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.