Archive for the ‘Transportation’ Category

Majority in favor of public transportation

Moderated by Tom Sabulis

A recent Atlanta Regional Commission poll showed surprising support for public transit. Today, a union official writes about that news and the need for immediate state funding of MARTA; a car dealer spokesman defends the role of the automobile in the metro area; and an economist wonders whether leaders can convert the poll’s “vague sentiments” into action.

There are three columns today. Commenting is open.

Time for Georgia to fund transit

By Curtis Howard

Metro area residents woke up to a pleasant surprise last month. An Atlanta Regional Commission poll told us that the economy and traffic congestion were the top issues facing the region, and 71 percent said that improving mass transit was important for the metro area’s future.

The findings make sense to us and are interrelated. The poll confirmed what most planners already know: There is no way out of the traffic issue — and its billion-dollars-a-year health costs due to air pollution and …

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Transit and roads to the stadium

Moderated by Tom Sabulis

The Atlanta Braves’ decision to relocate to a new stadium in Cobb County for the 2017 baseball season has prompted a barrage of opinions about fixing transportation to the new site at I-75 and I-285. Today, we hear about possible solutions incorporating mass transit and new roads. We also hear from a former county commission chairman who wonders where we will find the money to fund the projects.

There are three columns today. Commenting is open.

Stadium should put transit in the lineup

By David Emory

Throughout metro Atlanta, the Braves’ announcement that they are moving from Turner Field to a new stadium in Cobb County has generated a wide variety of reactions. But whether you support the move or not, everyone agrees the proposed location, at the traffic-choked intersection of I-75 and I-285, presents a major transportation challenge.

The good news is that the move also presents an opportunity to advance a conversation of critical importance to …

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Passenger rail sets a record

Moderated by Tom Sabulis

North Carolina has witnessed record ridership on two state-funded rail lines, and the state DOT is looking to expand track capacity to add more service. Both lines are operated by Amtrak. But Georgia officials shouldn’t be swayed by the commuter rail trend, writes one local official; taxpayers can’t afford to subsidize a rail plan that’s “too big to fail.”

Commenting is open.

Building a rail future in North Carolina

By Paul C. Worley

In North Carolina, the Department of Transportation is investing in better rail service for our citizens and for visitors to our state. We are making train travel safer, faster, and enabling people to connect more easily to more destinations along the state-owned North Carolina Railroad Company corridor between Raleigh and Charlotte, the largest area of population in our state.

We support and promote rail improvements because we believe that it makes sense for safety, economic development and job creation in our …

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Paulding County airport

Moderated by Tom Sabulis

The plan for new commercial airline service at a small Paulding County airport has angered some residents who feel officials schemed behind their backs with a company that plans to expand the facility. The chief of Propeller Investments writes that the new Silver Comet Field will offer only limited airline service that will boost country revenues and provide an alternative to Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport for travelers in North Georgia.

Paulding officials broke public trust

By Bob Board

Over and over again, the people of Paulding County told political leaders at the ballot box that they did not want a new airport in the county.

The people reject bringing the congestion and noise of a big-city lifestyle into our natural sanctuary, an idyllic country setting. But past county leaders joined in a plan to force a commercial airport into being, without the knowledge of unsuspecting taxpayers. They schemed and plotted against the people of …

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The case for transit

Moderated by Tom Sabulis

The building of the Atlanta Streetcar system is moving along, with tracks and poles going in along Auburn and Edgewood Avenues from the Martin Luther King center to downtown. A panel discussion this weekend offered a little insight into how the city will be moving from the construction to operation phase early next year. My second column looks at how Charlotte is fighting skeptics and transit critics with a new ad campaign, which includes a response from a local transportation analyst.

Commenting is open.

Streetcar, bike options coming

By Tom Sabulis

As part of Atlanta’s “Elevate” event Saturday, sponsored by the city’s Bureau of Cultural Affairs, I moderated a panel that focused on public art and transportation, and how the former can enrich the latter. With panelists representing MARTA, Atlanta Beltline, Atlanta Streetcar, Atlanta Bicycle Coalition and Atlanta Regional Commission, the conversation ranged from the cultural to project updates …

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Dwindling gas tax revenue

Moderated by Tom Sabulis

Today’s lineup: As gas tax revenues plummet, metro Atlanta could build its coffers for highway maintenance, repairs and expansion by tolling all its highways, says one columnist. The Georgia Department of Transportation ‘s deputy commissioner reminds us of all the low-cost innovation going on to ease traffic. And a John’s Creek resident writes about his evolution from driver to “clean” commuter.

