Tuesday, June 10, 2008

MARTA to Hapeville?

I am just now catching up on last week's Business Chronicle, and wanted to mention an article about Jacoby's Ford factory redevelopment project in Hapeville. Basically, Jacoby is talking to MARTA about extending rail service to his development.

I think it is a great idea, but I'm wary. I recall that Atlantic Station was originally sold with the premise of having an transit connection, either to the BeltLine or to MARTA. All the maps early on had a "potential transit station" marked in the NW area of the retail district, by the rail line.

And of course, there is that one big glitch that hasn't been solved:
However, if developers do begin to voice support for more mass-transit options, including heavy and light rail, their ambitions could face a major roadblock -- funding.
I'm pretty sure Jacoby isn't talking to MARTA so he can offer to pay for the expansion. I'm about as big of a city booster as they come, but I'll believe MARTA is going to expand when I see it. I think the BeltLine has a great shot at actually happening, but I'm still pretty skeptical that they'll get the transit built.

The linked article is a good roundup of how transportation and development are intersecting. It mentions one nugget of information that I was unaware of:
MARTA expansion may also continue outside the Perimeter into the suburbs. Gwinnett voters next month will cast ballots in a non-binding referendum on whether they would support an additional penny sales tax to extend the MARTA rail line into the county.
I guess I haven't been paying enough attention. Frankly, sometimes I get depressed enough about the lack of movement on transportation issues here that I write off a lot of stuff and have a hard time sinking my teeth into it.

1 comment:

  1. The key to the transportation link with situations like the Ford Plant is to think beyond MARTA-style Heavy Rail with it's Stalin-esque Stations. DMU's like the Colorado Railcar [http://trailnrail.blogspot.com/search?q=dmu] could be running on the existing freight lines within two years -- without track upgrades!

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