It can sometimes be difficult to get two municipalities to agree on where a road should go, how wide it should be and who should pay for it. Imagine the celebration in city halls across north Fulton County when the Alpharetta City Council became the sixth and final council to approve, unanimously, the Transportation Resource Implementation Program (TRIP) on Monday.
Representatives of Alpharetta, Johns Creek, Milton, Mountain Park, Roswell and Sandy Springs, with help from the Atlanta Regional Commission and transportation consultants, have been working on TRIP, a regional transportation plan, for more than a year, sometimes putting aside what might be best for their individual cities in exchange for a project that benefits everyone in the North Fulton area.
“It’s good to see all the North Fulton cities looking beyond their boundaries and taking a holistic approach to the problems and the solutions,” said Johns Creek Mayor Mike Bodker, who represents all six cities on the ARC board. “Traffic congestion doesn’t recognize borders, and it doesn’t make sense for each city to try to tackle transportation issues without regard to what neighboring cities might be doing or not doing. This is a common sense way to address a problem that plagues us all.”
TRIP identifies a list of significant, cross-jurisdictional projects supported by all six communities that will represent region-wide priorities and set the stage for timely implementation. The cities hope that by increasing the amount of cooperation and coordination, they can implement transportation solutions more quickly to benefit residents and employees.
After meeting with elected officials, business leaders and the general public, a list of potential projects was developed. Those projects, which represent more than $1 billion in improvements, were prioritized by need and the readiness of potential funding. Those funds would finance high-priority projects ranging in scope from major road widenings, to intersection improvements, to bike paths, sidewalks and connections from one trail system or greenspace to another.
“It’s great to see the staffs and elected officials of six different jurisdictions coming together, voluntarily, to try and make life better for the entire North Fulton community,” said Tom Weyandt, ARC’s director of comprehensive planning. “ARC has enjoyed being a part of this collaborative process and we look forward to assisting in the implementation of these projects. TRIP will directly benefit hundreds of thousands of people in North Fulton. We hope the cooperation and the spirit of it will have a positive impact across all of metro Atlanta.”