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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?

Rob Forrest April 11, 2013 at 12:34 PM
What's funny is old Milton where Avalon, Gwinnett Tech, Ga State, and 2-3 more mixed use projects may be built someday, wasn't on the list...
donald hochoy April 11, 2013 at 01:07 PM
This should have happen long time ago, driving on 400 is getting worse each year.
Joe Seconder April 11, 2013 at 08:10 PM
Been there. Done that. Plan conducted in 1998. You have my permission to use the SAME funding sources as you did in the early & mid-1990s and make this happen. http://www.itsmarta.com/planning/North%20Line/North_Line_TOD_Ch_1.pdf
Joe Seconder April 11, 2013 at 10:42 PM
Check out the Washington, DC METRO rail system. Goes from inner city, to business centers, to tourist destinations to affluent suburbs. Their rail system spans demographical and socio-economical boundaries. And even goes into two different states. When MARTA began, so did the DC METRO system. And just look at how much they've expanded & CONTINUE to expand. They're building new lines out to Dulles as we speak, offering people a CHOICE and helping to alleviate traffic congestion and air pollution.
Joe Seconder April 11, 2013 at 10:44 PM
This is an excellent in-depth story from the Atlanta Magazine on the history of MARTA & how we're left standing still today. Segregationist Lester Maddox was a driving force to bind the financing structure of MARTA. http://www.atlantamagazine.com/features/2012/08/01/marta-tsplost-transportation
Joe Seconder April 11, 2013 at 10:51 PM
Gen-Y's want to walk, ride bikes or take transit where they live. Got to keep up & invest in transit to incent the talented members of the "Creative Class" to want to live, work & play in your community. Hours of long commutes sitting on a highway in single occupancy vehicles are the opposite of the new generation's demands. "For generations of suburban kids raised in traffic, mixed-use and mass transit will define the future." http://www.creativeclass.com/rfcgdb/articles/The%20hunt%20for%20the%20next%20hot%20spots.pdf
Tommy G W... April 11, 2013 at 11:20 PM
To all , I am a local police officer with 20 years experience . I thought Marta would bring crime, well it really does not. Criminals drive, they can't rob you , break into your house , shoplift and the walk to a Marta station and wait for a bus or train. Think about it folks , do you think a thug is going to wait at a bus stop holding a sixty inch flat screen. I would rather limit all the stupid car accidents we work because the roads are jammed and fight actual crime. If you we're to say I don't want Marta because it will bring black folks to white neighborhoods, I would think your an idiot but at least you are speaking what you feel and not some made up ...Marta brings crime...
JParker April 12, 2013 at 01:49 AM
Crime is not the problem. That's just the pseudonym that people use rather than admit that they are uncomfortable talking openly about racial and socioeconomic realities. The reality is that the people who do much of the labor in the North Fulton area cannot afford to live there, so public transportation is a necessary solution to keep these people working there. So we need bus and rail service for the daily operation of the community. However, MARTA has proven over the years that it is not capable of managing the development and operation of a transit system. If the North Fulton cities got together and used their combined resources, they could create a professionally staffed and responsible led organization to get the community the transit system it needs. Where are the leaders - the statesmen who put the future of the community ahead of politics and personal gain?
Jackie Irish April 12, 2013 at 05:27 PM
JParker, This really does seem like the sanest solution. Mass transit would increase the overall quality of life simply by providing an alternative for people who can't or would prefer not to rely on cars. But MARTA's problems over the years shouldn't be ignored and the northern county/cities should (finally) take the lead on this issue.
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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