Ratcheting Down Density

Without a viable mass transit system and concentrated employment centers, Atlanta should reduce allowable density and build more roads, says one columnist.
September 5, 2006, 2pm PDT | Christian Madera | @cpmadera
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"No affordable mass transit or commuter rail system can possibly be built linking anything more than a handful of people to where they live and work. One could argue that, once built, high-rise dwellings and high-employment centers would spring up. That has not been Atlanta's experience with rapid rail in the decades since the east-west line opened. And with the possible exception of the Lindbergh station, MARTA hasn't driven density around stations on the north-south line, either."

"The practical remedy is to ratchet down density in all but the places where roads exist to carry it. Just as water withdrawal permits exist, so too should jurisdictions be assigned traffic-addition permits for every major highway based on the road's carrying capacity. If cities or counties want to add traffic, they should be required to jointly fund new capacity."

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Published on Tuesday, September 5, 2006 in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
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