Georgia Tech students blast auto-focused plan for Northside Drive remake

Editor’s be aware: When the Georgia Section of Transportation released a five-moment flyover movie in October that in-depth a proposed remake of Northside Push, it did tiny to curry favor with alternate transportation proponents and common urbanists of Atlanta.

A student governing entire body at Ga Tech, it turns out, was amongst them.

GDOT’s programs depict a roughly five-mile stretch of Northside Drive, amongst Interstate 20 and I-75, a well-liked north-south commuter corridor. The movie shows a widened Northside Push with medians put in in destinations, broader sidewalks for pedestrians, and some revised intersections—but no infrastructure for guarded bike lanes or alternate transportation these kinds of as Bus Rapid Transit in the avenue.

Considerably of Northside Generate would keep on being a six-lane, typical vehicle thoroughfare, per the video. And that, of program, is very substantially Georgia Tech’s backyard.

Users of Tech’s University student Organizing Affiliation, inside of the University of Metropolis and Regional Organizing, attained out to Urbanize Atlanta this week with the following letter that helps describe their considerations. “We see ourselves,” they reported by using email, “as stakeholders in this [GDOT] undertaking.”

They write:

Here at Ga Tech’s College student Planning Affiliation within the College of Town and Regional Planning, we have been intently pursuing GDOT’s programs for the Northside Generate Corridor.

So much, we believe that the direction GDOT is taking in their redesign for this critical corridor falls brief of their stated values of innovation, basic safety, sustainability, and mobility.

The most up-to-date iteration of their designs for this corridor produced on October 18th yielded lots of contentious comments from urban-minded individuals in the Atlanta region. Prioritizing the corridor for freight trucks [traveling] Northside Push involving Interstate 20 and I-75 will come at the expense of those residing and moving in just the Northside corridor, primarily individuals who decide on modes other than vehicles.

Proposed Northside Push changes at Larkin Street in close proximity to Castleberry Hill, just southwest of downtown, per a GDOT informational video clip. GDOT by means of YouTube

We would like to get in touch with attention to how GDOT has taken care of their directive of “Operational Improvements” of the Northside Corridor. For instance, in a reaction to a community remark requesting a pedestrian crossing at 8th Street, GDOT responded, “A metered pedestrian crossing would prevent targeted traffic outside of the signalized intersections, which would conflict with the reason of the undertaking by delaying functions.”

This implies that pedestrian security and connectivity are in opposition to their operational objectives for the corridor. Their community reaction reveals the priorities GDOT is bringing to this undertaking: Maximize protection (for automobiles) and mobility (for autos) in order to realize their “Operational Advancements.”

GDOT’s path and massive use of public funds do not align with the Atlanta Transportation Plan’s eyesight to, “envision an Atlanta that is fewer dependent on cars… by prioritizing persons, respecting the type of the metropolis, investing in places of expansion, running financial incentives, and lessening the frustrations individuals have moving about.” The course GDOT is using with this corridor misses these goals by keeping Northside Push as a primarily six-lane urban arterial, omitting north-to-south bike infrastructure, omitting designs for Bus Speedy Transit, and introducing suburban-model pedestrian crossings.

Proposed highway-widening and alterations where Northside Drive fulfills North Avenue, just west of Ga Tech. GDOT by means of YouTube

We would like to emphasize the operate finished concerning the Northside Push Corridor by a Ga Tech Organizing Studio back again in 2012. Their aspirations echo several of our understandings about what the corridor could be, who it all could provide, and why we must not be information with the standing quo.

We phone on the determination-makers for this job to reframe their directive of “Operational Improvements” absent from visitors stream. We stimulate them to reimagine Northside Travel, as the Setting up Studio wrote in their government summary in 2012: “Imagine… dissolving the east-west divide that for many years has walled off the lower and mid-wealth neighborhoods to the west from the strong downtown and Midtown centers to the east, bodily, economically, and socially.”


Scholar Scheduling Affiliation

Georgia Institute of Technologies

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