City Haul

Urbanism and transit at street level

A Basic Shelter Can Make the Wait for the Bus Feel Shorter

Many frequent transit riders know the “#$&%!” feeling of having the bus blow by you because you’d taken shelter from cold rain or the 2 p.m. August Sun of Death under a nearby awning for a few minutes. That feeling is often quickly followed by the demoralizing realization that the next bus won’t be coming for at least 20 minutes.

If a stop that you use often needs a shelter, or even just a bench, you can submit a request to MARTA to have one installed (See Q7). The agency  uses a seven-item menu of criteria for determining whether a particular location is bench- or shelter-worthy and the process isn’t quick. Requestors are advised to “allow a minimum of 90 days to receive a response” and even if a request is approved, MARTA says that “we are not funded to the level that all requests can be filled.”

No harm giving it a try anyway.

Facade Facelift Financials
Twenty commercial buildings in the Eastside and Westside tax allocation districts will get streetside upgrades funded by Invest Atlanta’s  first round of Facade Improvement Program grants this year. A total of $1,994,360 of the $3 million available was awarded in this round and another set of grants could be up available next year if the program proves successful.
Eight buildings on Edgewood Avenue, four buildings on Auburn Avenue, and four buildings on Walker Street make up the bulk of the funded projects. Of the remaining four, two are on Marietta Street, one on Luckie Street and one on Walton Street.
 $632,735 - almost 32 percent of the funds - will go to projects on two blocks of Walker Street in Castleberry Hill between Nelson and Stonewall Street.
Projects on the 300 and 400 blocks of Edgewood Avenue will receive $655,067, or about 33 percent of the funds.
$540,000 - 27 percent of the awarded funds - will be used to to improve buildings owned by Russell New Urban Development, which is a division of HJ Russell Company, the development and construction management company for projects like The Carter Center, Lakewood Amphitheater and Centennial Olympic Park.
Full story at Creative Loafing.

View high resolution

Facade Facelift Financials

Twenty commercial buildings in the Eastside and Westside tax allocation districts will get streetside upgrades funded by Invest Atlanta’s first round of Facade Improvement Program grants this year. A total of $1,994,360 of the $3 million available was awarded in this round and another set of grants could be up available next year if the program proves successful.

  • Eight buildings on Edgewood Avenue, four buildings on Auburn Avenue, and four buildings on Walker Street make up the bulk of the funded projects. Of the remaining four, two are on Marietta Street, one on Luckie Street and one on Walton Street.
  •  $632,735 - almost 32 percent of the funds - will go to projects on two blocks of Walker Street in Castleberry Hill between Nelson and Stonewall Street.
  • Projects on the 300 and 400 blocks of Edgewood Avenue will receive $655,067, or about 33 percent of the funds.
  • $540,000 - 27 percent of the awarded funds - will be used to to improve buildings owned by Russell New Urban Development, which is a division of HJ Russell Company, the development and construction management company for projects like The Carter Center, Lakewood Amphitheater and Centennial Olympic Park.

Full story at Creative Loafing.

  • Between April 1, 2013 and April 1, 2014, the 10-county Atlanta region added 52,700 new residents, the largest single-year growth since the Great Recession. Fulton County added the most new residents last year, up 12,700 new residents, followed by Gwinnett (+11,900), Cobb (+9,600) and DeKalb (+6,300).
  • But, growth is still significantly lower in recent years when compared to the booming 1990s and 2000s. Between 2010 and 2014, the region averaged 41,000 new residents each year. But between 1990 and 2010, the region averaged 77,000 new residents.
  • Building permits are a key input to ARC’s population estimates program. The assumption, of course, is that people moving here need a place to live. After permitting nearly 35,000 new residential units each year for the past 30 years, there were only 18,400 new residential units permitted last year, almost half of the historical average.

