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Old 07-27-2013, 09:14 AM
 
Location: Woodstock, GA
1,224 posts, read 1,748,734 times
Reputation: 683
Quote:
Originally Posted by Born 2 Roll View Post
Though, the good news for some commuters is that there are at least a couple of express buses (GRTA Xpress buses) running between Southern Cherokee County and Midtown and Downtown Atlanta, something that is a really big deal for an area that overall can be highly transit-averse.
We had a company function at Piedmont Park earlier this week (if you were in Midtown in the afternoon you may have seen us running around in groups of 8 to 10 wearing identical t-shirts). I left the function at 5 and it took me over an hour to get home. If I worked in midtown or downtown I would be on that bus. There is no way I would sit through that every day---I would go mad. Fortunately I don't have to work there.

Quote:
Perception...The deeply-held perception by most companies that employees are infinitely more productive at an office under the watchful and supervisory eyes of management than they are within the comfortable confines of home.
Well-entrenched mega-corporations are very slow to change their culture.
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Old 07-27-2013, 09:27 AM
 
10,672 posts, read 6,330,132 times
Reputation: 5296
Quote:
Originally Posted by Born 2 Roll View Post
...Yeah, unfortunately, that sounds about right for Cherokee County where despite the horrible rush hour traffic on Hwy 92, I-575 and I-75, there remains a lot of suspicion and even outright hostility to the concept of mass transit as a whole.
I'd even say THAT'S an understatement.

And on top of that, you've got MORE traffic coming to 575 with the opening of the outlet mall.
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Old 07-27-2013, 09:52 AM
 
Location: Woodstock, GA
1,224 posts, read 1,748,734 times
Reputation: 683
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mutiny77 View Post
And on top of that, you've got MORE traffic coming to 575 with the opening of the outlet mall.
Hey if it was easy to get to, it wouldn't be an outlet mall.
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Old 07-27-2013, 10:34 AM
 
2,159 posts, read 1,163,389 times
Reputation: 976
Quote:
Originally Posted by billl View Post
We had a company function at Piedmont Park earlier this week (if you were in Midtown in the afternoon you may have seen us running around in groups of 8 to 10 wearing identical t-shirts). I left the function at 5 and it took me over an hour to get home. If I worked in midtown or downtown I would be on that bus. There is no way I would sit through that every day---I would go mad. Fortunately I don't have to work there.
Unfortunately, taking over an hour to get from Midtown to Cherokee County during the 5:00 pm afternoon rush hour is regarded as being one of the better days on that I-75 Northwest Corridor.

I had a driving job that took me up that way very often and there would be many days where the roads in that area (particularly I-75 and US 41) would become parking lots, especially if there is some kind of freak accident (like a multi-vehicle pileup or someone cutting in front of an 18-wheeler and being splattered all over the road or a jacked-knife semi, etc) or there was inclement weather or even so much as a light drizzle.

I have spent many a days sitting in those morning and evening rush hour parking lots on US 41 and Interstates 75, 285 and 575, East-West Connector, etc.

I even remember when the reconstruction of I-75 was completed in the late '80's-early '90's and people considered it to be such an engineering marvel that helped traffic flow so smoothly at the time.

I also remember GDOT being considered, by far, one of the best state highway departments in the nation at the time in the immediate aftermath of the "Freeing-the-Freeways" reconstruction project.

So much irony that now I-75 is often a parking lot during morning and evening rush hours and that GDOT has degenerated into such a laughingstock of a state highway department in recent years.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mutiny77 View Post
I'd even say THAT'S an understatement.

And on top of that, you've got MORE traffic coming to 575 with the opening of the outlet mall.
Quote:
Originally Posted by billl View Post
Hey if it was easy to get to, it wouldn't be an outlet mall.
...I know, right? As if I-575 already didn't have enough traffic on it and needed even more traffic.

