Gordon Certain

North Buckhead Civic Association President Gordon Certain is on a mission to stop the Atlanta Streetcar from coming north before the first track is installed along Peachtree Road.

Longrange plans call for a 50-mile system of streetcars crisscrossing the city, following the 22-mile Atlanta BeltLine loop and running from the Buckhead MARTA station to Fort McPherson (future home of movie mogul Tyler Perry’s new studios) along Peachtree Road and Street.

“Wouldn’t streetcars be a charming addition to our future?” Certain asked in an editorial in the October edition of the NBCA’s monthly newsletter. “Actually, no.”

Certain expounded on the editorial at Thursday night’s Buckhead Council of Neighborhoods meeting, framing his opposition to the streetcar line with the controversial plan to add bike lanes to part of busy Peachtree Road.

“I want to stop the plan to build the streetcar on Peachtree,” Certain said.

Besides the projected cost of $375 million to build the 13-mile line, Certain said the Peachtree line was untenable because there is no room for a dedicated travel lane for the streetcars. He said streetcars traveling in traffic lanes and stopping for signals and at stations would cause chaos.

Certain pointed out that MARTA rail already runs along the Peachtree corridor and suggested that if the city was determined to add streetcars, maybe it should build underground tunnels or elevated platforms  for them.

Certain said he and his wife went Downtown last week to ride the 2.7 mile streetcar loop that runs from Centennial Olympic Park to the King Center. He wasn’t impressed with it.

Courtesy Atlanta Streetcar

“We rode the entire loop and it took half an hour,” he said. “There were hardly any riders at all. And it smelled.”

At-Large City Councilmember Mary Norwood said the discussion of a streetcar line on Peachtree had been ongoing since around 2006. “I was opposed to it then and I’m completely opposed to it now,” she said.

Norwood recounted a visit by streetcar experts from America, France and Canada during the early talk of a streetcar line. She bundled the experts into her car and drove them from Downtown to Buckhead and asked if a streetcar would work along Peachtree. “They all said it wouldn’t work and we didn’t need it,” Norwood said.

Certain encouraged residents to take the survey posted at the NBCA website to offer their feedback on the streetcar plan. You can take the survey and find out more information at www.nbca.org/sc/.

You can read Certain’s full editorial at this link.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.

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