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Old 04-19-2015, 07:44 PM
 
Location: Just outside of McDonough, Georgia
1,057 posts, read 845,357 times
Reputation: 1315

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Quote:
Originally Posted by fourthwarden View Post
In other news, this popped up on the subreddit: Practical Strategies for Increasing Mobility in Atlanta

While it is a very comprehensive road and bus plan, it activly disuades from rail expansion. Any thoughts?
Here was my response to that on the subreddit:

Quote:
Originally Posted by skbl17 on Reddit
For a GA 400 expansion to work, you'd have to dig a very long tunnel, because east Atlanta won't approve of an above-ground GA 400 expansion straight through their neighborhoods. Remember when GDOT tried to build I-420 and I-485? Neighborhood opposition was fierce, and the projects are dead. The Outer Perimeter project, which would act as a second Atlanta bypass? Also killed due to local opposition. When DC was trying to build its freeway network through the center of town, neighborhood opposition killed most of them, and a significant chunk of the funding went to help build what is now the Washington Metro.

Quote:
However, MARTA’s rail lines should not be extended and no new lines should be built.
What...? I....no....what? So they're eschewing rail expansion in favor of an expanded bus system? What a great idea, I don't see how such a plan could end in disaster...except maybe destroying all future confidence in MARTA.

Let me tell you something about the difference between buses and trains, especially when it comes to MARTA. There's a "cool factor" surrounding the trains that the buses don't have. I may not agree with it, but it's definitely there.

You know what else doesn't help? Atlanta traffic.

The thing about trains is that they aren't subject to the same craziness that infects the road network on a daily basis. Even if traffic's backed up for ten miles on GA 400, the trains just zip by as if nothing's happening. Buses...they get stuck in the same infamous Atlanta traffic and have to navigate the same roads.

As for BRT, I like BRT, but MARTA's tried it once before and it was a failure. Remember the Q Limited/Q Express service on Memorial Drive? That was supposed to be BRT, and the MARTA campaign promoting the routes said it was BRT, but I wouldn't exactly call mingling with Memorial Drive traffic the whole way except at a couple of lights "BRT". The routes have since been discontinued, thankfully. Oh, and don't even get me started on the incompetence that MARTA still shows in operating its bus system.

Also, what about all the investment that Atlanta's gotten in part or because of MARTA rail? The Olympics, the 1988 DNC, and even a few conventions would never have happened if the city didn't have a rail system. Some businesses at Perimeter Center and Midtown have said that proximity to MARTA rail is a big reason for relocating where they did. What kind of message would it send to the regional and global business community if we stopped investing in our rail network? I don't know for sure, but it wouldn't be positive.

So no, I can't support a plan that suggests that we should forever drop any MARTA rail expansion.

Now, I do agree with expanding the BRT network, but it would ALL have to be grade-separated on new busways, speed limits would have to be set to freeway level (70), and you'd need a huge marketing campaign for it to have any chance of success.

Quote:
This transportation plan recommends adding 120 new bus routes to the existing 103 routes for a total of 223 routes. The new system would serve the 10 metro Atlanta counties plus Coweta, Forsyth and Paulding Counties.
HA HA HA HA HA HA HA. The only way MARTA buses will ever serve the exurbs is if the state mandated their participation in the system. I don't believe for a second that if Forsyth County was presented with a plan to join a bus-only MARTA system, they would vote yes. They'd be laughed out of the county by the county commission. Ditto for Paulding and Coweta.

Actually, that brings me to the other reason why Reason's MARTA plan is stupid. By eschewing all future rail expansion, MARTA's essentially telling Clayton, Cobb, Gwinnett, and all other metro counties to f*** off, ensuring that Cobb, Gwinnett, and the exurban counties never willingly join the system. Clayton joined the agency by huge numbers last year, but half of the sales tax receipts from that county must be held for their future (PROMISED) rail expansion; how would they feel if that earmarked rail money went towards more buses? Cobb and Gwinnett are on the fence with MARTA as is; they would never join MARTA if all they'd get in return was more buses, BRT, and no rail.
- skbl17
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Old 04-19-2015, 08:23 PM
 
Location: Decatur, GA
5,245 posts, read 4,000,812 times
Reputation: 2788
Good post, but one small correction, the Memorial Drive limited-stop route does still exist as route 221. It's not separately branded anymore, but it does provide a quicker ride with limited stops. I would also like MARTA to implement "BRT" of some kind on a number of routes, something like NY's Select Bus Service with the fare machines off-vehicle for rapid boarding. Memorial drive is a good one on both sides of Kensington. Covington Highway to Kensington would be good. Clairmont Decatur-Chamblee would probably work well. Roswell road. Buford Highway for sure. Lawrenceville highway. Ponce De Leon would also probably work.
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Old 04-19-2015, 08:52 PM
 
Location: Georgia
5,207 posts, read 4,262,426 times
Reputation: 3011
Quote:
Originally Posted by skbl17 View Post
Here was my response to that on the subreddit:



- skbl17
I was in complete agreement with you until that last paragraph.

