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Atlanta explores creation of city-run Department of Transportation

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City could take radical step to tackle demands of a growing population on aging transportation infrastructure

Atlanta’s scenic Peachtree Street.
Atlanta DOT—rulers of Peachtree Street?
Getty Images

In the early 2000s, Atlanta’s streets were certifiably crumbling.

In response, then-Mayor Shirley Franklin created her Pothole Posse to address neglected infrastructure—and she was labeled a hero.

Now, the city is looking at taking a more radical step to tackle the demands of a growing population on aging transportation infrastructure.

According to the Marietta Daily Journal, the Atlanta City Council has requested that the Public Works Department study the possibility of creating a city Department of Transportation.

By creating a DOT, an array of roadway, transit, and infrastructural responsibilities—currently scattered between city departments—would be consolidated.

Councilman Andre Dickens, who authored the resolution, observed that “the city’s transportation needs are not clearly consolidated under any single department of the city,” the newspaper reported.

The enemy.
Mercedes-Benz of South Atlanta

The study will evaluate how other major cities approach consolidated planning of transit and transportation-related matters. If created, the DOT would oversee roads and infrastructure from initial planning and design to upkeep.

Additionally, the department would act as a liaison between the city and other governments as plans are hashed out for more regional responses to transportation.

Results of the study are due to the council by the end of June.