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Re: “Feast your eyes on the retail center proposed near Glenwood Park, Atlanta Beltline

The presence of I-20 won't really help. I-20 only has access to and from the west for this development. In order to go on I-20 east, you either need to go up to Boulevard and make a U turn or fight your way over to Moreland somehow. And either way, all the roads leading to this (Glenwood and Kennedy) are both two-lane. Traffic ought to be a SERIOUS concern.

2 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by testa50 on 09/20/2012 at 4:32 PM

Re: “What next for CNN?

I've stopped tuning in just on the off chance I'll hear that cringe-worthy segment at the end of Anderson Cooper's show where he tries to impersonate Rachel Maddow's biting sarcasm for a couple minutes. It's like seeing replay footage of a bad car accident; I just have to turn away.

0 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by testa50 on 08/02/2012 at 7:14 AM

Re: “Driving crazy

Nice article.

My girlfriend and I live in Midtown and share a car. So while I'm not totally carless, we're still saving a couple grand a year by only having one expensive, depreciating hunk of metal on the books. I'm not sure why so few people see this as an option: yes, it's very difficult to cut a car out of your life altogether. But if you can manage to have just one of you avoid the need for a car on weekdays, you'll save lots of money.

"But we can't afford to live in Midtown!" Well, that's probably in large part because you own two cars.

Going completely carless in Atlanta is a bold undertaking. But being a two-car-couple living intown is an expensive luxury, on par with eating breakfast in a restaurant each morning.

Of course, MARTA's ever-shrinking service is no help. Running the Green Line to Decatur station and running normal schedule until 9PM would greatly improve my life.

(Also, yes, each time I drive a substantial distance I find myself disconcerted about how unsafe it seems and the negative feelings it gives me.)

9 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by testa50 on 07/25/2012 at 11:41 AM

Re: “Changing how we drink

Cracking down on bars/clubs "pretending" to be restaurants so they get a cheaper license would be absurd. It's actually quite difficult to come up with a long list of bars/clubs that don't fancy themselves restaurants. If you enact a stupid rule, you can expect the market to adapt. And it has; in Atlanta, the vast majority of drinking is done in restaurants. The rules just lead to selective enforcement, which is a bad outcome.

We should just change the pointless rule. If bars continuously cause actual code violations due to noise or whatever, then address those complaints through those codes. This method can't be revenue maximizing, considering the lack of places that appear to actually pay the full liquor license fee. The rule seems to have many negative consequences with few benefits.

5 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by testa50 on 05/23/2012 at 3:59 PM

Re: “Beltline Eastside Trail: We've got concrete

@dharma not a stupid question at all. I assume they must have completely planned the LRT portion before making such an expensive installation.

You need about a 30' wide clear area to get two tracks in, and the distance from fence to fence is about 80' at this spot. So I guess it will go to the right of the path, although it seems like you'll have to substantially rework that embankment.

Posted by testa50 on 05/15/2012 at 7:51 AM

Re: “GDOT to finally fix 17th Street bridge fence

"Or perhaps most annoying the recent trend of intersection signalization that only flashes go for pedestrians if they the pedestrians have hit the pedestrian button before the light changes"

Yes indeed; in fact, the NB offramp onto the 17th St Bridge, where we must cross 17th due to the aforementioned blocked sidewalk, happens to be exactly such a crossing signal. Except it's one of those ones where the crossing signal doesn't work even if you do push the button (I guess the button is broken?), meaning I routinely have to wander out into the road Frogger-style against a Do Not Walk signal that should be a Walk signal. And to add insult to injury, I'm breaking the law.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by testa50 on 05/08/2012 at 11:32 PM

Re: “Transportation tax boosters 'disappointed,' 'dismayed' with Sierra Club opposition

There are some sides to this debate that detractors seem to be missing, especially with regard to lower-income folks.

Yes, many of the projects are road widening projects. But they also include absolutely critical safety features: sidewalks and bike lanes on roads that currently lack them. Highway 54 in Fayetteville, Highway 85 in Clayton County, Macland Road in Cobb, South Cobb Drive, the list goes on and on--these are all places that I think reasonable people would agree desperately need sidewalks and bike lanes. Likewise, the interchange improvement projects also tend to include upgraded pedestrian facilities.

That's definitely something to consider about the split between roadway and transit funding: tens if not hundreds of millions of dollars worth of the roadway investment will be in sidewalks that will make life much easier for carless suburban people and save lives. Anyone who follows local news has noticed story after story about pedestrian fatalities in formerly-thriving suburban areas that have fallen on hard times. Retrofitting these areas for lower-income groups is going to be one of Atlanta's most difficult challenges moving forward, and this referendum actually does make some headway in addressing the issue. These sidewalk projects are exactly the sort of thing that will never be installed without the tax.

The referendum's $190 million towards bus service will also have a real and direct positive impact on lower-income folks in places that are woefully under-served by transit, namely Gwinnett and Clayton Counties. The $190 million is the bus-only projects; fractional portions of other projects will go towards enhanced bus service as well (for instance, on GA 400 north).

I get the whole sprawl argument--I really do--and I'm certainly not thrilled about spending $0.005 of every dollar I spend on roads, given that I don't even have a car. But I do question that the majority of the roadway projects will contribute to sprawl in that significant of a way. How exactly a 100-mile round trip commuter will be egged on by a portion of Buford Highway or an arterial road in Clayton County being widened from 2- to 4-lanes is unclear to me. For a handful of projects--such as GA 400 collector/distributor lanes, the Tara Blvd superarterial, or the GA 316 interchanges--I agree there is a substantial sprawl-inducing element. But most of the projects seem focused on arterial roads that mainly serve local traffic in already-developed suburban areas.

7 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by testa50 on 05/01/2012 at 10:31 AM

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