The future of transportation in the Atlanta region is starting to come in the focus, provided residents approve a tax to pay for it.

The Atlanta Regional Roundtable reported Aug. 15 that its Executive Committee unanimously approved a draft list with $6.14 billion worth of transportation projects that would be funded if voters approve a 1-cent sales tax. The draft will have to be approved by the full 21-member board by Oct. 15. There will be a series of public meetings to get input on the draft list.

The list includes $450 million for imporvements to the intersection of I-285 and Ga. 400, $200 million for collector lanes along Ga. 400 from I-285 to Spalding Drive, $50 million for bus rapid transit on Piedmont and Roswell roads between the Lindberg MARTA station and Atlanta city limits, $5 million for improvements to Ashford-Dunwoody Road between Peachtree Road and I-285.

The full list can be found here.

“Today, the Roundtable Executive Committee worked tirelessly to craft a constrained list of priority projects that represent tremendous benefits to the entire region,”  Norcross mayor Bucky Johnson, chairman of the Roundtable Executive Committee, said in a press release.  “We had representatives from all the major jurisdictions in the Atlanta region rolling up their sleeves to help the Executive Committee select projects with the greatest impact. By working creatively and cooperatively, we approved a constrained list of investments today that can usher in a new era of transportation possibilities for our residents.”

The projects will affect Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry and Rockdale counties, as and the city of Atlanta.

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, a member of the executive committee, spoke to the DeKalb Chamber of Commerce Monday before the meeting got under way. He said he needed buy-in from business leaders and stressed the importance of transportation projects to the region.

“I know it’s tough and we’re going to have a lot of robust debates and back and forth today, because we want to satisfy all of DeKalb and we also have to satisfy central and south DeKalb and we’ve been working nonstop to do so, but you’ve got to help us get a deal,” Reed said.  “If DeKalb’s not on board, it’s over. It’s done. There is no model that succeeds without you all and that’s why I came to say, ‘hello’ today.”

Dan Whisenhunt wrote for Reporter Newspapers from 2011 - 2014. He is the founder and editor of