TIGER II: Another Transportation Funding Opportunity for Metro Atlanta

June 29, 2010

The federal government currently has several competitive transportation grant processes underway, but the one which is likely to generate the most interest from local governments and GDOT is known as TIGER II (mentioned in this previous Spotlight post).  The original TIGER (Transportation Investments Generating Economic Recovery) program was funded at $1.5 billion in last year’s stimulus bill, but generated more than 1,450 applications totaling $59 billion.  This time around, there is only $600 million available, so competition is likely to be even more intense. Read the rest of this entry »

Governor Signs Bills Banning Cell Phone Use by Young Drivers, Texting While Driving

June 22, 2010

On June 4th, 2010 Governor Sonny Perdue signed House Bill 23, which outlaws cell phone usage while driving for motorists under the age of 18.  The Governor also signed Senate Bill 360, which makes it illegal for all drivers to text while driving (with a penalty fine of $150.) Georgia is the 28th state to ban cell phone texting while driving.  These new rules take effect on July 1st, 2010. See the AJC’s summary of the legislation for more details.

Stimulus Dollars Fund Improvements to Newton County Problem Intersection

June 15, 2010

The  intersection of Turner Lake Road and Clark Street in Newton County is getting a complete makeover to improve traffic and pedestrian safety, thanks to federal stimulus funding.

Read the rest of this entry »

4 Questions with Faye DiMassimo

June 8, 2010

While it has been nearly ten years since the Atlanta region’s last major rail transit expansion, numerous jurisdictions and organizations are planning for the region’s next one. Atlanta is studying both the Beltline and a streetcar on the Peachtree Corridor. Both the Gwinnett Place and Gwinnett Village CIDs in Gwinnett County have looked at light rail for the I-85 corridor. The latest proposal comes from Cobb County and envisions a seven-station light rail line linking the Cumberland and Town Center districts. To learn more about this proposal, we conducted a brief interview with Faye DiMassimo, Director of Cobb County DOT:

Spotlight: Can you give us a brief synopsis of this project and its origins?

Faye DiMassimo: The US 41/Cobb Parkway Light Rail Transit proposal project history extends back to the 2001 Northwest Corridor Light Rail Transit Implementation Study completed by Bechtel Infrastructure Corporation and MS&E, Inc. Read the rest of this entry »

A Business Plan for Commuter Rail

June 2, 2010

Funding for commuter rail operations will require a multifaceted approach that leverages numerous sources, according to a recently released study commissioned by the advocacy group Georgians for Passenger Rail.

The report,  which updates previous Georgia passenger rail planning efforts conducted in 1995 and 2007, was compiled by the Brookings Institution, RCLCO, HDR and Bleakly Advisory Group. It envisions a 103-mile passenger rail corridor between Downtown Atlanta and Macon, with additional stations in Hapeville, Morrow, Hampton, Griffin and Forsyth. The service would consist of 12 round trips per workday (4 between Macon to Atlanta and 8 between Griffin and Atlanta).

The study proposes to cover the $25 million per year operating costs and additional $400 million in capital costs of the service with a combination of SPLOST funds, TAD financing, private development value capture and municipal assessments in station areas. Revenues related to Transit Oriented Development (see video below) figures large into the aforementioned funding assumptions as the study includes detailed station area development plans.

For more on the study, please visit Georgians for Passenger Rail.