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A Message to Suburban Counties: Invest in Transit or Get Left Behind

An op-ed directs a pointed pro-transit message to Gwinnett County near Atlanta.
September 21, 2016, 1pm PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Thomas Barrat

"Gwinnett [County] today is paying the price for not approving MARTA decades ago," according to an op-ed by Maria Saporta.

Earlier this month, the tech company NCR announced that it move its headquarters to Midtown Atlanta and expand its existing intown campus. Together, those investments "will add another 1,800 jobs on top of the 3,600 moving with the corporate headquarters," according to Saporta.

NCR's move, however, is only one example of a larger trend in the Atlanta region. According to Saporta, "[t]he majority of new job announcements in the metro area have one thing in common – they are within walking distance of a MARTA station."

Meanwhile Gwinnet has no short-term plans to add transit connections to the city and region—a six-year, one-cent local option sales tax will be on the ballot in November, but according to Saporta, "that money is slated to go to roads and other county needs."

Saporta also other arguments in favor of Gwinnett County adopting pro-transit policies and programs, including the county's changing demographics and its creation of more urban environments in cities like Norcross, Duluth, and Lawrenceville.

Gwinnett is not the only county cautioned by Saporta in the editorial. Fulton County and DeKalb County also have some catching up to do with the rest of the region's actions to support transit.

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Published on Monday, September 19, 2016 in SaportaReport
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