Commenting is open.

Charge drivers per mile to fund repairs

By Robert Poole

If I asked “Would you like to pay more tolls?” you’d almost certainly answer, “No.” But the wiser answer is, “It depends. What would I get for this?”

What Georgia residents could get is better interstate highways — and there is probably no other realistic way to bring that about. Georgia’s interstate highways are the state’s most important transportation infrastructure. They account for less than 3 percent of all highway lane-miles but handle 26 percent of …

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Visions for the transportation department

Moderated by Tom Sabulis

The new chairman of the state transportation board recognizes that Gerogia officials need to improve their relationship with the public in order to win any future additional tax support for our network of highways. Today’s second columnist urges the state to encourage investors and enlist more public-private partnerships, while insisting that all motor-fuel tax revenues go to fix transportation problems.

Commenting is open.

GDOT’s next project: Build public trust

By Jay Shaw

For nearly 30 years, I have held elective office in Georgia and been involved, at one level or another, in shaping and implementing public policy. For 10 years, I had the power of a small-town mayor; for another 16, the influence of a state legislator. Now, as the new chairman of the State Transportation Board, I have perhaps my greatest opportunity to make a difference.

Georgia is a special place to live and work. Whether it remains so depends to a great extent on what we do …

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Black boxes in cars

Moderated by Tom Sabulis

The government wants all new cars to have black boxes to record driving data by next September. Today’s columns look at the privacy concerns dogging that requirement; what the current rules address and omit; the potential negatives of sharing information; and some of the obvious benefits. We hear from two lawyers versed in the pros and cons of Event Data Recorders and an elected official who owns car dealerships.

Please note: There are three columns today. Commenting is open.

Black boxes require more transparency

By Nate Cardozo

If your car was manufactured within the last few years, you might be surprised to learn that it likely contains a device that records your driving behavior and your car’s performance. That device is the so-called “black box” or Event Data Recorder (EDR).

What does your EDR record say about you and your driving habits? How long does it store that data? The manufacturer is not required to tell you. Who has access to your …

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Build streets, link transit

Moderated by Tom Sabulis

Metro Atlanta needs more super streets, says a local transportation policy advocate. These arterial roads, aided by Bus Rapid Transit and managed toll lanes, would provide much-need alternatives to interstate highways and Ga. 400. Also today, a state senator looks at the difficulty of getting around on our disconnected transit systems. He tried it and documented his trip on YouTube.

Commenting is closed.

Network of streets to connect us all

Atlanta’s mobility and congestion problems are well known. It has the seventh-worst congestion in the country. The area’s residents waste 51 hours a year sitting in traffic, and those delays cost the region $3.1 billion a year.

Metro Atlanta agencies plan to spend $84 billion over the next 30 years on transportation. Unfortunately, the transportation plans treat far too many projects as stand-alone ventures intended to address single-problem spots.

Atlanta needs a connected transportation network to fix …

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Bike lanes good for business

Moderated by Tom Sabulis

Today, a bicycling advocate writes that business and traffic in Atlanta will both improve with the introduction of more bike lanes — especially protected bike lanes — while an in-town community leader says education and respect are needed for drivers and cyclists to get along with each other. A new transportation culture is evolving, and cooperation is the key to moving everyone along.

Commenting is open.

Bike lanes better for business and traffic

By Rebecca Serna

Picture a vibrant street in downtown Marietta, Hapeville or East Point; historic Roswell or Norcross, or Midtown Atlanta. Humming with businesses, shops, restaurants, even residences. People walking, cars pulling in and out, delivery trucks pulled to the right, and more and more, bicycles. As it turns out, giving more people on bikes access to our most active streets is not just good for riders’ health, it’s good for business.

Economic opposition to bike lanes usually rests on the …

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