What is the ARTS?
The Augusta Regional Transportation Study (ARTS) requires involvement by policymakers, technical staff, and citizens in order to address the various aspects of the transportation planning process.
In order for the ARTS to be effective and successful, its activities and programs must address and attempt to solve community transportation problems in accordance with established goals and objectives.
On a large scale of observation, the transportation issues and problems in the ARTS area reflect the recent experience of most urban areas. Rapid, dispersed growth and near total dependence upon the automobile has surpassed the ability to provide adequate transportation facilities and has made the promotion of public transportation as a viable alternative a greater challenge.
Specific Local Transportation Issues
The Augusta Regional Transportation Study is working toward solutions for many local transportation issues including the following:
Growth of the Augusta metropolitan area has changed the pattern and magnitude of travel to such an extent that congestion relief has become an ever-increasing issue.
Necessary resources for transportation projects have not kept pace with the need for improvements, leading to searches for new sources of funds and development of transportation demand management strategies to try to reduce demand.
Balancing the need for transportation projects with adequate consideration for the environmental, social, and economic impacts of the projects is an ever-present concern.
Building a process that leads to meaningful citizen participation has been difficult to maintain.
Transit usage has remained relatively constant in spite of the improvements that have been made, while operating costs have increased.
Providing transportation services for the disabled presents a challenge, but direction has been received through the ADA act.
Conflict between railroads and vehicular movement has severely impacted downtown redevelopment in Augusta.
In order to address these and other issues as an integral part of the transportation planning process, the ARTS developed a series of goals and objectives. These goals and objectives provide guidance for all elements of the transportation planning program and serve as benchmarks by which the accomplishment of the program can be evaluated.
That is the official position coming from the Augusta's government.
AS: If the railroad cannot be moved maybe can be put high. We have put men in the moon but we cannot move the railroad outside downtown or find other alternatives. The city could use the "air rights" that own over the parking deck in James Brown Boulevard and Reynolds Street to lift the railroad from the ground.
These trains are not part of the public transportation system, but they are cargos and like in the tragic case of Graniteville the public is not even aware what the trains are delivering. The public might think the cargos contain only food and goods without realizing that every day they are transporting hazardous materials trough the heart of the city.