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Old 07-03-2012, 02:33 PM
 
28,153 posts, read 24,704,135 times
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Here's a good piece on the Transportation SPLOST by businessman and capital manager Steve Berman.

Time to invest in the region's future -- or others might not - Atlanta Business Chronicle
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Old 07-03-2012, 02:46 PM
 
Location: Kirkwood
22,181 posts, read 16,201,271 times
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Great piece from an Atlanta businessman. We need to invest in our future. The projects selected were very transparent and had a lot of public involvement. Those that disapprove of the list are probably the same that did not show up to any meetings and made their voice heard. The tax sets up a citizens review board that will review all projects and make sure the come in on-time and within budget. The list has a good balance of transit and road projects that everyone can agree on. Major interchange chock points will get remodeled, Atlanta will get more transit, and transit will reach into Cobb and South DeKalb allowing faster movement of people to Atlanta's urban core. This list sets up next rounds projects as well, with planning and ROW purchases or the Red Line extension and Gwinett corridor.
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Old 07-03-2012, 03:13 PM
JPD
 
11,874 posts, read 14,490,836 times
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I fully support the TSPLOST, but I'm getting a little tired of this "40 hours a year wasted in traffic" statistic they've been throwing around lately. That's a really limp argument. If you work, say, 40 weeks per year (I'm lowballing this as most people work closer to 50 weeks per year), that would be one hour per week, or a whopping SIX MINUTES per one-way trip sitting in traffic. We all know the traffic situation is a lot worse than a six minute delay per trip, so why throw out an entirely unimpressive, and definitely incorrect stat?

Last edited by JPD; 07-03-2012 at 03:59 PM..
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Old 07-03-2012, 03:58 PM
 
Location: Marietta, GA
7,844 posts, read 14,531,375 times
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More generalizations and cheerleading. The following are not substantiated facts, but rather editorial comment and scare tactics:

- We put ourselves on I-285 at rush hour and expect to travel faster than 10 mph.
- Thousands of workers are stranded on Atlanta’s highways trying to get to and from work. They each waste an estimated 40 hours a year sitting unproductively in traffic, burning fuel.
- Metro Atlanta has one of the worst traffic problems in the United States
- Business leaders, who in the 80’s and 90’s routinely picked Atlanta for their corporate offices, are choosing other cities where their workers can be more productive at their desks than in their cars.


What companies are "choosing other cities" and which cities are they choosing? What companies have recently bypassed Atlanta citing traffic concerns?

What statistics and reports are being used to claim that Atlanta has "one of the worst traffic problems in the United States?" Inrix and other recent reports have shown that Atlanta is not even in the top 10 of the worst cities for traffic, despite being in the top 10 for MSA's.

This is more generalization and anecdote.
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Old 07-03-2012, 04:08 PM
 
1,114 posts, read 1,941,805 times
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Well if you look at the "State of the Commute" PDF from the Clean Air Campaign, you'll see that the avg distance is 17.5 miles each way. If you live further than say Tucker or somewhere Perimeter adjacent and commute to Downtown, you'll probably have a longer delay on avg each way.

Also, the avg speed appears to be 35mph so an avg 30 min commute. Perhaps they can only factor the best case to 45mph avg since they can't reasonably calculate the optimal scenario of an 90mph shot down I-85 that convinced some people that a Suwanee to downtown commute was reasonable on a daily basis.

Based on those numbers, they're figuring people go to work ~240 days/yr. The 40 hrs is still a substantial ~17% of time in a year wasted just on traffic. Shaving 5 min/trip over 30 min is still a nice feeling.
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Old 07-03-2012, 04:29 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
6,458 posts, read 7,273,490 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neil0311 View Post
More generalizations and cheerleading. The following are not substantiated facts, but rather editorial comment and scare tactics:

- We put ourselves on I-285 at rush hour and expect to travel faster than 10 mph.
- Thousands of workers are stranded on Atlanta’s highways trying to get to and from work. They each waste an estimated 40 hours a year sitting unproductively in traffic, burning fuel.
- Metro Atlanta has one of the worst traffic problems in the United States
- Business leaders, who in the 80’s and 90’s routinely picked Atlanta for their corporate offices, are choosing other cities where their workers can be more productive at their desks than in their cars.


What companies are "choosing other cities" and which cities are they choosing? What companies have recently bypassed Atlanta citing traffic concerns?

What statistics and reports are being used to claim that Atlanta has "one of the worst traffic problems in the United States?" Inrix and other recent reports have shown that Atlanta is not even in the top 10 of the worst cities for traffic, despite being in the top 10 for MSA's.

This is more generalization and anecdote.
??
Actually most of this is very measurable, particularly the part about hours wasted.

There are several organizations, especially the Texas Transportation Institute, that analyze how congested roads are in most cities. They spend alot of time and effort at and try to calculate the social, time, fuel, and expense traffic has on us.