They basically built a new exit off of I-575, not with the intention of making traffic better, but with the intention of making traffic WORSE by building an outlet mall on a road on I-575 that can't handle the traffic that it already carries.
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Old 07-27-2013, 10:34 AM
 
10,672 posts, read 6,330,132 times
Reputation: 5296
Quote:
Originally Posted by billl View Post
Hey if it was easy to get to, it wouldn't be an outlet mall.
The point is that this will only make traffic worse in an already-bad traffic area which lacks suitable secondary roads to act as relievers. Combine this with the anti-transit mindset that's pervasive in Cherokee County, and....well...
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Old 07-27-2013, 10:50 AM
 
1,018 posts, read 784,804 times
Reputation: 637
Quote:
Originally Posted by atler8 View Post
Our office receptionist spent one hour yesterday getting from the Colony Square parking deck at 14th & Juniper on down to Auburn Ave. She leaves the office at 5:30 & has lately been geting home in Douglasville at 7 pm.
Quote:
Originally Posted by CCATL View Post
You work in midtown by Colony Square, right next to the Arts Center station. Tell your receptionist that instead of crying because of traffic, she can park at a park and ride for MARTA on the west side somewhere, and take the train in. Then she will avoid all of that traffic. While most people like to deny it, we DO have options in Atlanta. If she is choosing not to use on of them (express bus like you use, MARTA park and rides, etc.), then she should only be crying her of her lack of open-mindedness in changing her commute. She could also continue driving, and avoid going through downtown all together by taking an alternate route.

These are all REAL solutions, instead of crying about it everyday!
I also have to ask, if she is going from Colony Square to Douglassville, why on earth is she going to Auburn Ave. to get to Douglasville?? To pick someone up? Does she have to go there for some reason? Even if not using MARTA, you get get on the connector within minutes from Colony Square. It's slow, but surely not an hour to get to the Auburn area. If I were her going straight to Douglassville and not wanting to use MARTA, I would take 14th over to Northside, then Northside down to I-20. Nowhere near an hour even at the height of rush hour. Sounds like she's just making terrible choices.

Quote:
Originally Posted by billl View Post
There is a magic way out of our traffic woes.

More telecommuting.
What sucks is that many employers just don't allow it. I had almost secured a full-time job last year. In a way it was my dream job, combining two of my favorite things into one job. Perfection. It was a job I could do from a log cabin in the woods if I wanted to. As long as I had a computer set up and probably some internet and phone, I could do it anywhere. But they wanted me in the office from 9-5 every day. It was a 45 minute commute on a good day. I really pushed for working from home, and coming into the office when required, but they wouldn't have any of it. They ended up just dropping the whole thing. Oh well, I knew the job itself was doomed anyway, but it would have been awesome while it lasted.
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Old 07-27-2013, 04:11 PM
 
Location: Woodstock, GA
1,224 posts, read 1,748,734 times
Reputation: 683
Quote:
Originally Posted by Born 2 Roll View Post
They basically built a new exit off of I-575, not with the intention of making traffic better, but with the intention of making traffic WORSE by building an outlet mall on a road on I-575 that can't handle the traffic that it already carries.
The Ridgewalk Parkway interchange actually did help traffic congestion at exit 8. People trying to get to Cherokee Drive and points east would take exit 8 then the first left on to Woodstock Parkway. It was always backed up terribly through there. Once exit 9 opened that all disappeared. Of course now that the mall is open their drive is a bit worse. But even taking Woodstock Parkway isn't a help anymore as it goes by the mall too.

It is the city's long-term desire to continue Ridgewalk Parkway all the way to Arnold Mill. That would cut down on the amount of east-west through traffic in downtown Woodstock. The Army Corps has put a halt to the plan because the road would cut through some wetlands. I don't know if the city will eventually get it's way, but I know it is still on their wish list.

Last edited by billl; 07-27-2013 at 04:14 PM.. Reason: added last paragraph
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Old 07-27-2013, 05:39 PM
 
Location: Atlanta (Peachtree Hills)
1,052 posts, read 429,763 times
Reputation: 530
Quote:
Originally Posted by Born 2 Roll View Post
I have spent many a days sitting in those morning and evening rush hour parking lots on US 41 and Interstates 75, 285 and 575, East-West Connector, etc.

