U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Georgia > Atlanta
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 08-08-2013, 06:48 AM
 
Location: East Point
4,716 posts, read 6,263,213 times
Reputation: 4615

Advertisements

that was a long title, but that's basically my point. i've been all around to towns that are the perfect distance for high-speed rail projects and the like recently— places like macon and even as close as gainesville. all three locations have historic train stations that are currently being used for event venues or other rental facilities, or have a small exhibit inside them— they are all a shadow of what they used to be.

the downtown areas around all three communities, while they are starting to pick up, they're nowhere near what they were once, with vacant storefronts and vacant lots surrounding the stations and the downtown areas.

i've always thought that if we ever get commuter rail up and running, that the stations should be revamped into commuter rail stations, pretty much as close to their original purpose as you can get. the potential for revitalizing these downtown areas is enormous— and locating the stations in their original locations would bring a huge boost to the economy of those cities and towns, especially surrounding the rail stations.

those who are willing to commute an hour, for example, from alpharetta to downtown, could have the choice of living in downtown macon instead, and be connected by a high speed rail system. with regular trains leaving, say 5-10 departures per day, macon, or gainesville, would have a direct and walkable connection to each other. a person living in a restored victorian home in macon could walk over to the historic train station, catch a train to downtown and be at work in an hour, without having to drive and possibly getting coffee and some quiet time on the way.

the thing is, we haven't considered the economic impacts of these other cities and what it could do for them— we always talk about funding coming from the state or from the inner metro. if kasim reed and the city council could really sell these ideas for what they are, we might be able to fund this sort of thing a lot more effectively— imagine all the towns that have stations chipping in a bit, and then communicating to their state representatives; we could even get funding from the state.

it's like kasim reed isn't willing to think outside of the box. he's going on about this stadium thing like it's really going to affect atlanta in the long run... it's actually kind of embarrassing. a campaign like this could be funded pretty easily and might change atlanta in a way no one thought was possible for 20 or more years.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 08-08-2013, 09:12 PM
 
9,756 posts, read 9,677,397 times
Reputation: 6980
Good points about regional commuter rail service having positive economic impacts on the downtown areas of other cities around the greater metro region and the state outside of the City of Atlanta.

But it is not necessarily the responsibility of Kasim Reed and the Atlanta City Council to push regional commuter rail service that would connect various cities and towns around the 30-some odd county Greater Atlanta region and the north half of the state of Georgia with the urban core of the Atlanta region.

The job of designing, funding, implementing and operating such an expansive transit service belongs to the State of Georgia, a government entity that over the last couple of decades has been extremely (if not exceptionally) reluctant to adequately fund the struggling network.

Not-to-mention state government's extreme reluctance and outright refusal to fund a mode of transportation in passenger rail transit that many at the highest levels of our highly-dysfunctional (and sometimes completely useless and good-for-nothing) state government continue to fiercely oppose on ideological grounds.

A highly-visible political figure like Kasim Reed could theoretically use his bully pulpit as mayor of the region's most well-known and most-famous city to publicly push for the state to do something to make passenger rail transit more accessible and available across the state.

But with his city directly competing economically with many nearby powerhouse suburban areas, one should not expect Reed (who as a black liberal mayor of a left-leaning urban city in a predominantly white and very-conservative state is automatically a highly-polarizing figure outside of the I-285 Perimeter) to want to do too much more to help those in the suburbs who frankly would like to see him fall on his face and the city fail, particularly after the overwhelming failure to last year's poorly-designed T-SPLOST referendum where Reed's presence as the highly-visible face no doubt motivated many already-disgruntled suburbanites to vote against the T-SPLOST in even higher numbers than they were already going to vote against it.

With Reed being such a polarizing (and hated) figure outside of the I-285 Perimeter, it would not be such a great idea if he were the public face of an initiative to implement commuter rail service throughout the state above the Gnat Line.

With the existing rail corridors (some state-owned) that commuter rail would be implemented on extending through dozens of counties with political, social and cultural elements that already automatically averse to the concept of transit (particularly government-funded and operated passenger rail transit) and are highly-suspicious of anything that seems even remotely urban, it is most likely best if the state takes the lead on the commuter rail transit issue.

