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Roswell city officials back mass transit in north Fulton
by Joan Durbin
jdurbin@neighbornewspapers.com
December 30, 2013 03:26 PM | 2737 views | 0 0 comments | 23 23 recommendations | email to a friend | print
No Roswell city council members said they were satisfied with MARTA as the lead in any script involving rail transport into north Fulton.

But all but one of the elected officials voted last week to support the extension of transit service into north Fulton, whether it is heavy rail, light rail, bus rapid transit or traditional bus service.

A resolution to that effect was brought to council by Roswell Transportation Director Steve Acenbrak, who said it was an opportunity for Roswell to go on record as supporting expanded mass transit into the area as a “viable option.”

MARTA and other state and regional agencies are exploring various technologies, including a North Line extension of the heavy rail system northward from North Springs station to terminate at the Windward Parkway area.

But it could be a decade before any such project comes to fruition, Acenbrak said.

“We need to make a decision not based on what our needs are today but what Roswell needs in 10 years,” Mayor Jere Wood said prior to the vote.

The lone holdout in the 5-1 affirmative vote was Councilwoman Becky Wynn. While she is a “huge proponent” of mass transport, Wynn said, she couldn’t support extending it locally “until we have an official regional transportation authority come before us with a master plan, not this piecemeal approach.”

Other council members agreed that they would like to see some entity other than MARTA carrying this forward, but they were reluctant to stand back on the sidelines while any plans were being developed.

“We need to be involved in the process,” said Councilman Jerry Orlans.

Councilwoman Nancy Diamond agreed. “My concern is if we are not on record as supporting this, we might be bypassed for the future.”

The mayor said he understood Wynn’s concerns, but he didn’t see the resolution as an endorsement of MARTA being the only transit system provider.

He and council members all said they favor a regional authority, and Dist. 21 State Sen. Brandon Beach, R-Alpharetta, “is taking the lead on this,” Wood said.

The resolution also stated “Mayor and council of the city of Roswell encourage the study of potential placement of a transit station in the area surrounding the Holcomb Bridge Road/SR 400 interchange.”

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