Jump to content

Atlanta's Regional Rail and Transit Systems.


monsoon

Recommended Posts

Either way, since public transportation is not available to those outside the perimeter, the only travel choice is to drive.

Huh. I was under the impression that people outside the Perimeter had voluntarily elected to live there and had rejected areas where public transportation is available.

I'd have to disagree with the notion that sprawl (at least the kind that is currently choking the U.S.) is unavoidable. I believe it is actively fostered by governmental policies and by individual decisions to participate in it. In my opinion neither of those factors is inevitable.

Edited by Andrea
Link to comment
Share on other sites


Huh. I was under the impression that people outside the Perimeter had voluntarily elected to live there and had rejected areas where public transportation is available.

I'm not sure why this would be assumed. There may be those who do not favor public transportation (I'm not sure why), but in general when public opinion polls are conducted, most say that if public transportation was made available in their area that the public would utilize it. The car will always be around however since public transportation to and from Atlanta from outside the perimeter is just not there.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When they're deciding where to live, why do they select an area that doesn't have public transportation?

Possibly because that is not the only factor that goes into making their decision. Maybe they want to be closer to family that lives outside the perimeter; maybe their job takes them out there (like in my case). Property is generally cheaper outside the perimeter as well (you get more land for your money). There are countless factors other than public transporation being available that go into making a decision as to where to live.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Possibly because that is not the only factor that goes into making their decision. Maybe they want to be closer to family that lives outside the perimeter; maybe their job takes them out there (like in my case). Property is generally cheaper outside the perimeter as well (you get more land for your money). There are countless factors other than public transporation being available that go into making a decision as to where to live.

Right, but the bottom line is that it's still their choice. Folks decide what their priorities are, and if public transportation is one of them, then they go where it is available.

My point is simply that sprawl is facilitated by (a) individuals who elect to participate in it and (b) governmental policies that make it possible, such as the building of massive and incredibly expensive freeways to serve suburban areas. Both of those factors are conscious choices, and neither is unavoidable. GA 400 is a great case in point -- it ripped up the intown communities through which it passes, it does very little to serve them, and it mainly exists to enable the further growth of suburbia outside 285.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

GA 400 is a great case in point -- it ripped up the intown communities through which it passes, it does very little to serve them, and it mainly exists to enable the further growth of suburbia outside 285.

How exactly did it rip up the intown communities? GA 400 helped spur the growth that Buckhead is currently experiencing. All of these towers under construction and under proposal are being built in the vicinity of the Lenox/Buckhead exit.

Also, what is wrong with furthering the growth of suburbia outside 285?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

How exactly did it rip up the intown communities? GA 400 helped spur the growth that Buckhead is currently experiencing. All of these towers under construction and under proposal are being built in the vicinity of the Lenox/Buckhead exit.

Also, what is wrong with furthering the growth of suburbia outside 285?

Topped Out, the fact that you asked that question tells me that no matter how well Andrea answers it, you will not see her side.

Suburbia and all of it's trappings, are responsible for an unbelivable number of problems currently facing our country. Financial, Social, Environmental...it would take days to list the failings of our way of life. People choose suburbia because they are selfish. The same reason they drive SUV's. They explain it away with arguments of necessity, but ultimately it is society that bears the burden of their choice.

Edited by ryanmckibben
Link to comment
Share on other sites

People choose suburbia because they are selfish. The same reason they drive SUV's. They explain it away with arguments of necessity, but ultimately it is society that bears the burden of their way of life.

Sorry, Ryan, but your argument does not make sense to me. People live in suburbia because they are selfish? I live in suburbia because my work moved out here from inside the perimeter. I live close so I don't have to deal with traffic that much. I never thought of myself as being selfish for moving.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


Also, what is wrong with furthering the growth of suburbia outside 285?

If folks want to live in the suburbs outside of 285, that's fine with me. It's their choice.

What I'm talking about, however, is the decision to ram a limited access superhighway through the city for the convenience of people who don't live there. Large scale development around Lenox predated GA 400 by decades, and in my opinion most of what has transpired since the freeway was built has happened in spite of 400 rather than because of it. Transportation within Buckhead -- and in my opinion, travel into and out of Buckhead -- would be vastly better had it not been literally sliced in two by a limited access mega-road.

