Good news (for now), trolley buffs! The Atlanta Streetcar project took one step forward yesterday, after the Atlanta City Council approved a Streetcar System Plan. But approval may not amount to piss in the ocean if Fulton County residents can't settle their differences and agree to fund new transportation projects next year.
The SSP consists of a 50+ mile streetcar system throughout the City of Atlanta, which includes five crosstown routes, in addition to the 22 miles of streetcar along the Atlanta Beltline corridor. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the plan does not include a proposed route in Buckhead, likely due to a community reaction against recently proposed road changes involving bike lanes.
So Buckhead's plan for a future that includes tens of thousands of more densely packed residents continues to be, in short, "Let's just keep driving on Peachtree and let the millennials walk to their MARTA trains because, man, I'm paying too much in property taxes to take junior to baseball practice on a bike or some dang street trolley. All that matters now is right now."
Despite its approval, the SSP has a long way to go before moving from concept to reality. Likely, the biggest hurdle will be a proposed referendum to fund new transportation projects throughout Futon County next year. At this point, various mayors throughout the county can't even agree on the conditions of a referendum. And even if they come to some agreement, there's no guarantee residents will vote yes.