Roundabouts, Porsche, Mixed Use and Transit

It seems like I’m only able to get around to this on a monthly basis.  Good thing this isn’t my full time job.  I wanted to be sure to get this up since there have been a ton of newsworthy events in the past several weeks that I want to comment on.

Roswell News

Norcross-Grimes Roundabout - Our Roundabout is almost complete.  I’m looking forward to testing it out one of these days.

Midtown Streetscape Project - We’re beginning to see this take shape with the sidewalks almost complete, the bridge finished and historic lighting going up.  This is very exciting.  I’m sure the street paving will be coming soon.  

Regional News

Incentives Help Win Race for Porsche - AJC

This one has been a big story this week.  Porsche will be vacating its Sandy Springs offices off Hammond Dr to move their North American HQ to the Aerotropolis development in Hapeville.  The proposed development is exciting with a Porsche Experience Center along with a test track.  Development is expected to be complete in 2013 (we’ll see about that)

Tunnell-Spangler & Walsh Master Plans Unanimously Approved Doraville & Decatur - Green Building Chronicle

These two plans have definite New Urbanist DNA with Tunnel-Spangler & Walsh being a member of the Congress for the New Urbanism.  So, Doraville has finally moved forward with a plan for the former GM plant and Decatur approved its 2010 strategic plan.  This is great news for the region and another win for the ARC’s Livable Centers Initiative.

OliverMcMillan Closes on Streets of Buckhead - Atlanta Business Chronicle

Thank goodness!  They expect construction to resume in late 2011.

Streets of Buckhead Sidewalks Restored - Atlanta Business Chronicle

Another win around the SoB.  People need to walk in that area.  

$300M Project Approved - Marietta Daily Journal

More good news for logical mixed-use development.  The vote rezoned 82 acres west of the Hooch from heavy industrial to planned village community.  The neighborhood is approved for 155 single-family homes, 332 town homes, 165 condos, 200 senior units, 850 apartment units, and potential retail, restaurant and other commercial space.  There is still some concern over the proximity to heavy industrial business and that will need to be resolved somehow.

Young Professionals Lead Surge of Intown Living - AJC

The walkable urban vibe is attracting the young professionals intown.  There are affordable places with great amenities.  Had this type of atmosphere existed in 1999, I doubt I would have ended up in Sandy Springs.

Metro Atlanta Requests a Transit Future - AJC

No surprise here.  There is a bit of everything on this list.  However the tide has really turned toward transit in the last couple of years.  Atlantans have seen what other regions such as Denver, Dallas, DC and Charlotte are doing with transit systems and they want in.  Now, how does the list get pared down?  That will determine how much support we have.

Mass Transit System Proposal On Table - WSBTV

This is a really interesting vision for the transit system in the northern burbs.  It's just a vision.

Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center Announces Walk Friendly Communities - WalkFriendly.org

Decatur made this list which isn’t really a surprise.  They have a number of high profile programs that encourage walkability in the heart of the city.  Also, it helps that there is a MARTA rail station right in the center of the square.

Atlanta No. 3 Gas Guzzler - Atlanta Business Chronicle

We lost out on the top spot to those pesky NC cities Raleigh and Charlotte.  The ranking was done by Forbes Magazine.  They say that the average Atlanta household drives 21,300 miles a year consuming 1,050  gallons of gas eating up about $4,200 at today’s prices.  Start factoring in car payments, insurance, maintenance and depreciation and you’re talking real money. 

Atlanta Commuters Seek Alternatives to Help Beat Gas Prices - MyFoxAtlanta

.........Newsflash.........  There aren’t many alternatives.  NIMBYs, politicians and others others are convinced that transit is a boondoggle that should never be considered when we could just build more roads.  

Johns Creek Plans Roundabout - AJC

Now that we have ours, everyone is going to jump on the roundabout bandwagon.

MARTA Starts $10.8M Solar Project - Atlanta Business Chronicle

City Hall East Transfer from City to Jamestown Delayed - Again - Green Building Chronicle

Jamestown’s City Hall East Deal Held Up Over Historic Tax Credits - Green Building Chronicle

Atlanta Could be Home to Prince of Wales Sustainability Program - Saporta Report

Beltline Officials Ink Sweet Deal for Reynoldstown, Southwest Atlanta Segments - Creative Loafing

New Atlanta Airport Terminal on Track for LEED Silver - Green Building Chronicle

Trails Proposed along GA400 - Atlanta Business Chronicle

Atlanta Home Values Drop to 1999 Level - Atlanta Business Chronicle