The presence of a Kasim Reed (or any highly-visible liberal ITP political figure) as the public face of a push for regional commuter rail transit service would likely be a huge liability to the backers of commuter rail and could likely undermine any support that commuter rail might receive from outside of the I-285 Perimeter where the service is most needed.

For commuter rail to be successfully implemented it would have to be a well-liked and trusted conservative political figure that would have to take the lead in talking to and convincing the conservative voters who dominate the political climate outside of the I-285 Perimeter why it is important from both a traffic congestion reduction standpoint and an economic development standpoint that long-overdue commuter rail service finally be funded and implemented across North Georgia.

Supporters of commuter rail service (and there are supporters of implementing commuter rail service outside of I-285 who are conservative Republicans) would also likely be able to undermine the strong ideologically-driven arguments against it by introducing plans to fund the expansion of passenger rail transit service throughout the north half of Georgia without tax increases with the utilization of funding from extensive private investment and user fees.

If the supporters of implementing regional commuter rail service can come up with a way to fund it without raising existing taxes or creating new taxes (or expanding government) in a highly tax-averse and government-averse political climate then they will have won more than half the battle in their push to create a commuter transit network in a mobility-challenged region that sorely needs one.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-08-2013, 09:22 PM
 
9,756 posts, read 9,677,397 times
Reputation: 6980
Here are some links maps of a regional commuter rail network that have been proposed in the past by the Georgia Department of Transportation, but for the time being they remain completely-unfunded and totally-inactive:
http://www.dot.ga.gov/informationcen..._passenger.pdf

http://www.dot.ga.gov/travelingingeo...terRailMap.pdf
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-29-2013, 10:59 AM
 
Location: Fairfax County, VA
3,718 posts, read 5,441,143 times
Reputation: 1474
Quote:
Originally Posted by Born 2 Roll View Post
Here are some links maps of a regional commuter rail network that have been proposed in the past by the Georgia Department of Transportation, but for the time being they remain completely-unfunded and totally-inactive:
http://www.dot.ga.gov/informationcen..._passenger.pdf

http://www.dot.ga.gov/travelingingeo...terRailMap.pdf
And this as well:

Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-29-2013, 01:25 PM
 
7,112 posts, read 9,567,852 times
Reputation: 1781
I think it's unrealistic, both the commuter rail network and the map above. Rail, for some reason, is really expensive and we seem to imagine that fares will be so cheap that people can live in Macon and commute to Atlanta via HSR. And wouldn't that be promoting a new type of sprawl?
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-29-2013, 05:14 PM
 
9,008 posts, read 13,011,251 times
Reputation: 7622
I posed the question a while back as to why commuter rail couldn't be established along the track that basically mirrors I-85 up into Gwinnett. I know Duluth and Norcross have historic depots that could be used for commuter rail.

Someone who knows much more than I do chimed in and mentioned that you can't just use a historic depot for modern commuter rail because regulatory standards governing this are so strict now that it woud be cheaper to tear down the old depots and build new ones than to try to retrofit them to adhere to today's safety standards.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-29-2013, 06:54 PM
 
9,756 posts, read 9,677,397 times
Reputation: 6980
Quote:
Originally Posted by MathmanMathman View Post
I think it's unrealistic, both the commuter rail network and the map above.
An upgraded and expansive passenger rail network is unrealistic if we think that we are going to somehow use dwindling existing transportation revenues and/or public tax subsidies to build and maintain it.

