DCPLive is a blog by library staff at the DeKalb County Public Library!

transportation

Dec 2 2008

Car-less in Atlanta…

by Jnai W

I don’t have a car. And I live in Atlanta.

Those are two sentences that, to the casual observer, should not be uttered by anyone…in a single breath.  But they are true of many Atlantans, myself included.  Whether one is willfully car-less in our fair, sprawling city or whether one is financially restricted to public transportation (or a combination of both, such as I am), being without a car in Atlanta is not easy…but not impossible.

The most obvious and well-known option throughout Metro Atlanta is MARTA, with service in Dekalb and Fulton counties. MARTA isn’t perfect–limited bus services in many areas–but it is a feasible option. Planning ahead is imperative but, thankfully, that has gotten much easier with their website’s Trip Planner feature.  Other mass transit options have come about over the past few years and, in conjuction with MARTA, can really help you navigate around the city.  Buslines serving the Buckhead district (the Buc) as well as university communities such as Emory and Georgia Tech can also be a big help.

A great place for information about alternative transportation is the website for Citizens For Progressive Transit.  Here you’ll find all the latest news about developments in Atlanta’s transit system (for example, What is Concept 3 and what does it mean to Atlanta?  There’s a meeting about it tonight!).  You’ll also find links to informative websites about other means of car-less transportation, such as the Path foundation for bikers, runners and walkers and P.E.D.S, a site about pedestrianism (is that a word?).

I’ve been surviving carlessly here in A-Town for about 5 years now…and I’m strongly considering giving up the ghost and getting my own set of wheels.  But until I do, the aforementioned methods and sources are decent ways to get where you need to go without a car or at least getting close enough and hoofing it the rest of the way–thanks, MARTA.

Seriously…I am curious about Concept 3.  I should try and get to that meeting.  Could someone give me a lift?

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Nov 17 2008

Got the traffic blues?

by Amanda L

If you are like me, you spend a lot of your time and money driving around Atlanta to get to work, shopping, etc. In fact, according to statistics I found using our database Demographics Now (listed under the Business section of our Reference Database page ), citizens in DeKalb spent on average per household $2,375.13 last year (2007) in gas. That is a lot of driving! Over seventy-six percent of the people living in DeKalb own one or two cars per household.

I am always looking for ways to minimize my driving time and cut my transportation costs. The Georgia Department of Transportation has several tools to help us stay out of the traffic blues. They have a website that you can check anytime to see traffic conditions around Atlanta and the state.

Interested in where the accidents and construction delays are on your side of town? You can sign up for a My Navigator Account. This account will let you create a Personal Traffic Page, set up e-mail Traffic Alerts, and more.

In fact, if you use iGoogle, you can have incidents and construction delays displayed right on your personal Google page.  Traveling around and hit a wall of traffic and want to know if there is an accident? You can dial 511 from any phone and get traffic updates. You can also get weather conditions, report an accident or request vehicle assistance. On the other hand, you can also talk to a live operator by dialing *dot.

Looking for away to pass your time away while you are traveling? The library has a variety of audio books. We offer them in cd, cassette and downloadable formats. We also have a variety of music cds that can help pass the time as you work your way through the streets of Atlanta.

Looking for a new or used vehicle that might get better gas mileage? The library subscribes to Consumer Reports that can help give you car ratings on new and used vehicles. Want to know whether to trade in your gas-guzzler for a new hybrid? Smart Money magazine has an interactive feature that can help you determine if it is economical for you to buy a new hybrid and sell your current car.

Why is that driver is in the next car is driving that way? You might want to check out the book Traffic: why we drive the way, we do by Tom Vanderbilt. The author researched and interviewed many driving experts and traffic officials about why we drive the way we do. The book looks at the psychological, physical and technical factors that explain why we drive, what causes traffic jams and what our driving says about us. We also have the book in audiobook format for those who want to listen why you drive. I hope that some of these sources can help you beat the traffic blues!

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