---------------

After reading Ryan's post, I want to add that it's actually not entirely "fine with me" that people choose to live in suburbia. It's a choice that has many negative consequences for society and I don't believe it's sustainable.

Edited by Andrea
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Topped Out, the fact that you asked that question tells me that no matter how well Andrea answers it, you will not see her side.

Suburbia and all of it's trappings, are responsible for an unbelivable number of problems currently facing our country. Financial, Social, Environmental...it would take days to list the failings of our way of life. People choose suburbia because they are selfish. The same reason they drive SUV's. They explain it away with arguments of necessity, but ultimately it is society that bears the burden of their choice.

Give me a break. I mean, I get annoyed with those SUV wielding suburban soccer moms and strip malls just as much as you but to call all of us selfish is going way too far. And you think you're any better? You moved to Atlanta for yourself as well. And you don't think you're causing problems in the inner city? Consider the fact that because you're willing to buy a house or a condo or whatever in Atlanta you're pushing lower income familes out. Ever thought of that? Next time you call all of us OTPers selfish because we choose to live in Suburbia, just rememer that your choice to move to the city was based on your wants too.

Edited by Newnan
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm actually glad we're having this discussion - it really isn't made enough in order to understand the dynamics of living in a metro area. Of course I do have a problem with long distance commuters who live in the suburbs & work in the city - but specifically those who could afford an intown home or singles or young couples.

I'll disagree with a lot on most boards but for low & middle income families I fully expect them to live in post WWII suburbs. As well of course with those that work in the suburbs.

It's become the lazy way for us to criticize the personal choices, rather than tackle the difficult path - demand a regional land use policy that is enforcable. But that is too hard so urbanites especially just demonize the suburbanites. Even though my wife has to drive up to an hour a day to commute to the Cumberland area from Atlanta. That is worthy of another thread - non-urbane urbanites.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Even though my wife has to drive up to an hour a day to commute to the Cumberland area from Atlanta. That is worthy of another thread - non-urbane urbanites.

Yeah, I think I somewhat mistated my thoughts on this. Obviously people can live anywhere they want, and I do not demonize suburbanites. Small towns and suburbs may be a great choice, and I may move to a small town myself.

What I am concerned with is massive automobile commutes, and the monstrous infrastructure that is necessary to enable and support them. I think the government is strongly biased in favor of supporting that lifestyle.

I recently went to a DOT presentation regarding improvements to the GA 400 corridor, for example. The plan does absolutely nothing for people inside the Perimeter -- it's focused exclusively on I-285 and points north. I questioned them about things such as completion of the GA 400/I-85 interchange, increased connectivity inside the Perimter, enhanced sound barriers, etc., and I could have been talking to a stone wall.

We do need to reshape government policy to produce a sensible, area wide land use plan. To that extent we are all responsible for sprawl, and the gas-guzzling commutes and infrastructure that it requires to exist. But I also think the decision to participate in sprawl is powerfully influenced by our individual choices.

Brad, btw, I'm a reverse commuter now, too, and the change is staggering. For the previous 15 years I lived and worked in Buckhead, and thus had a 5-10 minute commute (20-25 minutes if I walked). Now, although our Perimeter office is only about 8 miles away, it takes me an hour each way due to the traffic around Perimeter Mall.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In Atlanta, it is very difficult for couples to get jobs that are near one another - in the past 8+ years living together in Atlanta, we've never worked closer than 5+ miles from each other. So in many cases, couples are doing great just to find a home halfway between their jobs, which will often be in the suburbs. I don't think you can fault individual choices for that - but you should fault developers & most importantly zoning boards & city / county councils for the built environment.

Not that Atlanta is alone, very few metro areas have growth belts, Portland & also possibly Minneapolis & Miami. Otherwise it's up to individual counties - which in Atlanta metro is very uncoordinated, despite the ARC's efforts.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't think you can fault individual choices for that - but you should fault developers & most importantly zoning boards & city / county councils for the built environment.

