Box 6, Folder 10, Document 58

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Box 6, Folder 10, Document 58

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V O L . 3 . N O . 2
Six prominent DeKalb visitors returned from a recent trip
to Toronto and Montreal to inspect those cities' rapid transit
operations, and reported that what they saw was "most impress ive," "fantas tic," "fi rst cl ass," and "mag nificen t. Th ey
concluded that "we should proceed as rapidl y as we possibl y
can" in developing a rapid transit system for Metropolitan
Those in the group were Brince H . Manning, Chairman,
DeKalb County Board of Commissioners; William C. Painter,
Mayor Pro-Tern , City of Decatur; William H . Breen, Architect
and member of the Decatur City Commission ; Tom McCord,
President of Tom McCord Construction Company and C hairman of Decatur Planning Commission ; John H. Ingram , President C & S Emory Bank and Chairman of Decatur/DeKalb
Rapid Transit Committee; and Aubrey C. Couch, Executive
Vice President, D ecatur /DeKalb Development Association.
The six members of the group discussed their impress ions
and evalu ations of the two systems at a news conference held
in the DeK alb Commission chamber on February 9.
Manning observed that "we came away from Toronto and
Montreal with different impressions from those we had gotten
from just reading literature. Certainly we ought to get on to
DeKalb group in Montreal Station . Left to right, William H.
Breen, Tom McCord, John H. Ingram, W illiam C. Painter.
Rapid Transit train approaching Eglinton Station with highrise building and parking decks using "air rights" over tracks.
the job one way or the other because we need to be able to
move people. We have to have a totally integrated system with
automobil es, buses, and possibly even trackless trolleys, as
well as rail tra nsit.
"I think the thing we here in this area have overlooked so
much in the pas t is the impact that this will have not only on
land values but also on the development th at will come and
the terrific increase in the tax digest which will arise from this
development. We saw pl ans that could fit into almost any area
th at we have in DeKalb Count y or the City of Deca tur or the
whole metropolitan area of Atlanta, of development whi ch has
res ulted fro m rapid transit .
"Certai nly we ought to move forward with the program if
we are go ing to have it ; and if we don't move forward , we wi ll
all regret it in years to come.
Breen, an architect, was unequivocal in his enthusiasm for
the speed of the system and for the design of the stat ions in
Montreal. He stated, "The most summarizing thing yo u could
say abo ut the whole trip was th at I ca n come back now and say
that 'rapid transit works - I have seen it .' "
"The system is fan tastic," he said. "A system that allowed
me to get on at one end of the line in Montreal, cover 15 stops
120 MARIETTA S T . . N.W .
GA . 30303 • P H ONE 524 - 5711
Edited by
Rt C H AllD H. RI CH, Clrnirmrm
HERB ERT J. OrCK SON, Treasurer
R o Y A. 8Lo u :-,;T, //ic e Ch airman
Eo:\tUND W . H uc HES, S ec retary
L. D. 1\ 111.TON
RonEHT F . AoAM So:-.
R1C 1J A RD I-1 . HJCH
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K. A. :\lc:\l1LL10 :v
CODB COUi'-TY (Obsc,vc,)
Ons A. Bnt::'\TIIY, J n.
H. N .
Genaa/ M anager
Chief Engin eer
of Pu blic In fo rmation
As.~i.~trml lo G eneral Manag er
EARL W.;-;,
KIN c ELLIOTT , Dir ecto r
J O H NSON, Adminis trative
l·I ENl!Y
in 13 miles, let everyone get on and off who wished, and have
spent no more th an 15 minutes, is reall y moving people."
"The thing that I saw as an arch itect which was most impressive was the definition of this th ing 'corridor impact.' I've
heard this thing discussed, and seen it in papers, graphs, and
charts, but in Mont real I saw it all in flesh and blood and in
architecture. I certainly want to compliment the architects who
handled the situation in Montreal.
