U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Covid-19 Information Page
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)
 
Old 01-27-2020, 07:30 AM
 
Location: Atlanta
6,771 posts, read 8,257,044 times
Reputation: 4769

Advertisements

Quote:
Originally Posted by Need4Camaro View Post

Thats not solving ANYTHING, Thats just entitling certain classes of commuters to reliable commute times while the GP lanes continue to fill up.
You're missing one critical part.

The toll lanes are priced to keep moving at peak speed, rather they are priced for peak efficiency (ie. the most cars using it per hour).

The idea is as a lane gets congested it hits a point where fewer cars per hour can use it at a single point, because it isn't flowing well enough.

The idea of the toll lanes was to ensure that any new lanes (or converted HOV lanes...) keep flowing at peak efficiency no matter how bad it gets.

We aren't ready for it by a long shot, but I think there is a decent argument to made that anything above 4 lanes width should be HOT. When Gwinnett gets their new HOT lane (in the original long-term plans), I think there is a decent operational argument to have 3 HOT lanes + 4 GP lanes over 2 HOT + 5 GP. I know it won't happen, but there is some reasoning and math behind it.

Whereas if every new lane is GP, then those fill up so much in the future that they too will operate less than efficient at peak hours and actually carry fewer cars per hour than if the HOT lanes existed.

The other issue is you bring up Mass transit as open to everyone, but the HOT lanes are usable to Mass Transit vehicles, which are open to everyone as you argued. To what extent we build mass transit infrastructure around it is to be seen, but commuter buses are used. There is a hotspot near Sugarloaf @ 85N in Gwinnett where usage is high and that is one way people use the lanes without directly paying for them. There is something worth studying there. Something about that distance makes the more used. Any closer and people are more likely to drive, any further away and not enough people are commuting that far.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 01-27-2020, 08:46 AM
 
5,386 posts, read 2,137,070 times
Reputation: 4153
Quote:
Originally Posted by cwkimbro View Post
You're missing one critical part.

The toll lanes are priced to keep moving at peak speed, rather they are priced for peak efficiency (ie. the most cars using it per hour).

The idea is as a lane gets congested it hits a point where fewer cars per hour can use it at a single point, because it isn't flowing well enough.

The idea of the toll lanes was to ensure that any new lanes (or converted HOV lanes...) keep flowing at peak efficiency no matter how bad it gets.

We aren't ready for it by a long shot, but I think there is a decent argument to made that anything above 4 lanes width should be HOT. When Gwinnett gets their new HOT lane (in the original long-term plans), I think there is a decent operational argument to have 3 HOT lanes + 4 GP lanes over 2 HOT + 5 GP. I know it won't happen, but there is some reasoning and math behind it.

Whereas if every new lane is GP, then those fill up so much in the future that they too will operate less than efficient at peak hours and actually carry fewer cars per hour than if the HOT lanes existed.

The other issue is you bring up Mass transit as open to everyone, but the HOT lanes are usable to Mass Transit vehicles, which are open to everyone as you argued. To what extent we build mass transit infrastructure around it is to be seen, but commuter buses are used. There is a hotspot near Sugarloaf @ 85N in Gwinnett where usage is high and that is one way people use the lanes without directly paying for them. There is something worth studying there. Something about that distance makes the more used. Any closer and people are more likely to drive, any further away and not enough people are commuting that far.
I get that the toll lanes increase price to reduce congestion but that is exactly what I mean.

For example: You have 100,000 commuters who need to get from Point A to Point B

The GP lanes are 4 lanes wide
The Toll lane are 2 lanes wide

Before the Toll lanes were constructed, the GP lanes have been known to see severe congestion.

The two extra toll lanes originally priced at $4.00 for a full one way commute relieves quite a bit of stress. Now you have:
75,000 on the GP lanes
25,000 on the toll lanes

The cities population and commuter numbers over time increase, not related to induced demand but purely based on growth and proximity to jobs.

Now you have 130,000 commuters

100,000 GP lanes (which are back to the way they were before the upgrades and are seeing similar congestion and commute times.
30,000 on the toll lanes.

