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Andrea

Giant tunnels through intown Atlanta?

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The $25 billion solution to Atlanta's gridlock?

http://www.bizjournals.com/atlanta/stories...y23.html?page=2

The foundation's plan also would add several massive underground toll tunnels, the biggest of which would run from the southern terminus of GA 400 to I-20 and then on to the northern terminus of I-675 to help relieve the Downtown Connector.

Right-of-way costs on the Connector, the city's only true north-south route, are far too high to make surface-level expansion feasible, and building an elevated second deck would be both expensive and an engineering nightmare, Poole said.

The eight-mile tunnel, which was first proposed as a surface route in 1970, is the best way to avoid neighborhood disruption, he said.

It is based on a project under way beneath the Paris suburb of Versailles and would be about 44 feet wide (the height of a four- to five-story building), with three lanes of traffic on each of two levels (one going north, the other south).

A second tunnel would create an alternative to the east-west I-20 corridor by extending the existing Lakewood freeway.

In addition, the foundation's plan would create a separate system of truck-only toll lanes using still more tunnels to get trucks off jam-packed I-285. Those tunnels would begin underneath I-75 just outside the I-285 perimeter and emerge where I-85 splits off south of I-20.

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Sounds kind of neat I guess. When are they going to cover the Connector anyway?

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"and separated from the rest of the freeway by plastic pylons."

Yeah, like that would work. If the barrier isn't concrete, you can expect those plastic pylons to be run over the day they're put in place. Just like the signs alerting drivers that they need to stop for pedestrians in the crosswalk. They ran the one over so many times @ Juniper & 6th Street they removed it.

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For the moment, let's ignore that improved transit and better development patterns over the coming decades could make Atlanta's existing road network seem overbuilt for the duration of eternity.

The "tunnel" part of this proposal sounds like the Big Dig times three in terms of complexity. I hope that Atlanta, Georgia, and everybody who looks at this plan has the sense to see the technical infeasibility and the absolute absurdity of the financial plan here.

Atlanta has numerous north-south corridors in town. They're called surface streets. Though in places they're notoriously hard to navigate and poorly interconnected, they carry a significant volume of traffic too, you know. What sort of improved in-town connectivity could $1 billion buy, much less $25 billion?

If we're talking about through traffic and limiting ourselves to freeways (as I suspect this proposal does - in a supreme example of "conventional" thought patterns on mobility in the US), there are two such parallel north-south routes that already exist. They're the east and west legs of the so-called "Perimiter" (imagine that) - and they're intended to shuttle traffic around Atlanta's core so that absurd projects like this aren't needed in the CBD.

This proposal needs to find its way to the shredder ASAP before some lunatic latches on to it and decieves the public into believing that it's "for the best". So what if it's a "neat project." While I marvel at any massive heavy infrastructure project as much as the next guy, please recognize that this idea is absolutely insane.

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I am stunned that a study that recommends $25,000,000,000.00 in transportation improvements has not a penny of it going to mass transit/rail.

What is wrong with these people??

We can't extend Marta, we can't seem to get a commuter rail off the ground, we've found every conceivable way possible to downplay the Beltline's feasability. But then we say, "don't worry - we'll build a double-decker tunnel highway network underneath the city. How's that sound?"

Unbelievable.

I'm sorry...I just had to type this again...

$25,000,000,000.00.

Anyone care for some common sense with their zeroes?

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Okay, I read this article just now and all I can say is wow, Atlanta can come up with some very strange projects. Mayor Franklin said that the plan seemed "fairly simplistic." I like that.

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This is funny! Tunnels in Atlanta??? Come now...this is the airport capitol of the world. Why don't we spend $25 billion on a system to fly there?

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This is funny! Tunnels in Atlanta??? Come now...this is the airport capitol of the world. Why don't we spend $25 billion on a system to fly there?

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I am stunned that a study that recommends $25,000,000,000.00 in transportation improvements has not a penny of it going to mass transit/rail.

