Gwinnett residents talk transit; commissioners discuss future of Ga. 316

The entrance to the I-85 HOT lane on Ga. 316 southbound. Bob Andres

The entrance to the I-85 HOT lane on Ga. 316 southbound. Bob Andres

Some interesting business and development items came out of Georgia’s second-largest county by population this week.

Gwinnett County government reporter Arielle Kass covered one of county’s Great Exchange meetings where residents and other stakeholders are discussing transit and mobility in a suburb largely built for cars.

As Kass reports:

Around a conference table Tuesday morning at the Duluth law firm Andersen, Tate & Carr, the conversation ranged from insufficient traffic light synchronization to Gwinnett County’s glaring lack of a monorail.

“We dream about that,” said Mike Mason, the Peachtree Corners mayor, after one person mentioned how nice a monorail would be as an alternative to I-85.

From how likely Gwinnettians were to try to make a cross-town trek to a Braves game in Cobb County (not very, they say) to whether Gwinnett has any walkable areas (some, but not enough), the conversation at the law firm is one of hundreds about transportation that are taking place across Gwinnett this week.

As part of a program called The Great Exchange, local leaders are trying to engage those who live, work or pass through Gwinnett about where they wish they could get to more easily and what transportation issues they would fix if they could. Volunteers are leading in-person conversations and encouraging people to text in to a survey about transportation. (To participate, text “JOIN” to 74029.) Organizers hope more than 50,000 people will participate by the end of the week.

Earlier this year, the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce released a poll showing county voters favor expanding MARTA to Gwinnett, though a vote on the subject might be some time away.

Also on Monday, county commissioners discussed the future of Ga. 316 – the divided highway connecting the county with Athens.

Gwinnett County commissioners on Tuesday approved a change to their land-use plan that would encourage more research and development businesses along Ga. 316.

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