Traffic, Transportation and commutership

The Atlanta blogosphere is all a-twitter over the Reason Foundation’s $25 billion dollar solution (ABC version here, CL opinion here) to the traffic/congestion problem here.

Read on:

Radical Georgia Moderate
Making Chutney

In addition, we’ve got news of Cobb (my de facto county) making nice with MARTA (finally) and news of Macon joining the commuter rail party as well.

If that weren’t enough, fellow Metroblogger james chronicled his barren, foggy, wet commute (not unlike my own) this morning.

If only every day were like today, we wouldn’t need all the plans linked above.

What are your thoughts, today, on the traffic/transportation/commuter situation? Comment away!

UPDATE: Great comments thus far, including the correction of my math error (D’oh!) and links to the Atlanta Transit Blog that includes a great link to a Commute Calculator.

Keep ’em coming!

13 Comments so far

  1. Day (unregistered) on November 15th, 2006 @ 3:50 pm

    If MARTA trains went a little further north, I would never drive to work again. I think commuter trains are marvelous, and I’d love to be able to read or relax on my way to and from work rather than fight traffic.

    Additionally, I would love it if MARTA trains went all over Atlanta rather than in just two directions.

    Madrid’s metro is a model to which all metro trains should aspire.

  2. Matt (unregistered) on November 15th, 2006 @ 4:04 pm

    The Reason Foundation is a complete sham. I discovered this after reading a 400 page article they put together about how SUV’s have less environmental impact than Hybrids- they were including the expected resale values and life expectancies of Hybrid cars out to 12 years (I don’t think anyone has owned a Hybrid quite that long) without so much as an asterik, as well as short changing the Hybrids. says it best, showing what could be purchased with that money.

  3. George Burdell (unregistered) on November 15th, 2006 @ 4:28 pm

    Day has it right – MARTA is great if you want to go ONLY north and south along 75/85 or ONLY east and west along 20. Want to go from Emory to Howell Mill area? Sorry. How about Norcross to Stone Mountain? HA! Even something as simple as Georgia Tech to L5P becomes a nightmare on marta.

    I guess you shouldn’t expect too much if we can’t even have reserved for the users. Thank sweet Jesus that Cobb is going for this.

  4. George Burdell (unregistered) on November 15th, 2006 @ 4:32 pm

    Oh – and it’s a $25 Billion (!) dollar solution…with a B

  5. Joeventures (unregistered) on November 15th, 2006 @ 11:54 pm

    GT->L5P: Two routes: #2 bus from North Ave station to corner of Ponce and Moreland. Walk 3 or 4 blocks from there. Or… Southbound train to Five Points -> Eastbout train to Inman Park. Walk about 4 blocks of Euclid from there.

    CfPT also made a comparison between RF’s proposal and an extensive commuter rail system + beltline + streetcar, which I copied to my blog.

  6. George Burdell (unregistered) on November 16th, 2006 @ 9:04 am

    Nice suggestion for the GT to L5P route, but seriously – how long does that take? At what trip-time point do you not just drive? Anything more than an extra 10 minutes is out of the question for most people….and the buses are notoriously slow.

  7. abby (unregistered) on November 16th, 2006 @ 9:56 am

    I think a major issue that we’ll encounter more in the coming years is rooted in the simple truth that the general population will *not take a bus.* They might make an exception for the occasional shuttle to a Braves game . . . but as a general rule, people just don’t want to ride the bus. I think they’ve developed a stigma with the average car-loving American, who assumes that people ride the bus because they can’t afford a car. Of course it’s stupid, but that hasn’t stopped us before.

    On the other hand, a train is different. I’m not sure why exactly, but I believe that people who would not ride a bus would ride a commuter train, or even marta, if it was convenient.

    So I get concerned when i hear “cost effectiveness” arguments for buses over light rail or commuter trains. Doesn’t really matter how much it costs if it’s just going to run empty — in its own lane — alongside traffic jams.

    Do you guys agree? Would people continue to look down their noses at the bus, but ride a train? or am I just biased because I love trains and want to see Atlanta have some?

  8. Sour (unregistered) on November 16th, 2006 @ 10:03 am

    They could extend MARTA anywhere they want I still wouldn”t use it. Even at the best of times MARTA has taken me just as long as my worst commute time. Until they improve the service it’s simply not worth using for me.

    Now to alleve road congestion… I’m not sure what the purpose of a tunnel between 675 and 400 would be – I’ve not met a great many people who are insane enough to live south of the city and work north of it (or vice-versa). If it had additional exits along the way that might be okay but what’s that going to do for the dozen other constant nightmare locations? Such as the 75/85 to 20 merge or the 400 South to 285 merge where idiots think they are justified in stopping in the middle of the road backing up traffic for miles just so they don’t have to spend 10 minutes going down one more exit and turning around. How about a little consideration for the thousands of people who NEED to use the lane your stopping in jerks?

  9. james (unregistered) on November 16th, 2006 @ 12:24 pm

    amen sour. those interchanges are out-of-control bad.

    see here –

  10. Daniel (unregistered) on November 16th, 2006 @ 2:42 pm

    Abby – I agree with you. I’m more likely to ride a train than a bus, if just because the train goes farther away. It’s weird – I live in the city and I’m about a 10 minute drive to work. However, if I were to take MARTA, it would require 2 buses and a train. The buses just seem like they add so much more work and hassle to the whole enterprise. I think I’d rather walk 10 blocks to a train stop… Not entirely rational, I know, but…

  11. Annie (unregistered) on November 16th, 2006 @ 4:11 pm

    I have to say that I agree with Abby and Daniel – the trains i love, the buses not so much. Plus, with two kids, it is much easier to get on and off a train than a bus. Also, the trains seem to run more on time than the buses (although the train was responsible for me missing a flight one time).

  12. Paulie [eatl/ga] (unregistered) on November 16th, 2006 @ 5:14 pm

    As a kid I rode city buses because they were convenient and were at a given stop every ten-twenty minutes. As far as I know MARTA buses do not run with such regularity, miss you bus and you are completely screwed. There is the issue of sitting in the same traffic as the cars as well.

    MARTA trains would go to places such as Emory if the neighborhood associations didn’t have the power to stop them. Look at a mid-90s map and you can see where some of the proposed lines were supposed to go but were killed.

  13. BTI (unregistered) on November 16th, 2006 @ 8:54 pm

    I actually enjoy riding the marta bus to & from work every day despite the fact that it turns a ten minute car ride into a 35 minute commute. But really I’m not in such a hurry where this becomes an issue. The bus is remarkably on schedule during rush hours, with a bus arriving every 20 min. I enjoy a nice stroll to the bus stop. I get to relax and read the paper and enjoy my coffee during the trip. I enjoy not being trapped in my car and I feel connected with the city. I save around $300 in parking fees and maybe $10 a week in gas. The bus drivers usually (but not always) haul ass too so as to make up for the time lost for every stop.

    Now all that nice stuff being said, inclement weather is not pleasent and the bus comes every 40 min during off peak hours, which makes tooling around the city very difficult. However, during off peak hours I usually have the bus to myself, so the demand isn’t there for more frequent service. My only suggestion to marta has been to put the schedules on the stops/signs to encourage ridership.

    I agree with abby as well about the stigma associated with buses and I hope the beltline is not BRT for this very reason. I hate to keep brining up race (the stigma may be more social than racial) but this is an issue for transit as well.

Terms of use | Privacy Policy | Content: Creative Commons | Site and Design © 2009 | Metroblogging ® and Metblogs ® are registered trademarks of Bode Media, Inc.