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Policy board created to study transit

LAWRENCEVILLE -- With road capacity options for Interstate 85 -- such as reversible lanes -- already on the minds of one study group, commissioners set up another committee to look at transit options in the corridor.

A $1.2 million "alternatives analysis" for the county's congested interstate area was approved a few months ago, but this week commissioners created a policy advisory group to help with the work.

"This is all about the numbers. Is it cost-effective?" said Chuck Warbington, the executive director of the Gwinnett Village Community Improvement District who has talked about the need for transit options in the community for years.

Officials said public opinion will be a major part of the study group's work, which is expected to begin in February.

"The plan includes specific community outreach goals to give the public a voice in decisions that will affect their travel patterns and how public dollars are spent," said Gwinnett Acting Transportation Director Kim Conroy.

Commission Chairwoman Charlotte Nash added, "We welcome comments, ideas, concerns and questions to help find sustainable transportation solutions, and I encourage everyone to stay informed and engaged in this process. We must support the continued economic viability of this vital corridor and meet the needs of residents, employees and businesses that use it."

While other options will be discussed, the Gwinnett Place and Gwinnett Village CIDs have floated the possibility of a light rail line connective Doraville's MARTA station through several business districts to the Gwinnett Arena. Warbington said that route, as well as a possible an expansion of Gwinnett's bus system will be on the table for a cost-benefit analysis, and the group will also explore what traffic could look like without any upgrades.

"When you are looking at all the modeling, all the costs, all the environmental impact, all the business impacts, it'll be an exhaustive study," he said of the work, which is funded by the federal government, county government and two CIDs.

Each of Gwinnett's commissioners have an appointment to the study group, although only two of the five -- Jimmy Orr and Trey Ragsdale -- were chosen Tuesday. Representatives will also be tapped by the Gwinnett Village and Gwinnett Place CIDs, the Gwinnett Transit Advisory Board and Gwinnett Municipal Association.

Comments

jjbod1 2 years, 8 months ago

Personally, I am all for mass transit, including rail. Just about all the major cities in this country have it, and benefit from it. Yes it does cost money from the taxpayers, and inturn is not a money generator whiten itself. But it does help bring big business that does generate major tax bases. Until this metro area quits spending money on all these study's that they keep conducting over and over again, and instead actually build something, Atlanta and its counties will never be more than a second or 3rd rate area.

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Gundoctor1 2 years, 8 months ago

We are so broke we cannot pay "attention", and we are ready to spend how much???? Give me a break, and someone with some brains please put the brakes on this spend and spend and spend. You would think this is Jimmy Carter all over again. Remember him???? Take no more money from Washington, and start getting us out of this hole we are in. Have mercy people, wake up!!!!!! If you run your home budget like you are trying to run the counties, you are in sad shape.

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BufordGuy 2 years, 8 months ago

Wonder what the chances of someone that actually knows something about transit being appointed to that committee are???

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jack 2 years, 8 months ago

We should conduct a study into the need for all these studies.

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ACC12_SEC13Booster 2 years, 8 months ago

That's a good idea, but of course you know that we'll need to commission a study to study the need for a study to study the need for all these studies.

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Cleanupguy 2 years, 8 months ago

Nothing spells progress like setting up a committee, especially one comprised of political appointees. Didn't I just see a story about budget cuts involving Police and fire staffing? Oh, never mind, there I go, thinking again.

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kevin 2 years, 8 months ago

with so many studies, I am willing to bet you that each one of these companies donated lots of money to politicans forcing us to pay for more studies as payback. Stop re-electing the same people and we put an end to this pay to play scheme.

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ACC12_SEC13Booster 2 years, 8 months ago

There's also $95 million set aside in the proposed regional T-SPLOST for yet ANOTHER study of the I-85 North Transit Corridor.

Yeah, that's right, $95 MILLION for yet another transit study of the I-85 North Corridor after this current study which is taking place after about at least five different previous studies by the State of Georgia and the Atlanta Regional Commission and GRTA.

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kevin 2 years, 8 months ago

It will never be cost effective. The city and/or state will be subsidizing any project. Like I said a million times before. It is not feasible for people to get TO an entrance point nor OFF close to their final destination. They will need further transportation to get from the "mass transit" point to their ultimate destination. This will add hours to their commute, not to mention inconvienence and other costs.

