(ideas.) This was never the plan, but two thirds of the Beltline may forever move forward without transit. That’s because MARTA is only committed to one third of the long-promised project in the current More MARTA plan – a $2.5 billion list of projects to help the urban core of Atlanta manage incredible growth and change over the next 40 years. Worse, MARTA has offered no commitment to other funding or timing to close the 22-mile loop of transit. That means that the majority of the Beltline’s 45 neighborhoods will not see the project’s long-promised outcomes – at least not in our lifetimes. Think about it – two thirds of the fastest gentrifying communities in Atlanta will continue to grow, but they won’t have transit to help manage mounting traffic, new density, and other kinds of change – even though the promise of transit is why they supported the Atlanta Beltline in the first place.
It’s not too late to change MARTA’s mind and get the entire Beltline prioritized so that all three thirds get to benefit. I’m part of an organic group of community people fighting to get Beltline Rail Now – a cause so simple, we made it our name. Here’s what we are asking for:
1) Re-think the Clifton Corridor. Reserve the City’s fair share for this project but reallocate most of its LRT funding.
2) Create a big vision for Campbellton Road. Make it a best-in-class BRT corridor now instead of waiting for a future LRT promise.
3) Build the entire Atlanta Beltline.
3a) Reprioritize LRT funding to the Beltline.
3b) Build rail transit now on the entire loop.
3c) Build the Southside transit and trail at the same time.
3d) Create new regional synergies with an Armour infill station.
3e) De-prioritize transit projects that will be stuck in traffic.
For more information on these ideas, or to join our cause, sign our petition and check out our new website. >> Ryan Gravel
Shoutout to BRN’s Kimyung Kim for quoining #TwoThirdsNotServed
- How does Beltline transit advance equity?
- Our Moral Imperative
- What I think about the MoreMARTA plan.
- A Beltline call-to-action.
- The history of Beltline transit.
- A new threat to Beltline transit.
- Why not just put BRT on the Beltline?
- Why is everybody going around in circles?
- Who benefits?
- Is transit so important?
I support the cause. Redlining graphic really doesn’t sit well with residents from SW Atlanta. I wish another color scheme was used.
Thanks for your comment, Brent. The red and green lines are akin to traffic lights – red for stop, meaning these areas don’t get Beltline transit, (despite 15 years of promises) – and green for the ones that do. Some parts of SW Atlanta get transit in the current plan, but most do not – in fact, most of the Beltline does not get transit – see red lines. “Redlining” is different, right?
Ryan — Great points and absolutely support them.
Of note, I attended the August 2, SW Atlanta meeting. And a couple of observations:
1) They (Marta Rep) attempted to structure meeting so that there would be no general public comments to the entire group. Instead, after the initial presentation by public officials, all were instructed to attend breakout sections and discuss in those smaller groups. This seemed a clear strategy to limit any negative comments or concerns. A sort of Divide and conquer technique. So listening but not listening and diffusing energy.
Several of us rejected this notion and were given 20-30 min., after the initial presentation by public officials. Finally there was a general public comment time at the end of the evening where others continued to express their concerns.
These public comments in the larger group were not initially scheduled. Councilmember, Joyce Sheperd, listened and made room for these open public comment periods. I hope the other meetings in August allow for public comments to the entire group not diffused in smaller groups.
2) The survey is a sham. It only gives options for ranking and comments that reflect the plan they’ve come up with — the “S” that Snakes from CDC down to it’s tail at Campbellton Rd. If you “rig” a survey this way, you’ll vastly decrease hearing anything about the initial plan for LRT over the entire Beltline, much less anything else.
The first question about “principles” includes a list of items that is so vague or obscure to render it meaningless or to allow answers to be used to support Marta’s current preset agenda. For example, “Increase mobility for workers to and from job centers” Who wouldn’t endorse this? But of course in the Plan presented, endorsing this item, would certainly endorse the Clifton Corridor project because most of the “job centers” are there, NOT in SW Atlanta and not currently along all sections of the Beltline as it stands now. Other items are obscure to the average and even above average persons.
Then two questions (yes/somewhat/no) focused on differentiating the, respondents needs vs. their perception of Atlanta’s needs. Why is this so important? Are they really hoping that people say that even tho it doesn’t meet their needs it meets Atlanta’s needs — presumably the “greater good?” Perhaps this is what Marta believes it’s doing by betraying the voter’s intention and desire for LRT over the entire Beltline, and instead redirecting it to the Clifton Corridor — a portion of the region that was not even part of the City of Atlanta when Atlantan’s chose to TAX themselves for LRT on the Beltline. Then the respondent Chooses whether or not to generate a written response to clarify. Do you imagine that these written responses, if offered, will be coded and represented in the data set for analysis? No, they won’t. That’s particularly awful, because by soliciting a written response you’ve given the impression that a person’s been heard, where in fact, it’s the opposite. You’re ignoring them through artifice.
There’s the 4th question in this 5 question survey. Here you must rank your top three of the projects they’ve pre-chosen from their agenda. Can’t lose with that technique. “Would you like A, B, C, D, or E from my agenda? No, if you ask, we’re not talking about F thru Z. We’re not talking about what Atlantan’s voted for, LRT over the entire Beltline. We’re talking about how we decided to spend your money, (possibly) to satisfy powerful economic and political interests along the Clifton corridor.”
And the Fifth and final question, the closest to valid, asking to rate one’s support of the proposed projects. But this after an entire presentation and project lists (within the survey) orienting you to their pre-set plan that does not include nor make mention of LRT over the entire Beltline. Avoiding it, as if the idea had never been presented — instead of acknowledging it’s origin as a cornerstone of the transit-oriented Beltline project that has near universal appeal.
3) By the way, Marta Rep says Campbellton LRT “up to 30 years” from now. That’s a joke. It may as well never happen. They’ve deceptively drawn it on a map in the same yellow — equating it to the Clifton Corridor. 30 years from now is a world apart from what will happen in the Clifton Corridor. So in effect they are saying LRT only on SW corridor and North from there — reflecting the 2/3s not served map.
Atlantan’s have this amazing vision for the Beltline, a transit corridor to Unite the City, to overcome a legacy of division and loss — replacing it with vitality and opportunity, and to back up this vision by taxing themselves — all of it, just amazing and wonderful. Its such a clear Vision — one that’s already begun to energize and heal the city by stitching it back together.
Yet now our public officials, Marta, choose to obscure that vision, and pursue their own plan. An expedient plan that meets genuine regional needs yet limits and undoes Atlantan’s powerful vision of the Beltline. I hope public officials will look back to the clear Vision of Atlantans and choose to honor that vision by working harder to find another solution to the Clifton Corridor’s needs — a solution that does not usurp and undercut a unified Atlanta. Honor Atlanta’s Vision for unification and equality with LRT on the entire Beltline (Now).
We need this.