On April 24th Center for Civic Innovation hosted the first (of many) 2017 Our Future Atlanta panels about the issues that matter most in the upcoming city-wide elections. Up first? Transportation access and the possibilities of equitable transpiration oriented development. After the recent traffic woes (I-85 collapse, I-20 road buckle, some foam tomahawks spilling onto I-75 and more) transit is on everyones mind, but just laying new rail lines isn't a solution that works for all communities.
Alex Trachtenberg, Southface
Brian Gist, Southern Environmental Law Center
Deborah Scott, Georgia Stand Up
Debbie Frank, MARTA
Moderator: Odetta MacLeish-White, Enterprise Community Partners
Some of the biggest themes of the night included:
- The call for a Living Transit Fund - a portion of the newly authorize transportation tax that would be used to create TOD stuff like affordable housing near transit stations. This is a great way to increase MARTA ridership while also providing much needed affordable housing!
- MARTA has a policy of at least 20% affordable units at all of their new TOD developments - that is 20% of all the units at all those parking lots being converted to condos and apartments
- Transformation Alliance has a new scorecard to help people evaluate how equitable a development is. It is still in development but you can find it here and here.
- We need to envision a "spectrum of transit" that meets multiple needs. Rail is only a good investment in areas that want to be really dense and not all communities want that. Communities should think about who they are and what they want - density and tall buildings vs single family and more tree coverage - and line up transit options that help meet their vision.
You can get the entire presentation here.