I don't think of it as a matter of "fault" in the sense that someone has done something wrong, but I also don't think that people are just docile tools who go wherever developers and the government tell them. In many cases, developers and local zoning boards *are* the people, and they respond to what they think folks want.

From the late 1950's through the 1980's, hundreds of thousands of people fled the city of Atlanta, and a lot of that movement still informs our region's patterns of growth. While I'm not castigating or demonizing anyone, I do think that individual choice plays an extremely important role in how cities develop. I live where I do as a matter of conscious choice, and I imagine a lot of other people on the list do so, too.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Give me a break. I mean, I get annoyed with those SUV wielding suburban soccer moms and strip malls just as much as you but to call all of us selfish is going way too far. And you think you're any better? You moved to Atlanta for yourself as well. And you don't think you're causing problems in the inner city? Consider the fact that because you're willing to buy a house or a condo or whatever in Atlanta you're pushing lower income familes out. Ever thought of that? Next time you call all of us OTPers selfish because we choose to live in Suburbia, just rememer that your choice to move to the city was based on your wants too.

Newnan, I am sorry I have offended you, but I stand by my statement. I did not mean it as a personal attack on you, but since you have, in fact, questioned my decisions let me see if I can clear it up for you.

I moved into town because I love urban areas. But my personal preferences are irrelevant. The suburban way of life is one of, if not the most, selfish things a person can do. Everything about that lifestyle is wastefull and glutenous. Travel the world and you will see that there is no other nation, none, that lives the way close to 80% of Americans do.

The United States has approximately 4% of the worlds population but uses 25% of the worlds energy and emits 25% of the worlds pollution annually. 60% of the energy used in this country goes to transportation. Transportation is also responsible for a majority of the air pollution emmited in this country. The pollution(pesticides, herbicides, fertilzers, lawnmower emmisions) and water depletion associated with the maintainance of the typical suburban yard has no defense but vanity. I wonder who uses more energy and creates more pollution, you or I. I don't know for sure, but I think I know the answer, and I would be willing to put some money on it.

I live in an urban area because it is the socially and environmentally responsible thing to do. As far as displacing longtime residents go, that is much more a failure of housing and tax policy. If thats all you have, then I think we are done here.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


In Atlanta, it is very difficult for couples to get jobs that are near one another. So in many cases, couples are doing great just to find a home halfway between their jobs, which will often be in the suburbs. I don't think you can fault individual choices for that - but you should fault developers & most importantly zoning boards & city / county councils for the built environment.

Who moved to the burbs first, the people or the busineses? If people made the choice to live urbanely then the jobs would follow.

I don't think of it as a matter of "fault" in the sense that someone has done something wrong, but I also don't think that people are just docile tools who go wherever developers and the government tell them. In many cases, developers and local zoning boards *are* the people, and they respond to what they think folks want.

It is absolutely a matter of fault. Like you said, the zoning boards and conty gov. are responding to the wants of the people. Wants that they will have met, everyone else be dammed.

Edited by ryanmckibben
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Who moved to the burbs first, the people or the busineses? If people made the choice to live urbanely then the jobs would follow.

To begin with, in all honesty I generally agree with you - but I just want to bring up some criticism of the modern urban resident. In most ways - their lifestyle isn't different from any suburbanite. They typically drive everywhere, in many cases they have long commutes to suburban edge cities, they also follow the insular pattern of a suburbanite. The rate of transit use in intown is abysmal, NIMBYism - especially regarding mixed use or multi-family is prevelant & segregation of intown neighborhoods is common (the most diverse neighborhood I ever lived in was in Sandy Springs - compared to Midtown, Virginia Highlands & Grant Park).

Not that my comments are fully on topic (but considering this thread is about transit then why not?), but I want to fully question if intown residents are truly that different than those in the suburbs. Especially when considering - outside of Downtown, Midtown - intown Atlanta's developed topology is largely suburban. Inner-ring suburban of course - but still, it's an environment that at least supports traditional suburban single family homes with car usage.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It really would be nice to live intown.....really it would....especially with the gas prices.

Speaking of gas prices, I love how the ridership of public transportation is increasing due to gas prices. Maybe now Marta will start to turn a profit inspite of the statehouse. Wishful thinking but hey....I can dream can;t I?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It really would be nice to live intown.....really it would....especially with the gas prices.