This is Uber's playbook for sabotaging Lyft | The Verge

"Uber is arming teams of independent contractors with burner phones and credit cards as part of its sophisticated effort to undermine Lyft and other competitors. Interviews with current and former contractors, along with internal documents obtained by The Verge, outline the company’s evolving methods. Using contractors it calls "brand ambassadors," Uber requests rides from Lyft and other competitors, recruits their drivers, and takes multiple precautions to avoid detection. The effort, which Uber appears to be rolling out nationally, has already resulted in thousands of canceled Lyft rides and made it more difficult for its rival to gain a foothold in new markets. Uber calls the program "SLOG," and it’s a previously unreported aspect of the company’s ruthless efforts to undermine its competitors.

Together, the interviews and documents show the lengths to which Uber will go to halt its rivals’ momentum. The San Francisco startup has raised $1.5 billion in venture capital, giving it an enormous war chest with which to battle Lyft and others. While the company’s cutthroat nature is well documented, emails from Uber managers offer new insight into the shifting tactics it uses to siphon drivers away from competitors without getting caught. It also demonstrates the strong interest Uber has taken in crushing Lyft, its biggest rival in ridesharing, which is in the midst of a national expansion.”

Call it the dark side of the “sharing economy.” Many of these companies are well beyond a few people working out of an apartment, running on little more than their own bank accounts and maxed-out credit cards, and there is big money at stake. What happens when the companies that were supposed to provide a less expensive, more convenient alternative turn out to be just as bad but in a different way?

Uber’s entry to the Atlanta market drew allegations of unfair competition from the city’s established taxi industry, just as it had in other cities. Just like in other cities, the complaints didn’t arouse much sympathy from those of us who have dealt with years of long waits, unpredictable pricing and perpetually “broken” credit card readers from cab services. Now it turns out that the unfair competition was there, just not where we thought.

Atlanta Streetcar pushed back to fall opening

atlurbanist:

image

Atlanta’s CBS affiliate has a news story today about the Atlanta Streetcar that sets it’s start-of-operation as fall 2014, not late summer as previously announced.

Operators and regulators will spend up to three months now testing the streetcars to make sure they run properly and certify…

So…Labor Day weekend now? Maybe?

Atlanta Streetcar probably wants the startup to go off without a hitch because from the very beginning, this project has been dogged by the kinds of criticism that intown transportation projects seem to always come in for: That it’s a “waste of money” and “doesn’t go anywhere,” that it will be full of “thugs/bums/homeless people,” and that it “won’t do anything about traffic,” (although that was never its purpose.) The last thing they want is an accident, mechanical problem or breakdown in the first months of operation.

It’s not an exaggeration to say that there are people who want to see this project fail, so the delays might be a combined matter of caution and preempting the waiting chorus of “I told you so.”

View of the Buckhead CBD from the newly opened pedestrian bridge that connects Buckhead Station to Stratford Road, Tower Place and Buckhead Loop. View high resolution

View of the Buckhead CBD from the newly opened pedestrian bridge that connects Buckhead Station to Stratford Road, Tower Place and Buckhead Loop.

Feeding the homeless, poor in Downtown Atlanta

Complex indeed.

As one of the men interviewed said, if you’re working (yet still homeless), it’s sometimes impossible to make it to a place where meals are being served and get to a shelter in time to get a bed for the night. Day labor and other low-wage work doesn’t tend to be 9-to-5, and then there’s the problem of getting from shelter to work to a meal, then back to a shelter on transit that might leave you waiting 20 to 45 minutes at night.

Almost no one could find fault with people doing the work of helping others get what might be their only meal of the day. Yet there remains the seldom-mentioned plague of discarded food and the pests it attracts. By “discarded” I don’t mean “thrown in the trash,” I mean just dropped on the ground, or thrown behind and under things.

