A Libertarian think tank has a few suggestions for easing
traffic congestion in Atlanta - a system of toll lanes and tunnels.
A new report from the Reason Foundation is based on an
Atlanta Regional Commission document about congestion and commute times. Based
on that report, the Reason Foundation figures that by 2030, a 30-minute commute
will take 55 minutes and Atlanta's congestion will compare to that in Los Angeles.
The Reason Foundation and the Georgia Public Policy
Foundation issued a four-part suggestion for Atlanta that is detailed right
down to the $25 billion price tag.
First, 1,132 miles of new toll lanes should be added to all
freeways, the foundation says, and existing carpool lanes should become toll
lanes - free for buses, of course.
Second, the city should link the Georgia 400 with Interstate
20 with a double-decker tunnel that could later include a link to Interstate
Third, a tolled tunnel could further relieve I-20 to the east,
and an upgraded Campbellton Road and Camp Creek Parkway could provide relief to
The fourth suggestion is for a separate toll road for trucks
that permits truckers to bypass the city in exchange for a toll.
"A portion of this system would be tunneled below downtown,"
the report stated.
The Georgia State Road and Tollway Authority called the
report "intriguing," and issued a statement to the media.
"It should be read and considered by all who are faced with
making critical decisions regarding Atlanta's transportation future," authority
officials said. "SRTA is particularly encouraged by the Reason Foundation's
endorsement of tolling and user-fee financing as an important component of any
effort to provide mobility and funding options to the Atlanta region and the
state of Georgia."
The author of the Reason Foundation report is Robert Poole,
who founded the think tank. According to the foundation's Web site, Poole is an MIT-trained engineer and has advised the last four presidential administrations
on transportation and policy issues.
"For the foreseeable future, toll lanes are Atlanta's best
answer," Poole stated in a preamble to the report.
Atlanta and the state of Georgia continue to work on ways to
relieve congestion in the long term.