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Re: “Clayton approves MARTA contract for November ballot

I do think people should acknowledge that the tax is a 1% sales tax and not a "penny" tax. When I first moved down here I thought everything was just rounded up to a penny and it went to MARTA. Let's just be honest.

That being said, I hope Gwinnett and maybe even Cobb will join in the next few years. It would do wonders for Federal matching grants. The proverbial horse has not left the barn, let's not give up!

I live in Smyrna, which is one of the best cities to get back intown (15 min, max) and I will vote for any referendum for Cobb joining MARTA. I love, love 30307/Candler Park (used to rent there) but I'm in my 30's and I cannot afford a 300K+ house and I don't have any trust funds.

8 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by MattGT on 07/06/2014 at 8:20 PM

Re: “Here are the renderings showing Georgia State's proposed vision for the Turner Field area

It makes sense to Hank Huckaby who hates the arts and his buddy Gov Deal who sees GPB as an economic development tool. Visions of a future football legacy next to the college football hall of fame are all the Jockos in charge can think of. Nevermind the 75K+ listeners to Album 88, they don't vote or anything.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by ATLien on 07/06/2014 at 5:55 PM

Re: “Clayton approves MARTA contract for November ballot

I never understood why public transportation funding is put to a vote in Atlanta. This is a decision that is best made by city planners and should not be subject to fickle political processes.

But Atlanta will fail to be a first rate city with its division into little disconnected fiefdoms.

8 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Josh Renfroe on 07/06/2014 at 5:34 PM

Re: “Atlanta needs a design director

Nice column Thomas´╗┐,
Having worked as an architect in Atlanta for thirteen years, and having sometimes participated as a part of the problem, I can relate to this. That is because most of the follow-up comments from the readers are absolutely correct. However, I cannot say with any confidence that a Design Director would solve anything. What would be his mandate, who would select this individual or group; under what legal authority would they make decisions, and most importantly, how would these decisions stand up to legal challenge once someone doesn't like a handed down decision.
In the early nineties, Charlotte revised its zoning ordinance to create an overlay district for its CBD called UMUD, spoken "U-Mud" for Uptown Mixed-Use District. This overlay district was given its own approval staff and governing body for approving new development. The design requirements were quite prescriptive, and while some of my collegues were appauled by what they viewed as city intrusions in the design process, I applauded what they were trying to do. They were trying to make the place more liveable, walkable, and more street friendly with provisions which, among many other things, regulating the amount of and maximum length of blank wall could face the street, required that a certain percentage of street-level space be devoted to street-access retail, regardless if a market for such had been established; requiring that the architecture of the first three levels of the building be distinguishable from the rest of the building; sidewalk uniformity design and street tree requirements to encourage walkability and comfort, and provisions for a certain amont of seating be provided for a given square-footage of open spaces and that they be fronted with retail. I would later learn of these items as elements of New Urbanism.
However, Charlotte still suffers from bad architecture. I watched "Trademark" go up at 333 West trade Street, while I was responsible (partially holding my nose...) for the design of "Catalyst", a Novare project, a few block away. Its not that the developers do not know good design, their background on the subject is as astute as ours, but these buildings were, and I hear that they are again (I am no longer operating in the US...) being cranked out as fast as they can. Certain construction processes can save millions of dollars, and streamlined (cookie-cutter) designs can save months on a project. They know how to accomodate and meet to the letter of the sometimes seemingly arbitrary requirements of a Design Director and/or a zoning overlay district and still produce what they want to produce. And if a "starchitect" was brought in, the developers are quite adept at being able to wrap their hands around his pencil so that he designs what they want to build... Because, in the end, design is subjective, everyone has an opinion. I hope this doesn't come across as cynical, but their is no easy answer;
Cheers, Mason Hicks

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Mason Hicks on 07/06/2014 at 5:12 PM

