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ARC Board Approves Major Update to Metropolitan Transportation Plan

ATLANTA, GA — The Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) Board approves a major update to the Atlanta Metropolitan Transportation Plan (MTP), which allocates $168 billion in federal, state, and local funding through 2050 to improve transportation and safety across the 20-county region.

The MTP is designed to accommodate significant growth that is expected to occur over the next three decades. ARC forecasts the Atlanta region will add 1.8 million people by 2050, bringing the metro area’s total population to 7.9 million.

The long-range plan includes investments that will improve roads and highways, enhance transit options, expand the region’s network of bike-pedestrian trails, and encourage alternative commuting options such as carpooling and teleworking.

“The Atlanta Metropolitan Transportation Plan is a bold blueprint that will keep our region moving forward in the decades to come,” said ARC Board Chair Andre Dickens, who also serves as Mayor of the City of Atlanta. “These investments will help improve quality of life and ensure that our economy remains strong.”

Working in close collaboration with local governments and transportation agencies, ARC coordinates major updates to the MTP about every four years.

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Here are some highlights:

Constructing and Sustaining Transit Services
The plan programs $10 billion for transit expansion, a critical investment that is needed as the Atlanta region continues to grow and become denser. Projects scheduled to begin in the next decade include:

  • Campbellton Road bus rapid transit, from Oakland City MARTA station to Greenbriar Mall
  • Clayton Southlake bus rapid transit, from College Park MARTA station to Southlake Mall
  • Atlanta Streetcar East Extension, from Jackston Street to Atlanta BeltLine/Ponce City Market
  • Buford Highway Arterial Rapid Transit, from Lindbergh MARTA station to Doraville MARTA station
  • Candler Road Arterial Rapid Transit, from Avondale MARTA station to GSU Perimeter College
Improving Major Thoroughfares and Interchanges to Boost Mobility and Safety
Metro Atlanta’s interstate highways and major arterial roads play a key role in moving people, goods, and emergency vehicles within the region and across the Southeast.

The MTP provides about $13.8 billion for key interchange and highway improvements throughout metro Atlanta through 2050 as part of the Georgia Department of Transportation’s Major Mobility Improvement Program. Projects expected to start construction in the next decade include:

  • Managed express lanes on the top-end Perimeter, I-285 East, and I-285 West
  • Interchange reconstruction - I-285 West at I-20 in Fulton County
  • Interchange reconstruction - I-285 East at I-20 in DeKalb County
  • New interchange at I-85 North and McGinnis Ferry Road in Gwinnett County
  • Interchange reconstruction - I-20 East at SR 20/138 in Rockdale County

The plan also invests $8.1 billion to add nearly 600 lane-miles of capacity to the region’s arterial network by 2050. Expansion expected in the next decade includes:

  • Piedmont Road widening from Lenox Road to Peachtree Road in the City of Atlanta
  • Tara Boulevard widening from Tara Road to SR 54 (Fayetteville Road) in Clayton County
  • Panola Road widening from US 278 (Covington Highway) to Snapfinger Woods Drive in DeKalb County
  • Sugarloaf Parkway extension from I-85 to Peachtree Industrial Boulevard in Gwinnett County
  • South Barrett Parkway reliever from Barrett Lakes Boulevard to SR 5 connector in Cobb County
Maintaining, Modernizing, and Operating the Existing Transportation Network
About $105.5 billion, or 63 percent of the total, is earmarked to maintain, modernize, and operate transportation infrastructure that is already in place. Projects include resurfacing roads, repairing bridges, and replacing aging buses and rail cars.
Expanding a Regional Bicycle and Pedestrian Network to Connect Communities and Provide New Travel Options
Promoting pedestrian and cyclist-friendly development is an essential component of the MTP, aligning with the region’s broader ambitions of enhancing livability, addressing climate imperatives, bolstering safety, alleviating traffic congestion, and achieving healthy air quality.

The MTP invests $3.9 billion to construct bike-pedestrian projects across the region through 2050. Projects scheduled in the next four years include:

  • Southwest and northeastern portions of the Atlanta BeltLine
  • PATH 400 multi-use trail along Ga. 400 in North Fulton County
  • Chattahoochee River Greenway Trail in Douglas County
  • Rockdale River Trail extension in Rockdale County
  • Separated bike-pedestrian lanes on the 10th bridge over the Downtown Connector in the City of Atlanta
  • Chattahoochee RiverLands Trail pilot segment in Cobb County, part of the planned regional Chattahoochee RiverLands project
Mobility Alternatives
About $5.8 billion is dedicated to programs that reduce congestion by encouraging alternative ways of getting around the region. This includes funding for initiatives such as the Georgia Commute Options program that help people change their travel behavior, whether that means carpooling, using transit, traveling at off-peak hours, or teleworking.
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