The Connect 400 Transit Initiative will be the subject of an Aug. 30 public meeting for community and business leaders at the Greater North Fulton Chamber of Commerce office in Alpharetta.
The breakfast meeting will be co-hosted by the Chamber and the North Fulton Community Improvement District in partnership with the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority.
The project study area includes a mile-wide area on either side of the Ga. 400 expressway from Interstate 285 in northern DeKalb County to McGinnis Ferry Road in northern Fulton County.
Attendees will hear an overview of the study and help identify the transportation needs and solutions.
The Connect 400 project’s purpose is to provide cost effective, high capacity transit in the corridor and improve mobility, transit linkage and coverage. Transit modes would be linked to land use and the level of travel demand in the area.
“I support the extension of the rail line across the river. I think ultimately it should go to Avalon,” said Roswell Mayor Jere Wood, referencing the newly approved multi-use project in Alpharetta near Ga. 400.
Holcomb Bridge and Ga. 400 is “a natural place” for a MARTA station, he said.
“It needs to be there if Roswell wants to see redevelopment of all those old apartment buildings in the area. If Roswell still wants to be business friendly and promote redevelopment, that’s the place for a transit project,” Wood said.
In 2003, MARTA began evaluating ways of extending its rail line further north beyond North Springs, but concluded the time was not right, given the high incomes and low housing and employment density there. But in the ensuing years, the Ga. 400 corridor has become one of the fastest growing regions in metro Atlanta — with the accompanying road congestion.
According to the Connect 400 alternatives schedule on MARTA’s web site, selection of a preferred alternative and development of a financial and implementation plan for that alternative should be taking place during the summer and into the fall. A final report would be done by spring 2013.
The design and construction process could take up to nine years.