Future Transportation of Atlanta: Eliminating the Barriers to Development
The infrastructural design of Atlanta has been altered over a substantial period of time. This is perceived to be relevant with the immediate changes witnessed in respect to the roads as well as the key transits layout. This paper provides a deeper level of examination that allows for the comprehension in the manner in which Atlanta has been distorted for whatever that was considered to be rich and multi-faceted perception of the streets as a public space into an outlook marred with intense movement of both cars and other automobiles at the expense of other functionalities. Notwithstanding, the paper tries to provide proposed solutions to the current impeding challenge: barriers of development.
The Challenges Faced in Atlanta
According to Bernstein et al. (1), the fundamental infrastructural design of Atlanta has been altered with unplanned levels of construction throughout the once called public space. Nowadays it is considered to be fortunate when one is able to walk to the bus terminals in order to move about the city and its extensive environs. For instance, in Clayton the bus service was eliminated and replaced by business parlors which cut across the city hence providing minimal space needed for further expansion.
Another important facet to realize is that Atlanta transportation network has been over a substantial period of time distinguished by different races of the communities living within the locality. Notably, with inclusion of Clayton County into MARTA, the white communities were forced to relocate to the downward section of Atlanta. When the local authorities decided to plan and even construct a rail system through the area, the white community negated the option of being part of the system’s stakeholders.
The race was thus the nature for which transportation facilities got distributed within these communities. For instance, it is accorded that the rail system was associated with elements of both crime and poverty. These elements made the white communities refuse to participate in transit project.
This prompted the rise of separate transit systems between white and black people. Both the Latinos and African Americans were considered to be subjects of segregated rail structures. In other instances highway transit systems were created through the already established neighborhoods without taking notice of the communities living within them. For example, the residents of Rondo were evacuated from their urbanized homes and paid-off minimally in order to pave the way for an interstate road. Deeper analysis into destruction of the community’s properties without care proved that the government had opted to evacuate the communities on the basis that they lived in a low-income bracket.
Statistically, there were fewer amounts of funds that were allocated to the immediate expansion of mass transit. Instead, most of the funds were used to build road networks for use of private cars. The fewer rail systems that have been built did more harm than good. For instance, the development of rail system catapulted further destruction of Rondo, given that some of the sections were used for construction purposes. These rail systems were constructed for long-distance purposes and there were fewer or no rail-stops which could have been beneficial to the surrounding communities. This construction also led to destruction of the existing bus terminal. This move proved inefficient to the people.
According to Campanella (1), the past American history and culture is considered to have contributed significantly to the current situation facing cities across the United States. The culture that encouraged the middle-class residents to own cars and relocate to suburban areas is perceived to have derailed city planners of their time and resources in designing an all-inclusive architectural layout. The plan the initial goals of which was to attain a “more prosperous, efficient and equitable society” (Campanella 1) was a failure in totality. In fact, this failure encouraged people to relocate to different places hence decreasing the tax base that could have been used as additional funds for transit development within the city.
Another barrier to effective planning for different cities within the United States is attributed to the down-grading of physical planners as a profession. In the postwar period, the profession was considered to be of low status within the society and thus fewer efficient experts were present to eliminate the impeding black-urbanism culture.
It is stated that one of the core manners in which cities such as Atlanta can eliminate the existing gridlock is to encourage the limiting of automobile usage within these cities. In this manner, there will be the improved air circulation within the city, minimization of air pollution and also it will facilitate platforms upon which the surrounding communities can interact.
The author also encourages certain models as formidable solutions to the availability of more mass transit systems within the city. For instance, a comparison is made in respect to the London’s congestion pricing as well as construction of the Copenhagen bicycle and pedestrian infrastructures that can be applied in the city in order to decongest Atlanta (Schaefer 1).
According to Scott (1), there are a number of ways which can be used to devise newer ways of decongesting and building new and modernized mass transit systems within Atlanta and its immediate environs. First, the residents as well as relevant authorities within the city are encouraged to devise efficient ways of addressing matters pertaining to racism and other forms of segregation activities deemed discriminative by nature. This facet can be attained by paying little attention to “naysayers and dead-enders” (Scott 1).
Second, the relevant authorities should embark on conducting development-focused activities by the help of a compelling vision and mission (Times Square South 1). Given that the city is currently facing issues associated with determination of identity crisis, it is fair that a structural report on the city’s vision will be formulated in order to tackle future and probable public transportation facilities. The vision is expected to entice both the public and private stakeholders into committing resources deemed useful in the process of infrastructural developments.
Third, a formidable leadership structure that includes both civic and elected leaders should be put in place in order to tackle the issue pertaining to formulation of relevant transportation policies. The electorates are encouraged to select leaders whose development record speaks for itself. The leaders should be selected in respect to their respective developmental capacities so that effective growth committees are set within the boundaries of the city in that matter.
Fourth, positive transit development can only be brought about by formulation of a realistic financial plan. Clear representation of a financial plan is able to enlighten the public domain on the exact costs of the fundamental transportation investment needed within Atlanta and its immediate environs. Public awareness program should be put forth in order to assist with enlightening the public of the true costs of transit investments. It should be noted that the exact costs of transit investment include planning, construction as well as long-term forms of capital replacement resources.
In addition to this, the public should be enlightened on the need for other sources of funds needed for completing transit investment projects. This is because the investments are vast enough and require resource funds from the state, given that it is a direct partner to these types of projects.
Fifth, Atlanta city requires a regional form of governance structure to help with growth of transit systems. Formidable governance will be able to transform the underlying vision of the city into real development. Good governance structures should be able to put in place positive transit investments and allocate different responsibilities to each section of the project in order to aid with efficient developmental goals (Blau 1).
In conclusion, it is safe to sum up by assuming that the immediate barriers to the development of transit systems within Atlanta are caused by such facets as encroachment of buildings and other structures into the public space so that limited areas are allocated to facilities that enhance community interactions and recreation-sharing activities. Furthermore, there has been so much attention which was paid to the road networks at expense of mass transit systems hence congesting the city. However, there is the possibility that the aforementioned barriers can be eliminated through developing positive governance and other leadership structures as well as formulating newer visionary goals. In addition to this, the public should be enlightened on the negativity of racism and class distinction as a model of designing cities.
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