Unless we start leveraging all of our publicly-held transportation assets (major roads, current and future passenger rail lines, adequately and properly-priced user fees on both roads and transit, land around current and future transit stations, etc) to obtain private funding, making much-needed improvements and upgrades to both the transit and road networks will be unrealistic to the point of being an absolute fantasy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MathmanMathman View Post
Rail, for some reason, is really expensive
All transportation (particularly major roads and passenger rail transit) is really expensive to design, construct, operate and maintain because of the costs of engineering, construction materials, construction equipment, labor (to survey, design, construction, operate and maintain the infrastructure), energy (to power construction, operational, and maintenance equipment), etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MathmanMathman View Post
and we seem to imagine that fares will be so cheap that people can live in Macon and commute to Atlanta via HSR.
Fares can be "cheap" if we finance the needed infrastructure correctly by properly leveraging our assets (which are infinitely much more valuable than most people even seem to be aware) so that operating costs can be heavily (and mostly) subsidized by private money (from for-profit term-leases of transportation infrastructure and adjoining real estate out to private investors/operators) with no additional cost to the taxpayer.

And people already commute in significant numbers between Macon and Atlanta (significant enough to contribute heavily to the twice-daily peak-hour traffic mess that is I-75 through Henry County south of Atlanta).

Quote:
Originally Posted by MathmanMathman View Post
And wouldn't that be promoting a new type of sprawl?
In a Metro Atlanta region of more than 6 million people in which land spectulation and real estate interests dominate the political process, sprawl doesn't have to be promoted.

That's because sprawl has already occurred on a massive level without the existence of passenger rail transit lines (or even an adequate road infrastructure) throughout most of the Atlanta region and North Georgia outside of the I-285 Perimeter.

Recent history has proven that sprawl is going happen anyway whether passenger rail transit lines or even a basic road infrastructure even exists, we might as well make some attempt to better manage the sprawl (and the resulting traffic) that is going to occur whether or not we build any new transportation infrastructure to accommodate it.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-29-2013, 06:56 PM
 
Location: Kirkwood
23,728 posts, read 22,652,448 times
Reputation: 5684
Growth boundary.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-29-2013, 10:01 PM
 
7,112 posts, read 9,567,852 times
Reputation: 1781
Quote:
Originally Posted by Born 2 Roll View Post
An upgraded and expansive passenger rail network is unrealistic if we think that we are going to somehow use dwindling existing transportation revenues and/or public tax subsidies to build and maintain it.

Unless we start leveraging all of our publicly-held transportation assets (major roads, current and future passenger rail lines, adequately and properly-priced user fees on both roads and transit, land around current and future transit stations, etc) to obtain private funding, making much-needed improvements and upgrades to both the transit and road networks will be unrealistic to the point of being an absolute fantasy.
Lots of buzzwords but not much on substance.

Quote:
All transportation (particularly major roads and passenger rail transit) is really expensive to design, construct, operate and maintain because of the costs of engineering, construction materials, construction equipment, labor (to survey, design, construction, operate and maintain the infrastructure), energy (to power construction, operational, and maintenance equipment), etc.
But rail in particular has been stymied. Even the Federal Government is backing away from heavy rail in favor of light rail. And BRTs are increasingly a substitute.

Quote:
Fares can be "cheap" if we finance the needed infrastructure correctly by properly leveraging our assets (which are infinitely much more valuable than most people even seem to be aware) so that operating costs can be heavily (and mostly) subsidized by private money (from for-profit term-leases of transportation infrastructure and adjoining real estate out to private investors/operators) with no additional cost to the taxpayer.
I'm not for shifting the true costs to other things.

Quote:
And people already commute in significant numbers between Macon and Atlanta (significant enough to contribute heavily to the twice-daily peak-hour traffic mess that is I-75 through Henry County south of Atlanta).
If that's true, Bibb County should be in Atlanta's MSA by the next Census. But we're having enough difficulty with the so-called "Brain Train" from Athens.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 09-29-2013, 11:26 PM
 
9,756 posts, read 9,677,397 times
Reputation: 6980
Quote:
Originally Posted by Born 2 Roll
An upgraded and expansive passenger rail network is unrealistic if we think that we are going to somehow use dwindling existing transportation revenues and/or public tax subsidies to build and
maintain it.