The toll lane commutes have taken slight hit with the increased number of drivers.

The toll increases from $4.00 to $6.00

5,000 commuters stop using the toll lanes.

Now you have:
105,000 GP lanes
25,000 toll lanes

The GP lanes are actually worse than where they started before the implementation of the toll lanes, although unrelated to their construction and plainly due to growth.

Once again the city grows.

150,000 commuters

Now you have:
120,000 GP lanes
30,000 Toll lanes

Once again they see a noticeable decrease in commute times in the toll lanes. The prices increase from $6.00 to $8.00 for a one way commute.

Now most in the GP lanes can no longer afford to use the toll lanes for a week even if they wanted to. Meanwhile the ones who used to, no longer want to allocate the money for them. Another 5,000 cars are shed from the toll lanes

Now you have:
150,000 GP lanes
25,000 Toll lanes


You see what I mean?

Although yes you are correct that the toll lanes will increase prices to promote reliable commute, the rest of the drivers who are unable to afford the increasing costs of the tolls will not suddenly just stop commuting, they still have to go somewhere.... the GP lanes will catch the overflow and the average commute times (because the average driver will still be using them) will still continue to increase. The toll lanes will only benefit those who are able to keep up with the increasing costs.

For transit, such as BRT you are correct they 'can' be used as such but GDOT doesnt seem very ambitious in designing these lanes to be used as such.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-27-2020, 09:10 AM
 
Location: Atlanta
57 posts, read 18,578 times
Reputation: 130
I think the express lanes have a lot of potential if combined with BRT, but first and foremost we need to get rid of the stigma surrounding buses in this city.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-27-2020, 09:35 AM
 
Location: North Atlanta
5,871 posts, read 4,302,188 times
Reputation: 3389
Quote:
Originally Posted by Need4Camaro View Post

Although yes you are correct that the toll lanes will increase prices to promote reliable commute, the rest of the drivers who are unable to afford the increasing costs of the tolls will not suddenly just stop commuting, they still have to go somewhere.... the GP lanes will catch the overflow and the average commute times (because the average driver will still be using them) will still continue to increase. The toll lanes will only benefit those who are able to keep up with the increasing costs.

For transit, such as BRT you are correct they 'can' be used as such but GDOT doesnt seem very ambitious in designing these lanes to be used as such.
Honestly, then the state should toll the entire freeway rather than build very expensive new lanes.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-27-2020, 09:50 AM
 
5,386 posts, read 2,137,070 times
Reputation: 4153
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gulch View Post
Honestly, then the state should toll the entire freeway rather than build very expensive new lanes.
How would that help the grand majority of commuters if there's no transit alternatives?

If it becomes too expensive for the majority of commuters, they will just start taking backroads and local roads. I know this because the same is seen here in Austin. The Toll Road where I live costs me nearly $200 per month to commute basically 30 miles round trip (15 one way). The local surface roads, while are in a decent grid - are not designed for inter-suburban commuter traffic.

Fortunately I'm one of the few who also has access to rail allowing me the option to commute for half the price of the toll road...but while the toll roads are generally congestion free, many opt to avoid them by taking surface roads which further overloads them. The highways will be free of traffic yeah but the average commuter is still going to have a suffering drive.

I just say, although unrealistic, instead of throwing up these lanes, they should increase transit effectiveness and give commuters other options than driving which I believe is the real weakness in OTP Atlanta metro's transportation infrastructure, the only feasible option for the grand majority is to drive.

The reason I say this is although these toll lanes may provide a 'now' solution, they won't fare very well as a 'future' solution as the metro continues to grow.

Last edited by Need4Camaro; 01-27-2020 at 10:08 AM..
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-27-2020, 10:41 AM
 
Location: North Atlanta
5,871 posts, read 4,302,188 times
Reputation: 3389
Quote:
Originally Posted by Need4Camaro View Post
but while the toll roads are generally congestion free, many opt to avoid them by taking surface roads which further overloads them. The highways will be free of traffic yeah but the average commuter is still going to have a suffering drive.
So basically, what will happen anyway on the mainlines of I-285 and GA 400 once the toll roads are built (after spending billions of dollars which has no chance of ever getting paid back in toll revenue).

