ARC Analyzes TSPLOST List Impact
Atlanta Regional Commission just completed study of the potential mobility impacts of the referendum list of 157 regional projects.
The Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) announced it has just completed an analysis of the potential mobility impacts of the referendum list of 157 priority regional transportation projects if they were built out during the next 10 years.
The project list was developed last year by the Atlanta Regional Roundtable composed of local officials and chaired by Norcross Mayor Bucky Johnson. More than 200,000 residents provided public input on the project list.
Voters in Duluth and the metro Atlanta region have the opportunity to vote in the July 31 referendum that would raise an estimated $8.5 billion through a one percent sales tax (TSPLOST) that would fund the transportation projects. The list includes extending the MARTA North Heavy Rail Line.
The analysis measured the impact of the referendum projects through the year 2025 if implemented in addition to the currently programmed projects in ARC’s Regional Transportation Plan.
Duluth projects on the list include four-laning Buford Highway, currently two-lane, from Old Peachtree Road to Sugarloaf Parkway at a cost of $14 million and six-laning Pleasant Hill Road, now four lanes, from Howell Ferry Road to the Chattahoochee River at a cost $11.6 million.
The ARC analysis concluded that the effect of the referendum project build-out would:
- Achieve a 24 percent average decrease in future travel delays for roadways that would be improved through road widening, new construction and improved interchanges.
- Increase daily transit trips to 580,000, compared to 417,000 trips today.
- Improve air quality equal to taking 72,000 vehicles off the roads daily.
- Enable 18 percent more workers to reach jobs in the Cumberland-Galleria area by car within 45 minutes and up to an eight percent increase in jobs accessibility in other key employment centers.
- Achieve a 700 percent increase in workers’ ability to reach the Emory/Clifton Corridor by bus or rail within 45 minutes. Other employment centers also would experience increase in accessibility, such as Southlake (42 percent) in South Fulton and Cobb Town Center (61 percent).
“After several months of in-depth analysis, we believe that these findings represent a conservative estimate of the potential impact of a build out of the referendum projects,” said ARC Chairman Tad Leithead in the announcement. “In addition, we have concluded that by making these improvements in the next 10 years, rather than in 20 or 30 years as many were previously programmed, these projects can be built less expensively and improve congestion more quickly.”
About 70 percent of the region’s scheduled transportation funding for the next 30 years will be spent on just maintaining the existing network, leaving little room for expansion, according to the announcement. As the region continues to grow – by some three million more people in the next 25 years -- congestion will worsen, costing metro Atlantans more time and money spent in their cars.
“As the federally-designated transportation planning agency for the Atlanta region, our job is to accurately calculate the impacts of targeted transportation improvements,” said Leithead. “The voters will ultimately make the decision regarding the referendum that they believe is best for the region.”