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Old 01-26-2012, 08:49 PM
 
Location: atlanta
3,964 posts, read 4,557,590 times
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they just held the first meeting for the alternatives analysis for the 400 corridor— i went.

overall it was not *too* eventful but they said that this was the first time they've done an alternatives analysis for the 400 corridor exclusively.

basically all an "alternatives analysis" is, is they take 1-2 years to determine what the public desires in the area, and they come up with a ton of ideas and try to narrow it down to the "preferred alternative" (an alternative to crappy traffic).

the meeting was really unspecific— they didn't get into whether it was going to be rail or bus transit, but i think honestly they're trying to ease people into the idea of having rail up here, since there's been opposition previously. the concept 3 produced by the ART recommended heavy rail for the 400 corridor and the T-SPLOST (i think?) had heavy rail up to holcomb bridge on the funding list.

overall they asked us for our ideas, we stuck them on boards like "your vision" and "objectives"... etc. i saw some interesting ideas like running rail to forsyth county, running rails east and west, and then someone wrote on one of the boards 'rail doesn't work'.

anyway, it was interesting— nothing specific, the next meeting is going to be sometime in early spring. here's the site they gave us:

MARTA > About Marta > Planning
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Old 01-26-2012, 09:52 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
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Concept 3 recommended a higher speed/capacity -light- rail for the corridor to make it more affordable to go further, leverage federal dollars, and interconnect with Gwinnett and Cobb light rail.

MARTA is pushing a continuation of the existing infrastructure, but it will take far longer to build it as far.

Sadly, the T-SPLOST ($37million) amount for the project is so low it won't pay for any construction... just engineering and some right of way acquisition.

However, the potential for that money is why we are seeing the LPA sessions start on the corridor now.
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Old 01-26-2012, 10:22 PM
 
Location: Atlanta, GA (Sandy Springs)
3,539 posts, read 2,304,274 times
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Seems like we are always a 2 year study away from getting anything done.
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Old 01-26-2012, 10:31 PM
 
Location: atlanta
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considering both the light rail and heavy rail would have to go over the chattahoochee river and traverse some hilly country, it seems to me the brunt of the cost is going to be associated with building any type of rail since there'll have to be all kinds of bridges and tunnels anyway. with the extensive initial cost it seems to me that it would be more productive to go ahead and hook it up with the existing heavy rail that goes that far north.

the reason i think cobb and gwinnett are going for that is because they already have a relatively clear path to bring the rail through— the same isn't true for the 400 corridor, you're going to have to make it pretty much independent, even if you run it alongside 400, due to insufficient right of way.

personally i don't think light rail is good for commuter routes. it's lower capacity, slow, and requires passengers to switch trains when they get intown.

i think light rail/streetcar would be fantastic for highway 9, however. i presented that idea at the meeting— it could go from the windward station to the northridge station, and could travel through downtown roswell and alpharetta. that way you get the high capacity employment areas and commuter routes on the heavy rail system, and you can pick up the historic, recreational and residential areas with the streetcar, with some interconnectivity.
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Old 01-26-2012, 10:33 PM
 
Location: atlanta
3,964 posts, read 4,557,590 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cwkimbro View Post
Sadly, the T-SPLOST ($37million) amount for the project is so low it won't pay for any construction... just engineering and some right of way acquisition.
yes that is very true. i think even the clifton corridor, which mostly runs along an existing CSX railbed, was estimated somewhere around $75 million a mile.
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Old 01-27-2012, 06:02 AM
 
7,564 posts, read 4,056,201 times
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I can't comment on rightaways, tunneling, light versus heavy and so forth. All I can offer is that wife and I spent four days in NYC (Manhatten really) and used nothing but the subway to get around. Took the bus in and out from the airport. We now realize that we could have easily traveled much more of the NYC area (Brooklyn, Queens etc) then we did, easily, inexpensively and safely on the subway.

The NY system is also cleaner, friendly, with great signage, info booths, eople (especially) and systems in general. An example is the metro card, which can be shared by two people in NY, versus the breeze card that cannot be shared.

Anyway, Atlanta will grow up someday, or be faced with no choice but to go the mass transit route.
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Old 01-27-2012, 06:28 AM
 
Location: ITP - City of Atlanta Proper
7,797 posts, read 11,731,309 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by earthlyfather View Post
I can't comment on rightaways, tunneling, light versus heavy and so forth. All I can offer is that wife and I spent four days in NYC (Manhatten really) and used nothing but the subway to get around. Took the bus in and out from the airport. We now realize that we could have easily traveled much more of the NYC area (Brooklyn, Queens etc) then we did, easily, inexpensively and safely on the subway.

The NY system is also cleaner, friendly, with great signage, info booths, eople (especially) and systems in general. An example is the metro card, which can be shared by two people in NY, versus the breeze card that cannot be shared.

Anyway, Atlanta will grow up someday, or be faced with no choice but to go the mass transit route.
Your comparing apples and oranges here. Manhattan is New York's Downtown while the 400 corridor is suburbia at it's finest. What will be needed there will be a solution to relieve commuter traffic since the studied area is far too large for concentrated mass transit. We already have a subway in Downtown Atlanta and direct train access to Airport (something you can't easily do from Manhattan to either of the NYC airports), so the comparison you made is pretty much irrelevant.
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Old 01-27-2012, 07:12 AM
 
Location: Kirkwood
22,157 posts, read 16,157,856 times
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it would be more productive to go ahead and hook it up with the existing heavy rail that goes that far north
This would prevent people from having to transfer at North Springs and would attract more riders. Extending HRT north is a great option and I think it should only go to NorthPoint. North of there express buses can run to park-and-ride lots north along 400.
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Old 01-27-2012, 07:22 AM
 
Location: ITP - City of Atlanta Proper
7,797 posts, read 11,731,309 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cqholt View Post
This would prevent people from having to transfer at North Springs and would attract more riders. Extending HRT north is a great option and I think it should only go to NorthPoint. North of there express buses can run to park-and-ride lots north along 400.
I agree. It's clear by just looking at 400 south in the morning and north in the evening that a high capacity rail transit line is needed for North Fulton. Most of the people on those roads are head to work in Sandy Springs, Galleria and Downtown/Midtown/Buckhead from their homes in Roswell, Alpharetta, Johns Creek, and Milton (and vice versa I might add in the opposite). You wouldn't be able to solve all the problems with traffic on 400 by extending rail to at least Windward (as well as increased feeder bus service), but I bet such a line could easily reduce traffic by as much as 25% by just getting people to park and rides and the last leg of their journey on transit. Since Fulton the one of the largest hurdles is already a non-issue (getting residents to vote for MARTA) leaving just the other severely non-trivial hurdle: $
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Old 01-27-2012, 10:14 AM
 
3,207 posts, read 4,508,061 times
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Please, don't bother to do anything if you're not going to do HRT. Just extend it one station, two or three miles away, at a time. It will pay off vastly more in the long run; instead, a LRT transfer would be viewed as a joke. It's hard enough to get people out of their cars as it is. The only argument I could see for LRT is if you can upgrade it to HRT in the future, but my understanding is that LRT loses most of its of its cost advantage if you build an alignment suitable for HRT.

My idea has always been to extend past North Springs, then develop land adjacent to North Springs as a high rise office complex using all the excess parking capacity that will be generated. Build the offices as close to on top of the MARTA station as you possibly can, and market heavily the fact that they would pretty much be the most accessible offices on 400 for every mode of transit.
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