Archive for June, 2012

25,000 Participate in Transportation Referendum Wireside Chats

June 20, 2012

ARC Press Release

ATLANTA — About 25,000 Atlanta region residents participated in a series of 12 Regional Transportation Referendum “Wireside Chats” hosted by the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) over the last two weeks. The telephone townhalls gave participants a chance to learn more about projects that are part of the upcoming transportation referendum by asking questions directly of their local officials. The referendum will be held as part of the July 31 primary election.

Questions covered a broad range of topics, from how long the sales tax would last, to specifics about the 157 projects that would be funded by the referendum. While anyone could join any of the 12 chats, the calls were organized by jurisdiction. Questions ranged from region-wide topics like interchange improvements and public transportation, to details of the law itself and planned projects in their local communities.

Officials answered an average of 23 questions in each hour-long call, and participants stayed on the line an average of 14 minutes. Polls taken during the calls revealed that more than 91 percent of participants found the Wireside Chats helpful in understanding the transportation referendum vote and what is at stake.

If a participant’s question was not answered on the call, they could leave contact information in a voicemail and their question will be answered via a phone call or an email in the coming days. Complete information about the July 31 regional transportation referendum, including fact sheets about the 157 projects on the list and an interactive mapping tool, is available at

“We are pleased that nearly 25,000 regional residents participated in these Wireside Chats,” said Doug Hooker, ARC Executive Director. “Participant’s questions were thoughtful and diverse.  I believe our local officials did a very thorough job of providing more information about this important regional vote on July 31.”

Summit Focuses Attention on New Travel Options for Seniors, Non-Drivers

June 12, 2012


ARC Press Release

(Atlanta – June 8)  If you can’t drive or don’t have a car, are you just out of luck in metro Atlanta?  To assess how systems need to change to meet the needs of non-drivers, the Atlanta Regional Commission, AARP, MAVEN and AAA Traffic Safety Foundation hosted a transportation summit this week.  The Worst to First: Transportation Access for Older Adults, Persons with Disabilities and Non-Drivers summit brought together local and national leaders to discuss transportation options, as well as highlight local and national best practices.

Last year the Atlanta region ranked worst among large metro areas for access to transit for seniors, but regional leaders are making great strides towards improving that ranking.  There are more options today for transportation access in the Atlanta region than ever before, and more are on the way.  Local community efforts such as volunteer driver programs, transportation vouchers, travel training on transit and community shuttles for seniors are providing flexible alternatives to help non-drivers get around.

The Regional Transportation Referendum on July 31 offers a key opportunity to address these kinds of mobility issues.  The referendum project list contains the single largest investment in transportation options for older adults and disabled individuals.  Local communities in the metro are also allocating some of their local dollars to supports for these no-driving populations.  Cobb County alone has committed another $7 million toward additional services for seniors and disabled.

Nearly half of the transportation referendum’s $8.5 billion will go to transit and other transportation alternatives, providing more options for non-drivers in the metro region.  “The referendum investments will expand existing services and make it easier for older adults and their families to schedule a ride,” said Maureen Kelly of ARC’s Aging Division.  “More sidewalks will mean greater pedestrian safety and more access to the places older adults want to go.”

David Goldberg, one of the authors of “Aging in Place, Stuck Without Options”, shared Transportation for America’s recent research that has found that by 2015, more than 15.5 million Americans 65 and older will live in communities where public transportation service is poor or non-existent.  That number is expected to continue to grow rapidly as the baby boom generation “ages in place” in suburbs and exurbs with few mobility options for those who do not drive.  The situation is especially acute in metro Atlanta, where by 2015 an estimated 500,000 residents 65 and older will have little or no access to transit.

Fortunately, said Goldberg, “There are as many solutions as there are communities.  Communities must be creative in testing new ideas and put in place programs designed to work in their local community.”  Technology promises some options.  For example, a smart phone app called “One Bus Away,” developed by a Seattle college student, can show the location of nearby buses and map their routes.  Transit providers in Seattle have embraced the technology, Goldberg said, making it very easy for people who are not familiar with the Seattle system to know how to navigate it.

Virginia Dize of the National Center on Senior Transportation, National Association of Area Agencies on Aging added that, “Mobility management is the way we can do more with less.  By streamlining our existing services, not only will consumers be able to easily access the rides they need, but providers can efficiently serve more people.”

“The enthusiasm and cooperative spirit within the Atlanta Region sets them apart from almost every urban area in the country,” said panelist Dan Dirks of the Community Transportation Association of America.  “When older adults and people with disabilities can maintain and increase their independence, everyone benefits.”


Final Four Wireside Chats Will Inform Voters This Week

June 11, 2012


ARC will host the last four of its 12 “Wireside Chats” this week to inform residents about the July 31 Regional Transportation Referendum and the projects it will support. The last four telephone town hall style meetings will be held on Wednesday and Thursday evenings and will feature officials from four different jurisdictions. The remaining schedule is below:


  • Cherokee County, 6:15 p.m.
  • DeKalb County, 7:30 p.m.


  • South Fulton County, 6:15 p.m.
  • Clayton County, 7:30 p.m.

To register, visit, or call 404-463-3227. Participants who register in advance receive a map to help them locate projects discussed on the call.

