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Old 02-12-2020, 08:54 AM
 
Location: Georgia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Born 2 Roll View Post
That is a good point that the public's revolt against the Northern Arc (and Outer Perimeter) was during a different time with a different level of distrust of Georgia state government.

But one of the (multiple) factors that seemed to make the public's revolt against the Northern Arc so intense and robust was the fact that the area that the Northern Arc was proposed to run through north of Atlanta (including in Forsyth and Cherokee counties) had a very fast-growing population at the time... A fast-growing population (with a growing amount of people and development) that only helped to strengthen the opposition to the road as time went by because of increasing amount of people that were joining the opposition.

Fast forward about 18 years after the then soon-to-be-outgoing Barnes gubernatorial administration backed away from the Northern Arc due to rising public opposition (and about 17 years after the incoming Perdue gubernatorial administration officially cancelled the road) and the area where the Northern Arc portion of the Outer Perimeter was proposed to be built now has even more people and development than it did nearly 2 decades before.

(… The population of Forsyth County increased from 98,407 in 2000 to 236,612 in 2018, for an increase of more 140% between 2000-2018... While the population of Cherokee County increased from 141,903 in 2000 to 254,149 in 2018, for an increase of more than 79% between 2000-2018.)

(… Forsyth County is where county government officials were intentionally permitting new residential development directly in the path of the road so as to make it even more difficult for the road to be built... While, with a county motto of "Where the metro meets the mountains," Cherokee County is a North metro Atlanta outer-suburban/exurban community where many residents consider their county to be part of the greater Blue Ridge Mountains region.)

Given that the combined population in Forsyth and Cherokee counties has more than doubled in the nearly 2 decades since the road was being pushed by Georgia state government, opposition to the Northern Arc concept (particularly if a new version road was to be proposed to be built along the same route as the original Northern Arc/Outer Perimeter proposal 2 decades ago) would be likely to be greater than it was the first time.

More people and development in the corridor would most likely mean even more opposition to a resurrected Northern Arc/Outer Perimeter and/or anything that even remotely resembles it... Which is one of the main reasons why GDOT has encountered such opposition to its plans to widen GA-20 between Cumming and Canton... Because of fears and paranoia by local residents in Forsyth and Cherokee that the project is really a back-door way to build part of the Northern Arc or some kind of version of the Northern Arc.
Which is why if we do ever get the much-needed Northern Arc, it needs to go even farther north. Like Dawsonville or even Dahlonega.
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Old 02-12-2020, 05:23 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
2,782 posts, read 2,591,595 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Born 2 Roll View Post
That is a good point that the public's revolt against the Northern Arc (and Outer Perimeter) was during a different time with a different level of distrust of Georgia state government.

But one of the (multiple) factors that seemed to make the public's revolt against the Northern Arc so intense and robust was the fact that the area that the Northern Arc was proposed to run through north of Atlanta (including in Forsyth and Cherokee counties) had a very fast-growing population at the time... A fast-growing population (with a growing amount of people and development) that only helped to strengthen the opposition to the road as time went by because of increasing amount of people that were joining the opposition.

Fast forward about 18 years after the then soon-to-be-outgoing Barnes gubernatorial administration backed away from the Northern Arc due to rising public opposition (and about 17 years after the incoming Perdue gubernatorial administration officially cancelled the road) and the area where the Northern Arc portion of the Outer Perimeter was proposed to be built now has even more people and development than it did nearly 2 decades before.

(… The population of Forsyth County increased from 98,407 in 2000 to 236,612 in 2018, for an increase of more 140% between 2000-2018... While the population of Cherokee County increased from 141,903 in 2000 to 254,149 in 2018, for an increase of more than 79% between 2000-2018.)

(… Forsyth County is where county government officials were intentionally permitting new residential development directly in the path of the road so as to make it even more difficult for the road to be built... While, with a county motto of "Where the metro meets the mountains," Cherokee County is a North metro Atlanta outer-suburban/exurban community where many residents consider their county to be part of the greater Blue Ridge Mountains region.)