Quote:
I just say, although unrealistic, instead of throwing up these lanes, they should increase transit effectiveness and give commuters other options than driving which I believe is the real weakness in OTP Atlanta metro's transportation infrastructure, the only feasible option for the grand majority is to drive.

The reason I say this is although these toll lanes may provide a 'now' solution, they won't fare very well as a 'future' solution as the metro continues to grow.
Most of the proponents of these lanes will be retired or dead within the next 25 years, they don't care about the future. All that matters to TPTB is that politicians get to cut a ribbon, highway contractors get paid, and the region continues to make it easier to accommodate sprawl in the Metro Atlanta area.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-27-2020, 12:24 PM
 
5,386 posts, read 2,137,070 times
Reputation: 4153
Quote:
Originally Posted by JMatl View Post
We need an Outer, Outer Belt at this point. The Northside could be a smaller 6 lane Peahtree Industrial style upgrade with limited frontage roads where existing development is along GA 120. It's in an existing footprint, and would perhaps be the most palatable solution Politically and with the Super NIMBY's.

I'm thinking this road would limit semi traffic to local deliveries.

Thoughts?
GA-120 or GA-20?

GA-120 seems a bit close in and residential neighborhoods (especially east of GA-400) would probably not like the idea very much. Those areas aren't walkable but the access roads and 6 lane highway would take a huge foot print - I guess there's no easy solution ... maybe something that may (or may not) work better is if it were a toll road that curved through the lower section of the golden crescent avoiding as much development as possible while running parallel with GA-120 with limited exits designed as trumpet style interchanges with GA-120 every say ... 7ish miles to make reasonable connectivity to those suburbs without becoming an economic driver for growth. I'm thinking something similar to Ronald Reagan Pkwy with 3 lanes and more truck friendly (somehow) -- (I don't think those areas would like trucks plowing through / engine braking, either - The Sugarloaf Pkwy Ext prohibits this) ... I get that nostalgia of Texan style highways littered with strip centers when I think of access roads... The ones on P.I.B aren't doing too well on the limited access section either.

For GA-20 it would probably work a bit better though, there is more room and less stuff to interrupt but alot more opposition since it would pretty much trigger Northern-Arc phobias... perhaps instead, making overpasses over congested intersections. Hwy 71 local to me isn't a freeway but is a divided highway with intersections and a 75 MPH speed limit but it has no traffic lights in these sections, and bypasses major towns with overpasses over intersections... It wouldn't quite be a limited access highway but it would probably work fairly well.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-27-2020, 06:17 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
7,109 posts, read 4,399,004 times
Reputation: 6237
Quote:
Originally Posted by Born 2 Roll View Post
I agree with the pressing need for a far-Outer Belt (far-Outer Perimeter) roadway.

Though, attempting to upgrade GA-120 to a Peachtree Industrial Boulevard type of roadway (with about 6-8 express/through lanes in the middle, and about 4-6 local lanes on the outside, or something thereabouts) probably would encounter much opposition because the GA-120 route runs through some pretty affluent (and extremely politically powerful) areas in Cobb and North Fulton counties.

… Areas where development (including residential development) is often located very close to a GA-120 roadway and right-of-way that many locals in the affluent and politically powerful areas that the road runs through (like East Cobb and West Cobb) like to think of as a semi-scenic suburban boulevard (with many tree-lined sections) like is the case throughout many parts of the Atlanta suburbs.

But the idea of upgrading Northside surface arterial roads (like GA-120, etc.) to handle growing volumes of traffic is a really good one.

A good alternative to the pursuit of a Peachtree Industrial Boulevard-style upgrade (which GDOT has gotten much flack for from businesses along the stretch of PIB that was turned into a freeway) potentially might be to rebuild some of the busiest at-grade intersections (along roads like GA-92, State Bridge Road/Pleasant Hill Road, the aforementioned GA-120 through Cobb, etc.) into multiple-level grade-separated intersections (with through lanes tunneled below-grade/underground) that require no widening of roadways and no expansion of public right-of-way.

