James.qxp May June 2019 web - Page 47

signage and infrastructure improvements to create an
area that is strong, safe and attractive both economically
and by community standards.
In thinking about the future, the AACIDs are
focused on dynamic technology solutions to raise the collective value of our communities. The AACIDs are working with Modern Mobility Partners and KCI Technologies
to evaluate and prioritize technologies along Virginia
Avenue and other areas within the Aerotropolis.
Some of the technologies being evaluated include signal preemption/priority, autonomous shuttles, navigation
assistance, roadway condition sensors and automated traffic detection focus on mobility. Gunshot detection, license
plate readers, smart parking management, video integration can address safety, while pedestrian beacons, pedestrian warning applications, solar bus shelters and digital
wayfinding promote walkability. The study is evaluating
technologies based on a variety of criteria including public
and stakeholder input. The goal is to identify strategic
solutions to address specific needs both now and in the
future. The study will conclude in early fall 2019 with a
100-day implementation plan and long-term strategy.
The AACIDs are also looking forward to partnering
with technology vendors to create an integrated and
seamless technology system that will be on the cutting
edge of “Smart” communities.
On the transportation side, AACIDs partnered with
M AY / J U N E 2 0 1 9
VHB and Nelson Nygaard to conduct a Transit
Feasibility Study. The study (concluded in January) identified short- and long-term transit solutions, again, focusing primarily on the technology rather than a need for
new static infrastructure.
The first short-term recommendation is a Mobility
District. This is an app-driven, on-demand service, supplementing MARTA service in the overnight hours to provide an affordable and convenient solution for employees
in this 24-hour business district. Think Uber or Lyft but
specific to employees of the area and using larger vehicles. The study also identified several route needs and
analyzed how to be most efficient by utilizing existing
roadways or right-of-way and thinking more about technologies such as autonomous personal or group rapid
transit, extension of the autonomous SkyTrain, or perhaps
even an elevated system that eliminates any need to take
additional capacity on the roadway.
While more exploration will continue, the
AACIDs are well on our way to thinking differently about
how to move people through the district in the
21st Century. Aerotropolis Atlanta strives to be an international destination and it is very clear that focusing on
technology infrastructure will be a more attractive asset
than building more roads and highways.
Gerald McDowell is the executive director of the Aerotropolis Atlanta CIDs.


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