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Old 05-25-2018, 02:54 PM
 
1,287 posts, read 554,110 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jandrew5 View Post
From how I see it, Atlanta's planning back in the day severely lacked foresight, and now the current generations are having to pay for it - no pun intended. Though we're not doing the best job either to fix those past mistakes.

- Part A: the Connector was a terrible, terrible idea. Probably the dumbest idea ever. I know 85 and 75 weren't the crowded corridors back then that they are now, but still? This wasn't done in Houston, Dallas, Birmingham, Charlotte, DC, Nashville, LA, Philly, etc, etc. Off the top of my head, I can't think another major city that decided to funnel two major highways into one...
i personally wouldnt mind hearing the history and reasoning as to why they chose to join I-75 and I-85, would be pretty interesting to learn although my biggest assumption was cost and land use. While I definitely would be all for a ring road around downtown like Charlotte has, and likewise Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, Nashville... I will have to disagree on the statement that Atlanta is the only city that two major interstates merge into eachother in or near the downtown section.

This happens in Salt Lake City UT: (I-15 and I-80)
Cincinnati OH: (I-75 / I-71)
Chicago IL: (I-90 / I-94)
Maddison WI: (I-90 / I-94 / I-39)
Birmingham AL: I-20 / I-59

Although...this occurrence is fairly rare in major cities and more prevalent in rural areas with two interstates going in the same direction.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jandrew5 View Post
- Part B: ...through such a busy corridor. The Connector goes through I assume is the busiest point in the southeast. It'd be different if 85 and 75 met in a less congested place, like how 85 and 40 meet in suburban Burlington, NC, but having them do it at the regions busiest job center was just, stupid.
From what I've read in statistics a few years ago, the busiest interchange in the Southeast region is actually I-75 and I-285 in Cobb. After that, Miami has the lead.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jandrew5 View Post
- Too many exits. Looking at the connector (and surface parking everywhere), you can tell just how much the old generations valued that car commute. Every single street doesn't need an exit. One way you could help unclog the connector would be to close some exits, and maybe detach Freedom Pkwy, but yeah... The Connectors clogged bottleneck creates a ripple effect.
Most downtown districts have as many exits as possible. If you think Atlanta is intimidating, you should see Chicago and Seattle...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jandrew5 View Post
- Can't fault Atlanta for sprawling outward. Atlanta boomed right when that was the style. Cities all over the country were doing it. That said, regional planning could have been better. Atlanta could've took the approach of maybe Phoenix, Albuquerque, or DC. More tightly packed suburbs, less meandering roads. You can still have the mcmansions and huge SFH lots without developments taking up giant swaths of open land.
Atlanta's suburbs arent really larger or smaller than other metros, the difference is...there's alot of space between them where as other metro's the transition from on suburb to the next is virtually seamless.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jandrew5 View Post
- Lack of grid. I heard somewhere that one reason Atlanta has so many meandering roads is because so many different owners did/didn't want routes going through their land, or built their own roads how they wanted, and then Atlanta had to play connect the dots. Regardless if that's true or not, one thing that I reallyyy loathe about Atlanta is the lack of a true grid. Grid's just make things easier. I'll take Atlanta over Dallas any day, but I won't lie and say Dallas isn't easier to navigate.
I have to agree with this, Atlanta horrifically lacks in the redundancy department.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jandrew5 View Post
- Atlanta really needed that outer loop. GA should've challenged it and gone forward. Trucks clog up 85, 75 and 285. They could've taken the outer loop, making driving less white knuckle. Plus regional drivers would have a true bypass. If you want to drive from Charlotte to Birmingham, but get caught on 285 at the wrong time, then it fails to serves it's purpose - as a bypass. Atlanta needed a true bypass before the northern sprawl got in the way. Now, funding aside, it's probably too late.
I have to agree with this too...its silly for a city of nearly 7 million people to not have a outer bypass.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jandrew5 View Post
- Lack of commuter rail. Even Nashville has it. It's not much, but it's better than nothing. Amazing Atlanta, one of the biggest rail centers in the country, has no commuter rail.
I once again greatly agree...Atlanta desperately needs a commuter rail.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jandrew5 View Post
- I will say I'm glad most of Atlanta wasn't tore up by freeways. That was a terrible idea that has decayed many cities. Can't imagine a giant freeway running through Virginia Highland. Yet it's a shame many black neighborhoods were wiped off the map. Atlanta didn't need to build freeways everywhere back then to fix traffic now, just needed better planning.
I personally believe it largely depends on how its done. I've seen freeways in vibrant areas having absolutely no negative impact on the areas they service.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jandrew5 View Post
Atlanta and Georgia has done a great job in other things: landing companies, growing diverse population, maintaining a world leading airport, educational institutions, art and culture, etc. Atlanta is the epitome of southern progress. Yet, leaders failed with road and sprawl growth, and it's a shame. The connector idea, the lack of a wide grid, not building the outer loop, and not controlling sprawl more carefully just created a recipe for road disaster. And now it's too late to fix a lot of infrastructure and attitudes. Just imagine how much better things would be if 1. trucks were taken off 285 and Gwinnett 85, 2. out of towners were taken off the Connector and 285, and C. it was easier to get E/W, N/S. Things would probably look a lot different today.

