Lawrenceville, June 24, 2020 – To accommodate current mobility needs and anticipated growth in the coming decades, Gwinnett County – in partnership with the Gateway85, Gwinnett Place and Sugarloaf Community Improvement Districts and the Atlanta Regional Commission – is embarking on an integrated land use and transportation plan for its first proposed Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) corridor.
The study will evaluate potential station locations, record stated preferences for surrounding development/redevelopment, and provide recommendations to make this vision a reality. These recommendations will be determined through technical analysis as well as by input from the community.
To support public engagement in the time of social distancing, the project team has created an interactive project website, www.GwinnettBRT.com, which features information about the study as well as two initial ways for visitors to provide input. There is a survey component where participants rank five guiding principles for the study in order of importance to them.
The survey also divides the study area into six subareas and uses images for participants to vote on the type and scale of development they would like to see in each subarea. The second way to provide input is through the Map It! activity, which enables participants to drop a pin in the study area to note the areas/things they would like to see change – or stay the same – in the future.
The Satellite Boulevard to Jimmy Carter Boulevard BRT Corridor Study is the first of its kind in the metro Atlanta region. Bus Rapid Transit is a transportation mode that does not currently exist in metro Atlanta, although there have been recent plans to introduce this mode in the region.
Gwinnett County Transportation Director Alan Chapman said, “We are excited to lead the region with this type of study and potential future implementation.”
Karen Winger, Gwinnett’s transit division director, added that the County has done technical analysis and high capacity transit planning for Gwinnett County as a whole.
“We’re eager to start to take a closer look at how this all could shape up, especially along our corridor of highest transit ridership,” said Winger. “And although we’ve had robust public engagement for our previous studies, the Satellite Boulevard to Jimmy Carter Boulevard BRT Corridor study will allow the community to provide detailed input that they have not yet been able to give us because of the high-level scale of our previous plans.”
Bus Rapid Transit is similar to rail-based transit services but uses rubber-tired vehicles to provide greater service flexibility at a lower cost. Like rail, BRT provides high quality transit service to move a large number of people quickly and efficiently to and from their destinations. BRT can be much less costly to build and is up and running much faster than heavy and light rail service.
BRT operates in predominately, but not necessarily exclusively, dedicated right-of-way along with other treatments to increase overall speed and reliability of service. BRT right-of-way may include a dedicated transit-only corridor, transit-only lanes adjacent to mixed traffic lanes, or mixed traffic lanes. Typically, BRT is accessed at transit stations spaced every ½ to 1 mile with distinctive branding, off-board fare collection, real-time bus arrival information and enhanced waiting areas.
The project was a recommendation of previous planning efforts, including Connect Gwinnett: Transit Plan and the 2019 Transit Review Committee. These recommendations were reinforced through transit-supportive policies and land use recommendations in the 2040 Unified Plan. The project is the backbone of projects included in the list of Gwinnett County transit projects for The Atlanta-region Transit Link’s Regional Transit Plan.
The Satellite Boulevard to Jimmy Carter Boulevard BRT Corridor study was funded by a $400,000 ARC Livable Centers Initiative grant, with contributions from each of the CIDs and Gwinnett County.
For more information about the Gwinnett BRT study, visit www.GwinnettBRT.com.