There was an interesting article that came out of the New Geography website recently. In his article titled “Is it Game Over for Atlanta?” author Aaron Renn questions the Atlanta Region’s staying power.
Atlanta was only recently one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in the country, but has experienced a major population slowdown in the past couple years of the recession. Renn’s article points to trends that have contributed to this slowdown, such as a battered housing market and an unemployment rate above the national average of 9.7%.
But according to Renn’s article (and most of you would probably agree), the metro area’s biggest Achilles heel is found in its infrastructure woes. Apart from the fact that the region is currently restricted from using what has been its principal water source supply, which is a huge issue in and of itself, the region has failed to adequately fund and invest in its transportation network for years. The region’s population has grown by over 1 million people in the past eight years alone, but the amount of funding for both MARTA and GDOT is currently less than it was in 2000. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that this equals serious problems for the existing transportation infrastructure and those residents trying to utilize it. (more…)