Unless we start leveraging all of our publicly-held transportation assets (major roads, current and future passenger rail lines, adequately and properly-priced user fees on both roads and transit, land around
current and future transit stations, etc) to obtain private funding, making much-needed improvements and upgrades to both the transit and road networks will be unrealistic to the point of being an absolute fantasy.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MathmanMathman View Post
Lots of buzzwords but not much on substance.
...Properly leveraging transportation assets for funding from private sources is not a "buzzword", properly leveraging transportation assets for funding from private sources is a smart and excellent way to finance much-needed transportation infrastructure in the almost total absence of transportation funding from totally-depleted traditional sources (...totally-depleted traditional sources like fuel tax and sales tax subsidies).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Born 2 Roll
All transportation (particularly major roads and passenger rail transit) is really expensive to design, construct, operate and maintain because of the costs of engineering, construction materials, construction equipment, labor (to survey, design, construction, operate and maintain the infrastructure), energy (to power construction, operational, and maintenance equipment), etc.


Quote:
Originally Posted by MathmanMathman View Post
But rail in particular has been stymied. Even the Federal Government is backing away from heavy rail in favor of light rail. And BRTs are increasingly a substitute.
...It's not only rail that has been stymied.

Look around Metro Atlanta and look at how many outdated freeway interchanges (like I-285 & GA 400, I-285 & I-20 West, I-285 & I-20 East, I-285 & US 78 East, etc, etc...) continue to go without long-overdue improvements and upgrades because of rapidly-dwindling revenues from traditional sources of transportation funding (traditional sources of transportation funding like fuel taxes, sales taxes, a virtually-bankrupt federal government, etc).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Born 2 Roll
Fares can be "cheap" if we finance the needed infrastructure correctly by properly leveraging our assets (which are infinitely much more valuable than most people even seem to be aware) so that operating costs can be heavily (and mostly) subsidized by private money (from for-profit term-leases of transportation infrastructure and adjoining real estate out to private investors/operators) with no additional cost to the taxpayer.


Quote:
Originally Posted by MathmanMathman View Post
I'm not for shifting the true costs to other things.
...Were not "shifting the true costs to other things" as the true cost of transportation is going to be the same no matter where the money to pay those true costs comes from.

We're just paying the costs of critically-needed transportation infrastructure with sources of revenue that have previously been untapped and unrealized (...which for-profit term leases of transportation infrastructure and adjoining real estate assets are very-lucrative sources of revenues for which to pay transportation costs).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Born 2 Roll
And people already commute in significant numbers between Macon and Atlanta (significant enough to contribute heavily to the twice-daily peak-hour traffic mess that is I-75 through Henry County south of Atlanta).


Quote:
Originally Posted by MathmanMathman View Post
If that's true, Bibb County should be in Atlanta's MSA by the next Census.
...Not necessarily. In Atlanta's CSA, maybe...just maybe.

Though Macon is not the only outlying city of 50-100 miles away or more that generates commuter traffic that contributes to Atlanta's peak-hour traffic messes as other outlying cities like Chattanooga, Columbus, Rome and Athens and Gainesville (both of which are now classified as being apart of Atlanta's CSA population of 6 million) and areas between those cities and Atlanta generate commuter traffic that joins with commuter traffic from closer-in locales, local traffic and pass-through traffic (very-heavy truck traffic, tourists, travelers, etc) to contribute to Metro Atlanta's peak-hour traffic messes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MathmanMathman View Post
But we're having enough difficulty with the so-called "Brain Train" from Athens.
...The reason why we've had so much difficulty and continue to have great difficulty with getting the "Brain Train" passenger rail line from a proposed concept on a piece of a paper to an actual passenger rail line between Atlanta and Athens is because we keep trying to build and operate the thing 'on the cheap' with public money that is non-existent and is impossible to get from traditional funding sources (traditional funding sources like from politically-impossible sales tax increases, leftover funds from depleted fuel tax revenues, etc).

We're not going to get anything built with public money, because that public money just doesn't exist anymore (and in the case of passenger rail transit expansions, that public money from fuel taxes and sales taxes effectively never did exist).

The era of financing public transportation infrastructure with public money so that politicians can give the voting public the false impression that that transportation infrastructure is free (as has been the case with "freeways") is over.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:




Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Georgia > Atlanta

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2023, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Contact Us - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 - Top