Re: “Atlanta needs a design director

Nice column Thomas´╗┐,
Having worked as an architect in Atlanta for thirteen years, and having sometimes participated as a part of the problem, I can relate to this. That is because most of the follow-up comments from the readers are absolutely correct. However, I cannot say with any confidence that a Design Director would solve anything. What would be his mandate, who would select this individual or group; under what legal authority would they make decisions, and most importantly, how would these decisions stand up to legal challenge once someone doesn't like a handed down decision.
In the early nineties, Charlotte revised its zoning ordinance to create an overlay district for its CBD called UMUD, spoken "U-Mud" for Uptown Mixed-Use District. This overlay district was given its own approval staff and governing body for approving new development. The design requirements were quite prescriptive, and while some of my collegues were appauled by what they viewed as city intrusions in the design process, I applauded what they were trying to do. They were trying to make the place more liveable, walkable, and more street friendly with provisions which, among many other things, regulating the amount of and maximum length of blank wall could face the street, required that a certain percentage of street-level space be devoted to street-access retail, regardless if a market for such had been established; requiring that the architecture of the first three levels of the building be distinguishable from the rest of the building; sidewalk uniformity design and street tree requirements to encourage walkability and comfort, and provisions for a certain amont of seating be provided for a given square-footage of open spaces and that they be fronted with retail. I would later learn of these items as elements of New Urbanism.
However, Charlotte still suffers from bad architecture. I watched "Trademark" go up at 333 West trade Street, while I was responsible (partially holding my nose...) for the design of "Catalyst", a Novare project, a few block away. Its not that the developers do not know good design, their background on the subject is as astute as ours, but these buildings were, and I hear that they are again (I am no longer operating in the US...) being cranked out as fast as they can. Certain construction processes can save millions of dollars, and streamlined (cookie-cutter) designs can save months on a project. They know how to accomodate and meet to the letter of the sometimes seemingly arbitrary requirements of a Design Director and/or a zoning overlay district and still produce what they want to produce. And if a "starchitect" was brought in, the developers are quite adept at being able to wrap their hands around his pencil so that he designs what they want to build... Because, in the end, design is subjective, everyone has an opinion. I hope this doesn't come across as cynical, but their is no easy answer.

7 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Mason Hicks on 07/06/2014 at 5:10 PM

Re: “Here are the renderings showing Georgia State's proposed vision for the Turner Field area

they can afford to build a stadium (even though attendance at their games is quite low) but they give away their radio station which is highly regarded and an integral part of the Atlanta music scene. makes NO sense.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by haydho on 07/06/2014 at 3:54 PM

Re: “Clayton approves MARTA contract for November ballot

@ Mark from Atlanta

MARTA had a 0.85% decrease in ridership last year, but the Red line ridership showed sizable increases:
1.2 percent at Medical Center
2.3 percent at North Springs
3.9 percent at Sandy Springs
7.3 percent at Dunwoody

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Burroughston Broch on 07/06/2014 at 3:43 PM

Re: “Clayton approves MARTA contract for November ballot

@ Mark from Atlanta
"A "nanny train" to Apharetta (sic) would cost a fortune compared to one to Stonecrest given land values and the ridership would make the comparative per-rider cost ridiculous."

Then you should try to convince MARTA's planners that your vision has more merit than theirs. I'm certain they will be receptive. According to the AJC and MARTA, the Red Line extension is at the top of the list.

1 like, 4 dislikes
Posted by Burroughston Broch on 07/06/2014 at 3:39 PM

Re: “Clayton approves MARTA contract for November ballot

@ Mark from Atlanta
"Take the example above: The "muslim, commie, worst president ever" got 46% of the vote statewide in Georgia without even campaigning here?

Your words, not mine, although this week's Quinnipiac poll found those polled consider Barack Obama the worst President in the last 80 years, and he still has 2.5 years to go in his 2nd term.

Obama got no more than 47% when he did campaign in Georgia in 2008, showing a percentage of voters pull the D lever reflexively.

We shall see in November. I predict neither Carter or Martin will be be taking office in 2015. Not because I prefer their opponents, but because Carter and Martin will not give independent voters a clear reason to vote for them.

1 like, 2 dislikes
Posted by Burroughston Broch on 07/06/2014 at 3:34 PM

Re: “Portraits of Atlanta immigrants

Well done!

2 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Jennifer Zyman Pontrelli on 07/06/2014 at 2:43 PM

Re: “Clayton approves MARTA contract for November ballot

"'Next stop: South DeKalb.' - By rights it should be. However, it seems the Red Line expansion to Alpharetta will happen first. Those folks have also been paying for 40 years."
________________________________________________________________

A "nanny train" to Apharetta would cost a fortune compared to one to Stonecrest given land values and the ridership would make the comparative per-rider cost ridiculous.

