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Old 02-17-2019, 09:33 PM
bu2
 
21,566 posts, read 12,092,401 times
Reputation: 10534

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Quote:
Originally Posted by cqholt View Post
Could upgrading railroads not remove trucks and possibly support commuter/Intercity rail? See GPA inland ports in NW Georgia and Gainesville.
Heard of Amazon?

I've seen some articles that predict truck drivers will be one of the fastest growing professions over the next several decades. It will outgrow any diversion to railroads.
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Old 02-17-2019, 09:39 PM
bu2
 
21,566 posts, read 12,092,401 times
Reputation: 10534
Quote:
Originally Posted by Born 2 Roll View Post
I agree that there is a much improved chance that both Gwinnett and Cobb counties (whose previously long conservative-dominated electorates were highly resistant to the idea of MARTA and/or any kind of mass transit being extended into their jurisdictions from Atlanta) potentially could join MARTA in the not-too-distant future.

But with some of the polling that I have seen in Gwinnett County in advance of the coming MARTA referendum in March, along with the weird date of having the referendum in the month of March and not during a presidential election (when Democratic and progressive voter turnout would be highest and give such a transit tax referendum its best chances of passing) or even during a gubernatorial election (where Democratic/progressive voter turnout has been improving and on the upswing in large metro Atlanta counties like Gwinnett), I am not sure that the coming MARTA referendum will be the 'slam-dunk' for pro-MARTA and pro-transit interests that many seem to think it will be.

There is a very strong possibility that the electorate may not be anywhere near as large as it might be during a presidential or even a gubernatorial election, giving the anti-MARTA/anti-transit conservative side a chance to dominate voter turnout with no votes and send the MARTA referendum down in flames... Something that, were it to happen, likely would not feel like a good thing in an increasingly urban and increasingly heavily-developed county of almost 1 million residents where traffic congestion seemingly continues to be a growing challenge.

The changing demographics of Gwinnett County's electorate say that the MARTA referendum should pass easily.

But the weird date of the referendum in March of a non-election year seems to give the referendum a significantly higher chance of failure than many might think should be the case.

… That is particularly in a county like Gwinnett where a large base of anti-transit voters continues to be politically active, even in the growing shadow of a rapidly changing and diversifying overall larger electorate.


Yep. The populations of Northern Crescent counties like Cherokee, Forsyth and Gwinnett are significantly higher than they were in past census years like 1990 (when Gwinnett last voted on (and voted down) MARTA expansion) and 2000 (when the Outer Perimeter/Northern Arc controversy was raging in counties like Cherokee and Forsyth).

Cherokee County population 2000: 141,903
Cherokee County population 2017: 247,573
(74% population increase 2000-2017)

Forsyth County population 2000: 98,407
Forsyth County population 2017: 227,967
(132% population increase from 2000-2017)

Gwinnett County population 1990: 352,910
Gwinnett County population 2017: 920,260
(161% population increase from 1990-2017)


And I agree that the damage that increasing traffic congestion does to quality-of-life will (or at least should) get people to change their minds about things like highways and transit.

And while how an increasingly heavily-populated and increasingly urban county like Gwinnett handles its mobility issues will be dependent on how many voters turnout to cast ballots on both sides of the MARTA and transit expansion issue, one probably should not be so sure that increased traffic congestion in outlying Northern Crescent counties like Cherokee and Forsyth will get people to change their minds about accepting the construction through their areas of a highly-controversial highway like the Northern Arc at any in the foreseeable future (if ever) or even accepting mass transit connections from Atlanta in the immediate future.

People in Cherokee and Forsyth counties view their outer-suburban/exurban communities as part of the North Georgia Mountains and Blue Ridge Mountains foothills regions... And they view any proposed large-scale road construction project (like an Outer Perimeter/Northern Arc down to even the widening of Georgia SR 20) as a severe disruption to (if not as a direct assault on) their preferred (and cherished) outer-suburban/semi-exurban North Georgia Mountains/Blue Ridge Mountains foothills way-of-life.

Not to mention that local, regional and national environmentalists view a proposed Northern Atlanta outer loop as a major encroachment of heavy metropolitan development patterns (and a direct assault) on the environmental well-being of the greater Blue Ridge/Southern Appalachians mountains region... And will fiercely fight any revived Northern Arc/Outer Perimeter proposal using tools from widespread public relations campaigns up to chaining themselves to and laying in front of bulldozers if it comes down to it.
In Houston, the conservatives and Republicans were fed up with traffic and voted for the Houston MTA. It was the Democratic parts of the county, especially Hispanic areas, that voted it down. Dallas County was still very heavily Republican in the 80s when they approved DART and the biggest light rail plan in the country.

