Out of Control Policy Blog

Atlanta journalist dissents on congestion

Atlanta Journal-Constitution editorial writer Jim Wooten has an excellent dissent on transportation policy in Atlanta. Wooten points out that any solution to Atlanta's traffic congestion has to focus on roads, not transit or land use. In a more interesting twist, he takes local policy makers to task for approving higher density zoning without making the commitment to improving the road network to support it. He writes, for example,

The city of Atlanta, for example, has been active in approving apartments along Marietta Street between downtown and the King Plow arts complex –- without adding street capacity. In three years or less, it'll be a nightmare. That, I think, is by design –- planned inconvenience for the purpose of forcing residents onto buses. That's fine for those who live, work and play entirely on bus or rail lines and have unlimited time to invest in getting there.

For the rest of us, though, a policy of deliberately inconveniencing metro Atlantans to effect the lifestyle changes that planners prefer conflicts with our sense of the role of government. Government should serve us as we wish to live –- and use our tax dollars to provide the schools, fire and police services, and roads and sewers that we need.

Samuel Staley is Research Fellow


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