Did you make it to the Connect 400 MARTA study meeting Thursday? Me neither. Like many in north Fulton, I was firmly ensconced in my cubicle. It should come as no surprise that the meeting, held during the middle of a work day, was attended mostly by Chamber of Commerce and Community Improvement District business leaders. Perhaps that was by design.
MARTA and GDOT board member Brandon Beach continue to plow forward with planning for transit in north Fulton. Apparently they didn’t get the memo dated July 31st. T-SPLOST’s resounding defeat was not just a rejection of funding, it was an indictment of transportation planners in this region. The voters simply don’t trust them.
Why then do the same distrusted planners continue to push for the same rejected projects using money that doesn’t exist? We shouldn’t be having this conversation right now. Heads need to roll in places like GRTA, the Atlanta Regional Commission, GDOT and elsewhere. Let’s begin to rebuild public trust in transportation leaders.
But until then MARTA will spend money on this study with a report due in the Spring. If you’re concerned about spending billions to bring rail up GA400 then you should let your voice be heard. Visit the Facebook page for the study and leave a comment. Or you can email your comments to MARTA’s Jason Morgan or Janide Sidifall.
For those on Alpharetta’s City Council, you have more options. The best way to fight rail expansion is to starve it of density. Refuse to add residential density and high-rise development along the GA-400 corridor. I’d also take a hard look at the Northpoint LCI study, which is on the city’s agenda to reexamine in the coming weeks. The plan favors MARTA rail expansion and even suggests setting aside land for a transit station. Several council members campaigned in opposition of MARTA rail expansion to Alpharetta, including mayor David Belle Isle and Jim Gilvin. Now’s the time to take action to stifle this project before it gains any more traction.
Photo credit: RTABus (creative commons)