What do metro Atlanta residents think about transportation?
It’s a pressing question for ARC, which is updating the region’s long-range Metropolitan Transportation Plan (MTP). The MTP will allocate $168 billion in federal, state, and local funding through 2050 to improve mobility and safety in metro Atlanta.
We set up a table on Peachtree Street in downtown Atlanta during the Oct. 21 Atlanta Streets Alive to hear directly from the public. To spark conversations, we had transportation planners on hand, along with a large display of possible topics to explore.
Here’s some of what we heard:
- William Hogan of Atlanta said safety should be a priority. “We need to narrow roads to keep people from speeding and add turn signals at dangerous intersections,” he said.
- Philip Scott of Chamblee said he would love to see better transit options throughout the region. He now drives to work every day to Piedmont Hospital, where he works in support services. “I need to be at Piedmont Hospital early but have to wait 20 minutes for a bus. It only takes 15 minutes to drive,” he said.
- Christine Francis and her husband, Byron, live in a downtown Atlanta apartment and enjoy taking transit to places like Atlantic Station and Colony Square in Midtown. She now works from home, but she used to work in Marietta and said taking transit was difficult and time-consuming. “I would love transit expansion” in the region, she said.
- Heywood Wescott of Dunwoody said investments should be made to improve safety in the region. “Anything we can do to prevent even one death – that’s good,” he said.
- Denise Hollingsworth of East Point said she thinks the region needs both transit expansion and better roads. “They’ve done a lot of development here without expanding the roads. That’s a real major issue around the traffic backups,” she said. Hollingsworth said she took transit frequently when she lived in the Northeast and would like to in the Atlanta region as well. “Transit here is very efficient, but it doesn’t go everywhere. It’s limited.”
- Stephen Baltz of Midtown Atlanta said he is against road expansion, saying he advocates “complete streets” that create safe places for walking and biking as well as vehicles. “We should design roads for lower speeds. Just posting speed limits doesn’t work” to slow down traffic, he said.
What’s Next ATL, produced by the Atlanta Regional Commission, is a community resource that explores how metro Atlanta is growing and changing, and how the region is addressing its most pressing challenges.