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MARTA Considers Extending North Line to Alpharetta

Alpharetta would get four transit stations and Roswell one in the preferred plan of those surveyed in the transit agency's Connect 400 program.

MARTA's Connect 400 program has plans to extend its North Line up to Windward Parkway, adding four transit stations in Alpharetta and three others between Alpharetta and the North Springs Station.

The majority of a small sample of people preferred bringing MARTA's heavy rail line north from North Springs into Alpharetta, adding four transit stations in the city.

The preferred plan of the fewer than 140 people who started MARTA's survey want MARTA to use the GA 400 right of way to extend the rail line to have the least effect on land along the way.

Alpharetta City Councilman Jim Gilvin just wished MARTA officials had bothered to contact the city about its proposals, rather than hearing about it in a Tweet about a story from Appen Newspaper's Jonathan Copsey. Gilvin used this week's City Council meeting to pass on to MARTA's new general manager, Keith Parker, that the Mayor and the rest of City Council can be found on most Monday nights at City Hall.

Not all of the stations would necessarily be built and it would take 10-15 years to extend the North Line, Project Manager Jason Morgan told Copsey.

Fewer people took part in MARTA's online survey than participated in the city's own survey about Main Street in Alpharetta. Out of the 136 people who started the MARTA survey, 119 completed it. Of those people, 82 percent favored what's known as the 1A plan, which favors heavy rail and transit stations reaching Windward Parkway.

MARTA made its presentation a few weeks ago in Roswell at a public meeting.

Proposed Transit Stations

4 in Alpharetta

  • Mansell Road
  • North Point Mall
  • Haynes Bridge Road
  • Windward Parkway

1 in Roswell

  • Holcomb Bridge Road

2 more in Sandy Springs

  • Spalding Drive
  • Northridge Road

Alpharetta's Main Street survey had nearly 600 people adding comments online and 150 taking part in two interactive public meetings. And this was for a section of roadway between Windward Parkway and Old Milton Parkway, a project that will be much less expensive than the billions of dollars necessary to extend the rail line.

MARTA had its electronic survey open from Dec. 12, 2012 to Jan. 17, 2013, managing to schedule it during the Christmas and New Year's holidays.

The next step will be public outreach this summer. Financing and implementation of the plan would have to be decided before it could proceed, and the MARTA board would have to approve it.

Find out more about the plan at MARTA's website.

Do you want the North Line to extend to Alpharetta?

Autokorg April 12, 2013 at 10:25 PM
Because criminals only use their own cars... Good one sheriff. How many police chases do you go on where it's their own car?
Tommy G W... April 12, 2013 at 11:19 PM
Sir, please read the post before you reply. It says officer not sheriff , very different . To address your comment about police chases, that is not the point of the article and its follow up comments. The article and subsequent posts are regarding criminals using mass transit to come to areas to commit crime. That is simply not a true fact.
Alpharesident April 13, 2013 at 01:13 PM
I have lived off of Old Milton Parkway in Alpharetta for 18 years. We have only had one rash of break-ins in our neighbor over all those years. The perpetrators were caught. They were "high school students" riding MARTA train/buses to attend the Fulton County charter HS located near our subdivision. The teens would break into our homes before and after school and steal anything valuable that would fit in their backpacks. One backpack of stoled items was found hidden in an undeveloped strip of woods between our subdivision and the MARTA bus stop. Other times they just carried the backpacks into school. Lots of valuables can easily fit in a backpack - money, jewelry, small electronics, hand guns (yes, they stole a gun) and can be transported on a bus or train. So while I am for MARTA expanding, it can and will bring a certain amount of additional crime that otherwise wouldn't come our way. However, I stil think the benefits outweigh the dangers. Just go in with your eyes wide open.
Ralph Clements April 14, 2013 at 06:24 PM
It is impossible to separate MARTA from Atlanta politics. MARTA will always be most focused on commuting to downtown Atlanta. The northern suburbs have transportation goals that are not aligned with MARTA. MARTA's proposal maps don't address the GSU/GPC campus, Avalon, or the planned Gwinnett Tech campus, all on Old Milton Pkwy. MARTA is only focused on the GA400 corridor because that's the only place where they can fit heavy rail. Any MARTA project will be dominated by very expensive growth of its heavy rail line. That might serve MARTA but doesn't necessarily serve the greater needs of North Fulton and beyond. There are also more people who work here than live here, and as JParker pointed out, many of them cannot afford to live here. MARTA's plan addresses this question: "How can MARTA be made to fit in North Fulton so that MARTA can prevent any spending on alternatives and reserve all funds for MARTA?" A professional study is needed to addressed the relevant question: "What are the transit needs for the northern communities including the potential for tying into the existing MARTA system?" These things take time. Let's get started.
JAH April 15, 2013 at 09:18 PM
I thought the failure of T-SPLOST meant that there would simply be no available funds for the expansion of MARTA; could it possibly be that our politicians lied to us AGAIN?

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