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Old 12-27-2010, 06:41 PM
 
8 posts, read 16,793 times
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I've never understood when people talk about how Cumberland was "revived." Yeah, it got a P.F.Changs and a Spa Sydel. 90% of the actual stores are off brand urban wear, nothing I find inviting.
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Old 12-27-2010, 07:23 PM
 
Location: Southeast, where else?
3,914 posts, read 4,331,466 times
Reputation: 5809
Default Why not tie into the current rail system?

Quote:
Originally Posted by testa50 View Post
Someone mentioned doing this, so I decided to start a thread about it.

One common complaint you hear about MARTA is that "it doesn't go anywhere". Well, now is you chance to voice where you think it needs to go.

Say that MARTA gets a grant from the Feds for $2 billion in expansion capital, and you get to decide how to use it. Our budget cost for expansion is $50 million/route mile alongside existing freight rail corridors (as much of the current system was constructed), and $100 million/mile going along other corridors or through development.

For the sake of argument, assume that surrounding counties are all part of MARTA funding or will be if rail extends to them. Also, assume the Beltline is going forward.

As background, here is an existing map of MARTA with my best approximation of daily boardings at each station, where data was available. There are a couple different ways of measuring data, but this one is closest to apples-to-apples. If anyone has a more complete data set, please post it!



Obviously the base map is courtesy of www.itsMARTA.com

My goals are as follows:
1) Ease traffic congestion & increase commuting options
2) Provide transportation to people without cars, people who have trouble paying for their cars, and tourists
3) Encourage new, dense developments in areas served by heavy rail (such as Lindbergh)
4) Creating vehicle-free access to recreation and park areas, as many systems in Europe do
5) Improve access to historic town center districts

Anyhow, here's a list of my expansions:

1) Extend the Green Line to Stone Mountain. 9 miles alongside existing CSX track @ $50 mil = $450 million budget. The Green Line will Branch off of the Blue Line after the Avondale Station and curve northwards, following the tracks.

New stations: North Decatur (@ North Decatur Road), Clarkston (@ North Indian Creek), Memorial (E Ponce @ Hwy 10; Park and Ride for inbound commuters on Hwy 78), Stone Mountain (Downtown Stone Mountain). Additional project: Work in conjunction with the Park to rehabilitate the Stone Mountain train's tracks into downtown Stone Mountain, for those whole don't want to walk the half mile to the base of the rock; encourage visitors to the Park to use the train to see the historic Downtown Stone Mountain area.

Users: Commuters inbound on 78, who currently have to jump through hoops to get to Downtown & Midtown; Tourists going to Stone Mountain from downtown; people within walking distance of the stations in Clarkston, North Decatur, and Stone Mountain; rationalizing bus routes in Dekalb County to reorient them around the stations.

Why? DeKalb County has stuck along with MARTA for decades, providing a vital chunk of money while getting only 9 or the 38 stations despite being almost as large a county as Fulton. In additon, this would give tourists and other carless folks a way to see one of Atlanta's main tourist attractions in a stress-free, efficient, way. Also, Hwy 78 has always been a stunted commuter corridor due to its terrible access to downtown; giving the folks in southern Gwinnett a limited-access way to reach a MARTA station that takes them straight downton would appeal to many. Right now, their best means of accessing MARTA is by going to the Kensington Station, which is an extra 10 circuitous miles from Stone Mountain. In case a commuter rail line to the east ever emerges, Stone Mountain could be an interchange point with MARTA.


2) Reroute the gold line to go up I-75, ending at Cumberland Mall/Cobb Galleria area. 10 miles of new corridor @ $100 mil = $1.0 billion budget.

New Stations: Northside Drive/Howell Mill, Collier Road, West Paces Ferry, Chattahoochee River, Cobb Galleria, and Cumberland Mall.

Users: Bi-directional commuters: inbound on I-75 & from intown to the Galleria area. Future connection to commuter rail @ Cumberland Mall. Improve tourist and improved access to the recreation area around the river. Serve people within walking distance of the train stations, rationalize bus routes in the area. Encourage Higher density TOD area at the northwest corner of Collier/I-75.

Why? This one will really stitch together the business and commercial areas in Cobb County with Atlanta's core. Potential for TOD. This is a serious proposal that has been studied, so there isn't as much need to elaborate.


3) Hapeville extension. Follow the NS corridor through downtown Hapeville and terminate at the International Terminal. 3 miles along rail corridor @ $50mil = $150 million, 2 miles additional to the airport @ $100mil = $200 million; $350 million budget.

New stations: Hapeville (Virginia @ Central); old Ford Factory redevelopment, with airport/downtown Park & Ride; International Terminal. Create a new line for this called the Brown Line, which will take over the Gold Line's existing route in north Atlanta.

Users: Commuters from the south I-75 corridor into Atlanta. Arriving and departing passengers at International Terminal. Transit-oriented development at Ford Factory. Visitors to and residents of Hapeville.