What is wrong with these people??

We can't extend Marta, we can't seem to get a commuter rail off the ground, we've found every conceivable way possible to downplay the Beltline's feasability. But then we say, "don't worry - we'll build a double-decker tunnel highway network underneath the city. How's that sound?"

Unbelievable.

I'm sorry...I just had to type this again...

$25,000,000,000.00.

Anyone care for some common sense with their zeroes?

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The entire idea of tunnels underneath Atlanta sounds like the "Big Dig" up in Boston. Should this ever happen, I hope they pull it off better than how it was done in Boston.

But I am curious, why no mention of any sort of rail, light or heavy?

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So a biology question - will Atlanta commuters eventually go blind due to being accustemed to being underground, similar to blind fish in caves? :)

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Ridiculous. 25 billion for a single road project when they could just build rapid-transit lines to all of the exurbs and solve everyones problems. I don't understand this Southern mentality.

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Take that 25 Bil and spend it on Mass Transit and I could cut my 32 mile communte in half.

What a waste.

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The entire idea of tunnels underneath Atlanta sounds like the "Big Dig" up in Boston. Should this ever happen, I hope they pull it off better than how it was done in Boston.

But I am curious, why no mention of any sort of rail, light or heavy?

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Here's the study in full form.

http://www.reason.org/ps351.pdf

I've read the reason foundation's opinion website, reason.com, for a long time now. I must say this is surprising considering how 99% of what they do is directed at reducing government and has nothing to do with transit or roads. That's why I was very surprised that it was them and not one of the pro-road organizations that released the report.

There are several possible problems with the report, especially the cost estimates for the tunnels and the report's belief that "a careful program of catch-up capacity additions over the next 25 years

can substantially reduce congestion (vehicle hours of travel) without increasing total driving

(vehicle miles of travel)."

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Ridiculous. 25 billion for a single road project when they could just build rapid-transit lines to all of the exurbs and solve everyones problems. I don't understand this Southern mentality.

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Okay, I read this article just now and all I can say is wow, Atlanta can come up with some very strange projects. Mayor Franklin said that the plan seemed "fairly simplistic." I like that.

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According to ARC, the estimates on the cost are only off by 780%!!!! So it would really cost $195 BILLION!

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I think tunnels should criss cross the subterranean parts of the entire metro, but they should be subway trains, not car tunnels.

I will never understand GA's mentatlity of building roads to solve its problems. I thought teh 23 laner in Marietta was bad.... this is much, much worse.

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I think tunnels should criss cross the subterranean parts of the entire metro, but they should be subway trains, not car tunnels.

I will never understand GA's mentatlity of building roads to solve its problems. I thought teh 23 laner in Marietta was bad.... this is much, much worse.

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Have you not read the previous posts ? This is NOT a Georgia proposal. This is a California proposal for Atlanta.

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Atlanta didn't come up with this plan; the right-wing, anti-transit Reason Public Policy Institute came up with this plan.

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Nobody at GADOT comissioned this study from the Reason Foundation. RF came up with the idea for this "study", conducted it on their own, and are now publicizing it by themselves. They did pretty well to get such an audience with government officials and have an article so prominently published in Atlanta's leading newspaper. This was out of the blue, and it serves as a means to promote their agenda and vision for the future. They have no legitimacy whatsoever, inasmuch as they are not representatives elected by the public, nor are they appointed by such representatives. Think tanks take it upon themselves to do stuff like this quite often, and it's nothing more than propaganda.

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Damn, I thought Birmingham was bad, but this plan is absurd! You guys better get it together over here in Metro Atlanta before this gridlock puts a halt on the region's progress and growth. I warned guys about this last year, and it is become more and more evident. Atlanta should not be this auto-orientied in a metropolitan area that is home to 5.1 million inhabitants. Mass transit is the solution and if you guys have to beat it into the officials head by voting out every incumbent then do it.

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