I even remember when the reconstruction of I-75 was completed in the late '80's-early '90's and people considered it to be such an engineering marvel that helped traffic flow so smoothly at the time.

I also remember GDOT being considered, by far, one of the best state highway departments in the nation at the time in the immediate aftermath of the "Freeing-the-Freeways" reconstruction project.
Yeah, and then induced demand took over, turning Freeing the Freeways into a failure (which anyone with a f**king brain could've seen coming).

Quote:
So much irony that now I-75 is often a parking lot during morning and evening rush hours and that GDOT has degenerated into such a laughingstock of a state highway department in recent years.
Why is GDOT a "laughingstock?"
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Old 07-27-2013, 10:10 PM
 
2,159 posts, read 1,163,389 times
Reputation: 976
Quote:
Originally Posted by billl View Post
The Ridgewalk Parkway interchange actually did help traffic congestion at exit 8. People trying to get to Cherokee Drive and points east would take exit 8 then the first left on to Woodstock Parkway. It was always backed up terribly through there. Once exit 9 opened that all disappeared. Of course now that the mall is open their drive is a bit worse. But even taking Woodstock Parkway isn't a help anymore as it goes by the mall too.
I agree that the Ridgewalk Parkway interchange on I-575 would have been a great traffic relief project (particularly in regards to the congested area around the Towne Lake/I-575 interchange which drivers previously had to use to get to Ridgewalk Pkwy).

But that Ridgewalk Parkway interchange was not built to help traffic flow better at Towne Lake and I-575.

That Ridgewalk Parkway interchange on I-575 was built for one thing and one thing only, which was to generate traffic to that new outlet mall that just opened at that exit.

It also appears that the entire stretch of Ridgewalk Parkway from just west of I-575 over to Old Hwy 5 Main St is slated to be built up with commercial development, meaning that the new interchange will effectively be making traffic much worse on Ridgewalk Parkway (and I-575) than it ever was before the new interchange (and commercial development) existed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by billl View Post
It is the city's long-term desire to continue Ridgewalk Parkway all the way to Arnold Mill. That would cut down on the amount of east-west through traffic in downtown Woodstock. The Army Corps has put a halt to the plan because the road would cut through some wetlands. I don't know if the city will eventually get it's way, but I know it is still on their wish list.
I've seen those plans where it looks like they have plans to connect Ridgewalk Parkway with Neese Road at Arnold Mill Road.

I wonder if they would widen Neese Road between Arnold Mill and Hwy 92 if they got the plans for that extension of Ridgewalk Parkway approved?

Extending Ridgewalk Pkwy to connect with Neese Road at Arnold Mill would provide for a great direct connection to Hwy 92 which would bring in traffic to that outlet mall and commercial area from the east (North Fulton and the GA 400 Corridor).

Metro Atlanta development 101...Those roads are not traffic relievers, those roads are traffic generators to that new outlet mall and the future commercial area at Ridgewalk Parkway and I-575 (...a commercial area which will be a big property tax and sales tax revenue generator for the City of Woodstock).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gulch View Post
Yeah, and then induced demand took over, turning Freeing the Freeways into a failure (which anyone with a f**king brain could've seen coming).
You are right. The state should have seen the problems with induced demand coming after the completion of the "Freeing-the-Freeways" project.

Though, in all fairness, it was not just induced demand that made "Freeing-the-Freeways" a failure, but it was also explosive population growth after the completion of the widening project.

Around the time that "Freeing-the-Freeways" was completed in the early 1990s, the Atlanta region had a population of about 2.9 million (in 1990), today the Atlanta region has a population of 6.1 million.

The "Freeing-the-Freeways" improvements were pretty much obsolete by the late 1990's when the Atlanta region had reached a population of around 4 million (officially 4.1 million in the 2000 Census) and had started experiencing the type of very severe traffic delays that have become a hallmark of daily life in the 6-million-inhabitant Atlanta region circa-2013.

At the time that the "Freeing-the-Freeways" project was in progress and completed, the state did not see induced demand and explosive population growth as coming problems because the state was not necessarily looking forward, the state was only widening the freeways to keep up with what was the current demand at the time (which was basically demand for a much-smaller metro area of about 2.5 million, which was Metro Atlanta's population while the project was in progress).