Why? Complete the MARTA access to the airport's new terminal, streamline future MARTA bus service into Clayton County, and encourage improved density and better land use near the airport.

Total budget: $1.8 billion; $200 million contingency.

My completed MARTA map:




Keep in mind the map is not to scale--the Green Line expansion is in fact huge. Sorry the map is kind of crappy--time is not an infinite resource. The yellow line would of course stop at all the stations.

Don't worry about being as detailed or thorough as I am in my proposals; just say what ideas you like or don't like, or what you advocate as the best possible MARTA expansion given a reasonable budget constraint.


What do you guys think the best possible MARTA expansions would be?
Based on a 2 billion dollar budget, I think you might want to consider leveraging other assets already in the ground? South Florida has a system that over the years has started to gain ground. They call it tri-rail. It essentially uses existing rail lines, adds a story cattle car (they aren't the sexiest things around but, they work) and shove people across 3 counties.

Tie existing Marta rails to them or build feeders, add collector/aggregator hubs way outside the city and perhaps, you could get 150 route miles out of the system instead of a 40? This may include routes up through the NW side of town.....there's one gem of a spur that runs into the heart of historic Smyrna on it's way to Chattanooga and all towns in between (Marietta, Acworth, ad nauseum)....

On the NE side, it runs just East of I-85 up to Buford, Gainesville and on it's way to DC....this same rail runs through town on it's way to New Orleans....

In the end, you would still have to build some feeder lines but, it might be the best way to leverage assets that already exist, you know, just like what Big towns do already??? And yes, you would have an extended benefit/start in a multi-state rail system that can help with other transport needs.

This money would go to not only improve the existing Amtrak routes but, also serve the needs of Atlanta? Building 2 seperate systems can only cost more in the long run.

If 2 billion is all we are going to get, it's a drop in the bucket. You need this thing to feed the suburbes WAAAAAAAAAAAY outside of the Perimeter....there are 21-27 counties that make up metropolitan Atlanta TODAY...and growing....40 miles of expensive light rail just isn't going to get it.....need to leverage the dollars further to improve the movement of people throughout Atlanta....

The current rails would alleviate arguably the two busiest corridors in Atlanta, I-85 to Gainesville and SW through Newnan and I-75 up through Marietta and points beyond.....

Want to really, really, really cut down the traffic in Atlanta (remember, it's not the ITP folks, its all the cars from the SUBURBS that are killing you)? Leverage the 2 billion into agreements with current heavy rail operators (CSX, Norfolk Southern, and so on and so on)...besides, they probably have better experience in working and maintaining heavy rail (recent disasters notwithstanding!)

Ask any vendor who has ever had to work with MARTA.....it's SMARTA to go outside this well "oiled" system.....how's their 401K being used latey by the way? Did the auditors ever clear that up??? Don't do it folks. Put it in better, more experienced transportation hands. Get more for your money.

50 million a mile??? That's some expensive rail....

Don't give the folks at Marta 2 billion unless of course your goal is to increase a political jobs football then, by all means, have at it....
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Old 12-27-2010, 07:38 PM
 
Location: Southeast, where else?
3,914 posts, read 4,331,466 times
Reputation: 5809
Default Here's the existing heavy rail lines...think they might help?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Caleb Longstreet View Post
Based on a 2 billion dollar budget, I think you might want to consider leveraging other assets already in the ground? South Florida has a system that over the years has started to gain ground. They call it tri-rail. It essentially uses existing rail lines, adds a story cattle car (they aren't the sexiest things around but, they work) and shove people across 3 counties.

Tie existing Marta rails to them or build feeders, add collector/aggregator hubs way outside the city and perhaps, you could get 150 route miles out of the system instead of a 40? This may include routes up through the NW side of town.....there's one gem of a spur that runs into the heart of historic Smyrna on it's way to Chattanooga and all towns in between (Marietta, Acworth, ad nauseum)....

On the NE side, it runs just East of I-85 up to Buford, Gainesville and on it's way to DC....this same rail runs through town on it's way to New Orleans....

In the end, you would still have to build some feeder lines but, it might be the best way to leverage assets that already exist, you know, just like what Big towns do already??? And yes, you would have an extended benefit/start in a multi-state rail system that can help with other transport needs.

This money would go to not only improve the existing Amtrak routes but, also serve the needs of Atlanta? Building 2 seperate systems can only cost more in the long run.

If 2 billion is all we are going to get, it's a drop in the bucket. You need this thing to feed the suburbes WAAAAAAAAAAAY outside of the Perimeter....there are 21-27 counties that make up metropolitan Atlanta TODAY...and growing....40 miles of expensive light rail just isn't going to get it.....need to leverage the dollars further to improve the movement of people throughout Atlanta....

The current rails would alleviate arguably the two busiest corridors in Atlanta, I-85 to Gainesville and SW through Newnan and I-75 up through Marietta and points beyond.....

