GA: North Fulton Homeowners Hope to Steer MARTA Rail West of Ga. 400

June 13-- Opposition to a MARTA expansion to Alpharetta along the east side of Ga. 400 is getting louder and more organized.

A coalition of neighborhood associations hosted a meeting in Dunwoody Thursday evening to voice concerns about the disruption a MARTA extension might cause their suburban subdivisions.

Residents said they prefer that the extension run along the west side of Ga. 400, where they say there are more homes, apartments and businesses that could be served by the mass transit system. The city of Sandy Springs also drafted a resolution in December supporting a MARTA expansion but stating a preference for building a Northridge Road station west of the highway.

"We just want to help shape MARTA in our area, and overwhelmingly no one wants the MARTA rail to come up the east side of Northridge," said David Centofanti, president of the Northridge Community Association.

MARTA is eyeing a service expansion northward from the current North Springs station to Windward Parkway interchange, either with rail or a rapid-bus line. Preliminary plans call for the construction of five or six stations along that route. But the mass transit system is only in the very early stages of completing a long federal study and approval process. For that reason, much about what the expansion would look like remains unclear -- including whether the line would hug the east or west side of Ga. 400.

Any expansion up Ga. 400 is at least a decade away, probably longer.

MARTA has been studying an extension of the North Springs line since at least 2003. At that time, the area was deemed to be "not transit supportive" due to a combination of high incomes and low household and employment density.

MARTA initiated another analysis of the Ga. 400 corridor in late 2011, and that analysis is ongoing.

Copyright 2014 - The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

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