You're stuck in an old paradigm. Local transit is not so much of a partisan issue as you make it. The extremes of the Democrats will vote for any transit plan, no matter how absurd. The extremes of the Republicans will vote against any tax period. But those are the extremes.
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Old 02-17-2019, 09:50 PM
bu2
 
21,566 posts, read 12,092,401 times
Reputation: 10534
Quote:
Originally Posted by MattCW View Post
Only a few systems utilize that sparse type of schedule. Robust systems like MARC (Penn Line), NJT, SEPTA, Metro North, Long Island Railroad, Los Angeles Metrolink, Trinity Rail Express, all have all day bidirectional service. Sure it's clustered at the rush hours, but they are quite effective.
Dallas's Trinity is hardly a success.
Ft. Worth Rail Boondoggle Opens This Week | The Antiplanner


"...Trinity Metro have so little confidence about ridership that they plan to give away all rides for free during the month of January. After that, fares for the full 27-mile trip are expected to jump to all of $2.50. In 2017, fares on the Trinity line averaged more than $4 while operations and maintenance costs averaged more than $19 per trip, for a loss of around $30 per round trip. With lower fares, TEXRail will lose even more...."
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Old 02-17-2019, 10:06 PM
 
2,989 posts, read 1,883,500 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Born 2 Roll View Post
Metro Atlanta and Georgia don't lack the willpower and vision to make an Outer Perimeter a reality.

Georgia officials tried doggedly to push through the construction of an Outer Perimeter back in the late 1990's and early 2000's during the administration of then-Georgia Governor Roy Barnes.

But the opposition and public backlash to the proposed road was so severe, that it played a major role in Barnes losing his bid for re-election to Sonny Perdue (who won in part running against the increasingly unpopular road in 2002) and officially cancelled the road shortly after being elected as Georgia's first Republican governor since Reconstruction in early 2003.

And no Georgia governor has wanted to back such a controversial road construction proposal since, if not just simply because proposing to build an Outer Perimeter highway is not something that sits very well with voters in the part of the state that often decides the outcome of statewide elections in the metro Atlanta suburbs and exurbs.

Atlanta and Georgia are not Houston and Texas.

Houston can build 3 superhighway loops outside of the city because it is not surrounded by heavily-wooded foothills and mountainous forest wilderness areas that local residents and national environmentalists consider to be largely off-limits to new superhighway construction.
Honestly, how can you contend otherwise when the outer perimeter has been a point of discussion for over 20 years? I know because lived in Atlanta in the 1990s for over five years and due to my work still have interests there. Mountains and foothills may be more expensive but this nation and others have built around and through them for the greater good. This is a HUGE issue for the state's future economy and desirability. The growth trajectory was slowed considerably by the great recession and failure to expend the funds for mobility will be a key marketing play by other competing nearby large cities like Nashville, Charlotte and Raleigh. Its not like people in Texas don't speak out when deemed necessary but I've always thought metro Atlanta has a more contentious (NIMBY) nature, stifling necessary improvements. I'd swear Ocasio from NYC is involved in Georgia politics too.
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Old 02-17-2019, 10:41 PM
 
5,633 posts, read 4,803,525 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cqholt View Post
Could upgrading railroads not remove trucks and possibly support commuter/Intercity rail? See GPA inland ports in NW Georgia and Gainesville.
Only to a point. Trucks can deliver to almost any area at any time on any schedule. That's a big selling point for a lot of logistics operations. Trains are better for very long distance runs, but I'd be curious to see some statistics on average freight distances.

Quote:
Originally Posted by walker1962 View Post
Metro Atlanta and Georgia just lack the will power and vision to make an outer perimeter a reality. In Houston, they are building on their THIRD highway loop. The first completed by 1970 has a five mile radius from downtown. The second Beltway 8 was completed in the 1990s, at a 10 mile radius from downtown. Now, the third, aka the Grand Parkway, a good 25 miles in radius from downtown. Its operational on the westside and partly on the north.
Yeah...down here, we simply can't get much of anything actually done.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wasel View Post
Given that Metro Atlanta has over 1M more population than Greater Boston, they are seriously screwed up to be worse than us on congestion.
Greater Boston is also about 50% the size of Metro Atlanta. So 50% of the size with 82% of the population. Doesn't seem that screwed up at all.
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Old 02-18-2019, 12:15 AM
 
9,743 posts, read 9,654,200 times
Reputation: 6950
Quote:
Originally Posted by primaltech View Post
So in lieu of an official outer perimeter proposal, I was messing around and put together some various Georgia road upgrade proposals, that when combined would really help Metro Atlanta traffic, by taking a lot of the pressure off. Actually I like this better than an outer perimeter.

