U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Georgia > Atlanta
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 08-27-2015, 09:28 AM
 
Location: ATLANTA
2,129 posts, read 1,427,616 times
Reputation: 1609

Advertisements

What will be Suburban Metro Atlanta's Rail Choice be, especially the North Metro Counties of Cobb and Gwinnett as the Metro Area gets more and more Congested by the Day and a Push for Rail is always a Topic of Discusion for relief... A lot of Suburban Counties like Cobb push back on HRT due to it's inner City back ground and relations to inner city Marta, so they refuse it. The Southern Metro County of Clayton is in debate with Norfork Southern as to which will be the best route or type of rail to use or is BRT the best option but leaning Commuter rail. All in all HRT provided by Marta just makes the most sense due to the infrastructure is already there. Which way will they really lean in the end
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 08-27-2015, 09:41 AM
 
8,311 posts, read 10,260,630 times
Reputation: 6419
I like heavy rail.

But if they do go light rail, I hope they at least use one of the modern options with power sources built into the track instead of erecting those goofy looking overhead wires. What eyesores!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-27-2015, 10:12 AM
 
Location: Atlanta
149 posts, read 133,676 times
Reputation: 197
It will be another 20 years before the 'burbs "demand" traffic issues resolved. It will require high oil prices and high congestion to create the right climate for a push for rail into the northern areas. Even then, expect opposition by the upper class and super majority "yes" vote requirements.

Oh, but we can construct miles and miles of Express Toll Lanes with zero public input and without a single vote.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-28-2015, 01:38 AM
 
186 posts, read 265,741 times
Reputation: 225
My thoughts anything current extensions of MARTA from the main trunk lines should be heavy rail. Any cross county or suburban county to suburban county needing new services should be Light rail, any major arterial road needing enhanced transit should be BRT or enhanced bus.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-28-2015, 09:04 AM
 
Location: ATLANTA
2,129 posts, read 1,427,616 times
Reputation: 1609
My honest Opinion is that HRT makes sense from the standpoint the layout is already here and Marta knows how to run that Type of rail, hands down, but we all know, thats in a perfect world . What would be nice though is to see Marta run HRT in Fulton, Dekalb and Clayton Counties even with its extensions up to North Fulton into Alpharetta and in Clayton County down to Jonesboro. Marta sould also Take over the Atlanta Streetcar from the City of Atlanta, it would just do a better job at running it, hands down. Let Cobb and Gwinnett continue to run their own Bus Transit and each system should create their own Light Rail System thats operated and ran in their own Counties and Connects to Marta HRT, this will cut down on all the Suburban and City Strife and let these Suburban counties keep their Suburban feel and individuality.. The State(GRTA) Should Create an Extensive Commuter Rail system and a Cross County Light Rail for Cobb, North Fulton and Gwinnett, along with Xpress Buses connecting all Systems through out the region and Future Rail Expansions down to Macon-Bibb and possibly Athens-Clark. This would be my Transit Plan for the Region and keep every one in their own lane and happy so peace could be kept between all parties...
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-28-2015, 10:43 AM
 
Location: Prescott, AZ
5,554 posts, read 3,041,569 times
Reputation: 2254
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scared to Life View Post
My thoughts anything current extensions of MARTA from the main trunk lines should be heavy rail. Any cross county or suburban county to suburban county needing new services should be Light rail, any major arterial road needing enhanced transit should be BRT or enhanced bus.
The thing about LRT, is that, while its max speeds are comparable to HRT, it's average speed is lower. This will show up in the cross-regional routes you've mentioned. That is affected by a few things:
  • Closer station spacing limiting top-speed cruising time
  • Rights of way that would present a safety hazard to travel so fast (Beltline will be dealing with this restriction)
  • Rights of way that physically restrict top speeds (tight curves for example)

These CAN be engineered / designed out, and have been in agencies across the country, but by the time you have acquired the right of way and built the infrastructure for such speeds/ capacity, the costs will be comparable to HRT in the same corridors. The advantage of HRT would then be in its capacity, slightly higher max speeds, and interchangeable nature with the existing system, providing new lines to open up and keep transfers to a minimum.

That is NOT to say that LRT doesn't have it's place, but I would say that it would be better suited to places like arterial road medians / shoulders where the density would make its capacity more useful than BRT, but where HRT is physically limited.



I DO agree that BRT would and can be applied in a useful way. While costs of BRT tend to mirror an equivalent system of LRT, there is a bit of savings, especially when density is extremely high, while offering flexibility for road using different types where necessary. T

The BRT routes MUST be separated from traffic, though. No Que jumping. Not just light priority. Full separation. This can be as simple as bus lanes with plastic dividers, and can be as extravagant as dedicated, curb/grass separated rights of way. Allowing the Buses to run in traffic will kill the service and result in the whole thing being a waste of money. Having dedicated BRT rights of way has the added bonus of bringing the cost of upgrading to LRT down, in that the rights of way are already established, track just needs to be laid.



Commuter rail is useful when you start getting into the really distant reaches of the metro, with limited stops close to the core, and far-spaced stops out of it. The MAIN problem, like everything else, will be getting rights of way. While we could theoretically use existing freight lines, getting the Rail companies to allow that will be HARD.

Gwinnett commuter rail won't be too hard compared to, say, Cobb rail, considering that the rail traffic is much less going up towards the NE than the NW. Once (if) the Clayton rail is established, it will be a decent leverage point for negotiating with other companies to either build parallel, or help increase line capacity.

