GTA Seeks Executive Director

February 22, 2013

The Georgia Transit Association (GTA) recently announced an opening for the position of Executive Director. The Executive Director serves as the GTA’s chief spokesperson and operating officer. More information on the GTA and this opening may be found at

DeKalb County Seeking Community Input on Proposed Master Active Living Plan

February 20, 2013


The DeKalb County Department of Planning and Sustainability and the DeKalb Board of Health will hold a series of public meetings to inform and seek input from residents and stakeholders regarding the proposed Master Active Living Plan (MALP). The proposed plan will address long-term, neighborhood quality of life enhancements to combat health issues in the county. Community input is needed to identify the best locations for sidewalks, paths, trails and bike routes that will link residents to schools, libraries, parks, and community gardens.

DeKalb residents are encouraged to join the discussion and share their ideas for the MALP at upcoming meetings listed below:

Study Area One
(A) Indian Creek MARTA Station
(B) Covington Hwy (Memorial Drive to 285)

Wednesday, February 20, 4:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Thursday, February 21, 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m

Georgia Piedmont Technical College
495 N. Indian Creek Drive
Clarkston, GA 30021


Study Area Two
(A) Wesley Chapel /Flakes Mill & Flat Shoals
(B) Panola & Salem

Tuesday, February 26, 6:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Wednesday, February 27, 4:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Thursday, February 28, 6:30 p.m.– 8:00 p.m.

DeKalb Community Achievement Center
4522 Flat Shoals Pkwy
Decatur, GA 30034


Final Meeting/Plan Presentation
Tuesday, March 12, 6:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.

Maloof Auditorium
1300 Commerce Drive
Decatur, GA 30030


For more information, contact Shawanna Qawiy, DeKalb County Planning and Sustainability, at (404) 371-9771 or sqawiy [at], or Ron Sherwood, Grice Consulting Group, at (404) 577-6300 or rsherwood [at]

DOT Announces Proposal to Establish National Freight Network

February 18, 2013


U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood recently announced the establishment of a National Freight Advisory Committee to provide recommendations aimed at improving the national freight transportation system. A strong freight transportation system is critical to the nation’s economy and essential for helping meet President Obama’s goal of doubling U.S. exports by 2015.

“Our freight system is the lifeblood of the American economy,” said Secretary LaHood. “We must ensure that our freight system is stronger and better connected.”

The recent transportation bill, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century, or MAP-21, signed by President Obama in July 2012, established a national freight policy and called for the creation of a National Freight Strategic Plan. By engaging stakeholders representing diverse geographic, modal, and policy interests, such as safety, labor and the environment, the Advisory Committee will provide recommendations to the Secretary of Transportation on how DOT can improve its freight transportation policies and programs. The U.S. Department of Transportation is soliciting nominations for members of the National Freight Advisory Committee. Instructions on how to submit nominations will be available in the Federal Register notice which will publish in the coming days.

The collaboration of stakeholders will serve to promote involvement and compliance with proposed plans and performance measures. The effort will support the implementation of larger freight policy initiatives, including the Department’s Freight Policy Council, an internal body of DOT leadership created by Secretary LaHood to facilitate cross-modal implementation of MAP-21 freight provisions. The Advisory Committee will comprise at least 25 voting members from outside of DOT who have various perspectives on freight transportation, including mode, region, policy areas, freight customers and providers, and government entities, and will meet at least three times per year.

DOT also proposed the process through which the DOT will designate a national freight network to better focus attention on the highways most critical to the movement of goods. The Secretary will designate the most critical existing interstates and roads as the primary freight network. This network will consist of up to 27,000 miles of existing interstate and other roadways. It will also include the possible addition of 3,000 miles of existing and planned roadways necessary for the efficient movement of goods in the future.

A comprehensive system is required to meet the growing freight volumes. The Department is requesting comments on the proposed freight network designation process. Instructions on how to submit comments are available in the Federal Register notice available here.

Learn About TOD Investment Opportunities at MARTA’s Development Day

February 14, 2013


The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) invites the public to attend “Development Day,” an event which aims to educate attendees about the Authority’s Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Program. Presentations by MARTA and the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) will focus on:

• Highlighting development opportunities at selected MARTA Stations

• Informing attendees about upcoming RFP/RFQ releases

• Providing opportunities for networking and interaction with other developers, regional stakeholders, public officials and MARTA staff

• Presenting demographic and market analysis opportunities for TODs

Development day will take place on Thursday, March 7th from 1PM to 4PM at the Georgia Tech Hotel and Conference Center.

