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Old 11-15-2017, 11:44 AM
 
7,687 posts, read 9,527,345 times
Reputation: 5657

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Well, I have a few thoughts on the matter here....

1) As long as I have lived here, nobody has ever wanted to do anything about traffic. In the 80s and 90s, traffic was seen to legitimize Atlanta as a city. Big cities have traffic, and we do too! Therefore, we must be a big, world class city! Atlanta has gotten over this, but there was a 20-30 year period where the city was absolutely desperate to be taken seriously as a cosmopolitan city with all the good and bad that comes along with it.

2) Now the trend (at least on this board, which I'm happy to say does NOT parallel presiding thoughts in the metro) is screw it, let the traffic get so bad people adjust to it and do something, whether it's move into the city, expand MARTA, whatever. This is based on the theory of induced demand, which says if you build more capacity, people will use it. I fundamentally disagree with this theory because it makes no sense and you could use it to justify any number of horrible things. Don't build more hospitals....because then more people will get sick! Build more graveyards and more people will die! If that's the case, why can't we build more gyms and get more people to work out? Sorry, induced demand just holds no water in my book.

3) I do believe that people will adjust accordingly to traffic. Just as the poster above noted, he adjusted his lifestyle based on it. But I think that most people will not just get a new job in another part of town, I think they'll leave the metro. I'd like to present an alternate theory to induced demand: let's call it....adjusted supply. If the infrastructure fails to adjust to a growing population, then the population will adjust to fit the infrastructure. There will be some point where the traffic reaches a critical mass where growth simply stops. I think we're getting close to it. And you know who better hope this doesn't happen? Intown people. Because when it does, one of the things people will do is move to their neighborhoods and build more density, which they think they want. But one of the things they will bring is also traffic. Which leads to my next point....

4) There is a notion that traffic is only bad in the suburbs. I dispute this. In fact, the absolute worst traffic I have seen anywhere in this city is on Briarcliff Road. Often, the traffic is just fine on I-85 outside I-285, but the connector is a parking lot. This isn't so true during rush hour as much as other times of the day. So really, living intown is not the respite from traffic that many would have you believe, unless you just want to become a hermit and limit your life to things you can walk or bike to. Most people don't care to live that way. It really doesn't matter where you live, you're going to have to drive sometimes or else sacrifice some of the great aspects of living. I see traffic as an entire metro Atlanta problem, not a problem that only impacts the suburbs as many posters want you to believe.

Sorry, no solutions here...this is just what I think is happening. I also think traffic serves to eventually tear our city apart because the people who say, "F it, I'm outta here!" are the people we need most. They're the middle class people with decent jobs. If they leave, we'll be left with wealthy people who can afford to live in places that limit their exposure to traffic and those who can't afford to move away. We'll just be a city of rich and poor, with no middle. That never works. The middle class people who struggle with traffic the most who posters on this board seem to hate the most, are actually the most important people at making this city actually work. So.....sorry to say, but these types of complaints are going to continue. I don't think traffic will totally destroy Atlanta, but it will downgrade the city and prevent us from reaching the greatness that everybody wants.

 
Old 11-15-2017, 11:47 AM
 
1,137 posts, read 472,343 times
Reputation: 870
Quote:
Originally Posted by SAAN View Post
Lets just double deck 285 and the connector downtown, along with a tunnel. Cost only seems to matter when it comes to transit, but the state can come up with money for any road project. Just look at these expensive azz HOT lanes in Cobb County. Makes you wonder if that kind of effort was put into a commuter rail extension, how nice the metro ATL would truly be.
Yeah admittedly I agree.. I can't believe the state threw away over $1 billion into that express lane thats going to have absolutely no impact even on that single corridor...

A double decked I-285 though, I could see the riots and big red angry faces and growling Georgians ready to tear it down before the plans are even concieved as an idea... lol

Nah, actually I'm not in favor of a double decked I-285, I'd be in favor of lane segregation, express lanes to pass through entire sections uninhibited by traffic thats only traveling 3 exits...

The I-675 / GA-400 plan that existed way back in the day would have been an excellent bypass for the connector but we may aswell forget that today.
 
Old 11-15-2017, 11:48 AM
 
Location: Atlanta
6,458 posts, read 7,253,707 times
Reputation: 4205
Quote:
Originally Posted by SAAN View Post
Lets just double deck 285 and the connector downtown, along with a tunnel. Cost only seems to matter when it comes to transit, but the state can come up with money for any road project. Just look at these expensive azz HOT lanes in Cobb County. Makes you wonder if that kind of effort was put into a commuter rail extension, how nice the metro ATL would truly be.
What is being lost here is that we have under-funded transportation all around throughout the 90s into the early 2010s and that included roads and highways. Neither have had many new alignments during this period.

It is also forgetting the fact that most GDOT of funding for these new alignments is come from indirect user fees from drivers via tolls and the gas tax increase.
 
Old 11-15-2017, 12:05 PM
 
4,039 posts, read 3,698,225 times
Reputation: 3090
Quote:
Originally Posted by cwkimbro View Post
What is being lost here is that we have under-funded transportation all around throughout the 90s into the early 2010s and that included roads and highways. Neither have had many new alignments during this period.

It is also forgetting the fact that most GDOT of funding for these new alignments is come from indirect user fees from drivers via tolls and the gas tax increase.

True. The reality of all this is if there isnt a vote to expand MARTA next year and get started right away, we are going to sit in a traffic jams for the next decade atleast, and if Amazon actually chooses metro ATL, it will make it even worse depending on where they choose to setup.
 