Hopefully this link works:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=170...ae&usp=sharing

Basic idea is:


1. Build a new tolled bypass freeway between 75 and 85, I'm calling it the North Georgia Tollway. So this would only have 5 exits/interchanges: I-75 north of Calhoun, an extended I-575 north of Jasper, an extended GA-400 south of Dahlonega, an extended I-985 north of Gainesville, and with I-85, where you can also continue straight on an upgraded Highway 441 towards Athens, where GA-316 would be extended to as full freeway.

-This would take tons of traffic off the 285 top end, particularly all the tractor trailers. While also not inducing any more north side sprawl.

2. Build Interstate 14 across Middle Georgia, from Montgomery to Columbus to Macon to Augusta. This would relieve the south side of Metro Atlanta, with a new main interstate route for trucks and travelers, that bypasses Atlanta altogether.

-Would also help Georgia's other cities grow more. Macon/Columbus/Augusta obviously, but also Milledgeville. Georgia's leadership is getting behind the idea now, and parts of the route are already under construction already in Texas.

3. Upgrade Highway 441, between I-85 and I-16, via Athens/316/78, I-20, and the new I-14. More lanes and straighter. High speed limit. No stop signs, and few traffic lights. Some stacked interchanges at key points.

-This would form the east wall of a new unofficial outer perimeter (only the top end would be full freeway).

4. Similar upgrade for Highway 78 between Athens and Augusta. This would help relieve I-20 some, would grow Augusta metro a bit, and would really solidify Athens as a city/ regional hub.

5. Continue to upgrade the GA-20 corridor, between Rome and Lawrenceville. More lanes in some spots, straighter, faster, etc. So this would be like the middle-outer perimeter.

6. This is the big idea I had. Complete the outer loop, by running a 4-lane, straightened, arterial road between I-75 at the North Georgia Tollway, all the way around in a circle to I-20 at 441. Via Rome, Cedartown, Carrolton, Newnan, Griffin, etc.

- So this would be an upgrade/slight re-routing of Hwy 27, GA-16, and GA-83.

7. Upgrade 278/Thornton Rd/Camp Creek Pkwy, between the airport and the west wall of the outer loop.

8. Identify other arterial corridors, either existing or improved/straightened roads. Maybe rename them, in order to highlight them as cross-town routes and loops.


Anyway I think all that, plus the existing freeway and road system, plus commuter rail and heavy rail extensions, would be all we'd need to greatly improve the situation and improve travel times and commutes and just general navigation options.
That's a good plan, parts of which (like the US 27 north-south corridor in West Georgia and the entire US 441 north-south corridor through the state of Georgia) are already in progress...

Georgia Department of Transportation Fact Sheet US 441 (Georgia Department of Transportation/Governor's Road Improvement Program)

Georgia Department of Transportation Fact Sheet US 27 (Georgia Department of Transportation/GRIP)

Governor’s Road Improvement Program (GRIP) Current Status December 2018 (Georgia Department of Transportation)

On the Governor's Road Improvement Program map, there is also a proposed corridor labeled "East-West Highway" that runs roughly only about a few miles to the north of where you have proposed the "North Georgia Tollway" to be built across the North Georgia/Blue Ridge Mountains foothills region of the state.

That proposed "East-West Highway" that runs across the North Georgia/Blue Ridge Mountains region on the GRIP map is marked as "No Activities" or inactive because of the environmental and political sensitivities of the area that the proposed route encompasses in the largely forested foothills wilderness area north of Atlanta.

The route that you have proposed for a "North Georgia Tollway" would be most likely to run into many of the same daunting environmental and political issues (along with much opposition from local residents and local/national/regional environmentalists)… Especially from where your proposed "North Georgia Tollway" route intersects with US 411 in northeastern Gordon County near Carter's Lake in northwest Georgia over to where the proposed route intersects with US 23/GA 365 northeast of Gainesville near Don Carter State Park in Hall County in northeast Georgia.

The route that you have proposed for the "North Georgia Tollway" appears to run through Don Carter State Park on the west shore of a northern inlet of Lake Lanier.

Your proposed route for the "North Georgia Tollway" also runs north of the affluent Big Canoe and Bent Tree foothills/mountain exurban wilderness communities within five miles of Amicalola Falls State Park (a popular natural landmark/feature recognized as the tallest waterfall east of the Mississippi River) as well through a largely wilderness area a few miles south of Carter's Lake.

