Weekly Top 5 - Zoning, Walkability, Strip Malls, Street Trees, Millennials

This week, we have a little bit of everything for you.  There is so much to talk about in Roswell that I’m starting off with a Roswell top 5 and then getting into a more general top 5.  Enjoy! 

 

Top 5 From Around Roswell 

Roswell Seeks Input on Unified Development Code - Roswell Neighbor - Our city is undergoing a complete revision of its zoning code over the next two years.  The first public meeting to kick this effort off will be on 6/20 from 6pm to 730pm at City Hall.  

Roswell Hosts Holcomb Bridge Open House - Roswell Neighbor - There will be a public information open house on 6/26 at 5pm at the Holiday Inn at 909 Holcomb Bridge Rd.   The Roswell DOT will be presenting their recommendations for changes to the HBR/400 interchange to improve traffic flow and pedestrian safety.

Street Closure for Alive After 5! - Finally, it’s a true block party!  This has been needed for a while.

Pasti’s Looks to Replace Windows - RoswellGov  - Pasti’s is looking to open up and liven up their facade by replacing their windows with retractable glass garage door style windows.  I think this will really help that building engage the street a little bit more.  Plus, it takes the building back to it’s roots when it was a car repair shop.

Fulton’s Mobile Food Trucks to Stop in Roswell - Roswell Patch - This isn’t the type of food truck that has become so trendy these days.  This truck is more of a grocery store on wheels that is meant to serve areas in Fulton county that are lacking in grocery stores, aka food deserts.  The truck will be at Zion Baptist Church every second and fourth Wednesday at 1pm.

 

Top 5 From Around the Web - The Atlantic Cities was on fire this week.  I honestly could have filled up five spots with just articles from that site.  However, we did spread the wealth a little bit.  Enjoy this week’s reading.

The Need for Walkable Growth Near MARTA Stations - ATLUrbanist - This post makes a pretty good case for what we all know to be true, that our MARTA stations don’t work very well because cars don’t ride trains.. people ride trains.  Unfortunately, MARTA built a lot of stations to focus on getting cars to the trains rather than the trains to the people.  

Debating the Root Causes of Zombie Infrastructure - The Atlantic Cities - This article is a perfect example of what everyone who wants to build more walkable, livable environments is up against.  Check out the ‘beautiful’ strip mall.

New Evidence that City Trees Reduce Crime - NRDC Switchboard - We need more trees.. this comes on the heels of another article that points out that income inequality can be discerned from google maps. Both of these are interesting reads and point to the importance of trees which we have no shortage of here.  However, what we do have a shortage of is political will to battle GDOT to allow larger trees along our streets.  Are you tired of seeing crape myrtles?

Strip Malls and Big Box Linked to Increased Traffic Deaths Among Seniors - The Atlantic Cities - The scary part about this is that we just don’t get it... see the second article in this week’s top 5.  A telling statistic:

..in areas with strip malls, crashes increased 2.5 percent. In areas with big box shopping centers, crashes increased 7.2 percent. Pedestrian-scaled retail centers, on the other hand, were found to correspond with a 2.9 percent decrease in crashes. Crashes were higher on arterial roads and lower in areas with higher amounts of slower side streets. For older pedestrians and cyclists, arterial thoroughfares and big box shopping centers were associated with significant increases in crashes – 28 percent and 8.6 percent, respectively.

When are we going to get it that we need to be concentrating our infrastructure dollars and development on building fine grained, walkable places.

Young People are Driving Less and Not Because They’re Broke - GOOD - Another piece demonstrating the shifting demographics that will ensure suburbia is the second choice for the largest generation in American history.  If Roswell is to thrive in the coming decades, we need to get going building a fine grained, walkable city that will meet the coming demographic time bomb...  Here’s an interesting excerpt:

Perhaps Millennials have soured not only on the price of cars, gasoline, and upkeep—but also on the hassles of parking, the drudgery of traffic, and the negative effect cars have on urban life, air quality, and personal wellbeing. Or as Michael Hagerty, an auto journalist, wrote for AlterNet last month, many Millennials are “just plain sick of [driving] after spending 16 to 20 years with Suburbans strapped to their asses several hours a day.”