That said, Atlanta isn't doomed, LA, NY, SF, DC, etc still function. Traffic aside, Atlanta still offers a great QOL, but you still can't help but imagine how different things could've been.
The cost of education in the metro is highly attractive and landing companies is a good thing but it seems like they stopped at about half the battle as most companies pay chicken scraps for wages and refuse to keep up with the increasing CoL.

 
Old 05-25-2018, 03:32 PM
 
Location: Kirkwood
22,756 posts, read 16,755,756 times
Reputation: 5120
The Downtown Connector was built pre-Interstate highway system.
A downtown bypass freeway would create a wall around downtown from it's neighborhoods. We say how downtown suffered when it was walled off by public housing development, a freeway would have been worst.
 
Old 05-25-2018, 03:34 PM
 
Location: 352
5,087 posts, read 3,644,647 times
Reputation: 3428
Quote:
Originally Posted by Need4Camaro View Post
I will have to disagree on the statement that Atlanta is the only city that two major interstates merge into eachother in or near the downtown section.

This happens in Salt Lake City UT: (I-15 and I-80)
Cincinnati OH: (I-75 / I-71)
Chicago IL: (I-90 / I-94)
Maddison WI: (I-90 / I-94 / I-39)
Birmingham AL: I-20 / I-59
I didn't say Atlanta was the only, just the only I could think of. And the difference between Atlanta and SLC is 15/80 basically serves SLC and the Utah range. Not much regional traffic.

Atlanta on the other hand has the 75 and 85 regional corridors merging together along with local Atlanta commuters. SLC is not a huge regional hub, but Atlanta is, but it wasn't planned for it. That's why I think that outer loop was essential.

If you're coming from Upstate SC, you have to go through Atlanta. No way around it unless you want to take a windy 2-lane backroad. Coming from the Alabama side it's basically the same story. All 3 routes Google gives to get from Birmingham to Columbia takes you through Atlanta.

While the skyscrapers are pretty to look at, I don't know many travelers who enjoy going through Atlanta. The loop could've gotten travelers off 75, 85, and 285, and then the Connector would probably look more like it does in Salt Lake. Atlanta is one giant southeastern funnel, shame the loop wasn't built.

Forgot about Chicago, you're right. At least the grid and widespread rail is there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Need4Camaro View Post
Most downtown districts have as many exits as possible. If you think Atlanta is intimidating, you should see Chicago and Seattle...
I'm not intimated, just stating why it gets so clogged. I've been to Chicago. Been to LA too. Argument still applies, too many exits, especially LA. It's like they placed a bet to see how many they could fit, and then the exits are too short. Some entrances and exits I saw in LA looked like a fast food drive thru lane. The glob of the 10, 5, 101, and 60 makes no sense. Creates a ripple effect of problems. With the connector it seems like they tried to see how high up the alphabet they could get.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Need4Camaro View Post
I personally believe it largely depends on how its done. I've seen freeways in vibrant areas having absolutely no negative impact on the areas they service.
I feel like it would've hurt Atlanta more than help. Seemed like Atlanta was growing into one of those cities where the goal was to get people to and from the suburbs as fast as possible rather than keep them in the city. Really hurt Detroit and St Louis, Atlanta would've likely been in the same boat.
 
Old 05-25-2018, 06:16 PM
 
28,574 posts, read 25,320,351 times
Reputation: 9850
Quote:
Originally Posted by Need4Camaro View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jandrew5 View Post
- I will say I'm glad most of Atlanta wasn't tore up by freeways. That was a terrible idea that has decayed many cities. Can't imagine a giant freeway running through Virginia Highland. Yet it's a shame many black neighborhoods were wiped off the map. Atlanta didn't need to build freeways everywhere back then to fix traffic now, just needed better planning.
I personally believe it largely depends on how its done. I've seen freeways in vibrant areas having absolutely no negative impact on the areas they service.
They rammed both I-75 and GA400 through the middle of Buckhead. Yet over the decades the community somehow healed around them and today there are slews of glittering highrises and $1+ million homes adjacent to the freeways.