Let's just suppose that Cobb magically pulls a 180, holds a referendum next year to expand MARTA and abolish CCT, and it passes. And let's suppose that a similar thing happens in Gwinnett (there is a real live chance that it will actually happen there).

How the hell is MARTA going to effectively expand into THREE counties--Clayton, Gwinnett, and Cobb--over the course of less than one decade? Think about all the political and economic forces in play here. Oh, and let's not forget the two major and one semi-major expansion projects proposed for the existing rail network. Or the future connections with the Beltline and the Clifton Corridor. Or the proposed MMPT downtown.

I've said it before and I will say it again: Transit expansion in metro Atlanta is currently a seller's market. Period. North Fulton and South DeKalb are likely to get rail expansion because they WANT it. Clayton is getting bus and hopefully commuter rail expansion because it WANTS it. Cobb should not be forced to expand until they come screaming to MARTA for that expansion. And Gwinnett, as much as it could use expansion, at the very least needs to make sure that its rail corridors are open for commuter or heavy rail expansion, something that is far from certain.

Make no mistake, these are exciting times for MARTA. These are some of the best problems the agency has had in decades. But pulling all of this off is going to take a MASSIVE amount of planning and coordination between multiple entities.
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Old 04-19-2015, 09:17 PM
 
Location: Just outside of McDonough, Georgia
1,057 posts, read 845,357 times
Reputation: 1315
Quote:
Originally Posted by toll_booth View Post
I was in complete agreement with you until that last paragraph.

Let's just suppose that Cobb magically pulls a 180, holds a referendum next year to expand MARTA and abolish CCT, and it passes. And let's suppose that a similar thing happens in Gwinnett (there is a real live chance that it will actually happen there).

How the hell is MARTA going to effectively expand into THREE counties--Clayton, Gwinnett, and Cobb--over the course of less than one decade? Think about all the political and economic forces in play here. Oh, and let's not forget the two major and one semi-major expansion projects proposed for the existing rail network. Or the future connections with the Beltline and the Clifton Corridor. Or the proposed MMPT downtown.

I've said it before and I will say it again: Transit expansion in metro Atlanta is currently a seller's market. Period. North Fulton and South DeKalb are likely to get rail expansion because they WANT it. Clayton is getting bus and hopefully commuter rail expansion because it WANTS it. Cobb should not be forced to expand until they come screaming to MARTA for that expansion. And Gwinnett, as much as it could use expansion, at the very least needs to make sure that its rail corridors are open for commuter or heavy rail expansion, something that is far from certain.

Make no mistake, these are exciting times for MARTA. These are some of the best problems the agency has had in decades. But pulling all of this off is going to take a MASSIVE amount of planning and coordination between multiple entities.
Good post, and indeed, MARTA expansion is going to take a lot of resources. I just don't think that Reason Foundation's plan is a recipe for success.

- skbl17
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Old 04-19-2015, 09:28 PM
 
Location: In your feelings
2,199 posts, read 1,587,051 times
Reputation: 2169
Quote:
Originally Posted by fourthwarden View Post
While it is a very comprehensive road and bus plan, it activly disuades from rail expansion. Any thoughts?
Study generously funded by a grant from a tire manufacturer?
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Old 04-19-2015, 10:00 PM
 
Location: O4W
3,744 posts, read 3,693,497 times
Reputation: 2058
Quote:
Originally Posted by toll_booth View Post
I was in complete agreement with you until that last paragraph.

Let's just suppose that Cobb magically pulls a 180, holds a referendum next year to expand MARTA and abolish CCT, and it passes. And let's suppose that a similar thing happens in Gwinnett (there is a real live chance that it will actually happen there).

How the hell is MARTA going to effectively expand into THREE counties--Clayton, Gwinnett, and Cobb--over the course of less than one decade? Think about all the political and economic forces in play here. Oh, and let's not forget the two major and one semi-major expansion projects proposed for the existing rail network. Or the future connections with the Beltline and the Clifton Corridor. Or the proposed MMPT downtown.

I've said it before and I will say it again: Transit expansion in metro Atlanta is currently a seller's market. Period. North Fulton and South DeKalb are likely to get rail expansion because they WANT it. Clayton is getting bus and hopefully commuter rail expansion because it WANTS it. Cobb should not be forced to expand until they come screaming to MARTA for that expansion. And Gwinnett, as much as it could use expansion, at the very least needs to make sure that its rail corridors are open for commuter or heavy rail expansion, something that is far from certain.