I know that metro Atlanta needs much more additional roadway infrastructure than that, especially for through and bypass traffic (including interstate vacation and truck traffic), but the unusual reality is that the Atlanta region is one of the more difficult metro areas in the nation in which to build new roads (particularly superhighways).

That is largely because much of the Atlanta region (including much of metro Atlanta north of/above I-20, and the West metro Atlanta suburbs and the West Georgia exurbs of Atlanta) regards itself as being part of and/or very strongly emotionally connected to the larger Blue Ridge/Appalachian foothills region that is a very important scenic/geographical/topographical/cultural/social feature north of the city.

Many North Georgia residents (including in the North Atlanta suburbs) regard themselves as living a highly-cherished foothills-type of suburban/exurban/rural lifestyle...and they regard almost any major road expansion proposal (including and particularly superhighway construction) as being a mortal threat to the existence of that highly-cherished suburban/exurban/rural lifestyle... Which is why building new suburban, exurban and rural superhighways (like the kind that have been built in other large Sun Belt states like Florida, North Carolina and Texas) seems to be so much more difficult in metro Atlanta and North Georgia than it has been in other major Sun Belt regions.

What an excellent summation, B2R! You obviously have your finger on the Political pulse of the State much more than I do, I'll defer.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-27-2020, 06:19 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
7,109 posts, read 4,399,004 times
Reputation: 6237
Quote:
Originally Posted by Need4Camaro View Post
GA-120 or GA-20?

GA-120 seems a bit close in and residential neighborhoods (especially east of GA-400) would probably not like the idea very much. Those areas aren't walkable but the access roads and 6 lane highway would take a huge foot print - I guess there's no easy solution ... maybe something that may (or may not) work better is if it were a toll road that curved through the lower section of the golden crescent avoiding as much development as possible while running parallel with GA-120 with limited exits designed as trumpet style interchanges with GA-120 every say ... 7ish miles to make reasonable connectivity to those suburbs without becoming an economic driver for growth. I'm thinking something similar to Ronald Reagan Pkwy with 3 lanes and more truck friendly (somehow) -- (I don't think those areas would like trucks plowing through / engine braking, either - The Sugarloaf Pkwy Ext prohibits this) ... I get that nostalgia of Texan style highways littered with strip centers when I think of access roads... The ones on P.I.B aren't doing too well on the limited access section either.

For GA-20 it would probably work a bit better though, there is more room and less stuff to interrupt but alot more opposition since it would pretty much trigger Northern-Arc phobias... perhaps instead, making overpasses over congested intersections. Hwy 71 local to me isn't a freeway but is a divided highway with intersections and a 75 MPH speed limit but it has no traffic lights in these sections, and bypasses major towns with overpasses over intersections... It wouldn't quite be a limited access highway but it would probably work fairly well.

Sorry, I meant GA 20!
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-27-2020, 06:52 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
2,923 posts, read 2,672,440 times
Reputation: 3058
Quote:
Originally Posted by Born 2 Roll View Post
I potentially maybe could see a not-so-negative public response to a well-explained proposal for new superhighways that bypass metro Atlanta... Like most notably the proposal to build an Interstate 14 through Middle Georgia from Augusta to Columbus by way of Macon.

(… Although it probably should be noted that the Augusta-Macon-Columbus corridor is a corridor that has had its own problems with opposition to new highway construction (including basically indefeatable opposition to road construction through and near the federally-protected Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park area), which seems to have strongly affected the construction of the Augusta-Macon-Columbus Fall Line Freeway over about a roughly quarter-century period from the late 1980's through the early-mid 2010's.)

But seeing as though there is even more residential development and a much higher population in, near and around the area north of Atlanta where the Northern Arc portion of the erstwhile Outer Perimeter was proposed to be built back in the late 1990's and early 2000's, I fear that the "totally different response" to a new proposed Northern Arc (no matter how well-explained and well-intentioned) would be in the form of an even larger and more demonstrative public backlash than much of the metro Atlanta electorate (particularly the North metro Atlanta suburban part of the electorate) had over the proposed road on at least 2 different occasions before.

