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From Transit to Affordable Housing, ARC Identifies Metro Atlanta’s Top 10 Challenges

Agency calls for lawmakers to focus on these issues to support region’s economic growth

(Atlanta, Jan. 31, 2018) The Atlanta Regional Commission today announced its inaugural list of top 10 issues for metro Atlanta that must be addressed to ensure the region remains economically competitive and a great place to live.

The list, developed as part of the agency’s What’s Next ATL initiative, includes:

• Establishing Regional Transit Funding and Governance
• Preparing for Autonomous and Connected Vehicles
• Accommodating Increasing Freight Traffic
• Matching Available Jobs and Qualified Workers
• Planning for Increasing Automation in the Workforce
• Increasing Access to Housing Affordability and Jobs
• Managing Impact of e-Commerce on Retail Space and Traffic
• Fostering Communities that Work for All Ages & Abilities
• Improving Third-Grade Reading Skills
• Maintaining Regional Water Planning and Stewardship

The top 10 issues list was unveiled today as part of ARC’s 2018 legislative briefing for the Atlanta region’s state legislators. The event, “What’s Next ATL: Challenges Ahead,” featured a panel discussion with key state lawmakers, who stressed the need improve regional transit throughout metro Atlanta.

“When companies like State Farm, NCR and Amazon, are searching for a new headquarters with access to transit, we have no choice but to focus on this issue as a region,” said State Rep. Kevin Tanner, who serves as Chairman of the House Transit Governance and Funding Committee.

State Sen. Brandon Beach agreed with Tanner, saying it’s time for the Atlanta region to address this issue: “The system we have now is very fragmented and doesn’t work as well as it should. It’s difficult to travel from one jurisdiction to another. We’ve got to have a seamless, efficient, clean, and – most of all –safe system.”

The other panelists were Senate President Pro-Tem Butch Miller and House Minority Leader Bob Trammell.

“Our region is experiencing great success, but we still face a number of challenges that require our attention if we are to remain a vibrant, dynamic region, with a high quality of life, in the decades to come,” said Doug Hooker, ARC Executive Director.

In support of the challenges ARC has identified, the agency has developed one-page backgrounders on each issue, based on ARC data analysis and research. These documents, along with more information about What’s Next ATL, can be found at whatsnextATL.org.

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About the Atlanta Regional Commission
The Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) is the official planning agency for the 10-county Atlanta Region, including Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry and Rockdale counties as well as the City of Atlanta and 72 other cities. ARC serves as a catalyst for regional progress by focusing leadership, attention and planning resources on key regional issues.