Make no mistake, these are exciting times for MARTA. These are some of the best problems the agency has had in decades. But pulling all of this off is going to take a MASSIVE amount of planning and coordination between multiple entities.
I THINK you are making this sound harder than it really is. All Cobb and Gwinnett have to do is vote yes for Marta. That's it. Clayton did now Marta is in Clayton. It's not that hard. Cobb county one cent goes in their pot of money and it will be the same for Gwinnett. Heck if 450k people ride Marta now if you add Cobb/Gwinnett it will probably be around 850k and then throw in Clayton it should be around 900k people riding Marta daily. With all the money and people Cobb and Gwinnett will bring to Marta they will not f it up. The hardest part is having a Marta vote in Cobb and Gwinnett. Everything else should be easy. Maybe I don't know what the hell I'm talking about but on the outside looking in it doesn't seem like a big problem. I do know once this happens they need to add an additional line from the airport to Lindbergh line because the lines between 5 points and Lindbergh will be extremely packed once they do join Marta.

Another thing if Clayton one cent will raise $46 million annually for Clayton it should be at least $130 million annually for Cobb and $165 million annually for Gwinnett. Sure it will cost more In those counties since they are larger but it should all balance out

Last edited by afdinatl; 04-19-2015 at 10:21 PM..
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Old 04-20-2015, 11:21 AM
 
Location: O4W
3,744 posts, read 3,693,497 times
Reputation: 2058
Is what I said true or do I not know what the hell I'm talking about?
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Old 04-20-2015, 11:47 AM
 
Location: Georgia
5,207 posts, read 4,262,426 times
Reputation: 3011
Quote:
Originally Posted by afdinatl View Post
I THINK you are making this sound harder than it really is. All Cobb and Gwinnett have to do is vote yes for Marta. That's it. Clayton did now Marta is in Clayton. It's not that hard. Cobb county one cent goes in their pot of money and it will be the same for Gwinnett. Heck if 450k people ride Marta now if you add Cobb/Gwinnett it will probably be around 850k and then throw in Clayton it should be around 900k people riding Marta daily. With all the money and people Cobb and Gwinnett will bring to Marta they will not f it up. The hardest part is having a Marta vote in Cobb and Gwinnett. Everything else should be easy. Maybe I don't know what the hell I'm talking about but on the outside looking in it doesn't seem like a big problem. I do know once this happens they need to add an additional line from the airport to Lindbergh line because the lines between 5 points and Lindbergh will be extremely packed once they do join Marta.

Another thing if Clayton one cent will raise $46 million annually for Clayton it should be at least $130 million annually for Cobb and $165 million annually for Gwinnett. Sure it will cost more In those counties since they are larger but it should all balance out
Quote:
Originally Posted by afdinatl View Post
Is what I said true or do I not know what the hell I'm talking about?
You raise some fair points. Certainly the political obstacles will be less once the referenda are passed, with one major exception: Funding. That is The thing that's holding up the current expansions of the MARTA rail lines, and it's the reason why MARTA is having to jump through all the hoops of study after study. If MARTA magically had five billion dollars at their disposal, then they could just hire the best engineers and lawyers that money could buy and get a massive, multi-county expansion done within a decade.

Still, the state legislature's recent passage of the transportation bill makes me believe that the odds of state funding for MARTA projects of any kind are actually greater than zero. Progress!
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Old 04-20-2015, 03:26 PM
 
Location: Prescott, AZ
5,554 posts, read 3,021,010 times
Reputation: 2254
Quote:
Originally Posted by toll_booth View Post
You raise some fair points. Certainly the political obstacles will be less once the referenda are passed, with one major exception: Funding. That is The thing that's holding up the current expansions of the MARTA rail lines, and it's the reason why MARTA is having to jump through all the hoops of study after study. If MARTA magically had five billion dollars at their disposal, then they could just hire the best engineers and lawyers that money could buy and get a massive, multi-county expansion done within a decade.

Still, the state legislature's recent passage of the transportation bill makes me believe that the odds of state funding for MARTA projects of any kind are actually greater than zero. Progress!
Sadly, the minuscule amount of money promised for transit won't go hardly anywhere for fixing problems.
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Old 11-05-2015, 06:03 PM
 
Location: City of Atlanta
2,746 posts, read 1,696,782 times
Reputation: 3825
http://www.apta.com/resources/statis...rship-APTA.pdf

Q2 2015 MARTA ridership numbers see a 3.12% year to date increase. Even while supposedly smelling like p*ss!
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