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Old December 23rd, 2012, 06:48 AM   #2001
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Atlanta probably has the worst highway network in the country after New York.
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Old December 23rd, 2012, 09:36 AM   #2002
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Atlanta doesn't really have good transportation infrastructure road or mass transit wise.
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Old December 23rd, 2012, 11:37 AM   #2003
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They try to counter that problem by developing more sub centers like Buckhead or Sandy Springs. Traffic volumes on the Downtown Connector declined quite a bit in the past 10 years.
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Old December 23rd, 2012, 06:44 PM   #2004
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Quote:
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Atlanta probably has the worst highway network in the country after New York.
DC is up there as well, arguably worse than Atlanta as far as undercapacity and suburb-suburb commuting is concerned.
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Old December 23rd, 2012, 09:36 PM   #2005
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They try to counter that problem by developing more sub centers like Buckhead or Sandy Springs. Traffic volumes on the Downtown Connector declined quite a bit in the past 10 years.
Atlanta's Edge Cities weren't developed with transportation efficiency as a goal, which is a good thing since they've failed utterly at promoting it. Rather, they were established as a means of relocating Class A office space and the property tax revenues it generates into suburban areas at the expense of both Downtown Atlanta and other areas that are well-served by transit. Look at a map: Atlanta's top-quality housing stock is located in an are bounded by the Chattahoochee to the west, I-285 to the north, Peachtree Dunwoody Road the the east, and Peachtree Creek to the south. The Cumberland/Galleria Edge city is located just outside the prime housing are in unincorporated Cobb County-- Perimeter Center is just outside it in (until recently) unincorporated Dekalb and Fulton Counties. The revenues from all that new Class A office space considerably fatten the bottom lines of those counties, enabling them to provide for their sizable numbers of poverty-stricken residents.

In Cobb, very few people lived in the Cumberland/Galleria area, so there was little public opposition. But around Perimeter Center, Dekalb and especially Fulton County, the are became a free-fire zone for high-density rezoning as county leaders (especially those from the other end of the county!) scrambled for the property tax bucks. as a matter of fact check out the area around Perimeter Center West. See all of those strip commercial centers? Until the commercial real estate crash of 1987, that area was zoned for Class A office space. All of it. Can you imagine how horrendous the traffic congestion would've been had all of the office space been built and rented out? After the crash, the owners had the land rezoned and built low-density strip centers, mostly to get some return on their investment so as not to go into arrears on property taxes. And obviously it remains as strip commercial today, even though it's served by a MARTA subway. And all that office space that did get built... people commute to it from vast distances, enabling (the s word) all the way into Forsyth County. Great planning, huh?

I'm not saying that suburban centers are inherently a bad idea. Other places (Stockholm springs to mind, as does much of Japan) have done OK with them. But careful planning and sound policy are the key to making the concept work well. That and a system of local government finance that enables governments to finance their operations without pirating certain types of development from other jurisdictions. Atlanta has never had that and probably never will.
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Old December 23rd, 2012, 09:39 PM   #2006
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I don't understand how the leadership in state of Georgia and large segment of the population can be so short-sighted when it comes to building infrastructure.
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Old December 23rd, 2012, 09:47 PM   #2007
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Atlanta's Edge Cities weren't developed with transportation efficiency as a goal, which is a good thing since they've failed utterly at promoting it. Rather, they were established as a means of relocating Class A office space and the property tax revenues it generates into suburban areas at the expense of both Downtown Atlanta and other areas that are well-served by transit. Look at a map: Atlanta's top-quality housing stock is located in an are bounded by the Chattahoochee to the west, I-285 to the north, Peachtree Dunwoody Road the the east, and Peachtree Creek to the south. The Cumberland/Galleria Edge city is located just outside the prime housing are in unincorporated Cobb County-- Perimeter Center is just outside it in (until recently) unincorporated Dekalb and Fulton Counties. The revenues from all that new Class A office space considerably fatten the bottom lines of those counties, enabling them to provide for their sizable numbers of poverty-stricken residents.

In Cobb, very few people lived in the Cumberland/Galleria area, so there was little public opposition. But around Perimeter Center, Dekalb and especially Fulton County, the are became a free-fire zone for high-density rezoning as county leaders (especially those from the other end of the county!) scrambled for the property tax bucks. as a matter of fact check out the area around Perimeter Center West. See all of those strip commercial centers? Until the commercial real estate crash of 1987, that area was zoned for Class A office space. All of it. Can you imagine how horrendous the traffic congestion would've been had all of the office space been built and rented out? After the crash, the owners had the land rezoned and built low-density strip centers, mostly to get some return on their investment so as not to go into arrears on property taxes. And obviously it remains as strip commercial today, even though it's served by a MARTA subway. And all that office space that did get built... people commute to it from vast distances, enabling (the s word) all the way into Forsyth County. Great planning, huh?

