Enhanced connectivity: expansion of the Stonecrest MARTA hub via $1 million from the CPF
On Friday, February 17, 2023, something historic takes place in the city of Stonecrest (GA). Not only is it the potential catalyst for improved transit for the city, but for areas including (but not limited to) South DeKalb County, Rockdale, Newton, and ultimately, the Metro-Atlanta area, it can be the start of improved connectivity which could potentially yield some positive and timely results.
Taking place at the Stonecrest City Hall, local, state, and national leadership come together to announce the $1 million secured in the 2023 Community Project Funding (CPF) appropriations for a new transit hub at the Stonecrest Mall. Congressman Hank Johnson (GA-04), Senator Jon Ossoff, Stonecrest Mayor Jazzmin Cobble, MARTA CEO Collie Greenwood, and DeKalb County Commissioner (District 5) Mereda Davis-Johnson are part of the press conference to provide an outline of the future activity and enhancements related to the transportation infrastructure.
DeAllous Smith, the Director of Communications and Technology, opens the press conference and sets the tone for the discussion of the day (press conference). During the press conference, all bring a positive energy and sense of excitement with the launch of this endeavor.
There are a number of encouraging takeaways from today's press conference:
Stonecrest Mayor Jazzmin Cobble: Upon acknowledging a number of special guests (including but not limited to fellow Stonecrest City Council members, as well as members of the MARTA board), she notes given the city "is a connected community", with multiple entities working together to improve the quality of life (in the city and interlocking area), this project can clearly enhance transit needs and access.
Senator Jon Ossoff: He emphasizes today's historic day is 2 years in the making; given the growing need for infrastructure improvements, there's a call for significant investment by the federal government in working with local, state, and related entities. The CPF is done via bipartisan support (by members of both the Democratic and Republican Parties) and with an underlying goal of providing "easy, convenient, and affordable ways to get around", it can yield improved and greater job opportunities, educational access, and simply making it a little easier to travel within the city, county, and larger Metro-Atlanta area.
Congressman Hank Johnson (GA-04): Along with acknowledging the collaborative partners in the Senate (Senators Ossoff and Warnock), he notes, "A journey of 1000 miles starts with a simple step". The steps taking place with the creation and enhancement of the Stonecrest transit hub is a reflection of what can and could be if there's a will to make it happen. The vision of expanded transit not only makes the Stonecrest hub a sound "endpoint" for those in DeKalb, but a good starting point for those traveling from nearby areas (including Rockdale and Newton Counties) for access in the city, county, and Metro-Atlanta area. With an emphasis of transit being a key component of our collective future, it (the future) is beginning in Stonecrest, along with pursuit of viable transit alternatives to create meaningful "win-win's" for the district and beyond.
MARTA CEO Collie Greenwood: He notes the presence of confidence and commitment of the MARTA board, city, and federal entities as it relates to this project. He emphasizes, "We're excited to be here"; with continued gratitude with the Congressional support, the focus is on making the hub a high capacity venue, including expanding bus service, and allowance for further enhancements, including the MARTA Market and other resources to provide improved access along the immediate railways and related lines.
DeKalb County Commissioner (District 5) Mereda Davis-Johnson: Her summation, "Securing this funding is a big deal", provides an ideal caption of the topics discussed and the ensuing creation and realization of the project. In addition to thanking Congressman Johnson, Senator Ossoff, Mayor Cobble, and CEO Greenwood, there's an underlying mindset this is only the beginning of the new wave of transit and infrastructure enhancements, as there's no limit in what can be done.
You may view the complete press conference here/below:
Both Mayor Cobble and Congressman Johnson respond our question as we ask not only about today's positive step, but additional collaborative projects to address the growing needs of the city and county population, and indirectly, Metro-Atlanta (you may view the video below for our question and their responses):
After the press conference, MARTA board member Robert Frierson provides his feedback on the press conference and ongoing efforts to address the transit and related infrastructure needs of the city and Metro-Atlanta area (you may view the video below for his remarks):
Today is a historic day not only for Stonecrest; in addition to wishing Senator Ossoff a happy birthday (today), it's the birth and dawn of a new day when it comes to transit and infrastructure for Stonecrest, South DeKalb and ultimately, the Metro-Atlanta area (you may see the birthday greetings in the video below):
It's the catalyst for evolving approaches to the current and future needs of the day and beyond.
Notes: All video is recorded by Andrew Snorton. All photos are taken by Andrew Snorton as they provide a snapshot of the aforementioned speakers and special guests in attendance for today's press conference; the photos break down as follows:
Top row (left-right): Group photo of members of Stonecrest City Council along with Mayor Cobble, Director of Communications Smith, Senator Ossoff, Congressman Johnson, CEO Greenwood, and County Commissioner Davis-Johnson. The podium photos include Director of Communications Smith (center) and Mayor Cobble (right).
Next to top row (left-right): A snapshot of the audience, Mayor Cobble (podium), and Senator Ossoff (podium).
Middle row (left-right): Snapshots of Senator Ossoff (podium) and Congressman Johnson (podium and up-front).
Next to bottom row (left-right): CEO Greenwood (podium) along with Mayor Cobble and Congressman Johnson (podium).
Bottom row (left to right): Commissioner Davis-Johnson, Congressman Johnson (center), and Senator Ossoff receiving his birthday well wishes from Mayor Cobble and those in attendance.