Atlanta Streetcars: Helpful or Hurtful?


Atlanta, Ga is an eclectic city full of awesome restaurants, incredible art, and is the central city to the growing film industry in Georgia. I have lived in the metro Atlanta area my entire life, and I think it is a great city, but compared to New York City and Chicago, the public transportation needs some improvement. The city of Atlanta has been working hard to come up with the funds, as well as ideas of how to create a better public transportation option within the city. As of a month ago, the “Atlanta Streetcar” has been rolling through the streets of downtown. It’s awesome that the city has come up with a solution to the transportation issue, but is it really the best solution? The project was supposed to be completed by Summer 2013, but has been pushed back numerous times, and has already gone six million dollars over budget. Because the streetcars are so new they have been doing some test runs for the past couple of weeks, and this has already led to some chaos. Although the streetcars are not yet moving people, they are causing some troubles with the surrounding cars in Atlanta traffic. There have been two accidents involving streetcars within the same week. No one was hurt, but this poses the question of their safety within the community, and has yet again pushed back the launch date. When the drivers of the streetcars were asked about these accidents, they said that they hope Atlanta drivers will eventually get used to the streetcars sharing their roads. When people in the Atlanta area were interviewed they said they do not like the idea of the streetcars. They know that Atlanta drivers are trying to get from point A to point B as quickly as possible, and they believe the streetcars are dangerous as well as slowing traffic down. The city has spent a lot of money on this project, so I have a feeling they will be here to stay, but it is going to take some time for the Atlanta drivers to adjust to such a big change within the city limits. Unfortunately there are two sides to this story, but the question of the success of the streetcars still remains until Atlanta sends them out for service on December 6, 2014. Until then we will have to question whether or not this is the best solution of transportation, or if the streetcars have already overstayed their welcome.