LOL brainwash them young! Wonder how well that dude would do without all those child tax credits...
Oh well...we had our chance to hire a chief who would have actually cared about the city when we let Beverly Harvard throw Lou Arcangeli under the bus for blowing the whistle on her BS...
...and in the meantime high school dropouts continue to sell drugs on the corner of Hilliard and Edgewood without challenge
Oh I wasnt suggesting that the board ignore phase one to Lovejoy, and I'm sure it'll be phase one since the earmark is there. Its just I'm a bit worried about what inflation has done to that $87 million in the last few years, and if it is indeed still enough to get the job done from Atlanta to Lovejoy. Hence, I think it would be a great idea for the board or anyone else pushing for commuter rail (a camp which I'm firmly in) to always mention the Cobb/Bartow County station possibilities in order to shore up more political support for reallocating the railroad revenues into commuter rail implementation/operations next session. You'll get alot more boardings from that package too, and 'policymakers' here will be looking at any new state funded passenger rail program with a microscope, so we gotta start strong.
Thanks for covering this btw, commuter rail really fits Atlanta's development pattern and is the only way we'll keep all those suburbs economically viable (and ease the pressures related to what will probably be a mass relocation to Atlanta proper as energy costs make the 'extreme commuters' cry uncle)
You forgot to mention the fact that the line is now apparently being packaged as a Cartersville-Atlanta-Griffin affair, which gives it a political boost that the Atl-Lovejoy branch will never have, even if it is phase 1 of the Macon line.
Lets see, between this latest boneheaded move of backing a political kindergartener over someone who is dedicated to bringing more transit options to Atlanta, snubbing the firefighters on a much needed raise, opening up car traffic to piedmont park with the new planned parking deck, sitting on her hands while development opportunities are blown on the beltline (density? in a city? blasphemy!), and chasing a stupid NASCAR hall of fame with incentive money that could have been used to buy the northeast portion of the beltline in the first place, Id say this administration has fallen from grace.
Ive got a better idea: screw all of the tunnels and infrastructure improvements and just toll existing freeways. This will internalize the costs (because the gas tax only covers around 63% of revenues used for highways, the rest comes from local sources) and cut down on congestion by making drivers pay for the true operational costs of using highway facilities. Much cheaper, much more effective.
The city and the ADA may have previously outlined a plan for the beltline, but that doesnt necessarilly mean it was a good one. Taking a hardline against a developer who wants to bring compact, dense development to the city is folly when one considers all the factors that will bring more and more people into Atlanta proper within the coming decades. Instability in oil markets due to depletion of available sources will make the suburban lifestyle of constant automobile usage prohibitively expensive, prompting many to move back to the city. Traffic congestion in the region has aleady kicked off this trend, with Atlanta putting on 35,000+ in the last 4 or 5 years. Tom Bell of Cousins seems to think the city will nearly double in population in the next 13 years. Regardless if he's right or not, intown needs more residential capacity, and by offering it in a compact and dense manner, less overall disruption of existing neighborhoods will result. What baffles me is the fact that Liz Coyle and others demand the the beltline 'stay true to the promise' and remain a simple loop of greenspace and transit, with any dense development occuring adjacent to the loop...placing it even closer to predominantly single family residence neighborhoods. The potential for disruption in this case seems greater to me, but what do I know? Pragmatic intowners who want more tax revenue for the city (even if it wont be available until after the TAD expires) and increased transit facilities sooner rather than later are apparently in the minority in this case.
The real rub now if the city continues this charade, it will have to purchase the land for somewhere close to 8 times what Mason paid for it, as its market value has increased significantly. If Mason decides he wants to hang onto the property, hoping that he can put it to its highest and best use, then the city has the option of the legal warzone of eminent domain. In such a case, its quite possible that the courts will decide that the inflexibility of Atlanta's zoing for the property amounts to a taking. Eminent domain cases are not pleasant affairs these days, thanks to a few famous abuses of the planning tool in New England. Even if the city is successful in purchasing the land, its around 200 million that it didnt have to spend in the first place, had they allowed Mason to proceed with his reasonable plan....and yes it's reasonable to expect density of this sort in a major 'world class' city such as Franklin and others insist that we are.
Finally, I cant help but wonder: how many of the movers and shakers in the NPU's in question even utilize transit on a regular basis? Could it be that they simply lack the capacity to imagine newcomers using any mode of conveyance other than a Volvo stationwagon? Or is it the tried and true objection to additional capacity (in non SFR form) opening the door for more affordable condo housing, bringing 'them' into their school system? I suppose I can only speculate....
Creative Loafing Atlanta
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