Buckhead's transportation priorities may not be as car-centric as everyone thinks. But they are still a bit outdated. In the midst of the much debated bike-lane debacle on Peachtree Road, the Buckhead Business Association released a poll gauging neighborhood support for new mass transit, according to the Atlanta Business Chronicle, and the answers are telling. While most did not support the expansion of the Atlanta Streetcar into the area, more residents, by a slim margin, said they would support an additional tax for mass transit.
Buckhead's support for mass transit seems to amount to "trains are cool" without much thought dedicated to what happens before you get on the train and after you get off. Back in October, Buckhead's granddad, Sam Massell, wrote an op-ed in the AJC that lauded the "tremendous benefit" of mobility in Buckhead, and advocated for an additional tax to expand MARTA rail service — specifically a Clifton Corridor extension. But, that support seems to end there.
The consistent refrain from residents, "What, am I supposed to bike my kids to school in the morning?" misses the point entirely. Different transit options are supposed to be integrated with each other. Your kids go to school on the bus, when you go out to eat, you walk or bike, when you need to get across town, take the streetcar, and if you're commuting, use the train. If it works correctly, the only time people should need a car would be to get a month's worth of groceries — or to get out of town.
In an email to Curbed, Massell wrote, "We didn't think of the recent Buckhead Peachtree bike lanes (which the [Buckhead Coalition] has opposed for the present) as being related to the suggestion of an extension of the streetcar service to Buckhead." It also seems Buckhead residents don't see the streetcar as being connected to Atlanta's larger mass transit system. That kind of thinking might get a new train built, but it will also leave everyone stranded at the station.
· Buckhead off Atlanta Streetcar extension plan [Biz Chron]
· Dear Atlanta: Just Shut Up and Pay for Your Parking [Curbed]