In my opinion the same thing would have happened in Virginia Highland.

These are strong communities with deep roots in the city and the ability to ultimately withstand even those massive intrusions.
 
Old 05-25-2018, 09:09 PM
bu2
 
9,308 posts, read 5,961,458 times
Reputation: 3739
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jandrew5 View Post
I didn't say Atlanta was the only, just the only I could think of. And the difference between Atlanta and SLC is 15/80 basically serves SLC and the Utah range. Not much regional traffic.

Atlanta on the other hand has the 75 and 85 regional corridors merging together along with local Atlanta commuters. SLC is not a huge regional hub, but Atlanta is, but it wasn't planned for it. That's why I think that outer loop was essential.

If you're coming from Upstate SC, you have to go through Atlanta. No way around it unless you want to take a windy 2-lane backroad. Coming from the Alabama side it's basically the same story. All 3 routes Google gives to get from Birmingham to Columbia takes you through Atlanta.

While the skyscrapers are pretty to look at, I don't know many travelers who enjoy going through Atlanta. The loop could've gotten travelers off 75, 85, and 285, and then the Connector would probably look more like it does in Salt Lake. Atlanta is one giant southeastern funnel, shame the loop wasn't built.

Forgot about Chicago, you're right. At least the grid and widespread rail is there.



I'm not intimated, just stating why it gets so clogged. I've been to Chicago. Been to LA too. Argument still applies, too many exits, especially LA. It's like they placed a bet to see how many they could fit, and then the exits are too short. Some entrances and exits I saw in LA looked like a fast food drive thru lane. The glob of the 10, 5, 101, and 60 makes no sense. Creates a ripple effect of problems. With the connector it seems like they tried to see how high up the alphabet they could get.



I feel like it would've hurt Atlanta more than help. Seemed like Atlanta was growing into one of those cities where the goal was to get people to and from the suburbs as fast as possible rather than keep them in the city. Really hurt Detroit and St Louis, Atlanta would've likely been in the same boat.
75 and 85 are two of the busiest N-S interstates. Also, they are together for quite a few miles.
 
Old 05-25-2018, 09:09 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
1,854 posts, read 2,073,663 times
Reputation: 2046
Once we start capping sections of freeways the connectivity will be partially restored.

Large urban areas absolutely need freeways just like our bodies need main arteries and veins.


Rail transit ridership is decreasing all over the country except for New York. The reason is unclear.



Atlanta has no options left except for

1) the "more predictable travel times" with HOT lanes crammed into existing right of ways.

2) Rail expansion, using the area's most valuable asset- Heavy Rail backbone in all 4 directions.


I just watched a video on the nation's heavy rail systems by some millennial wondering why subway systems like NY's aren't in all US cities.

I learned that all the nation's heavy rail systems were built in 2 waves. The first was at the turn of the centry will legacy cities like NY, Boston, Chicago.

The 2nd wave was in the 70's with DC, San Francisco, originally Seattle, but locals rejected the offer.

Atlanta, next in line, got the funding that was slated for Seattle's heavy rail, who knew? We have them to thank.

-----------------------------
….

You people need to get out more, because FREEWAY CONSTRUCTION, & EXPANSION all over the country & world

DOES NOT PLOW THROUGH EXISTING NEIGHBORHOODS but rather near the undeveloped periphery & industrial wastelands.

Georgia & its DOT's handling of transportation planning doesn't amount to a hill of beans compared to the rest of the world.


So remember that Freedom Parkway's original plans do not represent typical highway construction & expansion efforts.

It represents a sleepy, deep South state who had Alabama and SC as its peers, without any historical precedent in building top notch infrastructure or planning for the future.

NOW THE GA400 CONNECTION THROUGH BUCKHEAD was relatively easy & it happened because of strong growth up towards Cumming.

People coming from the airport or anywhere South had to take I75 or I85 and I285 just to get home to Roswell or Alpharetta. That was pretty unfortunate given the short distance of the missing section in Buckhead.

The large lots and low density resulted in not too many homes being in the way, and fortunately they made it happen.

It was billed as America's last new freeway that would ever be built inside an existing city.

But it also was very atypical and not representative of freeway network expansions across the country.
 
