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Old 01-27-2020, 07:36 PM
 
Location: North Atlanta
5,873 posts, read 4,308,402 times
Reputation: 3389

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Quote:
Originally Posted by architect77 View Post
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).
Give me a friggin' break.

North Carolina isn't any different than other states regarding citizen opposition to road projects:

Group vows to fight on against I-77 toll lanes [Charlotte]

Anti-toll movement may upend North Carolina’s first transportation P3

ROAD RAGE: Residents rise up against transportation improvements

Residents oppose road plan that would ‘destroy’ Riegelwood

I guess these people are shirking their "duty" to make other people's commutes easier.
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Old 01-27-2020, 07:39 PM
 
Location: North Atlanta
5,873 posts, read 4,308,402 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by architect77 View Post
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.

Maybe it's the freeways (or in this case the addition toll lanes) themselves that are ugly. No amount of trees are going to hide a 40-foot high viaduct from surrounding neighborhoods.

Quote:
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.

You sure you're not referring to the unsustainable sprawl instead?
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Old 01-27-2020, 08:01 PM
 
5,520 posts, read 2,181,952 times
Reputation: 4238
Quote:
Originally Posted by architect77 View Post
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.
I drive everywhere:



Im more than fluent on the differences between GA Roads as well as NC, TX, and other states and while it does appear that GA Roads are a bit slack around the metro area, I've come to realize that Atlanta's proximity to the Blueridge region DOES make it an entirely different animal than TX or NC when it comes to road infrastructure improvements. Not directly because of land prohibition but because of sensitivity to growth, development and cannibalizing the highly sought / tourist region of the Blue Ridge area.

There's more to it than razing houses when speaking of a politically and environmentally sensitive region such as the Blueridge Region which is not seen in TX and is not near any major cities in NC. Especially given certain political figures literally staked their entire campaign on stopping such movements to preserve these regions thus prohibiting them from so much as considering it despite growth within the region. I do not believe the same kind of actions happened in NC, and definitely not in TX. It would be literal political suicide for them to have turned around and done otherwise especially considering how much power these geographical regions really hold. Coming through that region with a bulldozer razing trees as well as highly affluent property would be similar to that of writing away your political career.

While an outer-perimeter is needed, its true when some posters here say, it isn't Texas ... they can't as easily pull off the same kind of infrastructural upgrades without receiving severely threatening backlash. DFW does have backlash but nowhere near the same levels when speaking of an environmentally sensitive region such as the BlueRidge.

Also the original plan of the Northern Arc would have been disastrous given several politicians bought up land immediately upon the conception of its design and lobbied to have it re-routed through their developments thus making it another inner-city highway, and not a bypass while the foothills of the Blueridge would seep with as massive surge of development.

Atlanta does need more highways but the reality is, it isn't going to happen. The best thing to do at this point is realize and accept this and aim for what can help the metro, and for Atlanta that is transit. It can't be like DFW or even Houston. It has to do something different than those metro's to rectify its transportation woes.
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Old 01-28-2020, 01:03 AM
 
Location: Atlanta
6,804 posts, read 8,275,715 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Need4Camaro View Post
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.

I actually don't see what you mean... and here is why.

You're numbers assume constant for a free-flowing commute and that there are no limitations to keep extra commuters on the road, but that isn't a reality (without more capacity being built somehow).

The harsh reality is the capacity in the GP lanes do not increase and there are not magically 150,000 commuters in the GP lanes. There are 150k people that would have used them if they were free-flowing. Many will take alternate routes, drive at other times of day, some will only move to pricier areas, singles and young couples will choose to live in shoeboxes closer to work more often, but what has happened is many businesses started locating in more spread out areas. As congestion occurs businesses (of various different types) locate to capture that market of workers.

This effect has already been around strongly since the '90s. We outgrew capacity a long time ago. Take Gwinnett as an example. It use to be more of a commuter suburb, but now a majority of workers living in Gwinnett do not leave the county for work.

