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Andrea

More Roads as Traffic Solution?

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Just as traffic-choked metro Atlanta appears poised to wean itself off its automobile addiction, a task force created by Gov. Sonny Perdue threatens to focus future transportation funds on projects tailor-made for the car.

In addition, the task force's recommendations would make it harder for walkable, mixed-use developments and new mass transit projects to become a reality.

Two Transit Trips Forward, One Car Trip Back

In my opinion this is utterly outlandish and backwards. The billions spent adding more roads in Atlanta during the 1980's and 90's have produced exactly what? Possibly the worst sprawling, impenetrable traffic mess in the country. Commute times are higher than ever.

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I've often wondered the same thing myself. More roads will only give more lanes for the traffic to exist on. The travel time might be shortened some because the traffic has more lanes to take up so it doesn't have to sprawl out along the interstate (it'll spread out long all the lanes offered instead thus perhaps shortening the chunk of gridlock's length but inceasing the width, i.e. the lanes it takes up), but to get the desired results of significantly alleviating traffic woes, I-20 would have to spread out for a mile's (hyperbolically speaking) worth of lanes on either side of the median....something that hopefully won't happen.

Hope that wasn't too hard to understand. :)

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Two Transit Trips Forward, One Car Trip Back

In my opinion this is utterly outlandish and backwards. The billions spent adding more roads in Atlanta during the 1980's and 90's have produced exactly what? Possibly the worst sprawling, impenetrable traffic mess in the country. Commute times are higher than ever.

This is something that I've argued in numerous letters to the AJC when the issue has come up from time to time. We've spent billions on roads resulting in among the best maintained road systems in the country and I know in the 90's we ranked second to Dallas/Ft worth in highway miles per capita. Yet despite all that we have among the worst traffic of any city in the country. When are we(the state) going to get it that roads and adding lanes IS NOT the solution.

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I'd like to know what roads they plan to widen or build. Seems to me that with my previous times coming in to Atlanta from the north on I-85, that seems to be the worst road to commute on in the Metro Area, so if they add more lanes I will be highly peeved! :angry: How can even you Atlantans drive on a road in the future that is 12 lanes wide and speeds at almost 100. It's almost that way now, by the way what is the speed limit on the interstates in the area (especially Fulton and Gwinnett)?

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Altanta needs to work on intersections and nodes, rather than simply adding lanes or building more roads. There are plenty of lanes for travel -- where traffic bogs down is with people trying to get on and off the freeways, and attempting to navigate intersections. Fixing the nodes is much cheaper and faster, too.

There are many new ideas for dealing with these isssues, and they're being used in other parts of the U.S. and in other countries. See this article from the Federal Highway Administration, for example.

Simply adding lanes and roads, without dealing with the intersections, usually makes traffic *worse*. The existing system is a perfect case in point.

:angry:

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Just pointing out something, don't know if you've seen the pics but the 401(I think) freeway around Toronto is like 24 lanes. I saw a pic somewhere on the fourms, imagine if the downtown connecter was that wide.

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Just pointing out something, don't know if you've seen the pics but the 401(I think) freeway around Toronto is like 24 lanes. I saw a pic somewhere on the fourms, imagine if the downtown connecter was that wide.

Yes, that would be quite scary for the Downtown Connector to look like that.

'The thread you are looking for is Tornto's 401: The Busiest Freeway in North America

Here are some pics from the thread. This is the legendary 401:

401_cl_346_west.jpg

412509-008.jpg

401_cl_367_west.jpg

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The thread you are looking for is Tornto's 401: The Busiest Freeway in North America

Here are some pics from the thread. This is the legendary 401:

That's both horrifying and disgusting. :(

A quote from that thread: "During rush hour it can take 45 minutes - an hour to go 15 miles It flows no faster (and in many cases slower) at 16 lanes wide than other area freeways do at 6 lanes wide."

And that is precisely the problem -- you do not solve traffic congestion by building more lanes.

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One day, I'd like to see commuter rail or MARTA being extended ALL the way up to the edge of Gwinnett County or however far we get out in sprawl land. You know adding more lanes wouldn't be as bad if our governemnt passed bills to entertain the idea of alternative fuel and USE them.

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That's both horrifying and disgusting. :(

A quote from that thread: "During rush hour it can take 45 minutes - an hour to go 15 miles It flows no faster (and in many cases slower) at 16 lanes wide than other area freeways do at 6 lanes wide."