I'm not saying that suburban centers are inherently a bad idea. Other places (Stockholm springs to mind, as does much of Japan) have done OK with them. But careful planning and sound policy are the key to making the concept work well. That and a system of local government finance that enables governments to finance their operations without pirating certain types of development from other jurisdictions. Atlanta has never had that and probably never will.
I was in Atlanta on a road trip on 1987, and heard on the news the night before I left that Cobb County was voting on whether to join MARTA. Never did find out how that came out...
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Old December 23rd, 2012, 09:49 PM   #2008
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I don't understand how the leadership in state of Georgia and large segment of the population can be so short-sighted when it comes to building infrastructure.
A large segment of the population, and not just in Georgia, is allergic to spending public money on anything.
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Old December 23rd, 2012, 09:57 PM   #2009
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Except for things like the military and subsidies to corporations.
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Old December 23rd, 2012, 10:30 PM   #2010
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Quote:
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I don't understand how the leadership in state of Georgia and large segment of the population can be so short-sighted when it comes to building infrastructure.
You know what baffles me most? People saying a road upgrade should not be paid for by tolls because it was already paid for 50 years ago. I mean, what's the logic behind that? You spend (tax) money once and then it's free forever? Road maintenance and widenings are paid for by Santa Claus?

I read comments like that frequently in American newspapers.
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Old December 23rd, 2012, 10:45 PM   #2011
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subsidies to corporations.
those who are allergic to public spending on anything are incredibly anti government interference in the markets - it's the centre-right/centre/centre-left that want taxpayer's money subsidise big business via bailouts, etc (and the full-on left want the government to be big business), not the small state people on the full-on right*.

As well as defence spending, spending on the judicial system (police, judges, prosecutors, jails etc) would be supported by those small government types. So basically a view of the state that is 'guys we all pay to get rid of bad guys and protect our rights'**.

*I'm using left-right to refer to economic matters, not social, cultural, etc matters. For 'left' read 'economic authoritarians', for 'right' read 'economic liberals'. The Nazis were centre to centre-left on this axis, going for the 'third way' between market and state.
**Probably an oversimplification and certainly something I myself find over simplistic.
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Old December 24th, 2012, 01:02 AM   #2012
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....As well as defence spending, spending on the judicial system (police, judges, prosecutors, jails etc) would be supported by those small government types. So basically a view of the state that is 'guys we all pay to get rid of bad guys and protect our rights'**.
...
No, we've gone past that: we don't want to spend more on the police, and prisons can be privatized. (Not speaking for myself, obviously...) Although it would appear arming our teachers might be an acceptable public expense.
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Old December 24th, 2012, 06:41 AM   #2013
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You know what baffles me most? People saying a road upgrade should not be paid for by tolls because it was already paid for 50 years ago. I mean, what's the logic behind that? You spend (tax) money once and then it's free forever? Road maintenance and widenings are paid for by Santa Claus?
Well I can understand the logic to opposition to toll roads (there have been several instances where people recieved incorrect billing statements or even who have never driven on a toll road who have been recieved a bill), but I don't understand the opposition to raising the gas tax or even tying it with inflation?
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Old December 24th, 2012, 02:31 PM   #2014
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Well I can understand people's resentment to toll roads (or paying for anything) but it's quite clear that the continuous tax funding shortfalls are not going to pay for any major project anymore.

It's either a higher tax gas or tolls, or no construction at all. It's always fun for a European to see how Americans complain about gas being unaffordable at $ 3 - 4 per gallon. We pay twice that, plus a whole load of other mobility-related taxes as well.
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Old December 25th, 2012, 05:38 AM   #2015
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I agree I love the cheap fuel here but one thing to note is how fuel efficiency differs on cars here in the US and Europe.
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Old December 26th, 2012, 01:59 PM   #2016
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NC-540 Triangle Expressway

Some photos of the recently opened Triangle Expressway in North Carolina.

image hosted on flickr

IMG_6726 by Adam's Journey, on Flickr

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IMG_6729 by Adam's Journey, on Flickr

image hosted on flickr

IMG_6732 by Adam's Journey, on Flickr

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IMG_6735 by Adam's Journey, on Flickr

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IMG_6743 by Adam's Journey, on Flickr

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IMG_6744 by Adam's Journey, on Flickr
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Old December 27th, 2012, 09:16 PM   #2017
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SR-500 Vancouver, WA

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Before: SR 500/St. Johns, Jan. 2012 by WSDOT, on Flickr

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After: SR 500/St. Johns, Oct. 2012 by WSDOT, on Flickr

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Old December 28th, 2012, 11:10 PM   #2018
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OR-230

Oregon State Route 230, very cool view.

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Mt. Thielsen from Oregon 230 by OregonDOT, on Flickr
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Old December 29th, 2012, 04:01 AM   #2019
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Nice pic! I'd love to ski in that road lol
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Old December 29th, 2012, 04:04 AM   #2020
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Wow that is awesome.
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