Since developers were allowed by our lustrious BOC to "spread" everything out in Gwinnett and other counties (cheap land), this mass transit idea will fail at every turn. Just look at how much the Marta train is subsidized. What more examples must you see before the people put an end to wasting our tax money on these so-called study projects that will produce nothing that works and will be subsidized by our tax money.

I guess the politicians and dept. heads are desperate to find work for people (donors) at taxpayer expense. It isn't their money!

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ACC12_SEC13Booster 2 years, 8 months ago

"Since developers were allowed by our lustrious BOC to "spread" everything out in Gwinnett and other counties (cheap land), this mass transit idea will fail at every turn."

Many of those same developers who conspired with county commission boards in Gwinnett and other Metro Atlanta counties to spread out development in the past (seeing how many of those past commission seats were actually held by developers themselves) are now conspiring with regional and state interests to drive much denser future residential and commercial development in the same way that freeways and major roads drove development in the past.

http://www.atlantadowntown.com/initiatives/green-line-plan/multi-modal-passenger-terminal

http://dot.ga.gov/informationcenter/p3/projects/mmpt/Pages/default.aspx

http://www.facebook.com/AtlantaMMPT

http://www.perkinswill.com/work/atlanta-multi-modal-passenger-terminal-(mmpt)-.html

http://www.bizjournals.com/atlanta/stories/2010/07/19/story1.html?page=all

http://www.examiner.com/headlines-in-atlanta/multi-modal-passenger-terminal-atlanta-moves-forward

Check out the link to info about the proposed multi-modal passenger terminal in Downtown Atlanta (which is basically a reincarnation of one of the two major Union Station train hubs that Atlanta had in the past that were both demolished in 1972) and the links above that I posted to the multiple plans for a passenger rail-anchored regional transit network.

Land spectulation and development interests are already in the process of buying up land around the proposed multi-modal passenger terminal (MMPT) in Downtown Atlanta and other proposed commuter rail and passenger rail stations throughout the Greater Atlanta Region.

The land spectulation and development interests are already betting that Metro Atlanta will be a much more densely-developed transit-centered city in the future than has been the case throughout most of Metro Atlanta's post-World War II automobile-dominated history.

The whole idea is to drive up the value of real estate overall by making the land closest to the current and future rail transit lines the most valuable and most desirable. Proximity to transit lines like current MARTA lines and future commuter and high-speed rail lines will be selling points for future residential and commercial developments in the same way that proximity to freeways were in the past.

This is all basically one big land spectulation scheme that quite possibly may have an even bigger impact on the Atlanta Region than the development and the construction of the Interstate system did.

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ACC12_SEC13Booster 2 years, 8 months ago

"Like I said a million times before. It is not feasible for people to get TO an entrance point nor OFF close to their final destination. They will need further transportation to get from the "mass transit" point to their ultimate destination."

That's the thing. In most large cities where transit options are found in abundance, rail and bus transit is a park-and-ride operation.

In transit-heavy metro areas like Chicago, Washington DC, NYC, Boston, etc, most suburban and exurban riders of commuter rail and bus transit may drive or ride to the nearest commuter rail station or commuter park-and-ride lot, either by driving their own vehicle, receiving a ride from a spouse or even catching a cab the few miles from their home to the station/park-and-ride lots instead of driving 20, 30, 40 miles or more through very heavy traffic on the freeway and paying exorbitant prices and fees to attempt to park in a high-density business district where parking may be scarce, which is the difference between Atlanta and those transit-heavy cities as parking is still relatively very cheap and overly-abundant in Atlanta where compared to cities like Chicago, NYC, DC, Philadelphia and Boston.

Once a passenger reaches his-or-her destination stop, they deboard the train and either walk to their office if it is within a block or two, catch a connecting bus or catch a cab if their job is more than a few blocks away because in most major transit-heavy cities numerous cabs and taxis often post up and stage at major train station in the city. In the evening headed home they'll often reverse the process.

The only comparison with Atlanta is that the roads in the metro area are increasingly congested and appears that we've reached the point where it is no longer politically, economically or financially feasible to substantially further expand the road network, especially, the freeway network, which for all its intent and purposes appears to be built-out.