Meanwhile there has been a large amount of growth in apartments and condos near most major employment centers, including Alpharetta, SandySprings/Dunwoody, Buckhead, Midtown, and Downtown.

These are a few examples of how people are adjusting to the increased demand/lack of supply.


Plain and simple.. absolute max capacity is fixed and actually reduces with extreme congestion. The rest is an argument over who chooses to use it.


As for HOT lanes vs. GP lanes, you're still failing to discuss how HOT lanes keep the lanes flowing with the maximum amount of cars (highest efficiency). This is the reason why they are priced to reduce congestion. It isn't merely for "commute reliability" as you're choosing to examine from a consumer point of view only. It is actually a process that moves more cars on the lane.

Without them, they become just as clogged and end up moving fewer people at peak hours.

So with all this in mind, we need added capacity with growth, however I think it is prudent that any extra capacity built be designed to operate at peak efficiency during peak periods. The extra lanes would only be build due to demand in peak periods and should be built to carry the most cars possible during those periods.
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Old 01-28-2020, 05:01 AM
 
6,719 posts, read 6,322,909 times
Reputation: 4704
Quote:
Originally Posted by JMatl View Post
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.
Oh no, please don't defer on the issue.

Upgrading existing surface arterial roadways (particularly by way of reconstructing existing major at-grade intersections into grade-separated intersections) across the Northern suburbs is a really good idea and an important point.

In fact, it is so good of an idea that the State of Georgia has openly acknowledged that it is something that has needed to be done for many years, particularly at major intersections along major roadways in the Northern suburbs like GA-92, GA-141, State Bridge Road/Pleasant Hill Road, GA-120, etc.

The problem is that the state most likely would need to pay for the construction and continuing maintenance of those future grade-separated intersections with tolls... Which is something that Georgia residents have often reacted very negatively to in the past.

Because of Georgians' (metro Atlantans') historical hostility towards tolling, the state has been (and continues to be) very reluctant to pursue the type of strategy of reconstructing at-grade intersections into tolled grade-separated intersections along major Northside surface arterial roads until traffic on those roads gets so bad that motorists start desperately begging for relief from the congestion.

With the increasing use of the toll lanes on major Northside commuter roadways like I-75/I-575 Northwest and I-85 Northeast in the Atlanta suburbs, Metro Atlantans and Georgians appear to be coming more accepting (or at least less unaccepting) of the concept of tolls on roads.

But Georgia leaders definitely are not eager to find out what the public's reaction might be if hundreds-of-thousands of Northside motorists (who vote in very large numbers in Georgia elections) were to wake up one day to find tolls had been put on roads all over the North metro Atlanta suburbs.

Last edited by Born 2 Roll; 01-28-2020 at 05:38 AM..
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Old 01-28-2020, 06:22 AM
 
6,719 posts, read 6,322,909 times
Reputation: 4704
Quote:
Originally Posted by Need4Camaro View Post
GA-120 or GA-20?

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.
Quote:
Originally Posted by JMatl View Post
Sorry, I meant GA 20!
Quote:
Originally Posted by architect77 View Post
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.
architect77 raised an important point that there was a significant amount of opposition from local residents nearly 3 years ago when GDOT proposed widening GA-20 to a 6-lane divided surface arterial highway between GA-400 and I-575 in Forsyth and Cherokee counties.

Here is a link to the City-Data Atlanta Forum thread that we had on that issue back in early 2017:

Residents push back against widening of Hwy 20 to six lanes in Cherokee and Forsyth counties

Because major road expansion projects often seem to run into serious opposition in metro Atlanta (including in Atlanta's affluent road expansion averse Northern suburbs), some transportation think tanks suggested that the State of Georgia expand the Top End of the I-285 Perimeter by tunneling new lanes (either truck-only lanes and/or tolled express lanes) underneath the existing general purpose lanes, so as to attempt to generate as little opposition as possible to a major Northside east-west roadway expansion project.