"The ex.tensive development aro und rapid transit stations in
Toronto and Montrea l ind icated to the group what might be
accomplished in the Metropolitan Atlanta Area, with good
planning before and during rapid transit development."
McCord stated, "What impressed me was that rapid transit
made the backbone of the future deve lopment regarding bui lding and other developments. In the city of D ecatur's planning,
we have just been through workin g ove r our documents again
and we are real concerned that property va lues wi ll not onl y
stay where they are, but will continue to go up. As yo u know,
we have had urban renewal and this has bee n a great boon .
We now have several high-rise buildings here includ ing the
new county courthouse building. We would like to think that
we could help the people who own property in Decatur to continue to have valuable property. If rapid transit would make the
land values continue to go up near the stations, then we wo uld
like to be involved where the stations wo uld be and to help
plan for the future. We are not talking about a one or twoyear plan, we are talking about a fifteen or twenty-year plan. "
Painter agreed with McCord's observation abo ut development in Toronto and related that to the futu re of Decatur.
"The city of Decatur will be in a very critical spot in this whole
metropolitan area transit. We fee l that rapid transit in the city
of Decatur will be an exciting and meaningful development
for the entire citizenry. It will not only mean a mode fo r moving back and forth in the downtown area of Atlanta, but will
also be the backbone for the development that you have just
heard about. The residenti al development will be more signi ficant to Decatur because we have always been an area where
people like to live. High-rise developments will be avail able.
We saw there in Montreal and Toronto many high-rise apartments, and good rentals can be obtained in these because of
the proximity to rapid transit. We feel th at what we saw there
can be related to Decatur in a very, very meaningful way, and
we fee l that our citizens will support it."
Ingram was particularl y impressed with the speed with
which the Montreal system was developed and the speed with
which the system moves large numbers of people. "Mont real
had talked about rapid transit for some fifty yea rs but when
the decision was fin ally made to act, they accomplished what
they now have in a short period of time of about five years .
"We were impressed with the speed with which they moved
350,000 people each day in the city of Montreal and moved
them in quiet and in comfort and with efficienc y.
"Each of these cars will carry about 160 people and they
will run about 10 cars to a train, so abo ut 1,500 people can
ride on one train . The trains are spaced something li ke two or
three minutes ap art, so you can visualize how fast you can
move people into Atlanta, or out to Decatur, or out into DeKalb County.
"We found out that the public attitude abo ut rapid transit
had changed quite a bit. People in that area feel that it is no
longe r to th eir adva ntage to drive automobiles to work . Th ey
know now that they can ride the rapid transit system , have no
parking problem , and arrive at work much more quickly. It is
certa inl y easier th an the way they were able to do this before."
" The cost of the system was certainl y large; one car for
example, will cost an average of about $ 123 ,000 and this was
fi ve or six years ago. We are talking in the Atlanta area abo ut
some 52 miles of track. The las t figure I recall was in excess
of some four hundred million dollars, and this keeps goin g up
every year. We feel in the interest of Atlanta and D ecatur and
this great area we all li ve in , th at we have got to translate this
talk and these discussions into action as soon as possible."
Couch, too, concluded that after visiting the Montreal system, "We cannot afford not to build a system in A tl an ta, and
speed is of the essence. We rode the system in Montreal as the
average person would ride it. We stayed in the Hotel C hamplain in Montreal , rode one floor down on the elevator and
were in the rapid transit system at that point. We paid a
quarter, and, as far as we know, yo u could ride all day long
for the price."
"The opportunity is so great and is so stagge ring th at I
don't think anybody can really understand what an opportun-
ity this a rea has . I have seen METRO in P aris and I have seen
the subway in New York and I must confess, the subway in
New York did not impress me. But what I saw in Montreal,
and to a larger degree in Toronto, was so different that I came
away with the same feeling that Mr. Breen mentioned - rapid
trans it works. "
"They have done magnificently," Couch emphasized , "and
if they can do it in Montreal and Toronto, we can do it here
in Atlanta and we must with the greatest speed possible. "
Manning agreed with McCord that, " the longer we wait, the
mor~ it is going to cost. This entire project will have to be
sub mitted to the people and we should move forward with the
progra m. " Manning concluded , "Certainl y we should move
forward with the program if we are going to have it, and, if
not, we are going to regret it in years to come."
