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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Atlanta groups urge Fulton County leaders to consider transportation alternatives More »

A coalition of Atlanta conservation and transportation groups is asking the Fulton County Commission and the 14 mayors of cities in Fulton County to consider investing in a range of transportation options rather than building new roads.   

SELC, the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition, Citizens for Progressive Transit, Georgia Bikes, the Georgia Chapter of the Sierra Club, Partnership for Southern Equity, and PEDS have submitted recommendations on a range of diverse projects eligible for funding through a Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (T-SPLOST) to be put before Fulton County residents for a referendum in November. 

If passed, the referendum will generate $500 to $700 million by increasing Fulton County’s sales tax by 0.75 percent over five years.

The groups’ suggestions for the funding include additional investments in transit, bicycle, and pedestrian projects, safety improvements for drivers and non-drivers, and projects that allow for greater accessibility to job centers and transit stations.

“There is no new road that will fix Atlanta’s transportation problems—you can’t just build your way out of congestion,” said Senior Attorney Brian Gist. “Investing in other transportation options that afford people more choice in how they get from point A to point B will improve quality of life and result in a more efficient, functional system overall. We hope that the Fulton County mayors will consider these suggestions as they develop the project list.”

Read more about the groups’ recommendations in the Saporta Report: Local governments should coordinate on transit, transportation network.

Click here to read the letter.

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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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