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tarikj

The ORIGINAL MARTA Plan (with maps!)

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Hey Guys,

As a guy long on the sidelines in these forums I finally found something worth posting. Like everyone else I'm a big promoter of transit in Atlanta. I've ridden MARTA everyday for the last 20 years ever since the East Point station was opened (and i've never lived further than 5 blocks from a Marta station........not that i'm bragging.......ok, i'm bragging :P ). One curiosity of mine was when I would go down to the public library at Peachtree Center and seeing the concept MARTA map with the phamtom stations and lines. For years I looked for the reasoning behind the map but only found vague references to the old original 5 county plan that shelved before MARTA construction began.

So the other day whilst in the middle of a google search gone wild I found this website http://www.prism.gatech.edu/~gtg377a/rail.htm. It contains all the maps for the original rail plan for Metro Atlanta. What that means is it includes the long fabled Marta subway routes to Cobb, Gwinnett and Clayton counties. Looking at the plan I'm a little less surprised that the other three counties never funded the routes (Gwinnett and Clayton only got one station each) but not so much at Cobb (they would have gotten 5 stations). I still laugh in the face of their shortsightedness however :rofl: But now without further adeiu...........Here are the maps

Original Plan with Station Markers:

http://www.prism.gatech.edu/~gtg377a/image...railinitial.jpg

Expanded Plan, unfortunatly no station markers:

http://www.prism.gatech.edu/~gtg377a/image.../raildetail.tif

Open air, Jetson's style, Five Points Station:

http://www.prism.gatech.edu/~gtg377a/image...il/downtown.jpg

Ponce De Leon Station....guess where....Right next to City Hall East where the proposed beltline station will go:

http://www.prism.gatech.edu/~gtg377a/image.../rail/sears.jpg

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Great work!

There would have been a closer MARTA station to where my house - still - is.

Fascinating to see that essentially the current CLoop/Beltline hybrid plan had existed in some form back then. The N Druid Hills branch would have used the path of the C-Loop from Lindbergh to Emory & the eastern Beltline would have been developed. Of note though - is in reality that eastern Beltline line would have been the southern half of the current Northern line along GA 400. GA 400 was to extend south through intown Atlanta to I-675 (http://www.prism.gatech.edu/~gtg377a/images/atl/rail/expressways.jpg) - most likely that is where the idea came from to have a dual N-S line.

It would have been incredible to have a highrise built where the Home Depot shopping center is on Ponce. Also, I actually prefer the design of the downtown transit center over our dungeon-like 5 Points station.

Thank you again!

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Wow, thanks indeed. This is the first time I have ever seen these plans. Though probably not that practical in the hot Southern sun, I really like the look of the trains in those plans.

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Ooh, very cool, indeed, tarikj!! I agree with Brad - the downtown station is far superior to what was actually built at Five Points.

I also love the simple platform style stations shown next to the Sears building. One of my biggest gripes with MARTA is that there are too few stations, and the ones which were built are vastly too elaborate, fortress-like and extremely unfriendly to pedestrians. I used to catch the train at East Lake, and to get there you had to walk along a road with no sidewalks, across an unpaved ditch, across a big parking lot, up the stairs, across a bridge, and down a bunch of additional stairs. All I wanted was a stinking platform to catch the train!

I also like the fact that there was no GA 400. What a disaster that has been.

You've done some really great work to dig these out.

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Just another note. I was looking at the expressway map, and my guess is that it's from the mid-1960's based on what was completed and what was under construction. It pretty much follows what the Lochner Plan laid out back in 1946, and it's still the basic blueprint for the city's transportation.

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Another interesting thing to point out is, even though everyone thinks contrary but I can say for certainty it is not the case, is how much more dead Downtown would be today. While not on the same level as other cities, the area from five points to south buckhead along peachtree has the most pedestrian traffic in the city. A large part of that was the North/South MARTA line being built as it was.

Another revealing thing is the way the trains would have been built on the westside. Chances are if the original plan had gone thru Southwest atlanta would not have nearly as many people as there are today. For the Eastside it would have only hastened I think what happened with gentrification in the late 80s thru the 90s and probably added a lot more people.

Lastly, in a perfect world the many of the stations of the original plan as well as the routes of the expanded plan (sans the north druid hils route as neighood groups shot this down just a few years ago) CAN STILL BE BUILT! This would be highly beneficial for Cobb as now, unlike 30 years ago, most of the population of South Cobb is low income, the same with Clayton. For Gwinnett it would ease the commute of the thousands of thousands of people who come ITP for work everyday.

