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About vandiver49

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  1. Here's another deeply disturbing and generally asinine proposal from the Reasons Foundation on how to alleviate ATL traffic... http://www.reason.org/ps351.pdf This 84 page rant proposes that the city should build two underground tollways. One that would connect the southern terminus of GA400 to the northern part of I-675. And the other from Lakewood Freeway to I-20 East. The estimated cost of these two projects? $25 Billion dollars!!! This report makes me furious for a couple of reasons... 1. The assertion that you can build your way out of congestion by constructing more freeways - This was already tried once, GDOT 'Freeing the Freeways' program, which resulted in wider interstates and wonderful landmarks like the Brookwood Interchange, Spaghetti Junction and the Cobb Coverleaf. Yet, twenty years later the congestion returned. 2. That transit alternatives are a fraudulent investment - Under the guise of 'freedom of choice' and 'pork spending opposition' the Reasons reports claims that investing in MARTA, LRT, Commuter Rail and Transit Orientated Developments are goverment boondoggles which attempt to force a standard of living and commuting on residents. I'm all for freedom of choice...by all means live, work and commute however you see fit. The problem most Atlantans face is that there IS NO CHOICE! Unless you're forunate enough to have access to MARTA, the only way to get around the city is via automobile. 3. Putting these proposed tollways underground - Firstly, the routes they proposed were apart of ATL's original expressway system. I have no idea how much ARC or GDOT paid for this study, but they should get their money back from Reasons if going underground is all the 'innovation' they can come up with. And while going underground sounds alluring, there are several problems that come immediately to mind. The biggest one being that ATL sits on top of several feet of granite. MARTA's Peachtree Center Station and the more recent Chattahoochee Tunnel Project both experienced significant delays because of this dense rock and both pale in comparision to the proposed underground tunnels. The potential for delays and cost overuns could easily approach 'Big Dig' proportions. (I searched the Reasons Foundation website for their analysis of what went wrong with the Big Dig. Their assertion is that the problems surrounding the Big Dig stemmed from the fact that it was wholly a government sponsered project, thus lacking any fiscal restraint. They state that had it been a private/public partnership, the outrageous costly overruns would have been avoided and that overall the Big Dig should be viewed as an 'anomoly'.) The only part of this report I agree with is that the lack robust surface arterial system has exacerbated ATL traffic. (Quick, name one road you can take to traverese the entire city?) An immediate solution to this problem could be increasing the number of one-way streets. (i.e. North Ave and Ponce or Peachtree and West Peachtree) With residential areas so clearly established throughout the city though, any new road construction will be met with HEAVY opposition. Only through a comprehesive transportation plan, one that includes rail, roads, buses, HOT and HOV will Atlanta free itself from the increasing congestion. (BTW, for an idea of what we could have, take a look at the Citizens for Progressive Transit proposed rail system. http://www.cfpt.org/ )
  2. I had no idea NASH was even working on a commuter rail system. That's awesome! And even if it doesn't enjoy initial success it is providing a plan for the future when traffic increases. If the region can convince area businesses and residential developers to build along the lines it will eventually become successful. On a side note I'm pissed that NASH has one commuter rail line operation while the only thing ATL has done in the past 10+ years is talk about building one. I have discovered that many up and coming southern cities look at ATL as an example of want NOT to do.
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