Box 21, Folder 45, Document 14

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Box 21, Folder 45, Document 14

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August 25, 1967



The Honorable Ivan Allen, Jr.
Mayor of the City of Atlanta |
City Hall
Atlanta, Georgia 30303

Dear Mayor Allen:

Regarding the letter from Mr. Edmund W. Hughes, Managing Director of the Atlanta
Traffic and Safety Council, dated August 10, 1967, seeking "to determine whether
the City will be willing to pursue this matter and seek to have the State make
this federal money available", we have the following report.

We strongly recommend that the City of Atlanta do everything within its power
(financially and politically) to cooperate with and participate in the newly initiated
program of the Bureau of Public Reads, which is called Traffic Operations Program
to Increase Capacity and Safety (termed the “TOPICS” program). Immediately after
receiving your memorandum on August 22, 1967, we again thoroughly reviewed the
statue of this type of program in the Atlanta area with the Bureau of Public Roads
people and the State Highway Department people to make certain that we ware up
to date regarding their thinking. The Bureau of Public Reads people are very anxious
fer a city like Atlanta to set up projects under this program. They are also very
anxious for the State of Georgia to participate in the program. All federal funds
under this TOPICS program are available only through the Georgia State Highway
Department. At this time, the Georgia State Highway Department has a firm policy
against spending any of their funds for this purpose in Atlanta er any other cities
in the State. We, of course, believe that this policy should, can, and will be
changed. As mentioned above, we believe that the City of Atlanta should welcome
assistance from the Atlanta Traffic and Safety Council and any other citizen group
towards the end of having this policy changed.

Before any federal-aid system submittal or program to effect traffic operation
improvements on Atlanta streete can be approved, it must be supported by a compre-
hensive area wide plan for traffic operation improvements, including a program
far implementing a significant portion of the plan within five years. The tremen-
dous amount of work necessary to make the basic street and traffie inventories
and to develop the plan may be financed with money that also could be made avail-
able by the State Highway Department. In addition, the actual designe for traffic
operation improvements can also be programmed as preliminary engineering jobs,
and a portion or all of this work ean be financed with federal aid money which
is currently coming to or is available to the Georgia State Highway Department.

Since the plan or any submission must be based on an area wide inventory and an
analysis of all elements related to the plan for ail streets and highways on a
federal aid system in the area, we have been exploring ways and means of producing
The Honorable Ivan Allen, Jr.
August 25, 1967
Page Two

such an inventory and plan in preparation for setting up specific projects to submit
at such time as the State's policy may be changed.

Since the State Highway Department has a firm policy against participating
in this TOPICS program, we have been unable to obtain much information and only
a few opinions from State Highway Department persennel. The Bureau of Public Roads
people, however, have been very specific in their insistence that an area wide
plan must include as a minimum all of the area within the Cireumferential Freeway
(1-285) and probably neede to extend over a larger area. This immediately brings
up the difficulties and probably the impracticality of the City of Atlanta under-
teking to finance ‘such a study without any outside help. Also, the study tends

“to parallel the present continuing coordinated comprehensive traffic planning study,

which is under way in compliance with the 1962 Federal Aid Highway Act. However,
the area wide plan for traffic operation improvements is a more detailed and specific
type of study than the study under way in compliance with the 1962 Federal Aid
Highway Act. It is our opinion that it is impractical for any single governmental
agency in the Atlanta area (such aw the City of Atlanta) to undertake by itself
the development of an area wide plan for traffic operation improvements. We have
a very atrong feeling that this project should be undertaken and financed by the
State Highway Department with the federal aid money available to them for purposes
of this sort. Once this plan was developed and approved by the Bureau of Public
Roads, specific traffic operation improvement projects (such as the ones that we
currently carry on in our daily program in the City of Atlanta) could be set up
and submitted fer federal aid money. This money, of course, coming to the State
Highway Department and then on to the City of Atlanta.

We have made a rough estimate that the area wide plan for traffic operation
improvements could be completed by a consulting firm in a period of appreximately
six months. We have not yet obtained an estimate of the cost from any censulting
firm, but we are guessing that the cost might range from $50,000.00 upwarde to
$200 ,000.00.

Anticipating your concurrence with our recommendation that the City of Atlanta
do everything within its power financtally and politically or influence-wise to
cooperate with and participate in this TOPICS program, we are atranging to discuss
in general terms the cost of such an area wide traffic operation improvement plan
with some consulting firme. These explorations will be done without in any way
committing the City ef Atlanta and simply for the purpose of determining a little
more accurately exactly what kind of an expenditure might be necessary om the part A
of the Georgia State lighway Department in order te get this program under way ,
in the City of Atlanta. It would, of course, be unwise for the City of Atlanta
or anyone other than the Georgia State Highway Department to undertake to finance 4
such a study since the study would only be useful if the Georgia State Highway Department _
was agreeable to participating in the program. If the Georgia State Highway Department
ie interested in participating in the program, the cost of the study would be a ’
comparatively minor item in the total outlay and, therefore, it should not be difficult .
te get the Highway Department to take care of this particular cost. :
The Honorable Ivan Allen, Jr.
August 25, 1967
Page Three

We hope that this report is clear and that it contains sufficient information
to answer the questions that need answering at the present time. We have available
a substantial amount of additional detailed information regarding the TOPICS program
and we will be happy to discuss it with you in mere detail at any time that you

desire.

Sincerely,
Karl A. Bevins
KAB/cme

ec: Mr. R. Earl Landers:
Alderman Jack Summers

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  1. http://allenarchive.iac.gatech.edu/originals/ahc_CAR_015_021_045_014.pdf

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