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Forum will shed light on north Fulton rail study
by Joan Durbin
August 17, 2012 03:38 PM | 4412 views | 4 4 comments | 25 25 recommendations | email to a friend | print
With the resounding failure of the recent Transportation Initiative Referendum, the attention of local business leaders could be shifting to new transit options along the Ga. 400 corridor.

The Connect 400 Transit Initiative is the subject of an Aug. 30 public meeting for community and business leaders at the Greater North Fulton Chamber of Commerce.

The breakfast meeting from 9 to 10:30 a.m. is being co-hosted by the Chamber and the North Fulton Community Improvement District in partnership with the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority.

The project study area includes a mile-wide area on either side of Ga. 400 expressway from the interchange with Interstate 285 in northern DeKalb County to McGinnis Ferry Road in northern Fulton County.

In addition to giving attendees an overview of the study, it will give them a chance to identify what they think are the transportation needs and solutions for the corridor region.

The Connect 400 project’s purpose is to provide cost effective, high capacity transit in the corridor and improve mobility, transit linkage and coverage. Transit modes would be linked to land use and the level of travel demand in the study area.

“I support the extension of the rail line across the river. I think ultimately it should go to Avalon,” said Roswell Mayor Jere Wood, referencing the newly approved multi use project in Alpharetta near Ga. 400.

Holcomb Bridge and Ga. 400 is “a natural place” for a MARTA station, he said. “It needs to be there if Roswell wants to see redevelopment of all those old apartment buildings in the area. If Roswell still wants to be business friendly and promote redevelopment, that’s the place for a transit project.”

In 2003, MARTA began evaluating alternatives for an extension of the existing MARTA rail line that ends at North Springs.

But it was determined that the study area was not transit supportive at that time due to a combination of high incomes and low household and employment densities.

Focus shifted to a land use and market analysis for transit expansion feasibility based on possible development patterns. In the ensuing years, the Ga. 400 corridor has become one of the fastest growing regions in metro Atlanta, with the accompanying road congestion

According to the Connect 400 alternatives schedule on MARTA’s web site, selection of a preferred alternative and development of a financial and implementation plan for that alternative should be taking place during the summer and into the fall. A final report would be done by spring of next year.

As part of a federal project development, the ensuing design and construction process could take up to nine years.

The Greater North Fulton Chamber of Commerce is at 11605 Haynes Bridge Road, Alpharetta. To confirm attendance, contact Kristin Rome with the North Fulton Community Improvement District by email,
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