77 View Post
If this referendum isn't moved to November, it will fail. And the powers-that-be know it.
I'm afraid that's right.

All these discussions, meetings and plans will be for naught unless something miraculous happens.

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Old 10-15-2011, 12:24 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
3,454 posts, read 2,428,922 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by testa50 View Post
CSX has a rail line that goes straight from downtown Atlanta to Stonecrest Mall. Why aren't we at least considering using that as a commuter rail line? That would also benefit Gwinnett folks, with a park and ride station on US 78. I feel like the regional thinking here is sorely lacking. The vast majority of projects I have seen seem to benefit one county almost exclusively.

On a side note, how in the world do they plan to run a transit line down I-20? Does anyone have a typical section or concept that is remotely feasible? Don't show me GA 400--there's no median space for something like that on 20 AFAIK. Maybe OTP it would be somewhat feasible. Not ITP.
I was kind of surprised we didn't do much with commuter rail too. There might have been a few realities hit that some expensive parts needed to be taken care of (like the Howell Mill Junction) in order to start building the cheaper parts of a commuter rail line.

I do want to make one comment though about this specifically. Typically with commuter rail you don't see people drive far to get to it. You see people drive to the station locally, but not far. I mention this, because I doubt many from Gwinnett would ever drive to Stone Mountain to use commuter rail.

When we think of commuter rail we are really thinking about the communities around stations. But, the big plus to commuter rail is it's capital costs are so cheap it is easy to spread those stations out over long distances so people don't have to drive far to get to them. Gwinnett probably won't use commuter rail unless it is built on the CSX tracks that go through Tucker, Lilburn, Lawrenceville, and on to Athens or through Norcross, Duluth, Buford, and up to Gainesville.

They actually built a Park N Ride near Stone Mountain and US78 for the Marta Q BRT to the East Line. I am really curious how that is working out and what the ridership is!

I think when they initially plan for a new line in really developed areas they are assuming the cost of buying property and cutting through neighborhoods would be more expensive than the cost of building an elevated structure and/or buying small parts of property to extend the right of way of the highway corridor. They haven't actually engineered the route, so things could change as they examine the engineering costs trying to make it cheaper. That is actually partly what that $225 million (and for Gwinnett the $95m and the $37m for the north line) is for.
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Old 10-15-2011, 12:28 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
3,454 posts, read 2,428,922 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mutiny77 View Post
If this referendum isn't moved to November, it will fail. And the powers-that-be know it.
It is kind of embarrassing for Republicans... this was this chance to admit we needed to do something, but they got to control the 'how.' The sales tax is actually very regressive and I only like it, because its the only option we have to move forward.
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Old 10-15-2011, 12:54 PM
 
2,803 posts, read 2,197,916 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cwkimbro View Post
I do want to make one comment though about this specifically. Typically with commuter rail you don't see people drive far to get to it. You see people drive to the station locally, but not far. I mention this, because I doubt many from Gwinnett would ever drive to Stone Mountain to use commuter rail.

When we think of commuter rail we are really thinking about the communities around stations. But, the big plus to commuter rail is it's capital costs are so cheap it is easy to spread those stations out over long distances so people don't have to drive far to get to them. Gwinnett probably won't use commuter rail unless it is built on the CSX tracks that go through Tucker, Lilburn, Lawrenceville, and on to Athens or through Norcross, Duluth, Buford, and up to Gainesville.
I think commuter rail @ US 78 might be the exception to this. The 78 corridor really has horrendous access to Downtown and Midtown. The two main routes into town (85 and 20) both require going ~5 miles out of your way. To me, that's an opportunity. If you happen to live along 78 and have a job in Downtown or Midtown, it will probably be almost as fast to stop and take the train on a far more direct route.

In fact, I think it should be MARTA in a perfect world. I think it would cost a fraction of the amount of extending a brand new line along I-20 (there's a reason the majority of the original system was built alongside railroad tracks, and none along existing interstates), and I'd bet ridership would be similar per mile of new track (Clarkston is one of the densest OTP communities and this corridor would go right through it). Also, serving Stone Mountain would be huge from a tourism point of view.
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Old 10-15-2011, 01:22 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
2,752 posts, read 2,161,155 times
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A lot of that stuff got through when Dekalb had different leadership, such as the great Manuel Maloof. Arguably, the leadership at the state house was much more congenial when he was at the helm as CEO. Now that there is a lot more "diversity" of leadership at Dekalb County's government these days, can you really say that Dekalb has the same amount of clout?

Maybe Emory McClinton was a great advocate, but it wasn't his effort alone that got Dekalb all those goodies. Heck, the City of Atlanta had great advocates too, but they still needed help of a different shade to get things done. That has always been the way Georgia does things. I look at these things in a lot of scrutinizing detail.

Getting to that MARTA line: If you are talking about the Indian Creek line, it was last completed in 1993...18s year ago. So are you saying that we South Dekalb residents should just be satisfied with something every 18 or so years? Is that the current standard of service that we should expect even after paying a 1 cent sales tax for these past 40 decades? I see a lot of arrogance and disrespect for South Dekalb in that mindset.

If that's the common attitude of among the majority here in Georgia, then it's pretty obvious that our state still has a lot more growing up to do. My opinion is still not changed.