Old 05-25-2018, 09:11 PM
bu2
 
9,308 posts, read 5,961,458 times
Reputation: 3739
Quote:
Originally Posted by arjay57 View Post
They rammed both I-75 and GA400 through the middle of Buckhead. Yet over the decades the community somehow healed around them and today there are slews of glittering highrises and $1+ million homes adjacent to the freeways.

In my opinion the same thing would have happened in Virginia Highland.

These are strong communities with deep roots in the city and the ability to ultimately withstand even those massive intrusions.
And the nicest areas of Houston are split by US 59 and I-610 in the southwest and by I-10 further west. Freeways don't necessarily mean decay. I believe the lack of freeways contributed greatly to outer Dekalb County's decay.
 
Old 05-25-2018, 09:24 PM
 
28,574 posts, read 25,320,351 times
Reputation: 9850
Quote:
Originally Posted by bu2 View Post
And the nicest areas of Houston are split by US 59 and I-610 in the southwest and by I-10 further west. Freeways don't necessarily mean decay. I believe the lack of freeways contributed greatly to outer Dekalb County's decay.
Yep, I agree, bu2.
 
Old 05-25-2018, 09:49 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
1,854 posts, read 2,073,663 times
Reputation: 2046
Quote:
Originally Posted by chiatldal View Post
1. My post is not "case against highways." ........ So not only is your post inaccurate your whole argument above have nothing to do with my post. I would be for Highways in the enter metro if was possible it's not. No poster yet has volunteer their homes, properties, and neighborhood to razed to make new highways.

2. I mention walkablity as if a neighborhoods desire to walkable it's their right to do, walkablity involves pedestrian friendliness. This may involve narrows road and slow speeder limits. This also can mean lesser parking lots and more density stores and etc in their place.

My point was if neighborhood A wants to be more pedestrian friendly, People who chose to live in Neighborhood B a more suburban car oriented life style do not have right to tell neighborhood A to design their neighborhood more car oriented for their commute.

3. My other point is you get what you ask for...... Traffic is a con that go with living a suburban lifestyle commuting distance, If you don't like it change your life style, stop blaming the government for your choice.



As stated repeatedly it's not just Atlanta, Metro Atlanta is design similar other large metro in East cost states. Largely the Northeast and Piedmont cities.

The metro West of the red line are largely grided and have a lot freeways,

The Metro East of the red line are not grided and tend to have less freeways.
[IMG][/IMG]

They many have a few others freeways here and there but nothing drastically different.




Large Cities West of the red line tend to be grids, Freeway obsessed






The point I was making there no point of crying, Atlanta can not and never will have the road network of Houston, DFW and LA those metro area are essentially built different.

Boston and DC may not have the road network of DFW, LA and Houston. But other areas like transit, and general more live work play areas excel over DFW, LA and Houston. Atlanta can't follow Houston design but Atlanta can follow DC and Boston.

So No I'm not against roads I'm for road improvement in some areas, but I'm in reality Atlanta is limited with what the region can do improve with roads. So the metro area need to look at alternative means.
Looking at maps of cities and trying to make assertions is ridiculous.

LA's freeways were built piece meal over decades, they didn't know in 1940s that freeways would be so prevalent or how they'd be used.

Boston's roads are so awful they're European and medieval! They are horrible and inefficient to navigate.

Looking at greater Boston's map doesn't convey how gigantic that outer loop is. It's so far away from Boston that's it isn't usable for commuting.

North Carolina has built thousands of miles of new interstates in the last 30 years and continues building loops around cities with mobility issues. Winston-Salem, Greensboro and Fayetteville and Wilmington are currently building sections of loops and freeway-grade bypasses are being built around several important routes throughout the state like US 70, US74, etc.


Originally the interstates were laid out directly connecting every city at its center. Some, like Raleigh said, 'No thank you."

This is why they're barreling through downtowns.

Our downtown connector is a problem because nothing was ever built to serve as an alternate.


I still believe a parallel alternate could be carved into the industrial West side from I-75 & rejoin connector past I20.

This would be very helpful during accidents or just help since the connector crawls like an LA freeway 16 hours every day.


My complaint about 3 million people with only one East-West freeway is because...

They are taxpayers and they deserve better, more.

If Atlanta keeps welcoming newcomers to North Georgia, they it's not right for them to have to go out the way down to an already chocked I-285 to travel between Kennesaw and Duluth.

And no one has named another city so shortchanged as northern metro taxpayers.
 
