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Sandy Springs Streetcars Floated by Panel

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Could transit — GASP — take lanes away from a major thoroughfare?

Sandy Springs has been reaping the benefits of transit connectivity of late, with a bevy of new projects popping up at transit-adjacent sites.

Recognizing the growth transit can bring to the city, Sandy Springs politicians have been proposing transit expansion — including some pretty outlandish, Disney-esque ideas — to better connect the city's three MARTA stations with areas of density along Roswell Road. And this week, some of the metro's biggest transit proponents got a chance to talk more seriously about the subject at a panel discussion covered by Reporter Newspapers.

Hosted by Leadership Sandy Springs, the "transportation summit" featured heavy-hitters in the Atlanta transit community including MARTA CEO Keith Parker; Bryant Poole, Sandy Springs’ assistant city manager in charge of transportation planning; Georgia Regional Transportation Authority Executive Director Christopher Tomlinson, and Yvonne Williams, the Perimeter Center Improvement District's president and CEO.

At the summit, Poole pitched the idea for a streetcar line along Roswell Road, the main retail corridor stretching through the city from north to south. Largely a five-lane road, with two lanes each direction and a center turn lane, Roswell seems a logical candidate for light-rail service, as it's one of the most heavily traversed arteries in the city.

Unafraid of a little conflict, Poole even suggested that the transit could receive a dedicated right-of-way, reducing automobile lanes down to one in each direction. While any definitive plans are a long way off, the suggestion that transit could one day trump car traffic in Sandy Springs is a radical position.