Loading...
 

Poll: Gwinnett voters keen on MARTA expansion

Image

Sixty-three percent of likely voters in Gwinnett County support the expansion of MARTA into the county, according to a recent poll by the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce.

The survey shows the county’s attitude toward MARTA is changing. Gwinnett voters have rejected joining the transit agency three times over the decades — most recently in 2008, in a nonbinding poll.

They’re also willing to pay for it. In addition to the majority of likely voters supporting the expansion, the study says “a majority (50%) of likely voters in Gwinnett County support a one percent sales tax to fund the expansion of MARTA into Gwinnett County.”


The study randomly sampled a total of 502 Gwinnett County citizens. Female participants outnumbered males by 10 percent, and there were twice as many white participants than African-American participants. Fourteen percent of the respondents identified as “other.”

Gwinnett, Georgia’s second most populous county, has changed dramatically in population and demographics since it first considered joining MARTA. The number of residents has more than doubled since 1990 to more than 870,000 today, according to a U.S. Census estimate. Nearly 25 percent of its residents were born in another country, the Atlanta Regional Commission says (PDF). Whites make up less than 45 percent of the population, according to 2010 census data.

Transit advocates such as Lee Biola, the president of Citizens for Progressive Transit, called the poll numbers an overall encouraging sign.

“New rail lines in Gwinnett would encourage walkable communities along the rail line and give Gwinnett residents a way out of traffic,” Biola said. “The regional transportation plan includes some great options for Gwinnett. MARTA could make these lines on a map reality.”

Added Colleen Kiernan of the Georgia Sierra Club: “I’m not surprised but I’m very pleased with the poll’s results. I think it’s showing what the market is demanding,” Kiernan said.

In many parts of metro Atlanta residents and businesses are showing a strong desire for more transit options. Clayton County voters recently approved a 1-percent sales tax to fund MARTA bus service — and one day, transit officials say, rail. Businesses are relocating and expanding operations in areas that are served by transit. Even Republican mayors outside the urban core are pushing for more mobility options.

The study found the strongest support for expansion in the southern part of the county in Districts 2 and 3, with 70 percent and 65 percent approval, respectively. “The groups with the strongest opposition to expansion are Conservatives, Republicans, and voters living further north in the county,” the report states.



More By This Writer

Article

Thursday May 14, 2015 04:00 am EDT
Go behind the scenes, under the ground, and around the Beltline | more...

Article

Thursday April 30, 2015 02:24 pm EDT

  • Calvin Kimbrough
  • Wilton Hugh 'Wolf' Thomas

Members of Gentle Spirit Christian Church and the Open Door Community will hold a memorial service at Candler Park on Sunday morning to celebrate the life of Atlanta musician and longtime street personality Wilton Hugh Thomas, better known as “Wolf.”

Thomas was beloved by many in Little Five Points, where he spent many years helping other homeless...

| more...

Article

Monday April 6, 2015 04:19 pm EDT

“Hold your burgers, hold your fries, make our wages super-sized!” Atlanta protesters chanted outside of the McDonald’s just north of MARTA's Five Points station.

About 30 labor protesters last Thursday gathered Downtown near the intersection of Broad and Marietta streets to hoist signs, share anecdotes about their jobs, and call for wage increases not only for McDonald’s workers but for all...

| more...

Article

Friday March 27, 2015 03:15 pm EDT

  • Joeff Davis/CL File
  • Clarksville, Ga., resident Sarabeth Fowler said that the state's medical marijuana bill will help her eight-year-old daughter, Ava, gain access to a drug that "completely takes away her seizures."

After more than a year of heated debates, state lawmakers have finally approved Georgia’s first-ever law legalizing the possession of a liquid form of medical marijuana to help...

| more...

Article

Thursday March 26, 2015 04:00 am EDT
Time to become a model citizen and get engaged | more...
Search for more by Cleo Durham

[Admin link: Poll: Gwinnett voters keen on MARTA expansion]

Spider for Poll: Gwinnett voters keen on MARTA expansion