Even though it is further away from Atlanta than the original Outer Perimeter/Northern Arc route of the late-1990's/early-2000's, proposing to run a superhighway or arterial road of any kind through the largely wilderness foothills area described between US highways 411 and 23 in North Georgia most assuredly would get even more pushback and outright opposition from the same groups that successfully defeated the original Outer Perimeter/Northern Arc because of the increased environmental and political sensitivity of the aforementioned area.

Which, the objection to the original Outer Perimeter/Northern Arc was not just the fear that it would generate heavy sprawl because it was too close to Atlanta.

The objection to the Outer Perimeter/Northern Arc was even more so the fear that it would generate heavy sprawl and development that would encroach on the entire Blue Ridge/Southern Appalachian Mountains/foothills wilderness region from the south end.

Proposing to run a Northern bypass road even further away from Atlanta as an attempt to assuage fears that the road would generate sprawl and heavy development most likely unintentionally would only serve to play even more directly into those fears.
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Old 02-18-2019, 12:43 AM
 
9,743 posts, read 9,654,200 times
Reputation: 6950
Quote:
Originally Posted by walker1962 View Post
Honestly, how can you contend otherwise when the outer perimeter has been a point of discussion for over 20 years? I know because lived in Atlanta in the 1990s for over five years and due to my work still have interests there. Mountains and foothills may be more expensive but this nation and others have built around and through them for the greater good. This is a HUGE issue for the state's future economy and desirability. The growth trajectory was slowed considerably by the great recession and failure to expend the funds for mobility will be a key marketing play by other competing nearby large cities like Nashville, Charlotte and Raleigh. Its not like people in Texas don't speak out when deemed necessary but I've always thought metro Atlanta has a more contentious (NIMBY) nature, stifling necessary improvements. I'd swear Ocasio from NYC is involved in Georgia politics too.
That is a good point that the Outer Perimeter has been a point of discussion in some groups, including in online groups and forums like these, for over 20 years.

But after widespread intense opposition to the Outer Perimeter/Northern Arc played a leading role (along with the state flag controversy, public discontentment with the 130-year ruling Democratic regime, etc.) in incumbent Governor Roy Barnes' loss to Sonny Perdue in the 2002 election, the highly controversial proposed Northern Arc was officially cancelled by then-incoming Governor Sonny Perdue in 2003.

That was only months after an increasingly embattled then-incumbent Governor Roy Barnes cancelled the other sections of the Outer Perimeter in 2002 in an attempt to unsuccessfully push through the remaining Northern Arc segment of the controversial road.

These are basically all hypothetical discussions we are having about a road like the Northern Arc/Outer Perimeter, a road that was intensely and bitterly opposed by a wide swath of the metro Atlanta/North Georgia voting public before it was officially cancelled 16 years ago.

In reality, no Georgia governor since Roy Barnes would dare even think of allowing the construction of such an unpopular road to proceed on their watch, particularly if they want to be re-elected to a second term or see their party win the next election if they are in their second term.
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Old 02-18-2019, 01:41 AM
 
9,743 posts, read 9,654,200 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bu2 View Post
In Houston, the conservatives and Republicans were fed up with traffic and voted for the Houston MTA. It was the Democratic parts of the county, especially Hispanic areas, that voted it down. Dallas County was still very heavily Republican in the 80s when they approved DART and the biggest light rail plan in the country.

You're stuck in an old paradigm. Local transit is not so much of a partisan issue as you make it. The extremes of the Democrats will vote for any transit plan, no matter how absurd. The extremes of the Republicans will vote against any tax period. But those are the extremes.
I agree that transit is not so much of a partisan issue.

In the case of North Atlanta suburban areas like Gwinnett and Cobb and even North Fulton and beyond, opposition to transit appears to be much more of a cultural issue than a purely partisan one.

Older and more conservative/libertarian residents in those North Atlanta suburban areas are more likely to oppose transit on cultural grounds (i.e., mass transit is one of the worst forms of inefficient big-government socialism and social engineering that brings crime, urbanity, lower-income residents, minorities, etc., to suburban and exurban areas that wish to remain as disconnected from the city/inner-urban core as possible, etc.).

It just so happens that most of the older and more conservative residents who are likely to oppose transit in outlying areas like Gwinnett are those who are most likely to vote Republican.

Even with Gwinnett appearing to trend heavily in favor of Democratic candidates in recent major elections (most notably in 2016 and 2018), it appears that the upcoming MARTA expansion referendum could be in serious trouble... Particularly if not enough is done to generate heavy turnout by the Democratic and progressive voters who would be more likely to vote for a tax increase to expand MARTA transit from neighboring DeKalb County into Gwinnett County.