Given that the combined population in Forsyth and Cherokee counties has more than doubled in the nearly 2 decades since the road was being pushed by Georgia state government, opposition to the Northern Arc concept (particularly if a new version road was to be proposed to be built along the same route as the original Northern Arc/Outer Perimeter proposal 2 decades ago) would be likely to be greater than it was the first time.

More people and development in the corridor would most likely mean even more opposition to a resurrected Northern Arc/Outer Perimeter and/or anything that even remotely resembles it... Which is one of the main reasons why GDOT has encountered such opposition to its plans to widen GA-20 between Cumming and Canton... Because of fears and paranoia by local residents in Forsyth and Cherokee that the project is really a back-door way to build part of the Northern Arc or some kind of version of the Northern Arc.
Georgians haven't ever known what a competent DOT is capable of in the delivery of an efficient network of roads that moves people with redundancy built in.

Georgians think that expanding the freeway network means only what Freedom Parkway was going to do: plow through existing neighborhoods. The GA400 connection through Buckhead also did this in 1993.

Someone could have explained that a Northern Arc wouldn't have promoted sprawl simply because it's staying far away from the Atlanta core. New residential developments along the arc wouldn't be more easily accessible to Atlanta commuters by the highway itself as it would be just another miles-long leg added to their existing commutes. In theory they'd want to drive home "as the crow flies" or the shortest distance which is what is already done today.

But guess what? the growth came anyway to those northern exurb counties and still continues. People in California are hyped up about buying new $300K homes in Dawsonville that's part of a major American city .
But I don't think they realize yet is that Forsyth and nearby areas are developing "on the cheap", without the state spending on smart planning or even aesthetics in mind. They are still building traditional intersections with 5 minute wait times and not providing adequate arterials to efficiently move all the new traffic.

GA400's slow moving daily backups are the only freeway offered and Atlanta is the only destination.

So the new growth up there that isn't attractive, has the aesthetics of a low-brow area (billboards, pylon signs everywhere, little integrated landscaping, fast food, big box commercial strips) lacks access to practically any freeways, the negative aspects are many up there.

I don't know if I buy all of that development being located for the purpose of preventing a highway from being built. GDOT never located a corridor where it would go, nor did they do any of the preparation work in advance that opponents would have had knowledge of at least 5 years in advance to steer such developments purposely in the way of the proposed Northern Arc.

Face it, our state doesn't have the muscles of the top-tier states to do things right. Even the I-75 North Express Lanes are reportedly so jarring with their inclines and declines (not meeting the standards for interstates today) that high speeds are even possible, good in one sense, bad in the road-building sense;

They are doing all of this on the fly as they go along, and those overseeing these projects miss so many details such as the old I-75 shoulder shield signs (reassurance signs) that are aged and faded but got overlooked & not replaced during the massive project.

The one good thing though is that our traffic problems have spurred the nodes of high density, and this century people will just have to stay a little closer to home, like in LA.

But I contend that the main appeal to Atlanta is the beauty of the suburban landscape melded with a major city offering single family homes accessed by cars and driving.

On the local news they always show the cam above the I-75/ I-285 interchange, and those concrete flyovers weaving through a tree-filled landscape totally captures the essence of what metro Atlanta is all about, a tree-filled attractiveness that no other really big US city has. D.C. is the closet, but that region is exponentially more intense and stressful, negating any enjoyment of the landscape up there.

I'm for more heavy rail lines, but travel by car is part of the package here and people want to retain that right.

Last edited by architect77; 02-12-2020 at 05:41 PM..
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Old 02-12-2020, 07:37 PM
 
Location: North Atlanta
5,814 posts, read 4,240,255 times
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I-285 top end toll lanes would bring construction of new highway access points

Quote:
The Georgia Department of Transportation’s plans to build toll lanes along both sides of the top end of I-285 would include construction of brand-new highway access points where motorists can enter and exit the system from city streets.

Some local officials have raised concerns that the new access points would drive more cars onto city streets, adding even more congestion to areas such as Perimeter Center. GDOT contends the recommended access points to the toll lanes were selected to provide “adequate and equitable” access for motorists as part of its eventually statewide “Georgia Express Lanes” system.