Want to really, really, really cut down the traffic in Atlanta (remember, it's not the ITP folks, its all the cars from the SUBURBS that are killing you)? Leverage the 2 billion into agreements with current heavy rail operators (CSX, Norfolk Southern, and so on and so on)...besides, they probably have better experience in working and maintaining heavy rail (recent disasters notwithstanding!)

Ask any vendor who has ever had to work with MARTA.....it's SMARTA to go outside this well "oiled" system.....how's their 401K being used latey by the way? Did the auditors ever clear that up??? Don't do it folks. Put it in better, more experienced transportation hands. Get more for your money.

50 million a mile??? That's some expensive rail....

Don't give the folks at Marta 2 billion unless of course your goal is to increase a political jobs football then, by all means, have at it....

Yeah....here's a link to the heavy rail lines...think these might be able to help us all NOW instead of the forever to be built schedule MARTA has in place today? Any of these places look familiar and may be in dire need of rail service???
http://www.dot.state.ga.us/maps/docu...a_rail_map.pdf
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Old 12-27-2010, 09:25 PM
 
222 posts, read 521,893 times
Reputation: 156
testa, these are great, well thought out proposals and I hope that the people who have the power to make these things happen are listening to you.

I don't know much about Atlanta (yet) but I think extending the line towards Vinnings would have the largest positive impact (in terms of reducing traffic/being used). I also think that extending the Blue line west would make a really big impact in terms of neighborhood development where (I hear) it is needed most.
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Old 12-27-2010, 10:12 PM
 
Location: 30080
2,288 posts, read 3,617,165 times
Reputation: 1798
Quote:
Originally Posted by fanboi View Post
I've never understood when people talk about how Cumberland was "revived." Yeah, it got a P.F.Changs and a Spa Sydel. 90% of the actual stores are off brand urban wear, nothing I find inviting.
What, no Old Navy gear for you? 90% of the stores are off brand urban wear huh? I guess that includes Macys, Aeropostle, American Eagle, bebe, Express, Fame, GAP, Manhattan, New York & Company, Nine West.... not to mention they didnt just get a P.F. Changs they also got a Cheesecake Factory, a Costco, a Maggianos, Teds AND Stony River. Just stop while you're ahead.. there are plenty of clothes selections there for EVERY group be it urban or not.
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Old 12-27-2010, 10:43 PM
 
Location: Washington, D.C.
276 posts, read 342,152 times
Reputation: 67
Extend the brown line further south to Riverdale, extend the green line north from Bankhead to Smyrna....
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Old 12-28-2010, 12:42 AM
 
1,666 posts, read 2,456,074 times
Reputation: 490
Quote:
Originally Posted by brownhornet View Post
What, no Old Navy gear for you? 90% of the stores are off brand urban wear huh? I guess that includes Macys, Aeropostle, American Eagle, bebe, Express, Fame, GAP, Manhattan, New York & Company, Nine West.... not to mention they didnt just get a P.F. Changs they also got a Cheesecake Factory, a Costco, a Maggianos, Teds AND Stony River. Just stop while you're ahead.. there are plenty of clothes selections there for EVERY group be it urban or not.

Dont forget H&M and the big forever21 that has a men section, Aldo, and DSW
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Old 12-28-2010, 10:16 AM
 
3,129 posts, read 5,391,082 times
Reputation: 1589
Nice thread! I agree that Marta to Cumberland would be great.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fanboi View Post
I've never understood when people talk about how Cumberland was "revived." Yeah, it got a P.F.Changs and a Spa Sydel. 90% of the actual stores are off brand urban wear, nothing I find inviting.
Its not that bad. I do wish it was more upscale, Nordstrom/Bloomingdales added but that ain't gonna happen.
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Old 12-28-2010, 10:32 AM
 
7,112 posts, read 8,514,240 times
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I like the idea of the Green Line being extended to Stone Mountain although I wonder if the place might get swamped with people?

I'd also extend from Hamilton E Holmes west to Six Flags.

A Cobb route to at least Cumberland Mall is sorely needed. If possible, I'd pass the line by the Cobb Energy Center.

Trying to figure out a way to repair the mistake they made by not passing the south line past Turner Field. Might be cheaper just to build a new Turner Field and make a new Marta station.
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Old 12-28-2010, 10:43 AM
 
3,129 posts, read 5,391,082 times
Reputation: 1589
THe new GOV needs to sit these counties down and get them to suck it up and approve Marta. More and more people are moving here, we cannot just build roads.

Its absurd to think there is no Marta line that goes to Cumberland and it should maybe extend to Kennesaw.

Marta needs to get out of the city into the suburbs. There needs to be business plans to build Marta stations within huge Business parks and tax incentives for both. That way Marta goes where people work.

Marta stations maybe should have electric cars to rent for those that want to take marta but still need a car.

Marta could be a leading, visionary public transit system. They seem to be stuck in reverse. The counties and people NEED TO WAKE THE **** UP.
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