Before beginning to describe the specific shortcomings of Atlanta’s transportation infrastructure, I feel that it’s necessary to define some of the terms and phrases that I use to make sure my reasoning is clear. One such term is “urban sprawl”. Urban sprawl is defined broadly as “the uncontrolled expansion of urban areas”. While experts in the field recognize that this definition is quite vague, they all agree that its characteristics include uncoordinated, low-density development, single-use zoning and negative effects on the environment and public health and safety. Sprawl is also known to increase the cost of maintaining infrastructure and contribute to racial and socioeconomic segregation (“Sociation Today…”). The second phrase that plays a large role here is “arterial road”. In the taxonomy of roads that follows as: freeways, arterials, collectors and local roads (from largest to smallest), arterial roads are one step below freeways or interstate roads (“Hierarchy…”). Arterials deliver traffic between freeways and collector roads and serve to provide congestion relief to freeways in the event of major traffic delays. I also use some more familiar words here like “infrastructure”, which here only refers to roads, and “public transit”; for the purposes of this piece, this means MARTA trains and, to some extent, the nascent Atlanta Streetcar.