GDOT says there still may be tweaks to the plans, including access points, after reviewing community input. A public comment period remains open online until Feb. 25.
Recommended access points that would connect to local streets include:
  • Perimeter Center Parkway in Brookhaven, Dunwoody and Sandy Springs.
  • Johnson Ferry Road at Ga. 400 in the Pill Hill medical center area of Sandy Springs.
  • Mount Vernon Highway at Ga. 400 in Sandy Springs.
  • North Shallowford Road at the Dunwoody/Chamblee border.
Can't wait for this dumpster fire to swamp local streets...
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Old 02-12-2020, 10:59 PM
 
6,642 posts, read 6,202,329 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toll_booth View Post
Which is why if we do ever get the much-needed Northern Arc, it needs to go even farther north. Like Dawsonville or even Dahlonega.
Moving the path of any new/resurrected Northern Arc farther north away from Atlanta is a good idea in theory.

But the problem with that idea is that moving the path of a new/resurrected Northern Arc farther north away from Atlanta towards towns like Dawsonville or Dahlonega pushes the road farther into the geographical footprint of the Blue Ridge Mountains and foothills region of North Georgia.

North of Forsyth County, both environmental groups (whom were already a problem when the Northern Arc was proposed to run through Forsyth and Cherokee counties) and local residents alike get even more protective of the land and even more vocal about issues of land development because of the area's very close proximity to the Chattahoochee National Forest.

Also, we need to keep in mind that Dawsonville is an area where environmental groups basically are successfully continuing to block the development of a more than 10,000-acre tract of Blue Ridge/Southern Appalachian foothills forest land (known as Dawson Forest, City of Atlanta Tract) that the Atlanta city government purchased nearly 50 years ago with the intention of developing a second major airport.

One probably also should keep in mind that Dahlonega is where the foothills, ridges, ranges and peaks of the Blue Ridge region become even more pronounced (and the resulting environmental activism and protectionism becomes more intense) as one gets farther north away from Atlanta.

Dahlonega is also basically very near the official south boundary of the lands of the federally-protected (and publicly popular and much cherished) Chattahoochee National Forest... So proposing to build a new and resurrected version of the Northern Arc (a proposed highway that was very unpopular with the public when it was being pushed by Georgia state government) further north than the path where the highway was previously proposed 2 decades ago would come with some massive political challenges that likely could be extremely difficult to overcome.

… Which is one important reason why Georgia politicians have tended to stay away from the Northern Arc proposal since it went down in flames during the Barnes administration, because too much precious political capital would have to be expended just to attempt to push through an unpopular road project that would be more than likely to fail and be met with significant political backlash from the public.
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Old 02-13-2020, 01:31 AM
 
6,642 posts, read 6,202,329 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by architect77 View Post
Georgians haven't ever known what a competent DOT is capable of in the delivery of an efficient network of roads that moves people with redundancy built in.

Georgians think that expanding the freeway network means only what Freedom Parkway was going to do: plow through existing neighborhoods. The GA400 connection through Buckhead also did this in 1993.

Someone could have explained that a Northern Arc wouldn't have promoted sprawl simply because it's staying far away from the Atlanta core. New residential developments along the arc wouldn't be more easily accessible to Atlanta commuters by the highway itself as it would be just another miles-long leg added to their existing commutes. In theory they'd want to drive home "as the crow flies" or the shortest distance which is what is already done today.
That is a good point that someone could have explained that the proposed Northern Arc highway would not have promoted sprawl simply because it was staying far away from the Atlanta core.

But the problem was that the backers of the Northern Arc/Outer Perimeter highway (a contingent which included many powerful land developers and real estate development interests) were out openly promoting sprawl at the same time that they and the Barnes administration were trying to push the highway through against a rising tide of public opposition.

The developers of the Mall of Georgia built the mall where it is located because of that site's location next to the proposed route of the Northern Arc/Outer Perimeter.