My fear is that here in this forum and around the city it is still an unpopular idea. But why? Relying on public transportation for all your needs is not unfeasible in Atlanta. I've done it for 20 years and I've never owned a car and have lived in Atlanta my whole life (except for short stints in S.E. Asia where sprawl, poor urban planning and pollution are several orders of magnitudes worse than atlanta).

We all need to stand up and say "We want more transit and we want it now!" Don't want an extra 1% sales tax? (really come on its just an extra penny per dollar) Then lets get the feds to do it. If they won't do it then lets get the business community to do it! What do y'all have to say about that!

Ok, rant off :P

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I also agree big time with the station design for MARTA. There are few however that get it right:

North Ave: You can get to the trains walking down two staircases from the sidewalk.

Ashby St.: Same concept, very reminescent of NYC subway stations, particularly in Queens

Buckhead: Same as the two above and will work quite well with the future Peachtree St. trolleys

plus a few others.

And some stations get it horribly, horribly wrong.

Five Points: I agree with the previous posts, except I see it more going into a prison set in a cave.

Inman Park: Once one of the least pedestrian friendly stations in the whole system, got a little better a few years ago when the path was built thru the park.

Lakewood/Ft. Mac: I remember telling my dad when I was a kid during its construction "Wow dad, that's going to be a really BIG HOUSE!"

I think another goal for MARTA should be to start from scratch (really unlikely but one can hope) with the useless station designs scattered throughout the system. Simpler station design could go a long way to reducing capital costs....

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Wow @ the Five Points initial rendering. From what I've seen of what's there now, I can't really say I'm impressed.

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VERY NICE FIND. I was curious about where MARTA's Cobb Transit line would go and I kinda figured it would run along the existing rail. I'd have to Park-&-Ride to the Gilmore-Vinings station but at least I'd have an option.

I think that with the original plan and subway line burrowing undering Downtown and Midtown, we'd have an extra dense central core now. Also looks like Perimeter/Dunwoody/Sandy Springs and Buckhead wouldn't exist as we know it. There's no North Line envisioned for those areas.

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VERY NICE FIND. I was curious about where MARTA's Cobb Transit line would go and I kinda figured it would run along the existing rail. I'd have to Park-&-Ride to the Gilmore-Vinings station but at least I'd have an option.

I think that with the original plan and subway line burrowing undering Downtown and Midtown, we'd have an extra dense central core now. Also looks like Perimeter/Dunwoody/Sandy Springs and Buckhead wouldn't exist as we know it. There's no North Line envisioned for those areas.

Keep in mind this plan was not affiliated by MARTA, this was an earlier plan. MARTA's Cobb line would have parralleled I-75 most likely, the partial branch that was constructed was north of Arts Center & headed toward the freeway.

Regarding your second point - not sure I understand, the rail line is already underground in Downtown & Midtown. Based on the original plan, I think the opposite would have taken place - Midtown would not be nearly as developed because that district was skipped by both rail lines.

Lastly, if you check the second rail map, there is a Sandy Springs line planned along the future GA 400.

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Regarding your second point - not sure I understand, the rail line is already underground in Downtown & Midtown. Based on the original plan, I think the opposite would have taken place - Midtown would not be nearly as developed because that district was skipped by both rail lines.

Lastly, if you check the second rail map, there is a Sandy Springs line planned along the future GA 400.

I am referring to the current heavy rail subway that exists under Downtown & Midtown (following Peachtree & West Peachtree). If that existed with the original plan, you'd have mulltiple North-South heavy transit corridors intown. I haven't checked out the second rail map yet.

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Wow, thanks for posting this. It's so interesting to see what could have been.

The Five Points rendering was great.

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The problem with the stations from the starter lines is they were designed with the Brutalist architecture that was in vogue in the 1970's. Government projects (IMHO) should use designs that have a timeless quality, as opposed to trendy. Case in point: the DC Metro system. Whenever you ride through the MARTA stations, you are reminded they were built in the 1970's.

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The problem with the stations from the starter lines is they were designed with the Brutalist architecture that was in vogue in the 1970's. Government projects (IMHO) should use designs that have a timeless quality, as opposed to trendy. Case in point: the DC Metro system. Whenever you ride through the MARTA stations, you are reminded they were built in the 1970's.

To the contrary. The DC metro is one of the very, very few places where 1960s futurist architecture (think Buck Rodgers, almost) actually came out well (and it did come out very well.) But when you see a metro station, you (or, I, anyway) still think of the 1960s.