The state was also hampered from looking forward for ideological reasons as GDOT only built roads at the time (with no consideration for transportation alternatives to the automobile) and the anti-transit additude that is still very-pervasive today in a severely road infrastructure-limited Atlanta region of over 6 million was even more pervasive and dominant then (in the 1980s) in a much-smaller Atlanta region of about 2.5 million in a state that was controlled much more by transit-averse rural interests than today.

The biggest failing of the "Freeing-the-Freeways" project was that there was no strong mass transit option designed and built as part of the project (because of ideological reasons...back then, OTPers did not even want bus service outside of Fulton and DeKalb counties, much less train service...despite the freeway expansion being completed in the early '90's and despite severe traffic issues that became apparent immediately after the Olympics, the GRTA Xpress commuter bus service did not start operation until 2005).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gulch View Post
Why is GDOT a "laughingstock?"
GDOT has been viewed as being a laughingstock of a transportation agency because of some of the public relations nightmares that the agency has found itself in during the last decade.

PR nightmares that started in earnest with the Outer Perimeter and Northern Arc debacles and continued on with significant accounting issues (bad ones like losing $430 million in invoices in a desk and good ones like finding $1 billion in funds that it did not even know it had lost), and some (largely-unaffordable) road expansion proposals that were received very-poorly by the public (like the original Northwest Corridor HOT lane proposal that would have widened I-75 to as many as 25 lanes; the proposal to build a series of tolled tunnels under Intown East Atlanta...a place that does not handle news of road expansion proposals all that well; the proposal to build a further-out Northern Arc north of Lake Lanier through the mountain ranges of the Southern Appalachians...a time and money-wasting proposal in which the state would've started off at a great disadvantage to anti-road environmentalists and exurban and rural NIMBYs in the court of public opinion).

In addition to being micromanaged to the point that GDOT literally did not know how many projects it had on the books and how many projects were actually in progress (due to political interference from the legislature which pressured GDOT to put thousands of projects on the books as political favors for which there was no funding for...GDOT had 8,000 projects on its books at one time with funding for only 300), there have also been other PR nightmares for GDOT.

Other PR nightmares like the agency's embarrassing response to the January 2011 winter storm that paralyzed Metro Atlanta for a week (...an embarrassing response that included then-GDOT commissioner Vance Smith running and covering his face from the cameras of a local news station for no apparent reason) and the October 2011 debacle with the wild startup of the I-85 HOT lanes and the resulting angry response and angry backlash from the public (though it was officially SRTA that was in control of the I-85 HOT lanes project, GDOT gets most of the blame because it was GDOT that designed the regionwide HOT lane plan of which the I-85 HOT lanes were the first part).

GDOT also continues to get much blame from the public for not being able to synchronize the traffic signals on state-maintained thoroughfares throughout Metro Atlanta (GDOT says that it synchronizes the stoplights but claims that local governments un-synchronize them whenever they do).

As a result of those policy and PR debacles over the past decade or so, GDOT is a government agency that is viewed extremely poorly by the public at present.
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Old 07-28-2013, 08:21 AM
 
Location: Atlanta (Peachtree Hills)
1,052 posts, read 429,763 times
Reputation: 530
Quote:
Originally Posted by Born 2 Roll View Post

You are right. The state should have seen the problems with induced demand coming after the completion of the "Freeing-the-Freeways" project.

Though, in all fairness, it was not just induced demand that made "Freeing-the-Freeways" a failure, but it was also explosive population growth after the completion of the widening project.

Around the time that "Freeing-the-Freeways" was completed in the early 1990s, the Atlanta region had a population of about 2.9 million (in 1990), today the Atlanta region has a population of 6.1 million.

The "Freeing-the-Freeways" improvements were pretty much obsolete by the late 1990's when the Atlanta region had reached a population of around 4 million (officially 4.1 million in the 2000 Census) and had started experiencing the type of very severe traffic delays that have become a hallmark of daily life in the 6-million-inhabitant Atlanta region circa-2013.

