Seattle Axes Monorail Project
I can't comment on the other cities but Atlanta horrible public transit for two reasons that have nothing to do with history, race, or evil politicians. While those may be additional factors the two main reasons are that Atlanta grew up after 1960 (post-automobile) and Atlanta has no geographic constraints (mountains, lakes, etc). Those two reaons far outweigh the others and have insured that Atlanta doesn't have the density to make good use of public transit. Now eventually the suburb to in-town commute will become a limiting factor itself and encourage density (this is already happening in some areas) but it's a very, very slow process that will take years to make changes. In the mean time traffic will continue to get worse. There are only two ways to aleviate the problem long term: encourage people who work in the city to live in the city (some urban renewal projects Atlanta are doing a good job with this right now) and encourage people who live outside the city to work outside the city. This is happening too with the huge buildup north of the perimeter, but it's hampered by the freeways that force people to drive south to the perimeter, go west five miles, then drive north again up GA 400. The perpetually blocked northern arc freeway would help greatly here, but that's not going to happen anytime soon if the anti-sprawl folks continue to have their way.
- former Atlanta resident who foolishly moved to the San Francisco area