And that is precisely the problem -- you do not solve traffic congestion by building more lanes.

I've driven that highway (though not at rush hour) and it really didn't seem as monstrous in person. As pointed out in that thread, Toronto is a very dense metro similar in population to Atlanta but with suprisingly few highways.

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I was browsing Google Images and I came across this. I don't know whether it's from the DOT or somebody made it, but it's very interesting! :)

post-7212-1136148296_thumb.jpg

post-7212-1136148296_thumb.jpg

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I've driven that highway (though not at rush hour) and it really didn't seem as monstrous in person. As pointed out in that thread, Toronto is a very dense metro similar in population to Atlanta but with suprisingly few highways.

The downtown connector here looks almost as bad as that Toronto freeway. Forgive me if I sound bitter but I've lived in two Atlanta neighborhoods (and almost three) which have had freeways rammed through them, and I think they are the antithesis of sustainable and sensible urban growth.

:(:angry:

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^ It looks to be from a road geek - but nice nonetheless...

Looks to be a proposal or something. If it is I hope it is not approved because I don't think I would want to see a 12 lane or more highway all the way in to the suburbs. :shok: i couldn't read the site becuase it said "cannot be displayed at this time" but could view it at that bar above the web page.

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Yes, that would be quite scary for the Downtown Connector to look like that.

'The thread you are looking for is Tornto's 401: The Busiest Freeway in North America

Here are some pics from the thread. This is the legendary 401:

I'm counting only 14-16 lanes in those pictures.. if so, then the connector DOES look like that. :D

And lest we forget...

17813_512.jpg

It IS scary.

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The last time that I was in the Atlanta area was 1997 . I stayed in Gwinnett county , and I recall how much traffic congestion there was , even during non rush hour .

What puzzles me to no end is , how can a Metro area of Atlanta's population and size be so car dependent , and so scarce on public transportation ?

I can't for the life of me understand how the voters in Douglas , Cobb , Gwinnett , etc . are so opposed to extending public transportation into the suburbs ?

But I wonder... even if they did extend public transport ( Marta , buses , etc ) into the suburbs , would people use it ?

And the sprawl... is there no end ? Do the developers have this much power that they can just keep building and building , never mind the increased traffic ? ( not to mention the other problems that sprawl creates )

I love the Atlanta region . But this traffic congestion issue , and the sprawl , would concern me if I was considering moving there .

Tides

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The last time that I was in the Atlanta area was 1997 . I stayed in Gwinnett county , and I recall how much traffic congestion there was , even during non rush hour .

What puzzles me to no end is , how can a Metro area of Atlanta's population and size be so car dependent , and so scarce on public transportation ?

Don't ask us why. It is quite pzzling, but people just don't seem to have a problem waiting for 45 mins. in gridlock. This can also be applied to some of those jampacked subways of Japan (why do people want to take a subway where there is literally hardly any room to move).

I can't for the life of me understand how the voters in Douglas , Cobb , Gwinnett , etc . are so opposed to extending public transportation into the suburbs ?
Cobb, Gwinnett, and the other counties seem to be more victims of their politics rather than anything else. Public transit would bring in the "bad element" as the call it (or at least that's what they think). douglas has never really taken a stance on the issue because it was too sparsely populated to matter much when MARTA was being built. I think Douglas might allow it today, though.

But I wonder... even if they did extend public transport ( Marta , buses , etc ) into the suburbs , would people use it ?

And the sprawl... is there no end ? Do the developers have this much power that they can just keep building and building , never mind the increased traffic ? ( not to mention the other problems that sprawl creates )

I think they would if it was extended, but it may take the people some time to figure out it's there, how to use it, and that it isn't evil.

I don't really know the other one. Anyone else care to take a stab? It certainly seems like the philosophy of "build it and they will come" is what's in vogue these days.....apparently it works, too......even if it is a bad solution to the problem of finding living space.

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Road Hog Supper

Creative Loafing's report on the recent lobbying extravaganza at the Fox. This was put on by a group called Georgians for Better Transit, which the paper describes as a lobbying group representing road builders, concrete companies, bulldozer vendors and other highway interests. According to the Loaf, supporters paid $10,000 a table and the program featured Travis Tritt singing a song called "Let's keep Georgia drivin' on!"

I wish I could put together a gala like that to present my views to the Governor and the legislature for creating fewer roads, more rail service and better access for pedestrians and bicyclists. Oh well, maybe I'll just send a letter.

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