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Nice, timely article, Maria.  Metro Atlanta faces a challenge because of it's sprawling, low density development. Transit is definitely needed to address the area's lack of alternative transport, but last mile connectivity has to be solved to make the system truly viable. Berlin, Germany is doing this with low speed EV;s. Atlanta's overuse of high speed roadways will not permit this to happen in a big way, but it can work in pockets, such as Brookhaven, where our organization recently assisted Southface in a TOD study that aims to incorporate higher usage of PTV;s and LSV;s. These two forms of LSEV's that make a lot of sense for the area, given Georgia's heavy manufacturing base in the industry.  Atlanta produces neither cars nor petroleum, so it currently exports millions of transport dollars from the local economy.  LSEV's are good for walkability, excellent for last mile connectivity, and for connecting people to jobs.  The coup de gras for the maladies of conventional transport is both the environmental damage and the economic cost to the region.   

6 days, 18 hours ago on Chris Leinberger: Atlanta region ‘absolutely needs rail transit;’ question is will you lead or be a laggard?


Sounds like I missed an important Roundtable. It is always good to look at what other cities and nations are doing to raise the bar on sustainability. 

Atlanta has done a really good job with sustainability in the realm of architecture, but a poor job in the bigger picture of city planning, urban design and transportation. Much of this is a legacy of the rapid growth during the 70's, 80's and 90's, when the almighty, single-occupant automobile reigned supreme in the minds of city and transport planners.

This has turned into a liability for Metro Atlanta, as it was recently ranked 220 out of 222 US cities for urban sprawl. The recent defeat of the transport funding referendum may have been a blessing in disguise, as it was still too beholden to 20th Century auto-centric planning.

It is time for bold ideas Atlanta. It's not just about climate change (which alone should compel us to action). It's about the economy and jobs, too.  Atlanta produces neither petroleum nor automobiles in sizable numbers. Yet it is highly dependent on both., leading to the outflow of tens of millions of dollars annually.

Americans are increasingly rejecting suburban sprawl with their feet and legs.  Automobile ownership and travel are down. The downward trend began before the Great Recession hit, and has since continued.

1 week, 5 days ago on Time for U.S. elected leaders to address climate change issues