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The Metro Atlanta Regional Transportation District

Lady Celeste

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Since the state of Georgia gave the green light to the formation of 12 regional transportation districts across the sate of Georgia, the Metro Atlanta district has been working feverishly to compile a list of transportation projects that will improve how metro Atlantans get around. An initial wish list of $23 billion wishlist was sliced down to a $6.14 billion list of viable transportation projects. The projects include both public transit and road improvements. In order for a project to be included it had to meet certain criteria. The main criteria was that the project has to have some type of regional transportation impact.

See here for the statewide discussion:


The Metro Atlanta District consist of the following counties and all cities within:











As of Monday, representatives from all jurisdictions ironed out and whittled down the list of projects that will be included in the first 10 years. What’s on the list (for now):

Here’s a look at some highlights from the draft list of $6.14 billion in projects that passed Monday. It still must go before the full roundtable. Some projects could get additional state or federal money.

1. Atlanta: Beltline, likely streetcars, consists of several sections, $600 million

2. Cherokee County: Widening Ga. 140 (Hickory Flat Highway), $190 million

3. Clayton County: Turning Tara Boulevard into a "super arterial," $130 million

4. Cobb County: Atlanta to Cumberland, possibly light rail, $856.5 million

5. DeKalb County: Clifton Corridor MARTA route to Emory University, $700 million

6. Douglas County: Widening Lee Road/South Sweetwater Road from I‐20 West to U.S. 78, $18.9 million

7. Fayette County: Widening Ga. 85 from Bernhard Road to Grady Avenue, $24 million

8. Fulton County: Improvements for the interchange of I-285 at Ga. 400, $172.5 million

9. Gwinnett County: Sugarloaf Parkway extension from Ga. 316 to Ga. 20 (Buford Drive), $296 million

10. Henry County: Widening North McDonough Road from Bill Gardner Parkway to Racetrack Road, $48 million

11. Rockdale County: Widening and improvements for Sigman Road from Lester Road to Dogwood Connector, $30 million

Some other notable projects

In some cases, the dollar amounts are what the sales tax would fund when supplemented with other sources (such as federal funds).

Mass transit

1. MARTA state of good repair funding (various upgrades), $600 million

2. Restore Clayton County local bus service, $100 million

3. Preliminary work on a possible light-rail line from Doraville into Gwinnett County, $95 million

4. Georgia Regional Transportation Authority Xpress bus service, $100 million

5. Eastern MARTA extension in I-20 corridor, $225 million

6. Gwinnett express bus service, $40 million

7. MARTA heavy-rail extension north to Ga. 140, $37 million


1. Interchange improvements at I-285 West at I-20 West, $149 million

2. Interchange improvements at Spaghetti Junction, $53 million

3. Replacing Courtland Street Bridge in Atlanta, $22 million

4. Widening Lake Acworth Drive from Cobb Parkway to Cherokee Street in Cobb, $29.1 million

5. Widening Ga. 360 (Macland Road) from Paulding County line to New Macland Road/Lost Mountain Road in Cobb, $30 million

6. North Druid Hills Road from Buford Highway to Lawrenceville Highway corridor improvements in DeKalb, $25 million

7. Widening Arnold Mill Road in north Fulton County, $46 million

8. Widening Camp Creek Parkway from I-85 to Welcome All Road in south Fulton, $60.3 million

9. Widening Ga. 141 (Peachtree Parkway) from Peachtree Industrial Boulevard to Chattahoochee River, $46 million

10. Widening Five Forks Trickum Road in Gwinnett, $10.4 million

11. Widening Thornton Road in Douglas County, $43 million

12. Widening U.S. 23/Ga. 42 from Ga. 138 to Ga. 155 in Henry, $44 million

13. Building a new East Fayetteville Bypass, $49 million


1. New air traffic control tower at McCollum Airport in Cobb, $2.5 million

2. Runway approach lighting system at McCollum, $690,000


1. Buford Highway pedestrian, landscape and bus improvements in DeKalb, $12 million

2. Lawrenceville Highway multi-use trail and pedestrian improvements in Gwinnett, $1.9 million

This is a great thing. While everything for everyone may not be on the list, it is a great start to regional cooperation for metro Atlanta's transportation needs. We still must get a majority vote from the citizens of said jurisdiction. It was initially scheduled for the July 12, 2012 referendum vote but it appears the Gov. Deal would like to include if on the Nov. General Election ballot. More news is sure to come. Stay tuned....

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I don't normally visit this forum, but the title caught my eye.  Atlanta and all major metropolitan areas around the country already have entities that offer formalized and structured opportunities for "regional cooperation".  The entities are called metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) and they've been around since the 1960s.  The MPO for Atlanta is the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) and no federal transportation funds can be spent in the Atlanta metro area unless they come from ARC's metropolitan transportation plan and transportation improvement program (TIP).  

If you are really interested in regional cooperation, you need to become familiar with the ARC and MPOs in general.  The projects you listed above most likely come from the ARC's plan or at least are projects the ARC members (local governments, transit agencies, the State)and staff have been considering for some time.  I'm not sure what the "districts" are that have been referred to above, but I would hope the ARC is the district for the Atlanta region, otherwise, there is a duplicative effort going on.

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I'm sorry Explorer55. Are you a resident of metro Atlanta? I ask this because your comment really has nothing to do with the Metro Atlanta Transportation District. If you are a resident of metro Atlanta then I am sure you are well aware that this is not a wishlist of mine. Before I continue, I will eagerly await your response.

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No, I'm not a resident of Atlanta.  I just saw your comment about the "start" of regional cooperation and I wanted to point out that regional cooperation with regards to transportation planning and project selection/funding has been going on for quite some time in the Atlanta region and other metropolitan areas of the country.

Most major transportation projects in metropolitan areas come through the regional planning process conducted by MPOs and I am very familiar with how that process works and I have been to Atlanta and sat in meetings with the ARC staff.  If I totally misunderstood your comment and your point, I apologize.

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The final $6.14B transportation list has been approved by board members. This is a super achievement and a great step forward for the Atlanta region as a whole. The list, in it's totality, is not slated to be voted on by the voters of the by 10 county region. Of the money raised by the referendum, 52 percent would be spent on mass transit and 48 percent on roads. If approved, it would widen surface streets, fix intersections, rebuild highway interchanges, fund buses and likely build new rail lines. The referendum goes before voters in November. This is beyond epic. This is greater than a million new burger joints or even the opening of my beloved Van Cleef & Arpels. This will have such a lasting imprint on the Atlanta region.

Remember to support the referendum. This has been a long time in coming. Build support in your local communities. The battle is not over until the referendum goes into law. This will go a long way in helping the Atlanta region become an even more competitive international metropolitan area.

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