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Posts Tagged ‘Wesley Chapel’

It’s now or never for MARTA rail in South DeKalb

October 3, 2011 1 comment

I must commend Commissioner Larry Johnson. He has taken the rail for South DeKalb issue and brought it front and center. The AJC which tends to only report about crime, corruption and the horrible schools in South DeKalb has had no less than three stories in the last month or so that talks directly about the rail issue in South DeKalb.( here, here and here) I think this is a testament to the power that South DeKalb wields in the upcoming vote for a penny sales tax to cover various transportation projects around the metro. It is a common belief that without Atlanta, Fulton and Dekalb this thing is dead on arrival. If South DeKalb feels it is getting slighted in all of this, which would not be surprising, then you might see a backlash with few voters willing to pay an additional penny on top of the one we already pay. For many of us in South DeKalb, it is a slap in the face to ask us to pay another penny in sales tax only to see other areas get transportation options and we remain gridlocked with 20th century options. I have previously written in support of the 1 cent, mainly because it was my belief that transit options would come to South DeKalb. Now I have become a fence sitter. I still believe the penny will help push transportation options for hundreds of thousands of residents all over metro Atlanta, but what disturbs me is that of those hundreds of thousands, few will live near or south of I-20. I fear that my lack of political influence and lack of money will ultimately have me paying an extra cent for goods and services and that money will go straight to Cobb or Gwinnett or one of the other far flung areas that do not have any of my interests at heart.

 

With all of that said, I must respectfully disagree with how some want to fund a rail line to South DeKalb. CEO Burrell Ellis, who sits on the roundtable that will decide the fate of rail in South DeKlab, wants to yank money from a GA 400 project. That idea won’t fly. GA 400 is a main artery between the wealthy and powerful North Fulton suburbs and the city of Atlanta. Polticians and business leaders who saturate that area will never allow that to happen. And a proposal by Lee May to strip some funding from the Clifton Corridor line is less likely to happen though it is more feasible than the GA 400 idea. I don’t like this idea because it would hurt residents throughout DeKalb. A third option floated by Decatur mayor and roundtable member Bill Floyd is to make the Clifton rail and South DeKalb rail one big project. This is less likely to happen given the price tag, but it has merits. If the Clifton segment is built to hook into the Avoondale station, and the blues line is extendided to Wesley Chapel, you would not have to travel all the way downtown to go to Sandy Springs or Dunwoody. That would make the Wesley Chapel idea much more attractive than one that only sends you to downtown.

 

So where does that leave South DeKalb? Well I think it leaves us in a sticky situation. If we vote for the tax without rail to South DeKalb it is highly likely that South DeKalb will be paying for improvements in transportation that will not directly improve our transit options. In fact we could be one of only a handful of geographic regions in the 10 county area to get little or no improvements for the 1 cent sales tax. On the other hand, I fear that if the referendum fails not only will we not get anything now or in the future, those areas that are clamoring for road inprovements and wider freeways will eventually get what they want through some other means. It’s the old classic damned if you do and damned if you don’t. The only win for South DeKalb would be a sales tax approved and a rail line.

 

Transportation wish list has many South DeKalb projects

April 15, 2011 4 comments

Here is a list of road and transit requests that directly affect South DeKalb county. Many of them are just road improvements, but a few are massive projects that cost a lot of cash. As you know, in  2012 we all will vote on whether to impose an additional penny tax on ourselves to pay for improved transportation infrastructure. Right now the list is very long, but it will be pared down in the coming months. By October, a final list will be presented and it will be voted on in 2012. There are a few projects in South DeKalb that have some merit. Improvements to the interchanges at Panoala/I-20 and the 285/Bouldercrest Rd. Interchanges. Anyone who has driven on either of these roads know they are woefully inadequate for the traffic they carry. In terms of mass transit, there are several options on the table that will bring transit alternatives to many areas along the I-20 corridor including the possibility of a heavy rail extension from Indian Creek to Wesley Chapel Road. Here is a list I culled from the AJC. If you want more details and costs for each, check out their database here. If you want more info on the entire project check out the ARC page here.


PROJECT PURPOSE & TYPE

Project name Bouldercrest Road from I-285 South to Linecrest Road – Widening

Agency Dekalb

Project purpose Improve from 2 lanes to 4 divided lanes with landscaped median, sidewalks and bike lanes. Improve traffic flow, relieve congestion, produce safety and operation improvements and improve access to I-285. Linecrest Road to I-285.

 PROJECT PURPOSE & TYPE

Project name SR 212 (Browns Mill Road) from SR 155 (Snapfinger Road) to Rockdale County Line – Corridor Improvements

Agency Dekalb

Project purpose Relieve congestion at key intersections and improve traffic flow by adding turn lanes, bike/ped and signalization upgrades. Snapfinger to Rockdale County line.

PROJECT PURPOSE & TYPE

Project name Columbia Drive from US 78 (College Avenue) to I-20 East – Corridor Improvements

Agency Dekalb

Project purpose Relieve congestion at key intersections, add sidewalks, bike lanes, traffic signal upgrades, and resurfacing. I-20 to E College Ave.

