Coastal Sense

Growth can slow you down by drewwade

Now the single biggest threat to our economic livelihood is transportation, and we’ve got 20 years of catching up to do.

So said Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce President Sam Williams in this recent Georgia Trend article. The tremendous economic growth of Atlanta in the last 20 years has left it, in the absence of sound regional planning, with one of the worst records for traffic in America today (ranks fourth in annual traffic delays per commuter, averaging 60 hours of time and 44 gallons of fuel wasted).

Gridlock signMany of us here in the coast, including me, are here to avoid the headaches of that way of living. But with growth here in the coast, how can we prevent our own gridlock?

1. Do not follow their (i.e. Atlanta’s) lead. Building more lanes for growth invites congestion. Increasing capacity for more and more motorized vehicles is really operating in the absence of a plan.
2. Promote transit. Fund it well and patrol the system, make it efficient with express buses and ferries. Provided that they feel safe, people will use it because it saves them time, expense and effort.
3. Complete the streets. This strategy, codified in state law in Florida and South Carolina, requires pedestrian and bicycle facilities for all new road projects. The reason so few people use their own power on short trips in many cases is that they don’t feel safe doing it on our cars-only road designs.

2 Comments so far
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I agree. Transportation is a MAJOR issue. Take a look at what the European countries have started doing. For example Norway and Sweden, whenever a road is built they look at the ways they can save energy not only by building the road but also by the cars and trucks that use the road. They have been working on a plan to “hotwire” the static electricity that each wheel of a car or truck or bike gives off and wire it into their power grid. THAT IS THE KIND OF THINKING THAT WE NEED TO BE DOING HERE!!!

Comment by Gunner

Hey BM, you going to the Georgians for Better Transportation dinner Feb. 6?

Comment by Scrub_Oak

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