Category: Transportation

AFVs, HOVs and HOTs

When the new High-Occupancy Toll lanes open on I-85 this summer, buses, motorcycles and Alternate Fuel Vehicles may travel at no charge, as can vehicles with three or more occupants. Single- and double-occupant vehicles may choose to use the lane for a variably priced toll. Georgia’s current high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes allow free passage to vehicles with two or more occupants (even if the second occupant is an infant), transit buses, motorcycles and as well as AFVs. It’s high time they were put to better use — and a network of HOT lanes is a great use. Still, it’s a mystery to me why a lane aimed at reducing congestion would offer free access to AFVs, no matter how many… View Article
By Benita M. Dodd Georgia is moving forward on transportation innovation with a 16-mile High-Occupancy toll (HOT) lane project set to open this summer along Interstate 85 in metro Atlanta. Whether HOT lanes succeed as a mobility measure, however, depends on how far the state is willing to go beyond this federally funded demonstration project. Georgia’s current high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes allow free passage to vehicles with two or more occupants, transit buses, motorcycles and alternative fueled vehicles (AFVs). Access for AFVs, of course, is highly questionable as a congestion relief measure, both for HOV and HOT lanes. Nevertheless, the HOT lanes opening this summer will allow buses, motorcycles and AFVs, as well as vehicles with three or more passengers… View Article
By Benita M. Dodd Transportation policy may not have been the priority during the legislative session, but in the long shadow of the Gold Dome, proposals, plans, ideas and reports were moving right along. And now that the regular legislative session is over, expect greater focus on the good, the bad and the ugly of future transportation decisions for Georgia. There’s no denying Georgia needs to spend more on transportation infrastructure. Congestion that is currently mitigated by economic woes will worsen as more people go back to work and companies grow again. The devil, however, is in the details. Taking transportation policy down the wrong road – a prime example is metro Atlanta’s spending wish list of $13.5 billion for… View Article

Transportation Solutions that Fit to a ‘T’

By Benita M. Dodd Cato Institute Senior Fellow Randal O’Toole’s recent visit to Atlanta was to talk about getting Georgians out of gridlock, and he proposed solutions. He talked a lot about “big-box” transit, about trains, about transit-oriented development and tax increment financing. None of those were O’Toole’s proposed congestion solutions, but he named several that fit to a “T” and are worth expanding upon. Timing traffic lights: Poorly timed traffic light signals cause congestion and needless delays. Synchronizing signals not only improves the flow and speed of traffic, it improves fuel efficiency and air quality. The Federal Highway Administration cites several examples of enormous benefit. The Texas Traffic Light Synchronization program reduced delays by 24.6 percent, fuel consumption by… View Article
Atlanta – Two events hosted this month by the Georgia Public Policy Foundation will bring national and international perspectives and expertise on transportation policy to Georgia, where the General Assembly recently approved transportation funding legislation. Register now to attend and discuss Georgia’s road to successful congestion relief and mobility.   ►A PPP Conversion: An Australian Leader’s Road from Foe to Friend of Tolls Who: Bob Carr, 10-year Premier of New South Wales, Australia What: A Georgia Public Policy Foundation Policy Briefing Luncheon When: Noon, Friday, May 14, 2010 Where: The Commerce Club, 34 Broad Street, Atlanta, GA 30303 Bob Carr spent 10 years as Premier of New South Wales after seven years leading the… View Article

Global Trade Recovery Holds Promise for Georgia

  By Mike Klein   Global trade has begun a steady recovery from worldwide recession that could last for several years, far outpacing anticipated U.S. annual GDP growth and providing an opportunity for Georgia to capitalize on the import-export economy.   Leading the global trade recovery are autos, metals, chemicals and commodities, Paul Bingham, director of IHS-Global Insight, told more than 800 guests at the 2010 Georgia Logistics Summit today (April 29) at the Cobb Galleria.   IHS-Global Insight, a global analytics firm that tracks worldwide economic trends, predicts the U.S. economy will see 3.0 percent real GDP growth this year and through 2012. Global trade is predicted to rebound 11.9 percent this year, and more than 7 percent each of the next… View Article
  By Mike Klein   Think about this image. You are traveling down one of Georgia’s splendid highways and suddenly a train carrying coal hurtles past in a near blur. High speed rail discussion is usually about moving people. But how about moving coal and other cargo at high speeds?   “Definitely we could and we should,” says Page Siplon, executive director at the Georgia Center of Innovation for Logistics, which describes itself as “Georgia’s leading resource for accelerating logistics growth and competitiveness in the state.”   Most folks don’t associate coal with Georgia, but they should. Rail cars haul more than 40 million tons of black gold across the state every year. That is 800 percent more tonnage than grain, the next… View Article

Transportation Planning: A Long Road Ahead

By Benita M. Dodd The Georgia Department of Transportation’s Draft Statewide Strategic Plan released this month reflects the state’s transportation approach for the next 20 years and, it’s promising that this time it’s two steps forward and just one step back. Amid ongoing discord about transportation solutions and funding options, observers must demand Georgia not shoot itself in the foot while hobbling ahead. The plan outlines a transportation strategy for Georgia to create 425,000 jobs and $480 billion in economic benefits through additional investment, regional and local partnerships “and a new paradigm of results-based investments in public infrastructure.” The DOT deserves credit for making some tough admissions in the draft plan, which notes that after two decades of under-investment, the… View Article

Five Ways Technology can Transform Transportation

By Steve Dickerson   The information technology wave is engulfing nearly all productive activities, based on the ever cheaper and capable power of computing and communications. Transportation modes, too, can benefit from the efficiencies of the technologies of cellular communications with global positioning systems (GPS) and Bluetooth.   Generally, the only hardware required would be a smart phone such as a BlackBerry or iPhone equipped with GPS and radio frequency (RF) communications, cellular and Bluetooth-type technology. For some applications GPS is not needed; any modern cell phone will do. The other basic assumptions are that shared rides include carpools, vanpools, buses, and rail transit; and shared cars such as ZipCar will be available. Commuters would subscribe to a cellular-based transportation support system… View Article

Ten Principles to Drive Transportation Policy

By Benita M. Dodd Sometimes, you can judge a book by its cover. The 2009 Transportation MAP – Metropolitan Atlanta Performance – Report released in October is available at It offers a “snapshot” of performance relative to mobility, transit accessibility, air quality and safety. Yet it’s the cover picture that paints a thousand words. The photograph shows the crowded regular lanes of the Downtown Connector, the spot in the center of Atlanta where Interstates 75 and 85 merge. The high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes are practically empty; a lone bus travels down one HOV lane; the HOV entrance ramp is barely occupied and the regular entrance ramp is clogged. The report cites improvement overall, but the cover epitomizes metro… View Article

Thank you for what you are doing to lead the nation. The Georgia Public Policy Foundation is leading the way. This is truly one of the leading lights in the state think tank movement. Excellent ideas. It’s well run. For those of you who are donors I congratulate you on your wisdom and I encourage you to do it and do it more.

Arthur Brooks, President, American Enterprise Institute (2015) more quotes