 PROJECT PURPOSE & TYPE

Project name US 278 (Covington Highway) from I-285 East to SR 124 (Turner Hill Road) – Corridor Improvements

Agency Dekalb

Project purpose Relieve congestion at key intersections, add sidewalks, bike lanes, traffic signal upgrades and resurfacing. Evans Hill Rd to SR 124 (Turner Hill Rd), I-285 to Evans Mill Rd.

 PROJECT PURPOSE & TYPE

Project name SR 155 (Flat Shoals Parkway) from I-285 South to Snapfinger Road – Corridor Improvements

Agency Dekalb

Project purpose Relieve congestion at key intersections, add sidewalks, bike lanes, traffic signal updgrades and resurfacing. SR 155 (Snapfinger) to I-285.

 PROJECT PURPOSE & TYPE

Project name Glenwood Road from SR 155 (Candler Road) to US 278 (Covington Highway) – Corridor Improvements

Agency Dekalb

Project purpose Relieve congestion at key intersections, add sidewalks, bike lanes, traffic signal updgrades and resurfacing. SR 155 (Candler Rd) to Covington Hwy

 PROJECT PURPOSE & TYPE

Project name Panola Road from SR 155 (Snapfinger Road) to US 278 (Covington Highway) – Widening and Corridor Improvements

Agency Dekalb

Project purpose Convert a 2-lane to a 4-lane divided with sidewalks, bike lanes. US 278 (Covington Hwy) to SR 155 (Snapfinger Rd); Covington Hwy to Redan Rd.

PROJECT PURPOSE & TYPE

Project name SR 155 (Snapfinger Road) from Flat Shoals Parkway to River Road – Corridor Improvements

Agency Dekalb

Project purpose To relieve congestion at key intersections, add sidewalks, bike lanes, traffic signal upgrades, and resurfacing. From Flat Shoals to River Road and intersection improvement.

PROJECT PURPOSE & TYPE

Project name Wesley Chapel Road from SR 155 (Flat Shoals Parkway) to Boring Road – Corridor Improvements

Agency Dekalb

Project purpose To relieve congestion at key intersections, add sidewalks, bike lanes, traffic signal upgrades, and resurfacing. From Boring Road to Flat Shoals Parkway.

PROJECT PURPOSE & TYPE

Project name I-20 East at Panola Road – Interchange Improvements

Agency Dekalb

Project purpose Construct interchange upgrades at Panola Road

PROJECT PURPOSE & TYPE

Project name I-285 South at Bouldercrest Road – Interchange Improvements

Agency Dekalb

Project purpose Interchange improvements at Bouldercrest Road, adding turn lanes, improved ramps and bridges.

PROJECT PURPOSE & TYPE

Project name I-20 East Corridor Bus Rapid Transit Improvements – Phase A

Agency MARTA

Project purpose This project is Phase A of the I-20 East Transit initiative to construct and operate high capacity transit in the I-20 East corridor. Phase A will construct a Park & Ride lot and Transfer Center at the Mall at Stonecrest off Mall Parkway asouth of I-20 in Dekalb County. Bus service from this facility will include local and semi-express service to and from the Perimeter Center, Central Atlanta, Cumberland and Airport acitivity centers and the South Dekalb residential area.

PROJECT PURPOSE & TYPE

Project name I-20 East Corridor Bus Rapid Transit Improvements – Phase B

Agency MARTA

Project purpose This project is Phase B of the I-20 East Transit initiative to construct and operate high capacity transit in the I-20 East corridor and assumbes Phase A is fully funded and selected for the Transportation Investment Act investment list. Phase B will construct three Transit Centers with associated needed parking at three locations along I-20 consistent with the I-20 East Transit Initiative scheduled for adoption in July 2011. The most likely locations as of March 30, 2011 at I-20 and Candler Road, I-20 and Wesley Chapel Road and Fairington Road/Dekalb Medical Center Hillandale. Bus service from these facilities will include local and semi-express service to and from the Perimeter Center, Central Atlanta and Cumberland activity centers and the South Dekalb residential areas

PROJECT PURPOSE & TYPE

Project name I-20 East Corridor High Capacity Transit from Central Atlanta to Candler Road

Agency MARTA

Project purpose To provide transit service to South Dekalb County that directly connects to Downtown Atlanta. This segment will achieve the goal of connecting the South Dekalb area and Downtown Atlanta in the shortest length possible. There would be connections to the existing MARTA heavy rail system once reaching central Atlatna. Light rail or bus rapid transit would be the possible technologies utilized.

PROJECT PURPOSE & TYPE

Project name MARTA East Heavy Rail Line Extension from Indian Creek Station to Wesley Chapel Road Near I-20 East

Agency MARTA

Project purpose To provide transit service in the South Dekalb area by implementing a segment of the I-20 East transit project. This segment would be HRT and would connect to the existing MARTA Blue (East) Line. The first phase would begin at Wesley Chapel and travel to Indian Creek. This is about 5.4 miles.