The inspection tour February 1-3 was arranged and sponsored by the Decatur / DeKalb Development Association ; transportation was by private plane owned and piloted by Tom
Breen sa id , "There is one thin g I would like to say. This
general conversation has related to Metropolitan Atlanta, Decatur and DeKalb County and the number of stations and extensions of the routes . If there are any interested persons in
counties which are not in favor of rapid transit, I would like
to recommend to these persons and to persons in other parts
of the State that they give their attention to two things :
"First, I recommend to any one that befo re they reall y become set against rapid transit that they make an effort to take
a trip to Toronto and Montreal. After . our trip, we are enthusiastic about rapid transit and see that there is a real need
for it.
"Second , rapid transit adds a fac ility or capability to a city
which in our case would ge nerate new economy throughout
the whole State. This is something that would lift Atl anta up
out of a questionable area of whether it is indeed a great city
or not quite great. I think rapid tra nsit would help make the
whole Metropolitan Atlanta area and all of its environment
including D eKalb County and D eKalb municipalities part of
a great area of high density hab itation . T hi s could not help
but affect economy of our State. If I were in Valdosta, Thomaston, or some other part of Georgia, I would be in favo r of
rapid tra nsit. "
An exhibit on rapid transit won a blue ribbon for four
Chamblee High School students at the Science Fair in DeKalb
County in Febru ary. The exhibit, titled " Rapid Transit for
Atlanta," used plaster of paris, wood, plastic, to ys, parts of a
train set and other materials to show the basic layout of the
rapid transit system now being developed . The " mushroomshaped.". objects in the picture above are signs depicting station
locations and the time/distance from Transit Center. T he
"Blue Ribbon" in the upper left corner of the display indicates
a First Place award.
The display was developed and built by Carol Pitts, Dianne
Coffee, Jud y David and Barbara Wilson, all ninth-grade stu dents at Chamblee H igh School. Ken Moore, World Geography
DeKalb County School Superintendent Jim Cherry listens intently as Chamblee student Carol Pitts explains the display she
and three other students built, depicting rapid transit plans for
Metropolitan Atlanta.
"We saw it, we rode it, we like it!" William Painter (l) with Ingram and Breen; and, across the aisle, McCord with DeKalb Commission Chairman Brince H. Manning (r), as they rode the Montreal rapid transit trains.
teacher at C ha1nblee, was the s upervising teacher for the project .
T he project took approximately 60 "girl-hours" to complete,
and won a "Fi rst Place - Blue Ribbon" in the DeKalb competition. A total of more than 600 project was entered in the
Scie nce Fair. DeKalb School officials say the fair provides '·an
opportunity for students to develop research skills and engage
in individual and in-depth studies as they learn to distinguish
between fact and opinion while exploring a more e ·citing approach to learning."
The following questions were asked by newsmen and were
answered by m em bers of th e D eKalb group which recently
toured rapid transit system s in Toronto and Montreal.
QUESTION - Did you get any feeling from the people
there as to whether they were glad to have rapid transit and
depended ?n it or whether they wished it had never been built?
BRINCE MANNING - I personally did not ta lk to any
public officials or to anyone connected with rapid transit. We
went to get the feelings of the average person in these two
great cities and the opinions of business people who have their
places of business around rapid transit and also the attitudes
of those who live around rapid tra nsit. I did not get the impression in either city that the public was against it. Two or
three people did say that t),ere was opposition to it in the beginning but they felt as a result of the completed system , that
most of the people are in favor of it.
QUESTION - How well do you feel the new systems were
integrated with existing neighborhoods as well as with the new
de velopment that took place after the stations were ~uilt?