Old 05-25-2018, 10:16 PM
 
4,549 posts, read 3,004,332 times
Reputation: 2960
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jandrew5 View Post
- Part A: the Connector was a terrible, terrible idea. Probably the dumbest idea ever. I know 85 and 75 weren't the crowded corridors back then that they are now, but still? This wasn't done in Houston, Dallas, Birmingham, Charlotte, DC, Nashville, LA, Philly, etc, etc. Off the top of my head, I can't think another major city that decided to funnel two major highways into one...

- Part B: ...through such a busy corridor. The Connector goes through I assume is the busiest point in the southeast. It'd be different if 85 and 75 met in a less congested place, like how 85 and 40 meet in suburban Burlington, NC, but having them do it at the regions busiest job center was just, stupid.
Coming south, 85 has four main and one HOV lane. 75 has three main and one HOV lane. These nine lanes combine into six main and one HOV lane. That's a loss of two lanes. During peak times, there is literally no way for the connector to support the number of cars being fed to it. Someone can't just point to it and say "Derp! It's already 14 lanes! That's proof you can't build big enough!" It's plain obvious: if you feed nine lanes into seven lanes, you're going to have a bottleneck.

Quote:
- Too many exits. Looking at the connector (and surface parking everywhere), you can tell just how much the old generations valued that car commute. Every single street doesn't need an exit. One way you could help unclog the connector would be to close some exits, and maybe detach Freedom Pkwy, but yeah... The Connectors clogged bottleneck creates a ripple effect.
Eh, I'm not too sure that's true for Midtown. Coming southbound on 85, you can exit at 17th street, but not again until North, more than 1.5 miles down the road. Coming south on 75, you can exit for 10th/14th/16thm then North is another 1.5 miles down. Now, for Downtown, there are four exits in the course of one mile. But, they all have long exit ramps that do not back up onto the main road. It's more the entrance and exit ramps interweaving, and the inability of people five lanes over to maintain speed.

Quote:
- Lack of grid. I heard somewhere that one reason Atlanta has so many meandering roads is because so many different owners did/didn't want routes going through their land, or built their own roads how they wanted, and then Atlanta had to play connect the dots. Regardless if that's true or not, one thing that I reallyyy loathe about Atlanta is the lack of a true grid. Grid's just make things easier. I'll take Atlanta over Dallas any day, but I won't lie and say Dallas isn't easier to navigate.
I would love to have a few more connections, and some better directional arterials, but I do not want to live in a straight grid city. I love Atlanta's meandering roads. There's a way to build meandering roads which still have good connectivity, but not now.

Quote:
- Atlanta really needed that outer loop. GA should've challenged it and gone forward. Trucks clog up 85, 75 and 285. They could've taken the outer loop, making driving less white knuckle. Plus regional drivers would have a true bypass. If you want to drive from Charlotte to Birmingham, but get caught on 285 at the wrong time, then it fails to serves it's purpose - as a bypass. Atlanta needed a true bypass before the sprawl got in the way. Now, funding aside, it's probably too late.
Indeed. Even Memphis built an outer loop which they started preparing decades ago. It will never happen now, but it should have been done. 285 is no longer a bypass. It's a main thoroughfare.

Quote:
- Missing the chances on MARTA. Really dropped the ball on expanding the rail back in the day to coincide with the booming car growth. Wish old school attitudes weren't how they were in terms of race, funding, "they're going to take the train and come steal my TV", etc.
Agreed...a plus sign doesn't really serve the population very well.

Quote:
- Lack of commuter rail. Even Nashville has it. It's not much, but it's better than nothing. Amazing Atlanta, one of the biggest rail centers in the country, has no commuter rail.
100%

Quote:
- I will say I'm glad most of Atlanta wasn't tore up by freeways. That was a terrible idea that has decayed many cities. Can't imagine a giant freeway running through Virginia Highland. Yet it's a shame many black neighborhoods were wiped off the map. Atlanta didn't need to build freeways everywhere back then to fix traffic now, just needed better planning.
Quote:
Originally Posted by cqholt View Post
The Downtown Connector was built pre-Interstate highway system.
A downtown bypass freeway would create a wall around downtown from it's neighborhoods. We say how downtown suffered when it was walled off by public housing development, a freeway would have been worst.
Yet, the most expensive and luxurious areas of town are "walled off" by freeways. The biggest business centers are directly freeway adjacent, some sitting literally on top of freeways. Many of the most desirable neighborhoods are right by freeways, and many real estate listings show how close to freeways the listing is. I don't think they are the death-knell you guys espouse.
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