Friday, January 25, 2013

Atlanta makes list of "most ambitious transit projects"

The Atlanta area gets a lot of grief for its transit issues, car dependence, pedestrian unfriendliness, etc. but we must also recognize that there is a lot of innovation under way.

We need look no further than the many trails that the PATH Foundation has created, including our own South Peachtree Creek Trail.

So, it is a little gratifying to see that Atlantic Cities has an article titled A Guide to America's Most Ambitious Transit Projects and that Atlanta actually gets mentioned in the Transit Space Race 2013 report. A clickable map allows you to see Atlanta-area projects in progress, most of which involve some type of rail transport.

The report was produced by Reconnecting America, "a national nonprofit that advises civic and community leaders on how to overcome community development challenges to create better communities for all."

If you are interested in urban design, also check out Reconnecting America's "Are we there yet?" report, released last October. Reconnecting America proposes that "complete communities" can be defined by 33 indicators (income, access to public transit and affordable housing, proximity to job centers, pedestrian/cyclist safety, access to parks, education level, etc.). Complete communities are ideal for people of all ages because proximity and public transportation allows independence (and financial leeway--they note that maintaining a car costs ~$8,946/year, per 2012 data). The report concludes by saying:

"If manifest destiny drove America’s ever-outward expansion, facilitated first by wagons and railroads and then by highways and suburban tracts of single-family homes in the last century, the younger generation and boomers alike seem to be driven by a need to
return to the center in the 21st century, redeveloping older communities to make them more complete, and making our economy more resilient and sustainable by doing things more efficiently across our regions."
At the bottom, but at least we made the list!
See full-size Atlanta Score Card @ Reconnecting America

The overall Atlanta-are report is... full of opportunity.