41 comments

  1. Chris says:

    I can’t describe how much better my life has become since I moved to only going into the office 2 days a week.

    Telecommuting is a management cultural issue. Short of a cubical occupancy tax, I can’t come up with a effective way for government to “fix” this cultural issue. I won’t go into why that is such a bad idea.

  2. Decaturguy says:

    When I travel to New York City and take a cab to/from the airport, there is a toll of a few bucks to get into Manhattan and a few bucks to get out of the city, depending upon the time of the day. If we had alternatives to driving in Atlanta (such as transit up our major transportation corridors) we could set up a system like this inside/outside 285.

  3. Is there going to be a low income “voucher” to buy these expensive energy effecient cars or are they going to be discriminated against by paying the higher tax because they cannot afford the $40,000 green car.

  4. Doug Deal says:

    Anyone who thinks roundabouts would work in Atlanta does not know Atlanta traffic.

    What happens when one road is backed up due to an accident and traffic is then stopped in the roundabout, blocking the corss street. Which then backs up to the previous roundabout, which blocks that cross road, and so on.

    Roundabouts do not work when the exits are prone to backup. Only one of the exits needs to back up for ALL traffic to be stopped dead.

    Also, you might want to ask the blind and cyclist what they think of them.

  5. griftdrift says:

    Actually the roundabout at the intersection of N Decatur and Lullwater works quite well. And I was a serious skeptic. But I think it’s effect has been more on controlling a dangerous intersection rather than easing traffic flow.

    Oh and my proposal is to levy a 20 buck toll on anyone entering I-75 from the Eagles Landing interchange. *cue Jason and Rep. Davis*

  6. Chris says:

    I always thought Jitney was something of a slur. A rundown, unsafe, soot spewing, underpowered bus or small car that is the major form of transport in third-world cities.

  7. Doug Deal says:

    grift

    They are safer, as long as the inside the traffic circle traffic has the right of way, but if it is one of the ones where the right of way belongs to those entering the road, the accident rates are much higher than a traditional intersection.

    In any event, Atlanta needs more viable alternates to interstate driving, instead of more interstate lanes, which is what causes all of the problems in the first place.

  8. I like the concept of HOT (high occupancy/toll) lanes. They send an important message: if you want to improve your transit time expect to pay for it. The biggest problem for our transportation debate is what I would call the Steve Davis argument: build me more “free” roads because I will never pay for rail.

    Once roads aren’t “free” anymore, it will be easier to have a sensible debate about the costs of other alternatives. Plus, I like the idea of actually being able to get somewhere (airport, baseball game, wedding, meeting) when it may otherwise be inconvenient by paying a toll.

    Either plan ahead for traffic or be able to buy your way out of it makes a lot of sense.

  9. griftdrift says:

    Funny but in other large cities I have seen busses with company names like So-And-So Jitney Service. First time I’ve ever heard it called racist.

  10. Southerner says:

    Traffic circles work in New England because the level of education amond the general populace is high. That’s why they won’t work too well in Ga. becasue everyone here seems to think that the right-of-way is theirs by birthright.

    His ideas are good as far as they go, but his arguement is flawed in that transit on major corridors WILL help as well. He poo-poos all transit as wasteful, because it does not fit his world view. His arguement does not allow for lifestyles other than his own, which is a common fallicy among those Nattering Nabobs who are against transit.

  11. CobbGOPer says:

    Um, well, technically the roads aren’t free anyway. They are build and maintained with taxpayer dollars. We’re paying for the roads already. All a toll does is add an immediate and highly visible extra tax for using the road.

    And by the way, I wouldn’t exactly call jitneys racist. Of course, when I was in China I made extensive use of the rickshaws, so maybe I’m not the best person to ask. But man, did I get around cheap!

  12. stephaniemills21 says:

    Chuck,

    I drive three different vehicles of three different sizes around atlanta very frequently. A Yukon XL, a mid sized pickup truck, and a ford focus. I can tell you that getting around town in the the smaller vehicles takes a lot less time, and thusly has me on the road for less time. Less time I am on the road, the better it is for traffic for everyone else.

    Southerner,

    Your outlook on Georgians is pretty bleak? Are you saying we can’t be taught?

  13. ChuckEaton says:

    Stephanie-

    A Ford Focus may help you weave in and out of traffic during off-peak hours, but unless you plan on driving it between the lanes (like a motorcycle) it’s not going to have any material effect on your commute when you hit that wall of traffic on GA 400 at 5:00 pm.

    I live in Atlanta and have driven numerous models and sizes of cars. Short of driving illegally – to say, “getting around town in the smaller vehicles takes a lot less time” would be a bit of an exaggeration.

  14. Doug Deal says:

    Vic,

    Notice where it says that roundabouts are not for every intersection. People think putting a roundabout in at that heavily congested intersection is going to improve things. But this is the type of intersection that the effectiveness of roundabouts goes in the trash.

    Too many cars mean cars have a difficult time entering the roundabout because they have to yeild to traffic already there. Imagine Atlanta traffic where the continuous rush of cars makes it difficult to pull out until a light turns red. This will also take place at roundabouts.

