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Study: Cobb's BRT Dreams would Make Traffic Even Worse

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In an effort to relieve traffic — or to pander to people who constantly call them out for not having any real transit options — the Cobb County Commission expressed support for the eventual implementation of a bus rapid transit (BRT) line stretching from Kennesaw to Atlanta. But according to the AJC, a new study indicates that the $500 million proposal would worsen traffic along Cobb Parkway. How so? Estimates say the bus system could handle up to 18,000 riders per day. But the plan, which would add a limited-access busway and stations to the existing car lanes on Cobb Parkway, could cause lengthier delays at lights for motorists. Oops.

But before the anti-transit contingent gets up in arms, let's note a few important takeaways from the report and accompanying diagrams …

· The proposal calls for buses to run in a variety of situations including mixed-traffic, existing HOV lanes and new dedicated lanes, which require the bus to use existing intersections.

· Of the intersections studied for impact, all but one was projected to grow beyond capacity with anticipated growth in the region by 2040, with or without BRT. So the busses would merely be exacerbating an unavoidable problem.

· In some instances, the proposed exclusive right-of-way for the BRT would cause the number of available lanes for commuters to decrease.

Those factors, coupled with more than 50 percent projected population growth in the corridor, kind of make the results of the study a no-brainer. Added congestion in the corridor is inevitable as the population of the county continues to grow — and with a transit system, even more growth would ostensibly occur — so it's only a matter of time before the corridor chokes on its own progress. At least with the option of BRT, there would be an alternative to enduring the gridlock while waisting your own gas.

· Controversial BRT won't reduce traffic jams, study says [AJC; subscriber]
· Logical Cobb Bus Routes have Support, but Still Unlikely [Curbed Atlanta]
· Connect Cobb Northwest Atlanta Corridor Environmental Assessment [Cobb County]