The State of Texas recently added toll lanes to I-635 across the Northside of Dallas by mostly building the lanes below-grade underneath the existing at-grade/above-grade un-tolled general purpose lanes of I-635.

The State of Texas built the new lanes mostly underneath the existing GP lanes of I-635 because of an almost complete lack of land on which to expand the I-635 on the surface horizontally through an area where there was already much existing development.

Knocking down and demolishing existing development through an extremely heavily developed area across the Northside of Dallas would have been extremely costly (even more costly), not just financially, but also politically and emotionally and would have been very disruptive to those neighborhoods.

But the road (I-635) still needed to be expanded to handle the growing volume of traffic, so the State of Texas built the new toll lanes underneath the existing general purpose lanes, so as to attempt to minimize any disruption to the existing development on the surface.

At a cost of $2.7 billion, the project to expand I-635 was not at all cheap, and pales in comparison to what reconstructing the I-285 Top End in any fashion (whether elevated, above-grade, below-grade or underground) will cost. But it was a good way to expand the roadway with minimal disruption to the heavy amount of existing development that lines the road.

LBJ TEXpress Lanes

Could expanding the Top End of the I-285 Perimeter by building any new lanes underground, work in Atlanta?
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Old 01-28-2020, 06:40 AM
 
Location: North Atlanta
5,873 posts, read 4,308,402 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Born 2 Roll View Post

Could expanding the Top End of the I-285 Perimeter by building any new lanes underground, work in Atlanta?
It would be incredibly expensive, certain far more so than the current MMIP proposal.

Also, GDOT's Planning Division recently shelved a Downtown Connector study which included as a concept an express tunnel under the CBD from 14th Street to I-20.
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Old 01-28-2020, 07:20 AM
 
Location: Atlanta
57 posts, read 18,740 times
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Gwinnett seems to be quietly building their portion of the outer perimeter as the Sugarloaf Pkwy extensions. I feel like any progress on some sort of outer ring will have to be done on the local side.

DC faced similar backlash with the outer beltway. On the VA side, just like Gwinnett, Fairfax County built their portion a hybrid freeway/arterial road, while MD built over the top side of the city as a toll road.
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Old 01-28-2020, 11:25 AM
 
5,520 posts, read 2,181,952 times
Reputation: 4238
Quote:
Originally Posted by Born 2 Roll View Post
architect77 raised an important point that there was a significant amount of opposition from local residents nearly 3 years ago when GDOT proposed widening GA-20 to a 6-lane divided surface arterial highway between GA-400 and I-575 in Forsyth and Cherokee counties.

Here is a link to the City-Data Atlanta Forum thread that we had on that issue back in early 2017:

Residents push back against widening of Hwy 20 to six lanes in Cherokee and Forsyth counties

Because major road expansion projects often seem to run into serious opposition in metro Atlanta (including in Atlanta's affluent road expansion averse Northern suburbs), some transportation think tanks suggested that the State of Georgia expand the Top End of the I-285 Perimeter by tunneling new lanes (either truck-only lanes and/or tolled express lanes) underneath the existing general purpose lanes, so as to attempt to generate as little opposition as possible to a major Northside east-west roadway expansion project.

The State of Texas recently added toll lanes to I-635 across the Northside of Dallas by mostly building the lanes below-grade underneath the existing at-grade/above-grade un-tolled general purpose lanes of I-635.

The State of Texas built the new lanes mostly underneath the existing GP lanes of I-635 because of an almost complete lack of land on which to expand the I-635 on the surface horizontally through an area where there was already much existing development.

Knocking down and demolishing existing development through an extremely heavily developed area across the Northside of Dallas would have been extremely costly (even more costly), not just financially, but also politically and emotionally and would have been very disruptive to those neighborhoods.

But the road (I-635) still needed to be expanded to handle the growing volume of traffic, so the State of Texas built the new toll lanes underneath the existing general purpose lanes, so as to attempt to minimize any disruption to the existing development on the surface.

