A modest MARTA proposal

Lately there has been a great deal of talk about the need to bring mass transit trains to and through our fair city of Alpharetta. I previously explained here how the Mayor of Johns Creek advocated the urbanization of Alpharetta because he feels that his constituents are underserved by MARTA. I also showed you how the rainmaker for the local chamber of commerce is pushing a train system that would run through my neighborhood to serve residents in Johns Creek and Duluth.

I personally abhor taxpayer subsidized trains because I believe they waste money on an inflexible and inefficient transportation system. I won’t rehash my reasons for this position now but you can click on the transportation tag to the right of your screen for more background. But for the sake of argument let us assume that trains will be built to serve Johns Creek and Duluth.

The question then becomes, “Why go through Alpharetta to get to Duluth when there is a much more intelligent and economical solution to extending trains into North Fulton and Gwinnett counties.” Below is a proposed path for a MARTA rail extension that would only require about 10 miles of rail as opposed to the 30 necessary for the plan currently being suggested.

The smarta MARTA

The route shown above requires only 10 miles of new rail lines which is 1/3rd of what would be required for the plan proposed by DOT board member and Chamber of Commerce CEO Brandon Beach. Not only would this route save BILLIONS of dollars but it could be completed in a fraction of the time. That is a tremendous amount of time and money that could be better spent making other much needed infrastructure improvements.

In addition to saving Georgia taxpayers time and money my proposal is also superior to the one being floated by Mr. Beach because it would relieve traffic congestion on both I-85 and GA 400 simultaneously. If you extend MARTA along GA 400 it would only relieve congestion along one existing main artery but by placing a train between two of the most congested highways in Atlanta we could actually double the impact for one third of the cost.

So as you can clearly see, if we decide to expand rail into North Fulton and North Gwinnett then the obvious way to do it would be to extend the Doraville line up the Hwy 141 corridor. And since the solution is so obvious I hope Mayor Bodker will immediately begin pushing land use policies for Johns Creek to help facilitate this important regional initiative. Undoubtedly Mayor Bodker’s constituents will be thrilled with his vision and leadership on this matter.

Fare thee well Ronnie Hammond…

Georgia has an incredible music heritage. James Brown, Little Richard, Otis Redding, The Allman Brothers Band, REM… The list, like the road, goes on forever.

While Ronnie Hammond and the Atlanta Rhythm Section weren’t as famous as those others they were a big part of the Georgia music scene back in the seventies. And their song Georgia Rhythm has always been one of my favorites. Today Ronnie Hammond died and so did a little piece of Georgia’s history along with a little piece of my youth.

Georgia Rhythm picks up at about the 44 second mark:

And before Doraville was known as ITP (Inside The Perimeter) the Atlanta Rhythm Section did a tribute to small town living on what was then the edge of suburban Atlanta. They could just as well have been singing about Alpharetta today.