With so much more development and with so many more people living north of Atlanta today than when the Outer Perimeter/Northern Arc was originally proposed and seriously pursued by Georgia state government back during the Roy Barnes gubernatorial administration (circa 1999-2002), I think that the opposition (and likely backlash) to such a plan to build a superhighway bypass north of Atlanta probably would be even worse than it was about 2 decades ago.

And given how nervous the Republicans who control Georgia state government continue to get about the ongoing demographic changes in Atlanta's fast-changing, increasingly diverse and demographically domineering Northern suburbs, I don't think that Georgia state leaders like Governor Brian Kemp or Lt. Governor Geoff Duncan (who lives in Forsyth County where the Northern Arc was defeated in 2002) are in any mood to pick a massive fight with the Northside metro Atlanta suburban voters who dominate Georgia elections (and the coalition of ITP urban voters, South metro Atlanta suburban voters, and local/state/regional/national environmental groups that more than likely would back up those Northside suburban voters in opposing a new Northern Arc/Outer Perimeter proposal).

After such angry public responses to the Outer Perimeter/Northern Arc proposal in the past, I get the feeling that Georgia politicians (starting with a figure like Governor Brian Kemp, etc.) think that backing a new Northern Arc would be politically suicidal, to say the least... And I do not think that many Georgia politicians are motivated to want to experience what the public reaction would be to a new Northern Arc proposal.

I think that the fates of former Governor Roy Barnes and the 2012 T-SPLOST referendum have become major reasons for Georgia politicians to stay away from anything that may be even remotely related to the Northern Arc.
Yes, we live in a knee-jerk reaction society today where people choose a side with a talking point and never stop to actually process what is being proposed. The media's attempt to sensationalize every story for click revenue is responsible. The local news here never tries to explain beyond the headline practically.

So when GDOT announced plans 2 years ago to widen Ga-20 which is the most viable location for what the Northern Arc would have provided, people living near the thoroughfare were immediately opposed to any changes that would increase through-put. They cannot sacrifice any disturbance to their homes despite choosing to live in a major city. Doing what's best for the entire region's mobility never enters their thinking much less is considered a duty. (North Carolina's residents are always aware of and willing to fulfill this duty. Almost every one of the dozens and dozens of interstates always being built require dozens if not hundreds of homes to be moved or razed).

Distrust from decades so, so much corruption in state/city government was, to me, the biggest challenge to the Northern Arc.

And you can't just surprise the public one day with plans of a new big highway. It should have been mapped out 20 years prior with a corridor warning that a future highway could result in eminent domain.

People would have a long time to plan accordingly.

But that lack of future planning for the next 30 years, on paper, with civil engineering already done for a shelf with shovel-ready projects waiting for funding...

is the underlying inadequacy that's at the root of almost all of our mobility problems. That mindset still hasn't been adopted by the state's leaders even today.

That is the huge chasm between Georgia and the other top-tier states.

I don't believe that GDOT employees even keep up with what other states are doing for inspiration or to evolve. It's like, "let's put our own spin on how roads should be planned and built," and of course the result is embarrassingly ugly with low standards in the quality of its installation.

That's why I will be at an open house this week with handouts urging them to learn from other states and prioritize aesthetics.

Because they are really uglifying what millions of people are forced to look at for hours a day, and it's a huge component of the Atlanta experience.

I predict that without trees along the freeways readily visible, the interest and love for Atlanta as the green big, major American city, will subside and perhaps accelerate its downfall one day.

But GDOT never increased its right of way footprint in the past and probably thinks they can't afford to build beyond the existing corridors.

Georgia license plates aren't commonly seen in nearby states to the degree that other states' plates are, which means we fly everywhere and never get to see the broad picture of how other state's build highways versus Georgia.

Otherwise the standards would be higher here.
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

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. The time now is 09:47 AM.

© 2005-2020, 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