2/26: A central transit vision

The AJC Editorial Board

Present-day struggles make the future difficult to discern. Yet that’s what great, leading-edge cities and states do.

The ability to assemble scattered hints and hunches into a vision for tomorrow, however hazy, sets apart leaders from followers. That collective talent enabled much of the Atlanta metro’s success.

All of which makes intriguing the still-on-the-drawing-board concept of the Multimodal Passenger Terminal (MMPT) proposed for that part of downtown known as the “Gulch.” This valley of concrete and steel was created as Atlanta grew up and out of the area around the Zero Milepost where the railroads began here. It’s no accident that Atlanta was first named Terminus. Two centuries later, that’s still an apt descriptor for this logistics and business capital of the Southeast.

The big, open question for Atlanta and the Gulch plan is what all that means in the 21st century, especially now as we continue to struggle away from a wicked recession. Questions of cost, commitment, feasibility and what exactly will best serve the future needs of Atlantans remain to be fleshed out. They are legitimate topics for further inquiry.

Read the rest of what the AJC Editorial Board has to say, along with commentary by A.J. Robinson,  president of Central Atlanta Progress and the Atlanta Downtown Improvement District. Then have your say.

21 comments Add your comment

Michael Hammock

February 28th, 2012
12:46 pm

Utilizing underutilized real estate in the city of Atlanta will benefit it, the state and the region. Further, commercial development naturally follows infrastructure improvements and brings other economic benefits along for the ride. A coherent, viable, flexible transportation plan is vital for the future of the ATL. As your editorial board opined, slower-than-a-crawl car traffic creates a major obstacle to further development and expansion. When, not if, alternative forms of transportation are developed, an efficient central hub becomes critical. People and business will benefit. The mayor is a visionary because he understands that private interests want this, so private interests should ante up. The private sector allocates resources more efficiently, so let them at it. The city should have input, but private interests should take the lead. Let’s hope such a plan, with a grand central hub, comes together.