Transportation Reform in Georgia

SELC is working to halt highways that lead to more traffic and instead shift investments to real solutions such as transit and rail.


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Decades of sprawling growth and an auto-centric culture have saddled metro Atlanta with some of the most congested roads, dirtiest air, and longest commutes in the country. As part of our regional transportation reform work, SELC is working to steer Georgia away from asphalt-centered transportation policies and toward solutions that strengthen communities, reduce air and water pollution, protect sensitive ecosystems, and decrease global warming emissions.

Opposing a Network of Toll Lanes

Facing congested roadways and limited transportation funds, metro Atlanta has seen a push toward construction of toll lanes on the region’s interstates.  Among other problems, these toll lanes fail to provide a long term transportation solution, provide more space for solo drivers, and because of their price could be less accessible to low income drivers. SELC is countering this push by ensuring that the region does become over reliant on toll lanes as the focus of the region’s mobility strategy.  Where these lanes are built, SELC is working to ensure that they are used as a tool to encourage carpooling and transit use. 

Supporting Investment in Transit

Despite its failure at the polls, the 2012 referendum on a transportation sales tax in the Atlanta area brought to light the public’s demand for better transit, rail, and other alternatives to driving. We are also helping to advance projects like the downtown Atlanta streetcar; the Cobb County bus rapid transit project; and the “Atlanta Beltline”―an urban redevelopment and mobility venture that ties together public parks, multi-use trails, and transit by re-using 22-miles of historic railroad corridors circling downtown neighborhoods. Successful execution of these projects will help chart a new path for metro Atlanta, providing concrete examples of how it can move beyond building more roads. SELC will continue to work with leaders in the business community to explore other ways to fund such alternatives.

We are also helping to maximize the performance of the region’s existing transit service.  This includes working with state agencies and elected officials to better integrate the region’s disparate transit systems. Various transit service providers operate independently from one another, leading to duplicative service and other inefficiencies. We are also supporting efforts to maximize the potential of the existing transit system by the frequency of service, improving access to transit stations, and encouraging development around existing transit stations.


Junction ATL: Where Atlanta Transportation & Land Use Meet

In our blog, Junction ATL, SELC’s transportation experts dig deep into the ways local, state, and federal transportation policies affect commuting, land use, and quality of life in and around Atlanta. Check it out!

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