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.


Photo © Ron Sherman

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GDOT’s commitment to build multi-use path highlights national shift in transportation demands More »

At the urging of bike advocate groups and the City of Sandy Springs, the Georgia Department of Transportation has committed to incorporate a multi-use path as part of its reconstruction of the GA 400 and I-285 interchange. The path will allow bikers and pedestrians to safely cross two of metro Atlanta’s busiest highways.

This week’s development is an example of how Georgia can successfully implement its Complete Streets Design Policy to upgrade existing roads to allow for more bike and pedestrian travel, and highlights how transportation needs nationwide are continuing to evolve beyond the traditional auto-oriented model.

Like most cities across the country, many of Atlanta’s roads were initially built to solely accommodate car travel. But as the appeal of living and working in walkable communities continues to grow, and as real estate development shifts to make these communities possible, our transportation system must adapt accordingly. Keeping pace with the changing times will include retrofitting roads to provide for transportation options like public transit, sidewalks, and bicycle facilities.            

Read SELC’s comment letter in support of Georgia Bikes’ advocacy for the multi-use path.

Read Creative Loafing’s story: Mammoth Ga. 400/I-285 interchange overhaul to include PATH trail

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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.

Looking Beyond 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.

To prevent the region from becoming over-reliant on toll lanes as a central mobility strategy, SELC is weighing in on these projects to ensure they are used as a tool to encourage carpooling and transit use.

Supporting Investment in Transit

Residents of metro Atlanta are increasingly demanding alternatives to driving, like increased access to public transit and more walkable communities.

We are also helping to advance projects that provide alternatives to driving, such as the expansion of MARTA into Clayton County, the downtown Atlanta streetcar, 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.

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