I can see why Deal is already trying to smear Carter: he's 38, lives in Atlanta (meaning he'll advocate for the economic engine that differentiates Georgia from, say, Alabama instead of for the boonies), and doesn't have a history of unethical and corrupt business deals.
Apart from some news articles and editorials, I can't find a real campaign website for Jason Carter or a solid description of his platform. The Georgia at its best slogan seems a bit hokey, though. George Wilson is right: he needs to add transportation to his platform. However, he'd need to focus on more than just Atlanta to gain buy-in, e.g. the Savannah to Atlanta train that both cities have been clamoring for. Given the port expansion, it's the next natural step and would solidify a more productive, positive relationship between the two and throughout the region as a whole.
Hopefully he'll get the basics sorted out soon because if the conservatives are already paying him this much attention with only $27k in his campaign coffers, imagine where he could be...
It's encouraging to see so many improvements being made in Downtown right now, from the bocce court in Woodruff Park, free wifi from the W Hotel in the area, GSU's expansion, the streetcar running starting next year and Atlanta's new FTA grant designee status to make extending it in the near future easier. It's only a matter of time until growth in Midtown, the Old Fourth Ward, etc. spills into Downtown. I look forward to seeing what this city will be like in 5-10 years.
I'm still dumbfounded by the comments some people make around here. Constructive criticism is one thing, but making troll-like comments is a waste of everyone's time, including yours. Maybe it's time some of you find a new hobby.
InAtl: I agree, why pander to one county, which bases its existence on hating us (at least politically), when we could focus on adding transit options, like light rail, to areas open to the idea, e.g. intown, north Fulton County, outer DeKalb County, Gwinnett County, and Clayton County? The last 2 would even add new tax revenue.
Jason Carter recently commented about not rushing the vote in Cobb County, maybe he can also use the highway subsidies against Nathan Deal as a way to gain some support in Cobb County. They don't seem to mind subsidies when they're for roads, but he could use the GOP scare tactic: "The government's taking your tax dollars and giving it to billionaires for their own gain!" Or just mention the idea that "those people" will now be able to get to their neighborhoods even faster.
Chillax: In all probability, the buses would operate in the HOV lanes, just like the GA Xpress buses currently do. In a county lacking the political will to build useful rail transit for its citizens, do you really think they'd remove one of the lanes? As an aside, though, eventually all interstate lanes in U.S. cities will probably be tolled, which is even being supported by libertarian groups.
Two thoughts come to mind regarding this stadium deal and Cobb County's future:
1. The first year the stadium is open, they should conduct a license plate survey to see which counties predominantly attend the games and then conduct a follow-up survey 5 years later. There won't be any other feasible transit options, so the results wouldn't be skewed. If it's anything like the hassle of attending a Gwinnett Braves game (which I've done once), I'd bet the fifth year study would show, for the most part, that Cobb County is causing its own traffic problem. It'd make things easy when the finger pointing starts. Atlanta getting an MLS team would also give intowners another option, especially since it would be in the city and accessible via the Marta.
2. It'll be interesting to see how Cobb County changes in the next 5-10 years. Although the population has been growing more diverse racially, the recent statements and actions there show that the good ole boys are still in charge, e.g. threatening Lisa Cupid, the shady insider deals with developers, comments about not offering rail to "Atlantans". The Braves' (or Liberty Media's) silence might mean that they don't care about this, they're in it for the money, etc, but not saying anything also makes them implicit and aligns them with this group. If I were living there, I wouldn't feel like my best interests were represented. My point is, it will be interesting to see whether the county changes politically and culturally or people say screw it and move elsewhere, especially given the Millennial trend of moving back into cities and the numerous condo, apartment, etc projects recently announced intown.
Has anyone seen this about the BRT component being removed from the MOU right before the vote?
InAtl and Question Man: They don't intend for fans to drive to the stadium. According to the MOU, the Braves obviously intend to rely on the majority of fans parking at Cumberland Mall and the Cobb Energy Centre and transfer via the circulator, all while exclusively setting all associated fees, managing, and retaining all revenues regarding said parking. The County and Mall will further make all available parking within 2 miles of the stadium available to the Braves at actual cost, which, interestingly, the Mall is still half on the hook to maintaining itself. They're obviously buying support by selling the idea that mall business will increase on gamedays, hence the Cheesecake Factory anecdote, plus the perception that fans' cars will be safer at the mall (wink)...
Conveniently, this frees up all of the land around the stadium, which the Braves own, for more profit via mixed-use development. No pesky street vendors, ticket scalpers, etc. It's obvious, now, that that's what this was about all along for them. They didn't like not being able to own more of and profit more from the area surrounding Turner Field. Anyone who can't see this is either too emotionally attached or stands to gain something.
Regarding transportation, I'm interested in seeing whether they actually ramp up service on CCT route 10 or offer BRT for games, especially regarding service on Sundays. Wouldn't be surprised if they offer only 1 or 2 buses each way per game to placate those ITP who haven't moved on.
Also, I wonder if there are any projections about how this will impact the Marta, both positively and negatively? I see that when the Braves shuttle was restored in 2011, it cost $969,000 annually.
Lastly, since the Braves will own and maintain the retail and entertainment district and heavily encourage tailgating before the game, I wonder how they will handle drunk driving, especially given the increased chances of accidents due to heavier traffic?
If nothing else, this will make for an interesting case study in public policy, urban planning, and corporate influence in the 21st century.
Why not ride the Marta? Going to the symphony? That's by the arts center station. Kenny smith could have ridden the train to the midtown station and walked the whopping 0.4 mile. Traffic has been getting consistently heavier again over the last year. I wonder how many of these other drivers could have spared themselves the scenario by doing the same, whether just for yesterday or all of the time?
If you thought a restaurant sucked or was just ok, would you continue to only eat there or examine your other options? Maybe you have 2 or 3 places you like to patronize, depending on the situation.
Why not approach transportation the same way?
The closing of the commissary (along with Ft McPherson as a whole) is due to the 2005 BRAC Commission, which mandated all projects be completed by 2011. So if you want to point fingers, start with the Pentagon and work your way through the politicians. Good luck, I can find more productive things to do. The military community (including retirees) is well aware of these changes and has known this was coming. Regarding a replacement commissary at Dobbins, yes it was promised, the 5% surcharge on groceries would theoretically contribute to construction funding, and McPherson's commissary closure was delayed 1 year for the potential build-out; however, given the crazy political climate nowadays, the effects of the sequester on budgets, talks of attacking Syria, and who knows what else in the future, the overall project plan and priorities have probably changed almost constantly since the initial discussions. I also wouldn't be surprised if the military waits until the 2015 BRAC Commission report is released before they act or discuss any further.
As for a silver lining, I see 2 here. In the Atlanta area, the "farmer's market" type stores (YDFM, Buford Hwy) are a great resource and even help keep chains like Kroger relatively competitive. Coupled with no state sales tax, this makes the difference in grocery costs relatively negligible, with gas or transportation costs playing more of a role. Grocery-wise, it's one of the cheaper places I've lived, with a great selection to boot.
Also, slightly off-topic, but at least they're going to redevelop that site, instead of letting it sit vacant for years...
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