It seems everybody in the Atlanta region has an opinion about transportation.
Debating, discussing, and, yes, complaining about how we get around this vast region is one of our pastimes.
Now, the Atlanta Regional Commission has a new way for you to share your views about transportation and other quality of life issues facing our region. It’s an online survey that will help guide a major update to the region’s Metropolitan Transportation Plan, or MTP.
The MTP is big: The plan allocates about $173 billion in transportation funding through the year 2050. And it covers a 20-county area that’s about the size of Massachusetts.
“This is the first survey we’ve done in several years that asks about people’s values — about how they think the region should grow,” said John Orr, Managing Director of Transportation Planning at ARC. “We’re eager to see people’s responses.”
The MTP aims to improve the quality of life in Atlanta by easing congestion, expanding transit, improving safety, making is easier to get around on foot or bike, providing alternative commuting options, and maintaining existing infrastructure.
Sure, $173 billion may sound like a lot of money. But it’s simply not enough to meet all of the region’s transportation needs. The survey will help ARC prioritize projects that most reflect community needs and priorities.
Orr says he and his team are eager to hear from Atlantans because COVID-19 and the proliferation of video conferencing, remote work, AI and electric vehicles have and will change the way people live and move.
“If the survey shows that people don’t know what AI is going to mean in their lives, then that means leaders need do a better job explaining what it is and what it means to regional planning,” says Orr. “There’s a similar issue with climate change. New federal laws mean we can’t just acknowledge climate change. We have to act on it. I would expect a lot of respondents won’t understand the implications of that yet.”
The updated ARC plan is set to be adopted in early 2024.
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.