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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

 

This project is being led by the City of Atlanta Department of City Planning It is being managed in partnership with the Atlanta Regional Commission, which oversees the regional freight cluster planning programAssisting with the study is a team of consultants led by Gresham SmithSB Friedman, and Alliance Strategies

WHO IS CONDUCTING THIS STUDY?

WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THE STUDY?

The purpose of the Freight ATL: Northwest Atlanta Industrial Area Freight Study is to address goods movement, traffic operations, and related planning needs in the industrial districts and surrounding

neighborhoods in northwest Atlanta. The Department of City Planning is leading the study to ensure that Atlanta’s transportation system can sustain the area’s competitive industrial sector and high quality of life in the neighborhoods that support it. This means finding ways for industrial businesses and freight to coexist. 

 

The result will be a plan recommending future policy changes and of projects that align with the goals and priorities of the 2017 Atlanta City Design, 2021 Comprehensive Development Plan, several small area

and neighborhood plans, and the regional and local comprehensive transportation plans (CTPs), including the 2020 Regional Transportation Plan and the 2018 Atlanta’s Transportation Plan.

 

HOW IS THE STUDY BEING FUNDED?

The study is funded through a combination of federal grant dollars provided through the Atlanta Regional Commission (these cover 80% of the cost of the study) with local matching contributions provided by the City of Atlanta through Council Member Dustin Hillis (District 9) and Invest Atlanta, which collectively cover the remaining 20% of the cost of the study. 

 

HOW CAN I GET INVOLVED IN THE STUDY?

There are several opportunities to participate in the study and provide input. Activities are being done both virtually and in-person in accordance with the City of Atlanta operational responses to COVID-19. They include Walk & Talks, Community Insight Sessions, public open houses, and presentations to neighborhood planning units (NPUs), among others. For details on opportunities to provide input, visit the “GET INVOLVED” tab of this website.

 

WHAT IS EXPECTED TO COME OUT OF THIS STUDY?

The project team will produce several technical reports on several subjects: 

  • Trends, challenges, and best practices for freight planning and sustainable industrial development

  • Inventory and assessment of the transportation system and industrial freight transportation infrastructure 

  • Industrial development and jobs analysis

  • Traffic study

 

The study will culminate in a final report that summarizes the various tasks, discusses the community and stakeholder engagement process, and provides recommendations based on the needs assessment and input from the City, ARC, key stakeholders, and community members. The final report will include a list of recommendations for infrastructure projects, potential policy changes, and other strategies or actions that the City can take to improve freight mobility and sustain a thriving industrial sector and high quality of life in neighborhoods of northwest Atlanta.

 

WHY STUDY FREIGHT MOBILITY?

Freight is essential to everyone – not just businesses. Nearly every item in your home, the food we eat, and the tools we use have all been delivered to us from locations near and far. Examples of freight cargo or goods include: groceries, electronics, apparel, furniture, appliances, medical supplies, fuel, and retail packages. We tend to think of freight as large and heavy tractor-trailers on the highway or freight trains, but nowadays, goods are delivered in smaller trucks, vans, or even on bikes. Freight mobility considered how these goods get to and from the places they are needed. 

 

Northwest Atlanta is a complex and changing area – it includes a mix of residential, industrial, and commercial uses crisscrossed by truck routes, freight rail, transit lines, and local and regional roads, highways, and existing and proposed future multi-use paths. The proximity and mixing of industry with residential and commercial uses can lead to conflicts and unwanted freight traffic in neighborhoods. Industrial activity within this area is vital to the economic competitiveness of Atlanta and the region. Maintaining a high quality of life for residents and employees of the area is equally important. Therefore, identifying ways for freight, industrial businesses, residential, and commercial areas to coexist is fundamental to this study.

 

HOW WILL RECOMMENDATIONS OR IMPROVEMENTS BE FUNDED?

Sources of funding have not yet been identified. Once the recommendations have been finalized, the City of Atlanta will work with partner agencies to identify and secure funding as needed to advance projects and other types of strategies, according to local priorities and opportunities. There are a variety of potential sources of funding that could be used – they will vary widely depending upon what types of recommendations come out of the study.