Here is a link to a poll from only 12 days ago that shows that the MARTA referendum will go down in flames if not enough younger and minority voters turnout to vote, and mostly only older and white voters dominate turnout as has been the case throughout Gwinnett's history before the 2016 election...

New poll highlights turnout’s importance in Gwinnett MARTA referendum (Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 6 February 2019)

From the article in the link:
Quote:
About 48 percent of those surveyed said they opposed Gwinnett’s upcoming referendum, the passage of which would ratify the county’s pending contract with MARTA and opt residents in to a new 1 percent sales tax to pay for transit improvements. About 41.5 percent of respondents said they were in favor of the referendum. To pass, the referendum must get 50 percent plus one vote.
Many conservatives and Republicans in outlying suburban areas like Gwinnett and Cobb may be fed up with traffic, but they apparently do not seem to be fed up enough with traffic to vote for tax increases that would fund the expansion of MARTA (an agency which they have long despised) into their counties from Atlanta.
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Old 02-18-2019, 07:48 AM
 
Location: Kirkwood
23,728 posts, read 22,617,512 times
Reputation: 5684
Quote:
Originally Posted by primaltech View Post
So in lieu of an official outer perimeter proposal, I was messing around and put together some various Georgia road upgrade proposals, that when combined would really help Metro Atlanta traffic, by taking a lot of the pressure off. Actually I like this better than an outer perimeter.

Hopefully this link works:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=170...ae&usp=sharing

Basic idea is:


1. Build a new tolled bypass freeway between 75 and 85, I'm calling it the North Georgia Tollway. So this would only have 5 exits/interchanges: I-75 north of Calhoun, an extended I-575 north of Jasper, an extended GA-400 south of Dahlonega, an extended I-985 north of Gainesville, and with I-85, where you can also continue straight on an upgraded Highway 441 towards Athens, where GA-316 would be extended to as full freeway.

-This would take tons of traffic off the 285 top end, particularly all the tractor trailers. While also not inducing any more north side sprawl.
Metro Atlanta is a large distribution hub, this idea would not remove ALL the 18 wheelers, there are still a lot that coming to Atlanta.
Quote:
2. Build Interstate 14 across Middle Georgia, from Montgomery to Columbus to Macon to Augusta. This would relieve the south side of Metro Atlanta, with a new main interstate route for trucks and travelers, that bypasses Atlanta altogether.

-Would also help Georgia's other cities grow more. Macon/Columbus/Augusta obviously, but also Milledgeville. Georgia's leadership is getting behind the idea now, and parts of the route are already under construction already in Texas.
Yes because having I-75 and I-16 has helped Macon out so much. Same with Augusta and I-20.
Quote:
5. Continue to upgrade the GA-20 corridor, between Rome and Lawrenceville. More lanes in some spots, straighter, faster, etc. So this would be like the middle-outer perimeter.
SR 20 goes thru some heavy, suburban development straightening would chew up a lot of tax base for those jurisdictions.
Quote:
6. This is the big idea I had. Complete the outer loop, by running a 4-lane, straightened, arterial road between I-75 at the North Georgia Tollway, all the way around in a circle to I-20 at 441. Via Rome, Cedartown, Carrolton, Newnan, Griffin, etc.

- So this would be an upgrade/slight re-routing of Hwy 27, GA-16, and GA-83.
Upgrading US 27 to super-arterial is not a bad plan. When I drove between home and Tennesse Tech Univ I took US 43 to I-840 and it was a super-arterial, which was fine for long distance travel.
Quote:
7. Upgrade 278/Thornton Rd/Camp Creek Pkwy, between the airport and the west wall of the outer loop.
Camp Creek Pkwy is already 4 lanes with a median. Thornton Rd is 6 lanes in spots. How much wider do you want them?
Quote:
8. Identify other arterial corridors, either existing or improved/straightened roads. Maybe rename them, in order to highlight them as cross-town routes and loops.


Anyway I think all that, plus the existing freeway and road system, plus commuter rail and heavy rail extensions, would be all we'd need to greatly improve the situation and improve travel times and commutes and just general navigation options.
I agree that we need to upgrade arterial routes in the suburbs and exurbs, but only if the state puts the same amount of funding into transit as well.
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Old 02-18-2019, 03:24 PM
 
Location: Seattle, WA
8,082 posts, read 5,700,858 times
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If they can get SR 20 to at least 6 travel lanes between I-75 and I-85, then I guess that's basically our outer perimeter/northern arc. At least as close as we're going to get.

The videos here show the quite nice plans, to majorly upgrade the Canton to Cumming segment into a 6 lane divided highway.

*SR 20 Improvements
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