7 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Mark from Atlanta on 07/06/2014 at 1:50 PM

Re: “Clayton approves MARTA contract for November ballot

"You seem to forget that in 2012 Barack Obama garnered only 45.5% of the vote..."
____________________________________________________________

It is funny when you throw arguments against the wall trying to make something stick. Take the example above: The "muslim, commie, worst president ever" got 46% of the vote statewide in Georgia without even campaigning here? That's it - Carter and Nunn are shoe-ins!

7 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Mark from Atlanta on 07/06/2014 at 1:46 PM

Re: “'The Bachelorette' Ep. 7: TELL ANDI YOU LOVE HER

I guess people seldom comment because they won't admit to watching this show (though it's quite sociologically fascinating), but I hope you keep posting these reviews, this was an especially funny one.

0 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by khs11 on 07/06/2014 at 12:28 PM

Re: “GPB fires staffer for violating ethics with 'Fuck Cobb County' tee

"There are very few employers who would fire you for what clothes you wear off the clock."

I have to disagree, Mark. Employers these days are running searches on employees and potential employees and making judgments that border on invasion of privacy, but are now considered fair game. Everyone should be aware of that. This guy certainly should have. I'm not saying I approve, just that it's an obvious reality.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by bloodgimp on 07/06/2014 at 11:36 AM

Re: “Clayton approves MARTA contract for November ballot

@ cgholt
"MARTA will not go bankrupt. The state and feds have invested too much money into the system."

The State does not fund MARTA and has minimal investment.

8 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Burroughston Broch on 07/06/2014 at 11:18 AM

Re: “Clayton approves MARTA contract for November ballot

@ 40 years and still waiting (and paying)
"Next stop: South DeKalb."

By rights it should be. However, it seems the Red Line expansion to Alpharetta will happen first. Those folks have also been paying for 40 years.

5 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Burroughston Broch on 07/06/2014 at 11:10 AM

Re: “Clayton approves MARTA contract for November ballot

@ Mark from Atlanta
"You seem to have forgotten that Jim Martin, a liberal Democrat garnered 47% of the vote for U.S. Senate in 2008 largely due to a huge Atlanta area progressive turnout."

Martin came close against Saxby Chambliss in 2008 because (1) Chambliss had worn out his welcome with the voters, most notably conservatives, and (2) Democrats turned out in large numbers to support Barack Obama, who still only garnered 45.5% of the vote.

You seem to forget that in 2010 black liberal Democrat Michael Thurmond only polled 39% for US Senate against Johnny Isakson. The vote in Atlanta City, Clayton, Fulton, and DeKalb was noticeably less than in 2008 because there was no presidential contest. In my mind, this was the election that should have brought out the strongest liberal Democrat turnout, but I was wrong.

You seem to forget that in 2012 Barack Obama garnered only 45.5% of the vote (versus 47% four years earlier) with 113,000 fewer votes than in 2008.

One election does not a trend make.

2 likes, 7 dislikes
Posted by Burroughston Broch on 07/06/2014 at 9:34 AM

Re: “Clayton approves MARTA contract for November ballot

Next stop: South DeKalb.

12 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by 40 years and still waiting (and paying) on 07/06/2014 at 7:31 AM

Re: “Clayton approves MARTA contract for November ballot

"Atlanta City"?

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Ira on 07/06/2014 at 5:38 AM

Re: “Clayton approves MARTA contract for November ballot

"To get a large Democratic turnout in Atlanta City, Fulton, DeKalb, and Clayton, Carter will have to express his ever-loving admiration and support of the President. However, it will cost him more votes among independents state-wide than he would gain among Democrats."
__________________________________________________________________

You seem to have forgotten that Jim Martin, a liberal Democrat garnered 47% of the vote for U.S. Senate in 2008 largely due to a huge Atlanta area progressive turnout. If anything Georgia's demographics have trended liberal since then. That and legacy name recognition will give Carter and Nunn a good chance if there is a strong Atlanta area turnout. As usual JF's analysis is spot on.

Regarding "you will have to put up with me for another 20-25 years" - from your lips to God's ears my friend.

8 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Mark from Atlanta on 07/06/2014 at 1:03 AM

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