Atlanta Forward Blog 

Discussion on Atlanta's economy, schools, transportation, leadership, quality of life

MARTA’s impending expansion

  • 4:00 pm Monday, October 20th, 2014 by Tom Sabulis

Moderated by Tom Sabulis

My column today deals with the ramifications of a “yes” vote to increase the sales tax in Clayton County by one penny to join MARTA. At a recent meeting, Clayton and MARTA leaders predicted a big majority in favor of MARTA on election day, and what that could mean for metro Atlanta. In our second column, a former director of the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety writes about the new varying speed limits on the north end of I-285, which some motorists are criticizing.

Commenting is open.

Will others follow Clayton?

By Tom Sabulis

You could have loaded the optimism on [More]

Driverless cars: What to watch for

  • 1:49 pm Monday, October 6th, 2014 by Tom Sabulis

Moderated by Tom Sabulis

Lawmakers in various states including Georgia are trying to get their heads around the rapidly accelerating technology involving driverless cars. There are a lot of questions: Who will be responsible in case of accidents? How will they interact with standard cars? Today, we offer three columns written by presenters at the first hearing of the Georgia House study committee on autonomous vehicles. They elaborate on their concerns, and enthusiasm, for what could be breakthrough safety technology. The committee meets again later this month.

Note: There are three columns today.

Commenting is open.

Autonomous vehicles on the horizon

By Bob Dallas

Mention autonomous [More]

Moving speed limits on I-285

  • 2:00 pm Monday, September 29th, 2014 by Tom Sabulis

Moderated by Tom Sabulis

On Sunday, north side motorists will discover a higher base speed limit and new variable speed limits on 36 miles of I-285 north of its two interchanges with I-20. The Georgia Department of Transportation says the modifications will help moderate driving speeds in times of tie-ups — slowing everyone down to (hopefully) speed up traffic flow. In our second column, I talk with a Fayette County official about his county’s plans to help test driverless vehicles, a new technology being studied by a state House committee.

Commenting is open.

Adjusting speeds on top end Perimeter

By Russell McMurry

An important new [More]

Is Georgia serious about rail?

  • 2:36 pm Monday, September 15th, 2014 by Tom Sabulis

Moderated by Tom Sabulis

The Georgia Department of Transportation has been updating citizens on the state rail plan, a federally mandated blueprint for passenger and freight. Though the state has little passenger rail service to speak of — two Amtrak lines — Georgia has to be current and prepared should opportunities arise, and to capitalize on federal dollars for projects. Today, a GDOT director outlines the strategy, while a transportation policy veteran refers to it as just so much lip service.

Commenting is open.

Freight rules rails, for now

By Carol Comer

The Georgia Department of Transportation is updating the state’s rail plan — the [More]

Reclining seats, annoying passengers

  • 2:27 pm Monday, September 8th, 2014 by Tom Sabulis

Moderated by Tom Sabulis

I’m not an airline seat recliner. I rarely tilt my seat back on an airplane, mostly because I know how much I dislike it when the person in front of me pushes their seat back — and into my lap. But many fliers do, and recent disruptions on flights due to flagrant reclining have prompted unscheduled landings, and much debate. Today, representatives of two groups write about this contentious trend, while an Atlanta pastor writes personally, about the virtue of patience.

Note: There are three columns today. Commenting is open.

Flying the unruly skies

By Michael Cintron

Incidents of unruly behavior [More]

How to start fixing transportation

  • 2:00 pm Monday, September 1st, 2014 by Tom Sabulis

Moderated by Tom Sabulis

When will we finally get realistic about our transportation needs on the federal and state levels? Today, two local experts take a crack at putting the diminished Federal Highway Trust Fund and gas tax into perspective. The transit leader says its time to fix the balance between road and transit funding, while Libertarian policy analysts bang the drum for that old favorite — user fees charged to motorists: The more miles you drive, the more tax you pay.

Commenting is open.

Put transit back in mix

By Lee Biola

America’s long detour away from walkable communities may soon end. The Federal [More]

MARTA rail to North Fulton

  • 2:30 pm Monday, August 11th, 2014 by Tom Sabulis

Moderated by Tom Sabulis

MARTA is having an interesting summer. Development around its rail stations looks to be gathering steam. Expansion south to Clayton County seems inevitable now that residents — most of them pro-transit — get to vote for a penny sales tax in November. And an expansion north along Georgia 400 also shows promise, as long as MARTA chooses the right route. Today, neighborhood leaders in Sandy Springs outline the best way for MARTA to win over North Fulton residents. And a MARTA executive writes that the agency is listening.

Commenting is open.

MARTA should choose the right direction

By Chip Swearngan

I [More]

Driverless cars in Georgia

  • 2:00 pm Monday, August 4th, 2014 by Tom Sabulis

Moderated by Tom Sabulis

With the upcoming state House study committee on driverless cars, we offer a discussion of what Georgia hopes to gain by preparing the way for autonomous vehicles. Today, the study committee leader writes about his belief in the new technology and what it could mean to people on a personal level, in terms of mobility. The Fayette County chairman also reveals what he’s doing at a local level. Our third column captures opinions that have skewered the projected impact of driverless cars, likening them to electric vehicles — serviceable, but not that popular.

Commenting is open.

Driverless: the road [More]

MARTA and Georgia 400 north

  • 10:10 am Tuesday, July 1st, 2014 by Tom Sabulis

Moderated by Tom Sabulis

MARTA expansion is suddenly in the air — on the south side, where Clayton County commissioners vote today on launching a referendum for a penny sales tax, and on the north side, where the transit agency is exploring a line north along Ga. 400. My column today focuses on the pushback at recent public feedback meeting in Dunwoody. In our second column, a MARTA executive outlines the process of extending service on any Fulton-DeKalb route.

Commenting is open.

MARTA, go west (on Georgia 400)

By Tom Sabulis

When the enemy — in this case, big-city transit — seems intent on invading [More]

Broken sidewalk policy

  • 3:02 pm Monday, June 23rd, 2014 by Tom Sabulis

Moderated by Tom Sabulis

With Atlanta leaping into the top 10 walkable cities in the U.S. last week, according to one report, our attention turns to pedestrians. A local advocate criticizes the Atlanta sidewalk ordinance for unfairly putting the onus of sidewalk repairs on property owners. Separately, we asked the city to write about what it’s doing to create a more pedestrian-friendly environment.

Commenting is open.

Sidewalk repair policy busted

By Sally Flocks

If you’re like me, you’ve probably tripped on a broken or uneven sidewalk in Atlanta. It’s not surprising, since Atlanta has an estimated $152 million backlog of broken sidewalks. The city’s sidewalk [More]