The Gr8 Exchange is under way


Just like many cities across America, transportation is typically on the minds of folks living in the greater Atlanta metro area. From roads to rails, buses to trolleys and bike lanes to trails, folks have a smattering of opinions on the subject.Some love driving in their sedans, SUVs, mini-vans and/or pick-up trucks while others love hopping on their bikes to go from Point A to Point B.

This week, one of the more northernmost counties - Gwinnett County - is taking that thinking one step further. The Gr8 Exchange on Transportation is an initiative to get dialogue going about the subject. The easy-to-use website allows users to take a short survey, engage in discussions and a there’s even a page dedicated to spreading the word about The Gr8 Exchange. Whether through Facebook, Google Plus or Twitter, those tools are vital to getting a conversation out there about how transportation options can expand and improve within the county.

Do you have a transportation wish-list? If so, there’s space in the survey where participants may express themselves. Who knows – if enough folks participate, this could get the ball rolling to getting rail expansion, bike lanes, trails, trolleys and expanded bus service in Gwinnett --whether it is soon or many years from now.

I'm not sure if such an exchange has taken place in other transportation-challenged U.S. communities, but this idea is a good one. Will The Gr8 Exchange lead to profound change in the next decade and beyond? Obviously at this point, it's tough to answer that question.

As a "Gwinnettian" and ATL commuter, I get jealous when I see other cities around the U.S. and world offer extensive bike lanes, expanded rail - light and high-speed rail and much more. One of my dreams for the Atlanta area is to offer something that is available in Japan. The Shimanami Kaido: One of the world's most incredible bike routes. Now that is awesome!

I think that northern counties like Gwinnett and the Atlanta metro area can join those other communities on that level. With intelligent folks, ingenuity and leadership, improved transportation CAN happen in Atlanta and its surrounding communities.

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