Pretty much like clockwork, there are at least half a dozen slices of bread thrown on the sidewalk in front of the building next to mine a couple of times a week. It’s probably someone’s effort at feeding the already chubby pigeons with bread given to him/her at the Peachtree and Pine shelter two blocks away. Other times it’s entire sandwiches left on the ground around the neighborhood, or half-full Styrofoam containers of food tossed under bushes. The spaces behind the folk art installations at Courtland and Ralph McGill are constantly being used as a combination landfill and public toilet.

The people bringing meals aren’t to blame for any of that, nor is the City of Atlanta. There’s a trash can on at least one end of nearly every block in the area and they’re emptied regularly. It’s the food that’s dropped on the sidewalk and in parks that attracts the XXL roaches and their comrades, the husky, sauntering, tree-climbing rats.

Living in the city means sharing space with people who are in very different circumstances from yours and with whom you don’t have much in common. But it doesn’t cost anything at all to treat the shared space with care and respect, so it’s not too much to expect that even people who have no money would do that.

"MARTA Considering Expanding Rail Service North"

"[State Senator Brandon] Beach thinks it is an idea whose time might just be now. ‘In 1999, when I was first elected to Alpharetta City Council, if I would have mentioned that I was supportive of transit, I would have probably been run out of office,’ said Beach. “Today the attitude has completely changed.’

But it won’t happen overnight. This planning and public comment process is just part of the effort to get federal funding. Sidifall estimates riding the rails from downtown Atlanta all the way to Alpharetta could be a decade away.”

dailyoverview:

5/20/2014
Inman Yard
Atlanta, Georgia, USA
33.800083, -84.451936
The Norfolk Southern Railway operates 21,300 miles of track in 22 states, primarily in the Southeastern US. Inman Yard in Atlanta, Georgia, pictured here, is one of the major railyards that houses a portion of the operation’s 3,648 locomotives and 79,082 freight cars.
www.overv.eu
View high resolution

dailyoverview:

5/20/2014

Inman Yard

Atlanta, Georgia, USA

33.800083, -84.451936

The Norfolk Southern Railway operates 21,300 miles of track in 22 states, primarily in the Southeastern US. Inman Yard in Atlanta, Georgia, pictured here, is one of the major railyards that houses a portion of the operation’s 3,648 locomotives and 79,082 freight cars.

www.overv.eu

(via peachtreekeen)

Putting in my order right now.

(Source: youtube.com)

"Atlanta chief officer: Civic Center could be sold as early as this summer"



Pending approval from the Atlanta City Council, Atlanta officials could sell the Boisfeuillet Jones Atlanta Civic Center as early as this summer, interim Chief Operating Officer Michael Geisler said Tuesday.As first reported by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Monday, Councilman Kwanza Hall introduced legislation that paves the way for the city to sell the aging performing arts center to a developer.

Under the proposal, Invest Atlanta, the city’s economic development arm, would oversee a bid process and request proposals from developers to revitalize the site. The legislation could come before the council for a full vote in coming weeks.

Full story at AJC.

Redeveloping the Civic Center campus into something that’s constantly active and which interacts with the surrounding neighborhood is one of two things that could dramatically change the area immediately around it. The second thing is, of course, getting the Peachtree-Pine shelter sorted out.
"Atlanta chief officer: Civic Center could be sold as early as this summer"
Pending approval from the Atlanta City Council, Atlanta officials could sell the Boisfeuillet Jones Atlanta Civic Center as early as this summer, interim Chief Operating Officer Michael Geisler said Tuesday.

As first reported by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Monday, Councilman Kwanza Hall introduced legislation that paves the way for the city to sell the aging performing arts center to a developer.

Under the proposal, Invest Atlanta, the city’s economic development arm, would oversee a bid process and request proposals from developers to revitalize the site. The legislation could come before the council for a full vote in coming weeks.
Full story at AJC. Redeveloping the Civic Center campus into something that’s constantly active and which interacts with the surrounding neighborhood is one of two things that could dramatically change the area immediately around it. The second thing is, of course, getting the Peachtree-Pine shelter sorted out.
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