WILLIAM BRE):,N - In the neighborhoods, the stations
were largely underground as far as size and volume were concerned. Portions of the neighborhood stations which actually
occupied ground and sp ace above ground was very small . You
could have had two or three of them around our court square,
for instance, without disrupting any of our present operations.
People walk to the stations. The only exception was where the
automobiles and buses came to the stations; there they have
drive-in stations which allow rapid transit riders to get to their
cars or to buses which feed out into the neighborhoods.
QUESTION - You mentioned the possibility of expanding
the system in DeKalb County with more stations and longer
lines. Do yo u have any specific idea as to wh at and where?
MANNING - Well , the initi al line in DeKalb Count y is
to come out along the Georgia Railroad, College Avenue and
D eK alb Avenue throu gh Decatur, on out p ast Sams Crossing
to Avonda le. It is our thinking that because of the traffic p attern set up by the Perimeter Highway that the initi al line should
be extended beyond the P erimeter Highway. The reason for
this is the limited crossings of the perimeter, not only for
private a utomobiles but also for bus t rans portation.
Q U ESTION - You also want more stations along the line
than a re now in the pl annin g?
MANNING - Yes, sir : I believe in Toronto the stations
are spaced about a mile and a quarter apart. You can see the
development at each station, and I think if we have more stations, there will be a greater impact on every are~ in DeKalb
County as well as in other counties in the Metropolitan area .
I would like to say this - there has been a lot of talk about
rapid transit as something which is just for moving people
downtown. The two cities we saw defaults this theory. There
is much movement out to the areas, shopping centers, and
office buildings that have been developed as a result of rapid
transit. I would say that people are going out to these more
than they are going downtown. I think this would be true in
the Atla nta Metropolitan Area and this suits me fine. The
more people we can move out here to shop, to live, to invest
their money in real estate development, the better of( we will
At its regul ar meeting January 15, 19 68 , the MARTA board
of directors re-e lected Richard H . Ri ch as Chairman and Roy
Blount as Vice Chairman. The Board was advised th at the
followin g directors had been re-appointed to new terms: from
Atlanta, L. D. Milton to a term expiring December 31, 1971 ;
from DeKalb County, D r. Sanford Atwood to a term expir,
ing Dece mber 31 , 1971 ; from DeKalb County, Ro y Blount to
a term ex piring Dece mber 3 1, 1969; and from Gwin nett
County, K. A. McM illan to a term expiring December 3 1,
The Board ag reed to participate in an acce lerated program
of the Atlanta Area Transportation Stud y.
At its meeting in February, the Board of Directors au,
thori zed the Genera l Manager to fi le an appli cmion with the
U.S. Department of Housi ng and Urban Development for
$ 166,666.00, to be matched by $83,334.00 of loca l funds for
continuati on of the wo rk progra m in 1968. This program
includes work elements on Preliminary Ownership Study
($49 ,000) ; Acco unting and Financial Control System ($25,000) ; Architectu ra l Studies ($32,000); T rans it Center Technica l Studies ($99 ,000) ; Socio-Economic Benefit Analysis
($30,000) ; and Impac t of Proposed System of Atlanta
Transit System ($ 15,000).
The Board also ag reed on MARTA's share of the cost of
the acce lerated Atlant a Area Transportati on Stud y; MARTA
and the State Hi ghway Department wi ll each contribute
$ I00,000 toward this work.
The next meet ing will be April 2. 3: 30 P.M .. Room 6 19.
The Glenn Building, 120 Marietta Street, N .W .. Atlanta.
120 MARIETTA ST .. N . W .
U.S. Postage
Atlanta, Ga .
Permit No. 705
PHONE 524-5711 ( AREA C O DE 4 0 4)
1968 - VOL.
Mr. Da n E. Swea t , Jr ., Director of
Go ver~mentat Lia i s on, Ci ty of At la~ta
City Ha ll
Atlanta. Ga. JOJO,

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