If interested, please register here:

For additional information, please contact:

Ted Tarantino (ttarantino [at] or 404-848-5397

Nine Communities Awarded Funds for New LCI Studies

February 12, 2013


ARC awarded $638,000 in its latest round of Livable Centers Initiative (LCI) grants to nine metro Atlanta communities. The LCI grants will help these communities create new plans for quality growth and help develop innovative policies that support more vibrant, connected communities. Once their studies and plans are complete, these communities will be eligible for additional LCI funding for transportation projects needed to implement their plans.

Since its inception in 1999, LCI has assisted 111 communities with more than $154 million in planning and implementation grants to devise strategies that reduce traffic congestion and improve air quality by better connecting homes, shops and offices. LCI communities cover only five percent of the region’s land area, but contain seven percent of its residential development, 24 percent of its commercial development and 38 percent of its office development.

“LCI has helped communities across metro Atlanta re-tool and redesign over the years, creating more places that attract residents and businesses alike,” said Tad Leithead, ARC Chairman. “Our local government partners have used these grants to the benefit of their communities and the entire region.”

The LCI program is funded with federal transportation dollars. The grants fund 80 percent of the study, with the recipient making a 20 percent match.

“Communities are eager to revitalize their town centers and underutilized properties to create places that foster a vibrant neighborhood feel and environment,” said Doug Hooker, ARC Executive Director. “LCI grants have helped communities re-imagine what they can be, and then helped them make those plans a reality.”

2013 LCI grant recipients:

DeKalb County for the Medline Regional Activity Center

This study focuses on the area around DeKalb Medical Center and will plan for redevelopment of underutilized and vacant properties to create a variety of housing options and an appropriate mix of commercial, office and retail. The study will incorporate Lifelong Communities concepts and the establishment of a “wellness district” for the DeKalb Medical Center area. Additionally, the plan will address sidewalk and bicycle facilities along the major corridors in the area to create a more walkable center and to improve connections to MARTA bus routes and Emory’s Cliff shuttle.

Coweta County for the Newnan Town Center

This plan will focus on redevelopment opportunities near the old Newnan Hospital and various industrial properties, creating a mix of land uses in a way that is compatible with the town’s historic character, as well as on improving connectivity both within and from Newnan to the larger regional transportation network.

The seven remaining grants are for supplemental studies to help existing LCI communities implement their existing plans through additional studies, zoning changes, etc. Communities receiving supplemental study funds are:

To learn more about the LCI program and the impact it has had on the Atlanta region, visit

PEDS to Hold Annual Meeting

February 11, 2013

Meet and share ideas with fellow advocates, vote for board members and enjoy great food and beverages at PEDS annual meeting. Staff will give a short presentation on key achievements for last year and our strategies for 2013. We also want your feedback on proposed changes to the City of Atlanta’s sidewalk policy. Enjoy a spectacular view of the Midtown Atlanta skyline and a great opportunity to share your own views on walking in Atlanta.

Tues, Feb 19, 6:00 to 7:30 PM

One Atlantic Center

1201 West Peachtree St., 33rd floor

(Within walking distance of Arts Center MARTA station)

To learn more about the event, click here.

Public Kick-Off Meetings Announced for DeKalb Transportation Plan Update

February 5, 2013


ARC’s CTP program, now in it’s 6th year, provides funding for counties and their municipalities to develop joint long-range transportation plans. These plans help articulate local priorities for transportation investments and serve as the basis for building the region’s long-range Regional Transportation Plan.

DeKalb County and its constituent cities are now in the process of developing an updated CTP. The DeKalb CTP project team invites the public to attend one of the upcoming public kickoff meetings scheduled in February. Staff will be on hand to provide an overview of the previous CTP, explain the CTP development process, discuss the development of plan goals and offer ways in which the public can provide feedback into the planning process.  Four meetings are scheduled this month, listed below:

Thursday, February 7th | 6:30 – 8:00 PM

Lou Walker Senior Center

2538 Panola Road

Lithonia, GA 30058

On MARTA: #117

Saturday, February 9th | 9:30 – 11:00 AM

Maloof Center Auditorium

1300 Commerce Drive

Decatur, GA 30030

On MARTA: #15, #123, Decatur Sta􀆟 on

Monday, February 11th | 6:30 – 8:00 PM

Exchange Park Multi -Purpose Room

2771 Columbia Drive

Decatur, GA 30034

On MARTA: #114

Tuesday, February 12th | 6:30 – 8:00 PM

Doraville Civic Center

3770 Central Avenue

Doraville, GA 30340

On MARTA: #25, #124, Doraville Sta􀆟 on