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Proposed GA 400 improvements

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Guest donaltopablo

GRTA offers ideas for Ga. 400

Traffic abatement price tag pegged at $443 million


The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The Georgia Regional Transportation Authority has announced recommendations for short- and long-term relief for weary commuters on Ga. 400.

The price tag for lessening traffic congestion, including capital and operational expenses over 25 years, is estimated at $443 million, but little financing is offered.

Limited money in the plan pays for $1 million in preliminary engineering for a future widening of Ga. 400 and the Fulton and Forsyth portions of an express bus service serving 11 metro counties. The cost to operate the transit, expected to start next summer, is $5.3 million for the first year.

Proposals for Ga. 400 over the next two to five years include improving shoulders from the North Springs MARTA station to Windward Parkway for rush-hour express buses; adding five express bus routes and 27 buses, operated by MARTA and GRTA; and building six park-and-ride lots with 2,100 spaces.

The study also suggests two additional lanes, in both directions, along the median from Haynes Bridge to McFarland roads and a second northbound lane from Holcomb Bridge Road to Windward Parkway.

With these improvements, travel time from Buckhead to downtown Cumming would be reduced by three minutes in the morning and five in the afternoon.

Some long-term ideas are to add more park-and-ride lots and move express bus service from shoulders to new high-occupancy-vehicle lanes stretching from Spalding Drive to Old Atlanta Road.

The two-year Northern Sub-Area Study looked at transportation, land use, economic growth and air quality issues in the northern suburbs, and its final results are expected by the end of the year. The Ga. 400 recommendations were made in a companion study.

The Atlanta Regional Commission and the Georgia Department of Transportation are expected to use the recommendations as they plan changes to the highway, said William Mecke, GRTA spokesman. Tedra Cheatham, director of economic development for the North Fulton Chamber of Commerce, said the findings head in the right direction, but questions how they'll be financed.

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Guest donaltopablo

Put in a huge parking deck in at the northern most stop of MARTA and let that place fill up.

There already is one, with a dedicated freeway exit ramp right to the parking deck.

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