Atlanta’s ‘Fragile’ Traffic

This was tagged onto the end of a story from CNN:

Atlanta’s transportation system is fragile

Though warmth may have returned to Atlanta, its residents still can’t count on a reasonable commute. The city’s subway — called MARTA — does not reach many areas of the city, so the vast majority of commuters drive. That often means traffic jams during rush hours, which can extend through much of the day.

According to the Texas Transportation Institute’s Urban Mobility 2010 study, cited by the Clean Air Campaign, the region is the 12th most wasteful commute in the country. The average Atlanta driver is stuck in traffic for 43 hours per year; that’s in addition to his or her normal commuting time, it said.

That translates into a cost to Atlanta commuters of nearly $3 billion per year in time and fuel — $924 per person, it said.

The average commuting distance is 35 miles in metro Atlanta, and costs commuters $16.45 per day, said the Clean Air Campaign, a not-for-profit advocacy group.

More than four in five commuters (82%) drive alone, it said, citing a 2010 survey carried out for the Georgia Department of Transportation.

Despite those statistics, voters in 2012 turned down a transportation initiative. “Nobody fought harder for funding for MARTA than me during the regional transportation referendum,” Reed said Friday.

But, he added, he has transportation improvement in mind, with plans to extend a street car due to come on line this year and to invest in roads, bridges and sidewalks.

I must admit, the term “fragile” is appropriate.

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Michael Cheek

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