At a cost of $2.7 billion, the project to expand I-635 was not at all cheap, and pales in comparison to what reconstructing the I-285 Top End in any fashion (whether elevated, above-grade, below-grade or underground) will cost. But it was a good way to expand the roadway with minimal disruption to the heavy amount of existing development that lines the road.

LBJ TEXpress Lanes

Could expanding the Top End of the I-285 Perimeter by building any new lanes underground, work in Atlanta?
I've used the LBJ TEXpress Lanes, they are awesome and yeah I personally would like to see that happen to I-285 perhaps with a dedicated BRT and sub-surface BRT stops rather than the elevated monstrosities they are planning. The one thing however that makes this sort of thing much easier in DFW than Atlanta, besides political outliers, is the clay soil. Its alot easier and cheaper to dig in DFW than tearing through granite in Atlanta...but despite the extreme cost, it would be a much better solution even if built over a much longer period of time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cranberrysaus View Post
Gwinnett seems to be quietly building their portion of the outer perimeter as the Sugarloaf Pkwy extensions. I feel like any progress on some sort of outer ring will have to be done on the local side.

DC faced similar backlash with the outer beltway. On the VA side, just like Gwinnett, Fairfax County built their portion a hybrid freeway/arterial road, while MD built over the top side of the city as a toll road.
Its unlikely that the Sugarloaf Pkwy Ext will continue on through Forsyth as anything more than an surface arterial, IF even that. The slightest hint of a freeway / tollway coming through that area instantly raises monumental levels of backlash in fear of another way to sneak in the Northern Arc.

Sugarloaf Pkwy was built as a bypass for Lawrenceville to enter the Mall of GA areas and the road uses existing purchased RoW that was intended for the outer-perimeter which was never conceived.
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Old 01-28-2020, 11:36 AM
 
5,520 posts, read 2,181,952 times
Reputation: 4238
Quote:
Originally Posted by cwkimbro View Post
I actually don't see what you mean... and here is why.

You're numbers assume constant for a free-flowing commute and that there are no limitations to keep extra commuters on the road, but that isn't a reality (without more capacity being built somehow).

The harsh reality is the capacity in the GP lanes do not increase and there are not magically 150,000 commuters in the GP lanes. There are 150k people that would have used them if they were free-flowing. Many will take alternate routes, drive at other times of day, some will only move to pricier areas, singles and young couples will choose to live in shoeboxes closer to work more often, but what has happened is many businesses started locating in more spread out areas. As congestion occurs businesses (of various different types) locate to capture that market of workers.

This effect has already been around strongly since the '90s. We outgrew capacity a long time ago. Take Gwinnett as an example. It use to be more of a commuter suburb, but now a majority of workers living in Gwinnett do not leave the county for work.

Meanwhile there has been a large amount of growth in apartments and condos near most major employment centers, including Alpharetta, SandySprings/Dunwoody, Buckhead, Midtown, and Downtown.

These are a few examples of how people are adjusting to the increased demand/lack of supply.


Plain and simple.. absolute max capacity is fixed and actually reduces with extreme congestion. The rest is an argument over who chooses to use it.


As for HOT lanes vs. GP lanes, you're still failing to discuss how HOT lanes keep the lanes flowing with the maximum amount of cars (highest efficiency). This is the reason why they are priced to reduce congestion. It isn't merely for "commute reliability" as you're choosing to examine from a consumer point of view only. It is actually a process that moves more cars on the lane.

Without them, they become just as clogged and end up moving fewer people at peak hours.

So with all this in mind, we need added capacity with growth, however I think it is prudent that any extra capacity built be designed to operate at peak efficiency during peak periods. The extra lanes would only be build due to demand in peak periods and should be built to carry the most cars possible during those periods.
In that aspect then yeah I see what you mean.

Is there anything concrete that shows where commuters from which county are really commuting from and where they are commuting to on average? I-85 seems like alot of commuters are leaving the county.
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