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gregmack 2 years, 8 months ago

We have some serious challenges in the Atlanta region with traffic congestion being at the top of the list. Somehow we are all going to have to agree that there is a problem and it will require working together for solutions. I would agree that there seems to be an issue with previous attempts in the past to address these challenges and that some things have been done that are questionable at best; however, at this point we have challenges and we are running out of time. I hope we can come around and agree that we have these regional challenges and then agree to work together for solutions. If we continue to focus on personailities and political parties or if someone is a liberal or a conservative, I am afraid we will find outselves worse off (in it could be months and not years). This is not a race issue - it's an economic issue. It's about jobs, family and our future. While we are criticizing the past or how many studies we've had or anything except finding solutions, other regions, states, and even countries are moving ahead. Just as the USA used to be a world leader and can be again, the Atlanta region has been a leader and can be again if we start working together looking forward and not behind.

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R 2 years, 8 months ago

The current “theme of the month” is regional, REGIONAL, REGIONAL. The issues are framed by those who brought us the problems and now claim to have all the answers, if we would just tax ourselves into oblivion. Do you really want Mayor “the Atlanta City Council is MY house” Reed to dictate how OUR local funds are spent? We MUST pay for more studies to ask the same questions in differing ways, until the set of pre-determined answers are chosen as the only “solutions”. If Chicago or San Diego is your ultimate dream, feel free to move there because are PLENTY of openings in either place.

Here’s a start, lets decommission the CIDs with a goal to eliminate expanded government. The overwhelming success of these ventures seems to be to grow, obtain more federal and state subsidies with the required loss of local control and of course grow more staff and the salaries they require to go after even more grants that surrender more local control. The reduction in government entities should reduce the sheer number of paid shills screaming for more, more, MORE of YOUR wallet.

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concernedtaxpayer 2 years, 8 months ago

Another example of government waste in spending by a board and staff of people who are earning high end salaries with no idea of what they are doing! Gwinnett, it's time to take our County back and get these people out of office and out of the positions that are not necessary for the running of this county. The salaries alone could help lower taxes for the few homeowners left and provide for our needy citizens. The hungry children and homeless families are growing by the day. Stop by a local school and ask a few questions about the needs, or any local church that tries to extend a hand. The need is growing faster than the ability to help. Stand together Gwinnett as one voice and say 'NO' to all of this continued government waste. Something needs to be done quick! They pushed a stadium, pushing an airport and a transit corridor for another planned stadium(word has it as soccer). What in the world are they thinking! With only one interstate(85) through the county, who could get to the airport or the stadiums? It's time to get real and work real! If these people want big, go run New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, or any other larger city for the things you want to run. We don't need you here.

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JV 2 years, 8 months ago

From the AJC Thrusday Jan 5th: More robberies on MARTA in last quarter of 2011

"Atlanta Police Department numbers indicate robberies in general are on the upswing, Friedmann said. APD statistics show 626 robberies in the last quarter of 2011, compared with 527 for the comparable period in 2010."

"Overall crime numbers for MARTA for fiscal 2011 -- which ran from July 2010 through June 2011 -- showed 48 robberies, 83 aggravated assaults, 216 larcenies and 63 auto thefts."

The paper also list "MARTA safety tips".

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Mack711 2 years, 8 months ago

Did this article mention anything about the number of weapons that were taken away from patrons that are considered under age? The last time we rode MARTA to the airport there were several with concealed weapons. Most apperared to be underage. This is a major problem with this system.

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JohnGalt 2 years, 8 months ago

While you are all so busy studying this transit crap, here's something for you to ponder.

30-40 years from now, these transit infrastructures will become obsolete. Why? Because they have a fixed path to a fixed destination. We won't even be driving cars anymore by the time we have mature infrastructures. We will have self-directing self-navigating transportation vehicles that will run on GPS. You just jump in, enter your destination, sit back and relax or catch up on the morning news or get some work done while the vehicle takes you to your programmed destination. And while enroute, the vehicle will know of any vehicle that is in close proximity and individually and collectively, they will have all the intelligence necessary to navigate around one another and the path of least resistance to get to their destination. Traffic lights will become completely obsolete as will the traffic enforcement and accident investigation personnel as the vehicles navigate through intersections intelligently forever ending the countless accidents that occur instead of people who make mistakes causing them. Yeah, let's invest in a $multi-billion infrastructure that will come on line just in time to become obsolete within a decade or two. Think this is a pipe dream? The technology is already here! I'm sure when they developed the NTSC video format, it was the solution all to end all television research and development that became obsolete in 2009. Besides, who would possibly need more than a half a dozen channels anyway, right? The Government is stuck in the box and can't see the opportunities that lie outside of the box. But we all understand that clearly. That's what government bureaucracies do. Let's not think 20-30 years ahead. Let's think 50-60 years ahead and develop an infrastructure that will fit that model.

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