More than 18,500 people participated in eight Wireside Chats last week in which local officials answered more than 190 questions. Below is a list of those chats and the number of participants on each:

  • City of Atlanta – 4,195
  • Henry County – 2,205
  • Douglas County – 2,422
  • Fayette County – 1,145
  • North Fulton – 1,628
  • Cobb County – 2,696
  • Gwinnett County – 2,926
  • Rockdale County – 1,413

Each chat lasts one hour, and participants have the opportunity to ask questions directly. If a question is not answered during the call, the caller will receive a response via e-mail.

For more information about the transportation referendum, please visit


Reminder: Wireside Chats Begin Tonight

June 4, 2012

Transportation referendum Wireside Chats kick off tonight, focusing on the City of Atlanta and Henry County. As noted in an earlier post, 12 Wireside Chats have been scheduled over six evenings in June. Local officials will provide a brief overview of and answer questions about the July 31st referendum and the project list it would fund. These evening phone conversations are organized by local jurisdictions and are open to all who wish to participate.

Those wishing to participate are encouraged to register early so that maps and meeting information can be sent in advance. The early registration period ends 48 hours before each event but you can still participate by calling 800.619.5518 at the time the meeting is set to begin. For more information, visit the Wiresite Chat webpage.

Wireside Chat Schedule

June 4, 6:15 p.m. – City of Atlanta

With City of Atlanta Councilmember Lamar Willis

Early registration period now closed; call 800.619.5518 during meeting to participate

June 4, 7:30 p.m. – Henry County

With Henry County Commission Chair B.J. Mathis

Early registration period now closed; call 800.619.5518 during meeting to participate

June 5, 6:15 p.m. – Douglas County

With Douglas County Commission Chair Tom Worthan and City of Douglasville Mayor Harvey Persons

Early registration period now closed; call 800.619.5518 during meeting to participate

June 5, 7:30 p.m. – Fayette County

With City of Tyrone Mayor Eric Dial

Early registration period now closed; call 800.619.5518 during meeting to participate

June 6, 6:15 p.m. – North Fulton County

With City of Johns Creek Mayor Mike Bodker & Fulton County Chair John Eaves

Early registration period still open; click here

June 6, 7:30 p.m. – Cobb County

With Cobb County Commission Chair Tim Lee and City of Kennesaw Mayor Mark Mathews

Early registration period still open; click here

June 7, 6:15 p.m. – Gwinnett County

With Gwinnett County Commission Chair Charlotte Nash and City of Norcross Mayor Bucky Johnson

Early registration period still open; click here

June 7, 7:30 p.m. – Rockdale County

With Rockdale County Commission Chair Richard Oden

Early registration period still open; click here

June 13, 6:15 p.m. – Cherokee County

With Cherokee County Commission Chair Buzz Ahrens and City of Woodstock Mayor Donnie Henriques

Early registration period still open; click here

June 13, 7:30 p.m. – DeKalb County

With DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis and City of Decatur Mayor Bill Floyd

Early registration period still open; click here

June 14, 6:15 p.m. – South Fulton County

With Fulton County Commission Chair John Eaves and City of Palmetto Mayor J. Clark Boddie

Early registration period still open; click here

June 14, 7:30 p.m. – Clayton County

With Clayton County Commission Chair Eldrin Bell

Early registration period still open; click here

Draft Regional Community Engagement Plan Now Available

June 4, 2012

The Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) has been working to update its Regional Public Participation Plan, now called the Regional Community Engagement Plan.  This document establishes guidelines for ARC’s interaction with the public on regional and local issues.  The draft Regional Community Engagement Plan update is now available for public review and comment through July 1, 2012.  Connect to the plan, and take a very brief survey to let us know how ARC can reach the public more effectively.

REMINDER: Regional Housing Forum THIS WEDNESDAY, June 6

June 4, 2012


The next Atlanta Regional Housing Forum is set for this Wednesday, June 6, from 9:30-11:45 a.m. at the Loudermilk Center for the Regional Community, 40 Courtland St. NE, Atlanta, GA 30303-2538.

The event will focus on the theme “This is NOT Your Parent’s Housing Market,” and Dr. Arthur C. Nelson of the University of Utah will deliver the keynote presentation.  A panel discussion will follow, featuring experts Eugene James , Director of Metrostudy Atlanta; Egbert Perry, Owner, Chairman and CEO of The Integral Group; and Dan Reuter, Land Use Division Chief at the Atlanta Regional Commission.

Visit for more information and free registration.

Additional information is also available at


Bisnow Presents Atlanta Future of Transportation Event on June 26

June 1, 2012


From a recent Bisnow e-blast:

On July 31, voters will decide on a 1% sales tax increase that would raise billions towards transportation initiatives throughout Georgia. Should the referendum pass, the entire landscape of the state’s transportation will vastly change over the next 10 years.

Experts will discuss the current transit related challenges facing Atlanta residents and the potential geographic and economic impact the referendum would have on the city. Additionally, a panel of CRE experts will delve into the legislation’s impact on commercial real estate and what sort of development will occur as a result.

Please join Bisnow for an in-depth look at the future of Georgia Transportation.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012, 7:00-10:00 a.m.

W Atlanta Midtown

188 14th Street NE, Atlanta, GA 30361

Featured Speakers:

Louis Miller – General Manager, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport

Larry Gellerstedt – President & CEO, Cousins Properties

David Stockert – President, CEO & Director, Post Properties, Inc.

Todd Long – Deputy Commissioner, Georgia Department of Transportation

Kent Mason – Vice President & Market Officer, ProLogis

More speakers to be announced.

For more information and to register, visit


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