And remember. Neo-classical and art-deco architecture were both, at one point, considered dated and ugly. Everything comes full circle - and now even good examples of modernism that were considered out-of-date, are getting respect again. And it's likely that good examples of 1970s brutalism will get respect again in a couple of decades.

But then again, bad architecture is bad archidecture regardless of when it was built and what style it is in. I haven't ridden on MARTA in about 15 years, and then I was just in awe of how cool it was to be on the train that I didn't pay attention to the architecture at all. So MARTA might jut be bad architecture, but I don't remember.

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I would agree that architecture goes in circles. Just imagine all the early 20th century buildings here in Atlanta and around the county that are now being convereted into posh lofts and offices that just 30 years ago could have fallen to the long arm of "urban renewal". What we find ugly today will be a cherished prize a few decades from now......Except designs inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright, they just plain suck. *shudder*

Which brings up a good point. Many people who I speak to about MARTA generally only take the North/South line. And generally they only get off at: Five Points, Airport, OMNI/DOME/GWCC and Lenox. What they are missing out on however are the fine time capsules of art lying all around the system. From the tile murals on the subway walls in Ashby and Westlake. To the expressionist figures dotted about East Point and Decatur. Even the graf-art (Graffti to most folks) along the old warehouses on the southside towards the airport and north before lindbergh. There is a lot of art to be seen on MARTA...If one took the time to look :thumbsup:

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Another interesting thing to point out is, even though everyone thinks contrary but I can say for certainty it is not the case, is how much more dead Downtown would be today. While not on the same level as other cities, the area from five points to south buckhead along peachtree has the most pedestrian traffic in the city. A large part of that was the North/South MARTA line being built as it was.

Another revealing thing is the way the trains would have been built on the westside. Chances are if the original plan had gone thru Southwest atlanta would not have nearly as many people as there are today. For the Eastside it would have only hastened I think what happened with gentrification in the late 80s thru the 90s and probably added a lot more people.

Lastly, in a perfect world the many of the stations of the original plan as well as the routes of the expanded plan (sans the north druid hils route as neighood groups shot this down just a few years ago) CAN STILL BE BUILT! This would be highly beneficial for Cobb as now, unlike 30 years ago, most of the population of South Cobb is low income, the same with Clayton. For Gwinnett it would ease the commute of the thousands of thousands of people who come ITP for work everyday.

My fear is that here in this forum and around the city it is still an unpopular idea. But why? Relying on public transportation for all your needs is not unfeasible in Atlanta. I've done it for 20 years and I've never owned a car and have lived in Atlanta my whole life (except for short stints in S.E. Asia where sprawl, poor urban planning and pollution are several orders of magnitudes worse than atlanta).

We all need to stand up and say "We want more transit and we want it now!" Don't want an extra 1% sales tax? (really come on its just an extra penny per dollar) Then lets get the feds to do it. If they won't do it then lets get the business community to do it! What do y'all have to say about that!

Ok, rant off :P

Most of the population of South Cobb is low-income? What's your definition of low income? As far as I can tell, the mcmansions throughout Vinings, Smyrna, and even parts of Mableton are anything other than "low-income". While there are low income parts of South Cobb, namely the northern parts of Smyrna, parts of Austell, and parts of Mableton, South Cobb has a lot of economic and class diversity.

Keep in mind this plan was not affiliated by MARTA, this was an earlier plan. MARTA's Cobb line would have parralleled I-75 most likely, the partial branch that was constructed was north of Arts Center & headed toward the freeway.

Regarding your second point - not sure I understand, the rail line is already underground in Downtown & Midtown. Based on the original plan, I think the opposite would have taken place - Midtown would not be nearly as developed because that district was skipped by both rail lines.

Lastly, if you check the second rail map, there is a Sandy Springs line planned along the future GA 400.

What "partial branch". You're telling me there is a piece of rail line that branches off the existing rail line that heads toward I-75?

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This is indeed a cool find. The expanded system would probably still work well today, especially the Druid Hills line.

Now that commuter rail is in the works, maybe Cobb will not fight it to the end. People don't understand that train stations do NOT increase crime.

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Scraper Enthusiast - There is indeed a spur off of the main North/South Line right before you exit the tunnel over I-85. It is clearly visible if you are seated on the right headed north from Arts Center.

If you look at the original map, this line would have looped back over the N/S line with the first station right about where the Amtrak station is.

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