At the time of its development and construction in the late 1990's and for the first few years after it opened (from about 1999-2002), the developers of the Mall of Georgia were openly contemplating how that area would become the next major edge city, in large part because it was a mall that was located near the junction of 2 existing Interstate superhighways (Interstates 85 and 985) and a third proposed future superhighway (the erstwhile Northern Arc/Outer Perimeter) that would run through the area and bring customers from other parts of the Atlanta outer-suburbs and exurbs along with the customers that would come from as far away as the South Carolina Upstate by way of I-85.

The developers of the Mall of Georgia and its adjacent retail/commercial district were very open about the fact that they built that area to promote the construction of very heavy development on Atlanta's outer-suburban and exurban ring in a sparsely developed area more than 35 miles from Downtown Atlanta... Something that appeared to the public to fit the very definition of promoting "sprawl."

At about the same time that the developers of an area like the Mall of Georgia were openly promoting "sprawl" and lobbying for future heavy development along the proposed Northern Arc/Outer Perimeter highway, multiple members of the Barnes gubernatorial administration got caught buying up land around future exits along the proposed path of the highway... A proposed highway that the Barnes administration and GDOT had said would be built with a very limited amount of exits to address the growing public concern that the highway was really only being built to generate real estate development rather than to reduce congestion on existing freeways through Atlanta.

The fact that powerful real estate development interests were openly touting the proposed highway's ability to generate heavy amounts of future development along its path (including the Mall of Georgia) at about the same time that members of the Barnes gubernatorial administration got caught engaging in land speculation around the sites of additional future exits on a road that was supposed to have limited exits gave the public the distinct appearance that the road was really nothing more than a way to generate sprawl.

In the eyes of the public (including many voters), the Northern Arc came to be perceived as a huge sprawl monster that was really only being pushed as a way to generate profits for well-connected land speculators and real estate developers... Which is one of the main reasons why the public came to despise the road so intensely.


Quote:
Originally Posted by architect77 View Post
But guess what? the growth came anyway to those northern exurb counties and still continues. People in California are hyped up about buying new $300K homes in Dawsonville that's part of a major American city .
But I don't think they realize yet is that Forsyth and nearby areas are developing "on the cheap", without the state spending on smart planning or even aesthetics in mind. They are still building traditional intersections with 5 minute wait times and not providing adequate arterials to efficiently move all the new traffic.

GA400's slow moving daily backups are the only freeway offered and Atlanta is the only destination.

So the new growth up there that isn't attractive, has the aesthetics of a low-brow area (billboards, pylon signs everywhere, little integrated landscaping, fast food, big box commercial strips) lacks access to practically any freeways, the negative aspects are many up there.
That is an excellent point and a very important point that the growth came anyway to northern outer-suburban and exurban counties like Cherokee, Forsyth and Dawson.

And the type of growth that you describe (that is basically predominantly lower-density single-family residential development with limited access to and the limited presence of freeways) is the kind of growth that those counties are most comfortable with and most favorable towards.

Those residents opposed the Northern Arc/Outer Perimeter for the expressed fear that the road would bring the type of heavy/higher-intensity development (with much more multi-family development, apartments, increased roadside development, etc.) that has turned formerly outer-suburban areas like Cobb, North Fulton and Gwinnett into urbanized counties.


Quote:
Originally Posted by architect77 View Post
I don't know if I buy all of that development being located for the purpose of preventing a highway from being built. GDOT never located a corridor where it would go, nor did they do any of the preparation work in advance that opponents would have had knowledge of at least 5 years in advance to steer such developments purposely in the way of the proposed Northern Arc.
GDOT did locate an exact corridor/alignment of where it would go and a local government like Forsyth County knew exactly where it would go and knew exactly where to permit new development so as to make the construction of the unpopular highway even more difficult for state government to execute.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Outer_...Arc-routes.jpg

Outer Perimeter (Wikipedia)

THE NORTHERN ARC: The Outer Perimeter Reincarnated? (Issue Lab)

And while the Northern Arc portion of the Outer Perimeter was deeply unpopular in Forsyth, Cherokee and Bartow counties, Gwinnett County actually preserved its portion of the path of the erstwhile proposed highway.

