Mayors push to save room for public transportation - CBS46 News

Mayors push to save room for public transportation

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Source: WGCL Source: WGCL
ATLANTA (CBS46) -

Traffic solutions? We usually think about Georgia Department of Transportation, or maybe MARTA.

Wednesday, it's the most local officials of all, mayors, pushing for solutions. And even talking about where the money could come from.

How many screaming traffic jam maps shout top end congestion? How many mayors say traffic is the number one complaint?
"The mayors are getting together because we are the front line troops," says Sandy Springs Mayor Rusty Paul.

Sandy Springs Mayor Rusty Paul's got company. Mayors looking for answers are along the conservative, suburban arc from Smyrna, through Sandy Springs, Dunwoody,  Chamblee Doraville, Brookhaven and Tucker. 

"Attitudes toward transit are changing, and changing fairly rapidly. across metro area," said Paul.

One idea? A Self-taxing district to build an extra lane on 285 for driverless buses.  At 400 and 285, the construction cone is the most-seen curbside accessories. GDOT is building more lanes here, even a protected bicycle lane. Why not save one for mass transit?\

Well, no! Spokeswoman Natalie Dale says "GDOT doesn't purchase ROW for unidentified future projects. Purchasing extra right of way that may or may not be used in the future could unnecessarily displace homes and businesses."   

Mass transit never sold in the suburbs where most elected officials are Republicans and beating up MARTA is a blood sport. This is a change these mayors could win in the republican legislature. 

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