Quote:
Originally Posted by arjay57 View Post
South DeKalb has always had tremendous clout when it come to transportation. I-20 East was one of the first legs of the interstate to open in Atlanta. South DeKalb got the first MARTA line, which has been extended twice. It got the Stone Mountain Freeway. It got I-675. It would have the eastern section of Langford Parkway except for the fact that it was blocked by neighborhood advocates. It has had major intersection improvements along I-285 and tons of arterial road improvements.

Emory McClinton has been a great advocate for South DeKalb, along with many other powerful leaders over the decades. South DeKalb has long been a powerhouse in state and regional politics.

Now, should South DeKalb get another rail line? There are certainly arguments in favor of that, but in today's world DeKalb has to get in there scrap for funding like the rest of the metro area. Other parts of the region have grown and DeKalb is not the 900 pound gorilla that it used to be.

Last edited by AcidSnake; 10-15-2011 at 01:51 PM..
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Old 10-15-2011, 01:30 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
2,752 posts, read 2,161,155 times
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I will take your logic under advisement. Of course I disagree with a lot of it, but at this point there is no need in continually beating a dead horse.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cwkimbro View Post
Dude, I'm not ignoring your arguments. We just don't agree.

Don't ignore me, which you admit doing, and then argue that I didn't consider/think out the things you ignored that I wrote. That is really unfair in a debate with anyone in any issue.

There is a difference between disagreeing and ignoring. At this point the more you act like this... the more people will stop listening to you all together, especially when I am actually considering your arguments.

There are over 4 million people in this region that don't live in Dekalb Co., much less South Dekalb and Dekalb is already getting a heavier allotment of money from this tax than most other counties, even relative to population.

Even within the two MARTA counties there are lots of places that don't have a direct rail line and have to depend on buses. N. Fulton pays the same taxes and they have like two bus lines. The reason I say this is whenever we come up with a new funding source it can't be a magical bullet that does everything. Not everyone can get everything all at once. When they built MARTA (rail) it went in every direction.

The problem is the money from this one single 10 year tax can't go as far as everyone would like it to.

And I don't want to take from Southeast Dekalb's success at all. I have loved Stonecrest Mall being built. It has done alot for the area, but I have two quick comments about this too. Atlanta has never been in the habit of building rail lines towards every little retail area that has a mall. We have dozens and dozens of malls. We can't and never have used that as a justification on building a $1billion+ rail line. The other problem I have with that particular area... in the short run... that area is very suburban/exurban and is a long distance away from the city. That means whenever we do get around to building rail there it will be more expensive. That means there will have to be some more patience getting it built. It can't just be a small extension on our existing infrastructure, but instead it is a reeeally long corridor.

And if we compare that to an area like Perimeter (with Sandy Springs and Dunwoody), it isn't just a mall and a retail area. It is a major employment center with denser housing development. About as many people as works in downtown Atlanta work in the Perimeter Center area. So when I talk about that northward growth... that is what I mean. There are more jobs, more people, more businesses, and more localized denser development. I push hard for transit in Atlanta, but I do look at all these details carefully, because any funding sources we ever get have to be use cautiously, but also distributed fairly. Now we may disagree that is, but if your just ignoring people for disagreeing, then we won't have a fair conversation.
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Old 10-15-2011, 01:33 PM
 
13,843 posts, read 8,205,722 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by testa50 View Post
I think commuter rail @ US 78 might be the exception to this. The 78 corridor really has horrendous access to Downtown and Midtown.
What about catching MARTA at Indian Creek or Kensington?
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Old 10-15-2011, 01:45 PM
 
13,843 posts, read 8,205,722 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AcidSnake View Post
Getting to that MARTA line: If you are talking about the Indian Creek line, it was last completed in 1993...18 year ago. So are you saying that we South Dekalb residents should just satisfied with something every 18 or so years?
I'm not saying South DeKalb has to be satisfied, just pointing out that it got priority over the North side. The train went to Avondale in the 1970s, and got extended on out to Kensington and Indian Creek in 1993.

Folks up at the Perimeter didn't get any rail service until 1996, and people in Sandy Springs had to wait until 2000!

And, as I say, in the meantime South DeKalb got a host of mega road improvements. Transit is great but let's not forget that the vast majority of commuters (roughly 95%) still drive to work.

The reality is that with meager transit dollars being available, your best shot at taking a train is not to move far away from where the train goes and demand that it come to you, but to live closer to where the train already is.
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Old 10-15-2011, 01:57 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
2,752 posts, read 2,161,155 times
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Those folks up north didn't want anything to do with MARTA in the first place. They only grudgingly agreed to some stations because they realized they had been paying so much into the Fulton-Dekalb MARTA bank for so long that they should get something back for it.

So I definitely wouldn't put the Dunwoody/Sandy Springs zeal for transit on the same level as South Dekalb's. SD's love for transit is equal to none in exuberance I say!

Quote:
Originally Posted by arjay57 View Post
I'm not saying South DeKalb has to be satisfied, just pointing out that it got priority over the North side. The train went to Avondale in the 1970s, and got extended on out to Kensington and Indian Creek in 1993.

Folks up at the Perimeter didn't get any rail service until 1996, and people in Sandy Springs had to wait until 2000!

And, as I say, in the meantime South DeKalb got a host of mega road improvements. Transit is great but let's not forget that the vast majority of commuters (roughly 95%) still drive to work.

The reality is that with meager transit dollars being available, your best shot at taking a train is not to move far away from where the train goes and demand that it come to you, but to live closer to where the train already is.
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