Speaking of gas prices, I love how the ridership of public transportation is increasing due to gas prices. Maybe now Marta will start to turn a profit inspite of the statehouse. Wishful thinking but hey....I can dream can;t I?

With the steady increase of oil prices, an omininous Hurricane season rapidly approaching and a couple of hits in the Gulf's weak spots and I think MARTA will have the perfect storm for it's highest ridership in ages.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Increased ridership on MARTA is great - but with all the negative news we hear of MARTA, from the news & especially from our state government - MARTA already has comparatively high ridership for the area it serves. But transit systems are like highway systems, they don't make money - increased usage means increased maintenance costs. The reason why we hear so much about MARTA not being financially sound is b/c it's the only major transit system in the country that receives no state funding.

What MARTA accomplishes on it's limited resources is impressive in my view. But increased ridership will not equate to more money, or less of a defecit - only 2 transit systems I know of in the country actually make a profit.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

To begin with, in all honesty I generally agree with you - but I just want to bring up some criticism of the modern urban resident. In most ways - their lifestyle isn't different from any suburbanite. They typically drive everywhere, in many cases they have long commutes to suburban edge cities, they also follow the insular pattern of a suburbanite. The rate of transit use in intown is abysmal, NIMBYism - especially regarding mixed use or multi-family is prevelant & segregation of intown neighborhoods is common (the most diverse neighborhood I ever lived in was in Sandy Springs - compared to Midtown, Virginia Highlands & Grant Park).

Not that my comments are fully on topic (but considering this thread is about transit then why not?), but I want to fully question if intown residents are truly that different than those in the suburbs. Especially when considering - outside of Downtown, Midtown - intown Atlanta's developed topology is largely suburban. Inner-ring suburban of course - but still, it's an environment that at least supports traditional suburban single family homes with car usage.

I completely agree with you, but we must make a distinction between living an urban lifestyle and simply living inside 285. You are corect that most intowners drive to work. That is a function of failed land use planning and outdated spatial thinking. The big issue here is not how they get to work but how all of the other necessities of life are achieved. Most of my friends while still using their cars to commute, walk or bike to restaurants or bars, the post office, friends houses, and most (but not all) shopping. Even the dynamics of commuting would start to change if more people were to make the concious decision to move into an urban area. Employers, and I am one of them now, take onto account the available labor force when making decisions about office locations. Businesses moved to the burbs because that's where the people were going. Rest assured they would move back into the city if their employees did.

I have read posts that say moving intown and using transit isn't feasible because the transit system is so inadequate. What thay fail to understand is that our transit system being inadequate is the direct result of people not wanting to live in the city. And why would they? As long as the federal government continues to subsidize their lifestyle and they are not forced to pay for the true costs to society, they can have their cake and eat it too.

I truly don't want to demonize specific people, but the fact is that suburban living externalizes the cost of that lifestyle onto society. By definition that if selfish.

Midtown is extremely diverse with regards to race, religion, and sexual orientation. What we are lacking is the mix of socio-economic classes. But again, that is much more a failure of housing and tax policy then a direct indictment of urban living.

Edited by ryanmckibben
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Speaking of gas prices, I love how the ridership of public transportation is increasing due to gas prices. Maybe now Marta will start to turn a profit inspite of the statehouse. Wishful thinking but hey....I can dream can;t I?

I was watching NBC local news last night and they mentioned that with the increasing gas prices many people are turning to public transportation. The metro counties (Gwinnett being the one exception) have all had increased ridership this year by approximately 14%. I have no documentation to back this up so I am going on the word of the news station. Either way, this is helping put less cars on the road.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This Is From Marta's Website

Governor Signs MARTA Legislation

Governor Sonny Perdue signed Senate Bill 115 into law in a ceremony this afternoon at the State Capitol. The bill allows MARTA to continue to use an additional 5% of sales tax collected as well as the interest on its capital reserve accounts for operating purposes until December 31, 2008. This equates to approximately $45 million in additional operating dollars over the next two and a half years that will allow the Authority to maintain and improve service for customers.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.