Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Metro Atlanta's transportation landscape

Posted By on Wed, Jan 27, 2010 at 3:53 PM

click to enlarge Bridges need more funding so photographers can continue to snap images of metro region's dire congestion problems
  • Bridges need more funding so photographers can continue to snap images of metro region's dire congestion problems

The AJC's Ariel Hart today provides a solid round-up of how state and federal lawmakers are trying to address Georgia's crippling congestion and mobility problems.

Transit fans can smile about some progress that's been made: State lawmakers are beginning to understand that expanding highways doesn't necessarily alleviate traffic and recent changes in federal transportation policy make funding such projects as the Peachtree Streetcar more feasible.

But there are also challenges: After ignoring rail for decades, the cost retrofitting the state's network of tracks to accommodate high-speed rail could total in the billions. And the regional transportation measure that Gov. Sonny Perdue's blessed — and which could help build and fund transit projects in metro Atlanta — won't become a funding source until 2012 at the earliest. And cash is needed now. And MARTA? Senate President Pro Tem Tommie Williams of Lyons tells Hart that the state doesn't have enough cash in the general fund to help MARTA. Head on over to the land of crazy commenters and give it a read.

So it's mostly rainbows and sunshine, right? Not really. Keep in mind that Gov. Sonny Perdue and the Legislature — two of the biggest obstacles to solving transportation — have dithered for years on the issue. And on transit most of all. On Monday, Maria Saporta posted an excellent piece that summed up many Atlantans' frustration when it comes to transit — and the fact that there's an obvious lack of political will to finally deliver those much-needed projects to residents. Check it out.

(Photo by Joeff Davis)

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