While I do agree that GRTA should be funded enough to build out commuter rail, I don't think that's a likely option. I wouldn't mind MARTA starting the build out, and then leasing their track and stations to GRTA to double up service within the 5-Counties, and let GRTA carry beyond into the full 13-County metro.


HRT is best employed where commuter rail can't fill in the gap along the outer metro, and where light rail is limited in station spacing within the core. See how MARTA HRT is right now: tight in the core, spaced out as you get further out.


I agree that the streetcars / Beltline transit should, in principle, be handed over to MARTA. That said, MARTA's current funding sources don't allow them to be able to build out the system as planned by Connect Atlanta and Beltline Inc. That's the advantage of having the city building them, in that there is (or can be) funding made available through general funds, and Tax Allocation Districts.

Were the funding sources made available to MARTA, then there would be more reason to hand it over to eliminate redundant agencies. If the $00.005 Sales Tax is approved, then MARTA might be able to do it on top of their other projects, even more so if it was raised to an additional $00.01 Sales Tax in Atlanta/Fulton. Not sure that'll happen though, since MARTA was only talking about helping with the Beltline LRT in general.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-29-2015, 09:24 AM
 
Location: Smyrna, GA
145 posts, read 125,273 times
Reputation: 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by fourthwarden View Post
Commuter rail is useful when you start getting into the really distant reaches of the metro, with limited stops close to the core, and far-spaced stops out of it. The MAIN problem, like everything else, will be getting rights of way. While we could theoretically use existing freight lines, getting the Rail companies to allow that will be HARD.
I sometimes wonder if the efforts to expand highways and roadways, were instead focused on enhancing freight railways to allow commuter rail. My guess is that the local cities and counties would not benefit from the additional tax revenue created by the inevitable urban sprawl via the virtues of asphalt.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-30-2015, 05:41 PM
 
2,813 posts, read 1,530,718 times
Reputation: 6117
I'm no transit expert like so many on this forum, but I have been a frequent transit user in the past, and my family regularly brainstorms ways ATL's transit could be improved (in other words: we wish it worked for us) and as Cobb resident I honestly (honestly, honestly!) believe the vast majority of resistance to heavy rail or MARTA in Cobb is based on cost, simple disinterest because people are accustomed to ATL being a "driving city", and a relatively short history of MARTA being well and efficiently run. I just don't see it having anything to do with the "inner city" or racism or any other nefarious cause.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-30-2015, 07:22 PM
 
Location: Prescott, AZ
5,554 posts, read 3,041,569 times
Reputation: 2254
Quote:
Originally Posted by RedClear55 View Post
I sometimes wonder if the efforts to expand highways and roadways, were instead focused on enhancing freight railways to allow commuter rail. My guess is that the local cities and counties would not benefit from the additional tax revenue created by the inevitable urban sprawl via the virtues of asphalt.
Mayhaps. There is a rather strong push back from the railroads, which can't be ignored as a part of this. While state / federal funding WOULD allow for certain needed upgrades, it would also mean that the railroads owed something to the governments.

Many of the companies try to limit that amount owed as much as possible, so that they won't have to worry about the government messing with their operations. So, while the state might have been eager to push for commuter rail, and some of it would have been built, there would have been a big push back to keep the rails as isolated as possible, which is simply not possible in some places.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AfternoonCoffee View Post
I'm no transit expert like so many on this forum, but I have been a frequent transit user in the past, and my family regularly brainstorms ways ATL's transit could be improved (in other words: we wish it worked for us) and as Cobb resident I honestly (honestly, honestly!) believe the vast majority of resistance to heavy rail or MARTA in Cobb is based on cost, simple disinterest because people are accustomed to ATL being a "driving city", and a relatively short history of MARTA being well and efficiently run. I just don't see it having anything to do with the "inner city" or racism or any other nefarious cause.
Cost is a thing many are wary about, but the thing to remember, and emphasize, is that it won't get cheaper. It will only get more expensive, and harder to fit into place as time goes on. It is best to build now, and in fact over build, so that the system can absorb the future users, within a reasonable range of course.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-30-2015, 10:58 PM
 
Location: In your feelings
2,199 posts, read 1,594,984 times
Reputation: 2169
Quote:
Originally Posted by AfternoonCoffee View Post
I'm no transit expert like so many on this forum, but I have been a frequent transit user in the past, and my family regularly brainstorms ways ATL's transit could be improved (in other words: we wish it worked for us) and as Cobb resident I honestly (honestly, honestly!) believe the vast majority of resistance to heavy rail or MARTA in Cobb is based on cost, simple disinterest because people are accustomed to ATL being a "driving city", and a relatively short history of MARTA being well and efficiently run. I just don't see it having anything to do with the "inner city" or racism or any other nefarious cause.
Every one of the reasons you mentioned is a factor. And so is racism. This is abundantly clear in the both implicit and explicit arguments voiced in dissent of Cobb joining MARTA over the years. You may fail to see it by choice or by ignorance, but it's there nonetheless.

To answer the OP, I hope to see further extensions of the heavy rail system we've already got. Lots of little light rail offshoots in different places will make for a less efficient system, but I imagine we'll see a fair bit of that (i.e. Clifton corridor) because of the cost difference. Hopefully we'll at least get more heavy rail where the existing lines are lengthened, even if new lines are LRT.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Options
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2016 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Georgia > Atlanta
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top