The avg. amount delayed in traffic is a very common variable analyzed. It is often reused by newspapers, magazines, and websites alike to "rank" how bad traffic is in different cities.

Avg travel speeds at different times are researched by the ITS corridor management systems.

As far as the remark about businesses choosing others over us. This is true, but admittedly also dicey. We have been considered for companies to relocated here and we lost out to other cities, particularly Charlotte as of lately. This is true and no hidden thing. We also know that many companies cite traffic and congestion as a reason for not coming to Atlanta. What we don't know precisely is how much growth we lose overall. The size and how much some new companies would just encourage the next company to relocate to the other city anyways.

Either way I'm baffled... they are directly observables things.

I also don't think there are many I-285 north commuters that commute during the peak of rush hour and don't see stop and go traffic that moves less than 10mph at certain points/bottlenecks.
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Old 07-03-2012, 04:35 PM
 
7,707 posts, read 9,556,156 times
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The bottom line is we need to vote for politicians who will address transportation as part of their platform.

Not cut a virtually blank check to the same people who have gotten us where we are.

I was recently in Alabama and saw gas for as low as $2.81. So they must have gas taxes even lower than ours, yet their roads seemed to be doing just fine.

I'm telling you, if you vote for this, you are opening the floodgates for politicians to come at you and beg for special taxes to fund other initiatives they should have figured out in the budget they are already working with or to avoid instituting some kind of tax that would make them less popular. It's a cowardly political move and we shouldn't fall into the trap. Soon they'll use the same fear mongering to beg for a sales tax for police and fire services saying they can't guarantee that they can keep you safe without it.
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Old 07-03-2012, 04:45 PM
 
1,114 posts, read 1,941,805 times
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To be honest, the number of zeroes on the checks the state/city cut to buy these jobs is probably a bigger factor vs. a 25 min avg vs. a 30 min avg commute right now. Sure happy employees are productive employees but a 9 figure tax rebate check + free land/training/etc probably erase most CEOs concerns about congestion.

If our traffic situation is inordinate for a city of our size then yes it's a major problem but looking at the #s from the Money - Best Places list, our median commute is within rounding error of Charlotte's at ~22 min. I'm sure there's a much longer tail for the outer exurbs but that's a function of our larger metro.
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Old 07-03-2012, 04:47 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
6,458 posts, read 7,273,490 times
Reputation: 4205
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mishap View Post
Well if you look at the "State of the Commute" PDF from the Clean Air Campaign, you'll see that the avg distance is 17.5 miles each way. If you live further than say Tucker or somewhere Perimeter adjacent and commute to Downtown, you'll probably have a longer delay on avg each way.

Also, the avg speed appears to be 35mph so an avg 30 min commute. Perhaps they can only factor the best case to 45mph avg since they can't reasonably calculate the optimal scenario of an 90mph shot down I-85 that convinced some people that a Suwanee to downtown commute was reasonable on a daily basis.

Based on those numbers, they're figuring people go to work ~240 days/yr. The 40 hrs is still a substantial ~17% of time in a year wasted just on traffic. Shaving 5 min/trip over 30 min is still a nice feeling.
Thought you might be interested....

The avg delay also factors in people, particularly in retail and some industrial/building tasks, that don't commute during rush hours. Time shifted commuters have less delay, than peak commuters.

Anyways if anyone wants to read up on this here is the 2011 TTI report http://tti.tamu.edu/documents/mobility-report-2011.pdf

Atlanta was actually 43 hours, which isn't actually the worse. Other cities are starting to beat us out more and more... .mainly because of our proactive suburban zoning, but it doesn't mean we don't have a problem attracting the really high end jobs that wants a larger employment shed over the whole area.
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Old 07-03-2012, 04:52 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
6,458 posts, read 7,273,490 times
Reputation: 4205
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mishap View Post
To be honest, the number of zeroes on the checks the state/city cut to buy these jobs is probably a bigger factor vs. a 25 min avg vs. a 30 min avg commute right now. Sure happy employees are productive employees but a 9 figure tax rebate check + free land/training/etc probably erase most CEOs concerns about congestion.
.
The key problem for most CEOs when they get down to the nitty-gritty of site location... they actually can chart out maps of the commute times to that particular site. They will then analyze what the population is within an average drive and that is what the company will consider as the potential intellectual/employee advantage to an area.

The problem we have is... we aren't bringing together -all- potential employees throughout our region anymore. A few people will commute from Gwinnett to Cobb, but many won't and the ones that do mainly do it for a much higher salary or offer.

The end result a company looking at a site in Kennesaw, doesn't consider the employee base in Gwinnett very much.

From a planning standpoint... you look at things the other way... This highway has X capacity. It can only support X commuters. More people can't travel down a congested corridor for more jobs. You can just change out which jobs are making that finite commuter amount over time.
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