Old 11-15-2017, 12:08 PM
 
Location: Kirkwood
22,147 posts, read 16,140,747 times
Reputation: 4894
Quote:
The I-675 / GA-400 plan that existed way back in the day would have been an excellent bypass for the connector but we may aswell forget that today.
And destroyed thousands of homes and some of the most successful, sought-after, and expensive neighborhoods in the city.
No thank you.
 
Old 11-15-2017, 12:24 PM
 
4,039 posts, read 3,698,225 times
Reputation: 3090
Quote:
Originally Posted by Need4Camaro View Post
Yeah admittedly I agree.. I can't believe the state threw away over $1 billion into that express lane thats going to have absolutely no impact even on that single corridor...

A double decked I-285 though, I could see the riots and big red angry faces and growling Georgians ready to tear it down before the plans are even concieved as an idea... lol

Nah, actually I'm not in favor of a double decked I-285, I'd be in favor of lane segregation, express lanes to pass through entire sections uninhibited by traffic thats only traveling 3 exits...

The I-675 / GA-400 plan that existed way back in the day would have been an excellent bypass for the connector but we may as well forget that today.

Rejecting the expansion of MARTA to Northlake in the 90's I think was very bad too. But the fact that light rail cant be built on the beltway, which already has the existing right of way, just show how bad the transit situation in our city and metro really is.

The quality of life is really starting to suck in metro ATL. Waking up 6 or 7am to sit in 1, 1.5 or 2hrs of traffic and repeat that routine coming home and get home 7-8pm and pretty much have only 2 or 3 hrs of your day to do anything, then go to bed, because 2-4 hours of your day is tied up commuting gets tiring.

Spaghetti junction will have to collapse and gas goes to $4 and stay there in order for a transit expansion to be taken with a ASAP approach.
 
Old 11-15-2017, 12:31 PM
 
1,137 posts, read 472,343 times
Reputation: 870
Quote:
Originally Posted by SAAN View Post
Rejecting the expansion of MARTA to Northlake in the 90's I think was very bad too. But the fact that light rail cant be built on the beltway, which already has the existing right of way, just show how bad the transit situation in our city and metro really is.

The quality of life is really starting to suck in metro ATL. Waking up 6 or 7am to sit in 1, 1.5 or 2hrs of traffic and repeat that routine coming home and get home 7-8pm and pretty much have only 2 or 3 hrs of your day to do anything, then go to bed, because 2-4 hours of your day is tied up commuting gets tiring.

Spaghetti junction will have to collapse and gas goes to $4 and stay there in order for a transit expansion to be taken with a ASAP approach.
Scary part is, Spaghetti Junction just MAY collapse sometime in the near future.
 
Old 11-15-2017, 12:49 PM
 
533 posts, read 277,080 times
Reputation: 749
Quote:
Originally Posted by SAAN View Post
True. The reality of all this is if there isnt a vote to expand MARTA next year and get started right away, we are going to sit in a traffic jams for the next decade atleast, and if Amazon actually chooses metro ATL, it will make it even worse depending on where they choose to setup.
I'm hoping that the prospect of Amazon coming here is the catalyst for some serious talk about improving metro Atlanta's traffic. I can't see Amazon agreeing to come here if without concrete plans in place to address the problem.
 
Old 11-15-2017, 12:49 PM
 
3,207 posts, read 4,505,860 times
Reputation: 1732
It's the time of year. Halloween through Christmas is always a really bad traffic time. Nobody takes vacation now because there are big holidays coming up and school is in, everybody is out shopping, and stores and distributors have seasonal hiring surges that pushes a lot of seasonal traffic onto the roads. Every January, things run a lot smoother.

Look at national traffic maps this afternoon. All of the top 10-12 cities are just slammed with traffic, every day. It's by no means an Atlanta thing.

More generally, concentration of wealth and economic activity to urban areas has caused traffic to get much worse in cities across the country, compounded by a booming economy. If you have recollections of traffic not being so bad in a different city when you used to live there 5-10 years ago, be aware that traffic is probably a lot worse in that city today than it was then.
 
Old 11-15-2017, 12:57 PM
 
533 posts, read 277,080 times
Reputation: 749
Quote:
Originally Posted by testa50 View Post
It's the time of year. Halloween through Christmas is always a really bad traffic time. Nobody takes vacation now because there are big holidays coming up and school is in, everybody is out shopping, and stores and distributors have seasonal hiring surges that pushes a lot of seasonal traffic onto the roads. Every January, things run a lot smoother.

Look at national traffic maps this afternoon. All of the top 10-12 cities are just slammed with traffic, every day. It's by no means an Atlanta thing.

More generally, concentration of wealth and economic activity to urban areas has caused traffic to get much worse in cities across the country, compounded by a booming economy. If you have recollections of traffic not being so bad in a different city when you used to live there 5-10 years ago, be aware that traffic is probably a lot worse in that city today than it was then.
I think it's more than just the time of year though. I live on the south side of town and make trips to the north side maybe about once a month. Every single time I get stuck in wall-to-wall traffic without fail. Even on weekends on road trips we get stuck in a major traffic mess. I work downtown and even short trips to get lunch in midtown are becoming unbearably bad to the point I just don't bother.

5 years ago, it was possible for me to time trips north of I-20 to coincide with manageable traffic, but nowadays I just plan to lose an hour or so to traffic.
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