Even after the road was officially cancelled in 2003, Gwinnett County kept most (though not all) of the path of the Northern Arc/Outer Perimeter free of development so that it could fund the construction of its own intra-county arterial roadway between GA-316 and P'tree Industrial Blvd (Phases 2 and 3 of the Sugarloaf Parkway Extension).

PROJECT LOCATION - Sugarloaf Parkway Extension Phase 2 (Gwinnett Forum)

Local author and editor and publisher of the Gwinnett-centric news publication, Gwinnett Forum, even wrote about how he expected that some local residents and neighborhoods along the preserved path of the cancelled Northern Arc/Outer Perimeter might be surprised to learn that Gwinnett County government has plans to build a new toll road where greenspace now exists...

BRACK: Route of Phase 3 of Sugarloaf Parkway Extension may surprise some (Gwinnett Forum)
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Old 02-13-2020, 08:19 AM
 
Location: North Atlanta
5,814 posts, read 4,240,255 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Born 2 Roll View Post
In the eyes of the public (including many voters), the Northern Arc came to be perceived as a huge sprawl monster that was really only being pushed as a way to generate profits for well-connected land speculators and real estate developers... Which is one of the main reasons why the public came to despise the road so intensely.
Which was its intent from the get go. Any B.S. from GDOT about it being a true bypass was utter crap the moment they decided to have non-freeway exits. Had it been built, it would've been I-285 2.0.
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Old 02-13-2020, 09:44 AM
 
Location: Georgia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Born 2 Roll View Post
Moving the path of any new/resurrected Northern Arc farther north away from Atlanta is a good idea in theory.

But the problem with that idea is that moving the path of a new/resurrected Northern Arc farther north away from Atlanta towards towns like Dawsonville or Dahlonega pushes the road farther into the geographical footprint of the Blue Ridge Mountains and foothills region of North Georgia.

North of Forsyth County, both environmental groups (whom were already a problem when the Northern Arc was proposed to run through Forsyth and Cherokee counties) and local residents alike get even more protective of the land and even more vocal about issues of land development because of the area's very close proximity to the Chattahoochee National Forest.

Also, we need to keep in mind that Dawsonville is an area where environmental groups basically are successfully continuing to block the development of a more than 10,000-acre tract of Blue Ridge/Southern Appalachian foothills forest land (known as Dawson Forest, City of Atlanta Tract) that the Atlanta city government purchased nearly 50 years ago with the intention of developing a second major airport.

One probably also should keep in mind that Dahlonega is where the foothills, ridges, ranges and peaks of the Blue Ridge region become even more pronounced (and the resulting environmental activism and protectionism becomes more intense) as one gets farther north away from Atlanta.

Dahlonega is also basically very near the official south boundary of the lands of the federally-protected (and publicly popular and much cherished) Chattahoochee National Forest... So proposing to build a new and resurrected version of the Northern Arc (a proposed highway that was very unpopular with the public when it was being pushed by Georgia state government) further north than the path where the highway was previously proposed 2 decades ago would come with some massive political challenges that likely could be extremely difficult to overcome.

… Which is one important reason why Georgia politicians have tended to stay away from the Northern Arc proposal since it went down in flames during the Barnes administration, because too much precious political capital would have to be expended just to attempt to push through an unpopular road project that would be more than likely to fail and be met with significant political backlash from the public.
Good points.

If the northern bypass does come about, I think it would be a result of corporate lobbying from metro Atlanta companies who see it as a way to relieve traffic on the top-end perimeter, and in the future, on the East Wall. Georgia politics are heavily influenced by corporate lobbying, and if politicians ever decided that campaign contributions > local public outcry, especially from outside their districts, they might cave.

I think the right of way should be narrow--just wide enough for two Interstate lanes plus shoulders and a median barrier. Like they have on I-40 around the Tennessee-NC line. Note that that's a change in what I've said before, that the northern bypass might need separate truck lanes or separate local/thru lanes like the Dulles Toll Road in Virginia.
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Old 02-13-2020, 10:16 AM
bu2
 
11,126 posts, read 7,365,494 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gulch View Post
Which was its intent from the get go. Any B.S. from GDOT about it being a true bypass was utter crap the moment they decided to have non-freeway exits. Had it been built, it would've been I-285 2.0.
Regardless of what their intentions are, limiting it to freeway connections severely limits its usefulness. Its just a horrible idea.

