Transit Tax, Car Diets & Private Roads

 

 

It's that time again.  We're going to round up all of the noteworthy news that we have come across recently and throw our opinion out into the deep space of the internet.  If you have an opinion or would like to share additional stories, please leave a comment.

Roswell

Reed Urges North Fulton to Back Transportation Tax - AJC

I do agree with the mayors on this.  It is not fair that Fulton and Dekalb residents pay two pennies when everyone else pay one.  However, we MUST have this reform and I think the way it's going to happen is highlighted in the Creative Loafing article linked to below in the Region section.  

Redeveloping Roswell - The City of Roswell

The city is adding redevelopment powers to the November ballot.  I say let's do it.

Coolest Suburbs Worth a Visit - Travel & Leisure

Roswell came in at a respectable number six.  

Roswell Neighborhood Wants to Keep Park - AJC

I have a problem with this one.  It seems to me that it would actually be cheaper and more beneficial to everyone for the current fire station to be renovated.  I haven't seen all of the numbers but $2.5M for a new fire station seems like a lot of dough.  Consider that the entire midtown streetscaping project is running in the $1.3M range.  The other argument was that the fire trucks backing into the station causes TRAFFIC (OMG.. not TRAFFIC!!) on Holcomb Bridge Rd.  I'm sure that there are a lot of other reasons that there is traffic on Holcomb Bridge.  Fire engines backing into the station maybe ten times a day or so, is NOT one of them.  I can't agree with spending probably an extra million dollars and losing a park just because we don't want to have a little bit of traffic.

Region

Regional Transit in Metro Atlanta? - Creative Loafing

Creative Loafing did an excellent job breaking down the issue of creating a truly regional transit system here in Atlanta.  The notable quote is:

All options are on the table: putting MARTA under state control; hiring a private firm to operate various rail and bus routes; creating a brand-new agency that would oversee all transit operations in the 10-county metro region; or any number of equally radical solutions.

Atlanta Residents Go on a Car Diet - AJC

ZipCar is sponsoring 30 Atlantans in this effort to show how their company and car sharing in general can help you rely less on a car.  The Low-Car Diet Challenge doesn't require that you don't use a car.  Rather, participants agreed to surrender their cars for a month and use the ZipCar service.  It started in mid-September.  I'm excited to see how it turns out for the particpants.  I wish this were an option in Historic Roswell.

Crooked Creek May Get Private Road - NorthFulton.com

Backward news...  In order to curb cut throughs and speeding in their neighborhood, Crooked Creek residents may soon be gating their two entrances.  This will take two super blocks and turn them into one MEGA block essentially severing another link in the effective road network in Milton.  The worrisome part here is that the city of Milton seems to be in favor of this.  It will only channel more traffic onto Hwy 9 and create more congestion that the residents of Crooked Creek likely aren't too fond of even outside of their enclave.

Livable Communities Coalition Reassesses its Strategy with Slowdown in Metro Growth - Saporta Report

Notable Quote:

Retrofitting our already-developed urban and suburban areas ultimately makes good economic sense because it builds on past investments rather than requiring new roads and sewer lines. 

Metro Atlanta's Future: Slow Period Perfect to Quicken Creativity - AJC

We are currently experiencing our slowest growth period in the region since the 1950's.  Let's hope that this pause gives us time to realize that we need strong cities and towns with a coherent metropolitan region with a focus on improving transit for all modes and livability for all incomes and races.  Notable quote:

 A slow healing of our economy presents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to think deeply about the future. This has value only if we apply the end product toward tuning up, if not overhauling, our strategic vision for the future. Excelling in this work will best situate metro Atlanta for the next chapters in our economic story.

30/10 Initiative - Metro.net

Put this one on the wishlist... Los Angeles has instituted the 30/10 initiative.  That is.. 30 years worth of transit projects finished in 10.  

Beyond

Nuvo: A Mayor for the New Millennium - Urbanophile

A good case for the importance of the arts in a successful community.  Good read.  Notable excerpt:

Have you gone for a romantic walk with your significant other recently, past the Walmart parking lot on one side and the six-lane road on the other? Probably not. And the reason you haven’t is because it’s not any fun! It’s not romantic. It’s not pleasing to the eye.

So we’re bringing the buildings back up to the street. Let’s go up a little higher. Let’s accommodate the car, but let’s accommodate them underground with garages. Let’s get people walking in the community. Let’s have options for people who don’t want to live on a big lot. That means apartments and condos and townhomes. And as we build this more walkable, sustainable community, one of the ways we make it beautiful is to have art. Public art.

We started a policy, as many other cities have across the country, of spending one percent of our general reserves for support of the arts about six years ago. Over time we’ve been able to buy a lot of public sculptures, support a lot of arts organizations.

Whole Foods to Stop Selling Over-fished Seafood - Atlanta Business Chronicle

Just another reason why shopping at Whole Foods is the right thing to do.