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Atlanta Regional Commission brings transit discussions to Johns Creek

ARC wants to develop regional transit strategy



JOHNS CREEK, Ga. – As bad as traffic can be on a Wednesday morning in Johns Creek, what will it look like in 2040?

This the question that the Atlanta Regional Commission is tackling as it holds community meetings across Fulton County (except in Atlanta which is doing a separate study).

The ARC has hired the design engineering company Kimley Horn to conduct public comment hearings like the one Aug. 24 at Johns Creek City Hall.

“It is all part of the ARC’s 2040 master plan for the region. ARC forecasts the 20-county Atlanta region will add 2.5 million people by 2040,” said Kimley Horn urban designer Eric Bosman.

“That is the equivalent of adding all of metro Charlotte to the region,” Bosman said. “That will bring the region’s population to more than 8 million people.”

Bosman was in Johns Creek last week to gauge public opinion and give some details of the study.

With only about 25 people in attendance, there was not much opinion to gather. However Bosman did bring information about the areas of study in North Fulton ARC is concentrating on.

As part of the study in the North Fulton area (which includes Sandy Springs) the ARC has identified eight major corridors suitable for transit:

  • Ga. 400
  • Holcomb Bridge Road
  • Ga. 141 (Medlock Br. Road)
  • State Bridge Road
  • Roswell Road/Ga. 9
  • Windward Parkway
  • Abernathy-Johnson Ferry Rds.
  • Old Milton Parkway

The ARC has developed a new series of population and employment forecasts for the 20-county region through the year 2040 which it hopes will help inform the development of the ARC’s Atlanta Region’s Plan.

Then the plan will marry a variety of transit solutions, most of which have nothing to do with MARTA heavy rail.

Some current types of transit options include:

Light rail – Electrically powered, high capacity rail.

Bus rapid transit – Marries ease of buses with dedicated rail lanes on streets.

Rapid bus – Uses HOV lanes and regular streets but fewer stops than say MARTA buses.

Flex service – Operates in a defined area, much like shuttles but with more flexible routes and not fixed stops.

Commuter rail – Runs on fixed rail as urban passenger trains on designated tracks or runways.

“Three main factors go into the financial model building – density, ridership and cost,” Bosman said. “First we need to find what people want.”

That is the purpose of the preliminary meetings in the community.

“We will then vet a short list of solutions. At the top of the list is quality of life,” Bosman said. “But it also includes mobility, safety, and cost.”

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