Ideal is exits every 2 to 5 miles. If its every mile, then you are creating something like an urban freeway. If its more, then its useful only to a limited population.
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Old 02-13-2020, 11:03 AM
 
4,699 posts, read 1,899,606 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toll_booth View Post
Good points.

If the northern bypass does come about, I think it would be a result of corporate lobbying from metro Atlanta companies who see it as a way to relieve traffic on the top-end perimeter, and in the future, on the East Wall. Georgia politics are heavily influenced by corporate lobbying, and if politicians ever decided that campaign contributions > local public outcry, especially from outside their districts, they might cave.

I think the right of way should be narrow--just wide enough for two Interstate lanes plus shoulders and a median barrier. Like they have on I-40 around the Tennessee-NC line. Note that that's a change in what I've said before, that the northern bypass might need separate truck lanes or separate local/thru lanes like the Dulles Toll Road in Virginia.
Problem with the 2 lane version is within time, corporations will see its presence as convenient to commuters and operations, slowly businesses begin being built around interchanges and therefore attracting workers and operations, increasing traffic. More time passes, the increase of traffic + the metro as a whole continuing to grow pushes the 2 lane capacity beyond any means of efficiency, and for a toll road, thats not good. When toll roads become congested, people stop using them because's there's no point of paying for it when there's no benefit over any other road. Toll roads have what is called an optimum capacity and it is bad for it to be underserved AS WELL as overserved, BOTH cause a loss in profit. Underserved means not enough users to overcome the cost of construction and maintanence, overserved means there are too many vehicles which cause maintenance costs to increase despite high ridership, they lose profit. At this point - one of two things happen:

A.) The tolls are increased to limit the amount of traffic using it thus promoting reliable speeds and commuters (yes, toll roads function similarly to HOT lanes in an operations perspective) putting more pressure on local surface streets that were never intended or designed to handle them further congesting local suburban towns such as Canton, Cumming, Buford, ect.

B.) They widen the toll road to keep its efficiency in line with its price. Now your 2 lane each way toll road is 3 - 4 lanes in some areas... rinse and repeat.
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Old 02-13-2020, 11:18 AM
 
Location: Georgia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Need4Camaro View Post
Problem with the 2 lane version is within time, corporations will see its presence as convenient to commuters and operations, slowly businesses begin being built around interchanges and therefore attracting workers and operations, increasing traffic. More time passes, the increase of traffic + the metro as a whole continuing to grow pushes the 2 lane capacity beyond any means of efficiency, and for a toll road, thats not good. When toll roads become congested, people stop using them because's there's no point of paying for it when there's no benefit over any other road. Toll roads have what is called an optimum capacity and it is bad for it to be underserved AS WELL as overserved, BOTH cause a loss in profit. Underserved means not enough users to overcome the cost of construction and maintanence, overserved means there are too many vehicles which cause maintenance costs to increase despite high ridership, they lose profit. At this point - one of two things happen:

A.) The tolls are increased to limit the amount of traffic using it thus promoting reliable speeds and commuters (yes, toll roads function similarly to HOT lanes in an operations perspective) putting more pressure on local surface streets that were never intended or designed to handle them further congesting local suburban towns such as Canton, Cumming, Buford, ect.

B.) They widen the toll road to keep its efficiency in line with its price. Now your 2 lane each way toll road is 3 - 4 lanes in some areas... rinse and repeat.
Rural toll roads don't generally get much traffic unless there is no viable alternative. If the Northern Arc were tolled, most of the traffic would avoid it and use 75-285-85 instead, which is precisely what the Northern Arc needs to avoid.

Think about TX-130. If it didn't have tolls, a lot more people would use it as its intended design of a bypass of IH-35 down to San Antonio.
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