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Mayors talk MARTA expansion, traffic solutions
by Nicole Dow
April 18, 2013 02:40 PM | 4425 views | 0 0 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print
MARTA officials are looking at ways to increase transit services in the Ga. 400 corridor.

At last week's North Fulton Municipal Association meeting, MARTA general manager Keith Parker and Jason Morgan, MARTA project manager for the Ga. 400 Corridor Transit Initiative, updated the six mayors on the Ga. 400 study and other initiatives.

According to Morgan, bus rapid transit, light rail and heavy rail are the three options being discussed to increase transit service in the corridor. He said the goal is to select a final recommendation this spring.

Sandy Springs Mayor Eva Galambos asked why MARTA, which is operating on its depleting reserve funds, is considering the costly idea of expanding the heavy rail system.

“The thing that we have to caution with is, we don’t want to walk to the table and say you can’t even have this consideration,” Parker said.

Morgan said they will bring the cost projections and estimations on the number of riders to the community to get input on the options.

Though Morgan said MARTA has done “a tremendous amount of community outreach,” Alpharetta Mayor David Belle Isle said he and his city staff were completely unaware of a recent public meeting MARTA held in north Fulton.

He said with Alpharetta having more exits off of Ga. 400 than the other cities, there should have been better effort to involve city leaders.

Johns Creek Mayor Mike Bodker said he wants to make sure as many north Fulton residents as possible are aware of what MARTA is considering.

Parker suggested setting up future one-on-one meetings with each north Fulton mayor and the leaders of various neighborhood organizations.

Continuing the transportation discussion, a Leadership North Fulton member asked about the next step in solving traffic congestion after the T-SPLOST was rejected by voters last year.

“There is no plan B,” Bodker said. “We cannot fix the problem with the current revenue.”

He explained the area needs a measure like the T-SPLOST to fund a solution to traffic congestion.

Roswell Mayor Jere Wood said one solution residents can look into is living close to their jobs or places they go for recreation.

Creating walkable communities is a focus in Roswell, he said.

Milton Mayor Joe Lockwood said he is also seeing the “live, work, play” philosophy within developments in his city.

Mountain Park Mayor Jim Still said his city, with a total of about 285 homes, is in the first stages of becoming a golf cart community.

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