    In very light traffic, the extremely expensive roundabout does nothing to help congestion, so it is a waste of money.

    It is the medium load roads that it performs best on, but those are the places people never propose putting them.

    One thing to consider in making roundabouts; the land area required is enormous to make an effective roundabout. Trucks, fire engines and ambulances do not turn on dimes, so the radius needs to be big enough to accommodate them.

    They are used in Europe, but nearly everyone I met in France hated them (probably because they are thought of as English). They work well in the country, but take a look at the traffic around the Arc de Triomphe. It is probably the single most dangerous intersection in the world. A tour guide told me that many insurance policies explicitly state that they do not cover accidents that occur in that roundabout.

    I am not against roundabout where it is clear they would help. My problem is that they are treated by some people as the be-all end-all fix to all traffic based woes. Like any other tool, it has it’s place, but you don’t trim fingernails with a zigsaw.

  15. Doug,

    Thanks for putting some good thoughts and observations into the debate. I agree, Roundabouts are not for every intersection but as far as your, Erick’s & my backyard is concerned, the weblink below provides an excellent example of where they would work.

    All research courtesy Dr Lindsay Holliday, he has held countless public meetings and flown experts in from all over the world to analyze this situation.

    But our Bibb County Commissioners, some of whom appear to personally benefit financially from the Roadway Projects that they vote on, prefer six lane highways in Elementary School neighborhoods.

    If the Telegraph scrutinized the Bibb County Georgia USA Commission as well as they do City Government, we might make some progressive decisions around here. That’s my opinion, what’s yours?

    http://www.macon-bibb.com/FHR/Roundabouts.htm

  16. Doug Deal says:

    Vic,

    The first and second pictures from the top look like good candidates. But the third is one where I think it is better to just put a four way stop sign, which is the most efficient type of traffic control on lightly traveled low speed routes.

    Representative Davis,

    When you mention “express lanes”, do you mean the variety where they allow solo drivers into the HOV lane for a fee, or do you mean real full scale express lanes.

    I do not think the converted HOV variety will be effective. How often is the HOV lane not congested when the other 5-6 lanes through downtown are? The problem is mingling high speed long distance traffic with slower local traffic.

    It

  17. Doug,

    I was referring to the lanes that are seperated by a barrier with limited exits. A HOT lane is the solo driver in a HOV lane for fee, better known as “Lexus” lanes. But I support them both!

  18. Doug Deal says:

    Rep. Davis, you have my whole hearted support. What do you see as the biggest obstacle in convincing your colleagues (or is it Washington) on the express lanes?

  19. Steve,

    Have you had time to study up on Roundabouts? As much time as we spend running around in circles in Georgia, it seems like we’d all instinctively know how to navigate one.

    Maybe if we propose some Governmental offices in Central Georgia and elsewhere around the state, the ATL traffic and smog problems would be reduced.

    thanks,
    Vic

  20. Rick Day says:

    LOL @ ICE

    The day gas goes a dollar a gallon more in GA is the day I invest heavily in gas stations at the TN, AL , NC and SC borders.

    Yes, that will work!

  21. Hey… I was surprised to find PeachPundit quoting me in my own RSS feed! I’m going to reply to a few of these comments separately rather than batch everything together…

  22. To Chuck Eaton:

    Not quite sure how replacing a Hummer with a Prius would create
    less traffic.

    Yeah, I didn’t notice how the edited version made that a non-sequitur. The original version (on my blog at academicvc.blogspot.com) talked about traffic *and* pollution. The version published at GPPF cut out the pollution reference, and I missed my chance to put in an explanatory phrase. Sorry.

  23. To Chuck Eaton:

    Not quite sure how replacing a Hummer with a Prius would create
    less traffic.

    Yeah, I didn’t notice how the edited version made that a non-sequitur. The original version (on my blog at http://academicvc.blogspot.com) talked about traffic *and* pollution. The version published at GPPF cut out the pollution reference, and I missed my chance to put in an explanatory phrase. Sorry.

  24. To jsm:

    Nothing like more government control through taxation.

    Believe me, I’d rather not use tax policy to encourage or discourage specific behaviors. But it’s the world we live in.

  25. To Decaturguy:

    inside/outside 285

    The problem is that so much of Atlanta’s traffic isn’t suburb-to-center-city (like Manhattan), but suburb-to-suburb. Put the toll fences at 285, and some people will just never come inside the Perimeter.

  26. To Southerner:

    His arguement does not allow for lifestyles other than his own, which is a common fallicy among those Nattering Nabobs who are against transit.

    Well, my personal lifestyle involves riding a bicycle to work… does yours?

    The difference is, I don’t expect billions of dollars of taxpayer money to be spent subsidizing *my* choice. (A few more bike lanes would be nice, but they wouldn’t realistically make a dent in traffic.)

    The 5% of Atlanta commuters who use MARTA seem to think it’s a God-given right that the other 95% should subsidize *them*.

    Spend most of the money on helping the 95% of the problem, which is single-passenger automobiles.

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