At the time that the "Freeing-the-Freeways" project was in progress and completed, the state did not see induced demand and explosive population growth as coming problems because the state was not necessarily looking forward, the state was only widening the freeways to keep up with what was the current demand at the time (which was basically demand for a much-smaller metro area of about 2.5 million, which was Metro Atlanta's population while the project was in progress).

The state was also hampered from looking forward for ideological reasons as GDOT only built roads at the time (with no consideration for transportation alternatives to the automobile) and the anti-transit additude that is still very-pervasive today in a severely road infrastructure-limited Atlanta region of over 6 million was even more pervasive and dominant then (in the 1980s) in a much-smaller Atlanta region of about 2.5 million in a state that was controlled much more by transit-averse rural interests than today.

The biggest failing of the "Freeing-the-Freeways" project was that there was no strong mass transit option designed and built as part of the project (because of ideological reasons...back then, OTPers did not even want bus service outside of Fulton and DeKalb counties, much less train service...despite the freeway expansion being completed in the early '90's and despite severe traffic issues that became apparent immediately after the Olympics, the GRTA Xpress commuter bus service did not start operation until 2005).
I know plenty of engineers/planners who were at GDOT in the 1980s when Freeing the Freeways was under development and they've stated that it was very much a top-down (i.e. pushed by Tom Moreland and his road-building buddies) initiative. The guys in the trenches would've been happy with just rebuilding the roadbed/bridges and not doubling capacity.

Also, the mass-transit "option" was MARTA and its expansions back then, so I guess better coordination with GDOT should've been a priority (such as setting aside ROW for HRT tracks in the median of expanded freeways).


Quote:
GDOT has been viewed as being a laughingstock of a transportation agency because of some of the public relations nightmares that the agency has found itself in during the last decade.

PR nightmares that started in earnest with the Outer Perimeter and Northern Arc debacles and continued on with significant accounting issues (bad ones like losing $430 million in invoices in a desk and good ones like finding $1 billion in funds that it did not even know it had lost), and some (largely-unaffordable) road expansion proposals that were received very-poorly by the public (like the original Northwest Corridor HOT lane proposal that would have widened I-75 to as many as 25 lanes; the proposal to build a series of tolled tunnels under Intown East Atlanta...a place that does not handle news of road expansion proposals all that well; the proposal to build a further-out Northern Arc north of Lake Lanier through the mountain ranges of the Southern Appalachians...a time and money-wasting proposal in which the state would've started off at a great disadvantage to anti-road environmentalists and exurban and rural NIMBYs in the court of public opinion).

In addition to being micromanaged to the point that GDOT literally did not know how many projects it had on the books and how many projects were actually in progress (due to political interference from the legislature which pressured GDOT to put thousands of projects on the books as political favors for which there was no funding for...GDOT had 8,000 projects on its books at one time with funding for only 300), there have also been other PR nightmares for GDOT.

Other PR nightmares like the agency's embarrassing response to the January 2011 winter storm that paralyzed Metro Atlanta for a week (...an embarrassing response that included then-GDOT commissioner Vance Smith running and covering his face from the cameras of a local news station for no apparent reason) and the October 2011 debacle with the wild startup of the I-85 HOT lanes and the resulting angry response and angry backlash from the public (though it was officially SRTA that was in control of the I-85 HOT lanes project, GDOT gets most of the blame because it was GDOT that designed the regionwide HOT lane plan of which the I-85 HOT lanes were the first part).
In other words, GDOT is getting sh*t on because of the morons in this state that think GDOT=SRTA, unpopular road projects pushed by the geniuses in the General Assembly, or because of idiots like Gena Evans that nearly ran the department into the ground (and are no longer there). I don't see the PR problem being a permanent issue.

Quote:
GDOT also continues to get much blame from the public for not being able to synchronize the traffic signals on state-maintained thoroughfares throughout Metro Atlanta (GDOT says that it synchronizes the stoplights but claims that local governments un-synchronize them whenever they do).
This is actually correct.
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