New Atlanta Station

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Re: New Atlanta Station

Postby SouthernRailway » Tue Sep 05, 2017 10:48 am

gokeefe wrote:
SouthernRailway wrote:There is also plenty of private-sector development in Midtown and northern Atlanta and the northern suburbs.


I think advocating for less dense development in the middle of a major urban area makes no sense whatsoever. Atlanta should be far bigger and far more developed within its urban core than it is.


Atlanta should have a much larger urban core, and I certainly prefer downtown development over suburban development. (I dislike driving and so I have no desire to live in a suburb.)

Unfortunately Atlanta is fractured by huge class/income splits, with downtown Atlanta viewed by suburbanites north of the city as inhospitable. Midtown Atlanta and Buckhead have sprung up as "downtowns" for those suburbanites. In short, it's an urban planning (and socioeconomic) mess. I view this station project as a mess, though, too.
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Re: New Atlanta Station

Postby gokeefe » Tue Sep 05, 2017 11:01 am

SouthernRailway wrote:I view this station project as a mess, though, too.


I think that's a point well taken.

In reference to downtown Atlanta a lot of people felt the same way about Washington DC after the riot in '68 and until well into the early '90s. The answer was improved transit which occurred in the form of Metro Rail, the renovation of Union Station and the creation of commuter rail systems in both Maryland and Virginia.

Unlike Atlanta, Washington DC most certainly did not have large vacant lots left behind by major industrial complexes. Depending on how you handle that it is both a curse and a blessing.
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Re: New Atlanta Station

Postby mtuandrew » Tue Sep 05, 2017 11:28 am

SRY: also the case for Dallas-Ft. Worth and Detroit. There is only so much you can solve with 16-lane highways and planned exurban communities. I spent a pleasant few days in the planned community of Frisco, TX for the Museum of the American Railroad, but by no means is cookie-cutter mostly-white Frisco a substitute for a multicultural, organically-grown, vertically-developed city center.

This proposal may be stinky hot air, but an Atlanta Union Station itself is a good idea even for 1x/day.

Mr. O'Keefe: Is also argue that D.C. Home Rule played a large part in redevelopment, but that is neither here nor there.
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Re: New Atlanta Station

Postby Bob Roberts » Tue Sep 05, 2017 11:50 am

mtuandrew wrote:SRY: also the case for Dallas-Ft. Worth and Detroit. There is only so much you can solve with 16-lane highways and planned exurban communities. I spent a pleasant few days in the planned community of Frisco, TX for the Museum of the American Railroad, but by no means is cookie-cutter mostly-white Frisco a substitute for a multicultural, organically-grown, vertically-developed city center.

This proposal may be stinky hot air, but an Atlanta Union Station itself is a good idea even for 1x/day.


It may also be worth appreciating the regional context of Atlanta's station. A new station in Raleigh, soon to be 6x per day service north of Charlotte (on double track!), a mostly funded new downtown station in Charlotte (even if its progressing very slowly) and continued catastrophic congestion in North Georgia all combine to make Atlanta see the importance of denser development and the associated transportation alternatives. The city is very concerned about choking on its own success -- so the folks in Atlanta proper see the importance of rail to their future. The last transit tax election results show that Atlantan's are willing to pay for these improvements, unfortunately suburban residents are not willing to pay their share.
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Re: New Atlanta Station

Postby SouthernRailway » Tue Sep 05, 2017 12:20 pm

I've never been to Detroit and can't speak for it, but I'd say that Atlanta's class/income split, which tracks the downtown/suburb split, is much, much sharper than Dallas. Downtown Dallas has a Neiman Marcus---downtown Atlanta has a vacant Macy's, indicating the class/income of the people there.

Back on topic, I'd think that whatever new station is built, the current Peachtree station location (in general) is pretty ideal: in Midtown, so in between downtown and suburbia, near a subway station and in a densifying area. I'd guess that many Crescent riders could not easily make it to distant suburbia to catch a train there, and northern suburbanites wouldn't jump to come downtown to catch a train there.
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Re: New Atlanta Station

Postby gokeefe » Tue Sep 05, 2017 2:39 pm

SouthernRailway wrote:Back on topic, I'd think that whatever new station is built, the current Peachtree station location (in general) is pretty ideal: in Midtown, so in between downtown and suburbia, near a subway station and in a densifying area. I'd guess that many Crescent riders could not easily make it to distant suburbia to catch a train there, and northern suburbanites wouldn't jump to come downtown to catch a train there.


I think you're right but I see that point in the sense of retaining Peachtree. There's no question at all that the factors you cite would make it a very successful station that would nicely complement a new downtown facility.

Similar in many respects to stations like Back Bay in Boston, New Carrollton in Washington DC, and Glenview in Chicago.
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Re: New Atlanta Station

Postby mtuandrew » Tue Sep 05, 2017 3:46 pm

How would you compare it to North Philadelphia? (Obviously located in a poor part of town, but as it was a railroad necessity for through traffic NYC-HAR and points west...)
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Re: New Atlanta Station

Postby ExCon90 » Tue Sep 05, 2017 4:21 pm

North Philadelphia had a different reason for being than those others, having been established primarily to avoid a time-consuming reversal of through east-west trains at Broad Street rather than tapping a suburban market. Paoli was more like Glenview et al. (And in the heyday of east-west through trains North Philadelphia was not in a poor part of town; blue-collar but not poor. That came later.) Come to think of it, the Reading's counterpart to North Philadelphia, North Broad Street, was an intermediate stop en route to and from Reading Terminal and was intended to tap that area for passengers to outlying points on the Reading--it could also be used for connecting rail passengers from the John O'Hara country--Reading, Pottsville, etc.--to avoid retracing steps to and from Reading Terminal.
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Re: New Atlanta Station

Postby gokeefe » Tue Sep 05, 2017 5:05 pm

mtuandrew wrote:How would you compare it to North Philadelphia? (Obviously located in a poor part of town, but as it was a railroad necessity for through traffic NYC-HAR and points west...)


North Philadelphia came to mind as well but I avoided mentioned it because I felt it was an imperfect comparison in part for the reasons ExCon90 mentioned and in part because of the abysmally low level of ridership from that station.
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