(November 6, 2012) Rethinking a crucial road / GDOT aims for more complete system

Post on ajc website on November 6, 2012
Original link: http://blogs.ajc.com/atlanta-forward/2012/11/06/rethinking-a-crucial-road/

Rethinking a crucial road

Moderated by Tom Sabulis

Brainstorming ways to relieve gridlock continues in the classroom and the conference room. Georgia Tech students are looking at ways to improve Northside Drive from I-20 to I-75, turning an eyesore into a grand boulevard for buses, bicycles and drivers looking to escape the Downtown Connector. A transportation official applauds the vision but points to the state’s own evolving and inclusive policies.

By Michael Dobbins

You would think that a street that connects Cobb County to Atlantic Station, Georgia Tech, the Georgia World Congress Center, the Georgia Dome, the Atlanta University Center, West End and points south would get a little respect. But Northside Drive, the west frame of Atlanta’s downtown/Midtown core, is a ragtag, shabby and confusing street that fulfills neither its development potential nor adequately meets its transportation purpose. Though Despite the fact that it provides access to tens of thousands of people on a daily basis, you can’t even take a bus from one end to the other.

A lot is happening in the corridor. Cobb County’s locally preferred alternative transit link to the core would utilize bus rapid transit (BRT) coming down Northside. The State Road and Tollway Authority’s (SRTA’s) strategically located site at 17th Street is up for sale without conditions that would serve transit connectivity. Georgia Tech is seeking to establish better program and physical linkages with its west side neighborhoods. A new stadium is in play. The Multimodal Passenger Terminal (MMPT) is finally in a serious planning and development mode. The Atlanta University Center (AUC) is actively re-visioning its future. West End businesses are forming a community improvement district.

Wouldn’t now be a good time to plan comprehensively? We think so.

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