Today’s Headlines

  • While City of Atlanta Gets Transit, Fulton County Gets More Roads (WABE)
  • Georgia Lawmakers Spike Savannah Streetcar Funding Bill (Savannah Now)
  • Georgia Town Experiments With Jitney Service for Seniors (Valdosta Daily Times)
  • Charlotte Magazine Examines Transit Projects in the Pipeline
  • Could Miami’s Rail Project Change How We Build Commuter Systems? (Guardian)
  • Knoxville Area Transit Gets Major Overhaul (News Sentinel)

More headlines at Streetsblog USA

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Today’s Headlines

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NashvilleNext Regional Plan Likely to Be Adopted Next Week (Tennessean) Falcons Owner Asks Atlanta to Believe In the Neighborhood Where He’s Building His Stadium (Saporta) MARTA and Georgia Commute Options Bring “Dump the Pump Day” to Atlanta (CBS Atlanta) Georgia Fools Atlanta Into Accepting Managed Lanes Project as Transit (Saporta Report) Cobb Chairman Commits to Holding Referendum […]

Today’s Headlines

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Atlanta Is Finalist for HUD Choice Neighborhoods Implementation Grant (Atl Biz Chronicle) MARTA Board Chair Sits Down With WABE to Discuss $8 Billion Expansion Plan Ryan Gravel, the Brain Behind the BeltLine, Says Transit Needs to Be a Priority (Saporta Report) Motorists Have Caused Almost All of Atlanta Streetcar Crashes (WABE) Creative Loafing Urges Atlanta Residents to Be […]

Today’s Headlines

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Mobile Residents Lose Transit Service Thanks to Mayor and City Council (Alabama Live) Charlotte Transit Lags Badly as NC Focuses on Highway Construction (Charlotte Observer) Aspiring GA Legislator Tries Scaring Suburban Voters With MARTA Invasion Lie (AJC) Expanding MARTA Would Add $5 Billion to Atlanta Economy (WABE) Georgia Considers Physically Separated Interstate Truck Lanes (Savannah Now) People in Greater Miami […]

Today’s Headlines

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Florida Woman Charged in Fatal Hit-and-Run in Savannah (Daily Journal) Georgia Chamber of Commerce Excited About Pouring Fed Funds Into Roads (Saporta) Peachtree Corners Mayor’s Letter on Traffic Misses Opportunities to Discuss Transit (Patch) Macon County Transit Signs Deal to Provide Service to Appalachian Trail (Macon County News) Tennessee DOT Approves Grant to Restore Trolley Service (Local […]
via ATL Urbanist

Missed Connections in the Peach State

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Georgia offers small change for transit systems struggling to serve the growing divide between where people live and workHow do transit systems in Georgia struggle? Let me count the ways. A 2010 report from the American Public Transportation Association shows Georgia to have one of the lowest levels of transit spending, per resident, in the country. Georgia spent 63 cents per person on public transportation in 2008; compare that to $119.52 per person spent in New Jersey, $40.43 in Illinois and $7.94 in North Carolina for that year.That low spending is reflected clearly in Atlanta, where MARTA ranks as the largest US transit agency to have no state funding stream for operations.So you can understand the excitement felt by many when it was announced earlier this year that the state was going to set aside $100 million in bonds for transit projects statewide. It’s a small amount of money considering the budgets of transit systems, but it was encouraging to see Georgia at least make the gesture – one that might, arguably, be a sign of changing opinions on transit spending at the state level. But this week we have news that the amount, already a small gesture, has gotten smaller. It now stands at $75 million. Why? …$25 million was taken out and dedicated to other purposes, primarily a planned regional workforce training center near the “Savannah Megasite,” a 1,558-acre property at interstates 16 and 95 the state has been trying for years to peddle to auto manufacturers eying Georgia.Brookings report shows the damage of job-sprawl in AtlantaThis move feels like a slap in the face during a week when a Brookings report shows us the growing need for us to provide better connections in Georgia between people and jobs. According to the report, titled “The growing distance between people and jobs in metropolitan America,” it’s getting harder for people all over the country to live near jobs; metro Atlanta is pointed out as a place that exemplifies the troubles of commuters. Between 2000 and 2012, the Atlanta region saw a 14.8% drop in the average number of jobs located near a typical resident, one of the greatest decreases in the US. The problem is this: as the region sprawls outward in a low density fashion, it becomes harder for residents on the edges to be near the clusters of jobs; a situation that gets exacerbated by the equally sprawling locations of jobs. From the report:Although the Atlanta region gained jobs overall during the 2000s, the number of nearby jobs fell for the typical resident as employment spread out within the metro area…job density fell on average in both the city and suburbs. Thus, typical residents in both locations saw their proximity to jobs decline.Take a look at the image above – it contrasts the massive footprint of the urbanized Atlanta region with the cluster of job density. With the points on either ends of commutes becoming further and spreading in all directions, transit systems struggle to keep up with the needs of workers. The situation is particularly dire for the growing number of low-income workers who are settling in the suburbs; with a great Politico piece from last year noting that “poor residents of suburban Atlanta can only reach 17 percent of the region’s jobs” due to the lack of transit available to them in their sprawling, car-centric environments. Looking at these facts all together, that lost $25 million for transit systems in Georgia looks even more insulting. But we can take heart that at least it will go toward a workforce training center at the Savannah Megasite. And surely, since the money was taken from transit, this Megasite will be appropriately pedestrian friendly so as not to make the insult even more stinging. It couldn’t possibly be a typical car-parking-comes-before-all set up.Hmm. Well, surely it’s at least located on a road that allows for good pedestrian access.No? Then at least it’s located in Savannah and probably within close distance to residential density near the walkable city center, as befits a project born from transit money. Well. Damn it.

Today’s Headlines

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It’s No Longer a Career Death Sentence for Republicans to Support MARTA (AJC) CEO Parker Responds to Lt. Governor’s MARTA Overhaul Plans (WABE) Savannah Brings Denver Mayor to Georgia to Discuss Regional Transportation (Savannah Now) Orlando Juice Bike Share Celebrates First Year With More Than 24,000 Trips (Orlando Sentinel) Black Residents Say They’re Afraid New Raleigh Transit […]