City Haul

Urbanism and transit at street level

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.

Buffalo Wild Wings set to open in former Justin's space - Atlanta Business Chronicle

As word gets out, count on comment section debates along the lines of “At least they’re putting something in there. That space is in a prominent location and has been sitting empty for almost two years” versus “That isn’t the right fit for the neighborhood.”

Tomorrow’s News Today speculates that the new Brookwood location will replace the one just off Peachtree in Lenox Marketplace, AKA “that shopping center with the two-story Target.”

A MARTA story: Why the state never contributed funding – from day one

The fact that the state of Georgia provides no funding for its largest metro area’s transit system is a well-worn complaint but, until this week, very few people knew why.

In a piece published Monday in Saporta Report, former general counsel for MARTA W. Stell Huie described the agreement the newly formed transit agency quietly made with then-Governor-elect Carter in 1970 to give up state support in exchange for a significant increase in the sales tax proposed to fund it:

“I was informed that Gov.-elect Jimmy Carter was trying to reach me. I returned his call, and […] he told me he was working on the state budget and had some problems with our MARTA plan.


Gov. Carter proceeded to tell me that it was his understanding that MARTA was expecting the state to participate in the funding at $25 million a year, and it was his position that the state could not afford it. While I was trying to process this development and ruing our apparent failure to keep the gubernatorial candidates apprised of our plan, Carter proceeded to say that collection of a ¾ cent sales tax would present problems to the Georgia Department of Revenue, which was to collect the tax.


He asked how we would be if the tax went to 1 percent, and we gave up state appropriations. I knew the numbers, and I told him we would be better off – the additional sales tax would produce more than $25 million a year, and we could sell more bonds based the added revenue.


I also told the governor that we had worked out a very delicate political compromise in the Atlanta region, and I did not know how we could change it. The governor then said one more thing to me, words I will never forget. “Well, Stell, I want you to know that I will support you if these changes are made, but this is not to be my idea. Do you understand what I am saying to you?”

File this one under “Seemed like a good idea at the time.”

In the U.S., a Quick Walk to the Store Is a Rare Thing Indeed

sprawlnation:

You’re cooking dinner. You realize you’re missing a key ingredient – garlic for the pasta, let’s say, or lettuce for your salad. Something without which you can’t get the meal on the table. How long would it take you to walk to a store where you can buy it?

Mine would be about a 20 minute walk with a brisk pace.

My walk to the nearest groceries is about nine minutes now, on the northern edge of downtown Atlanta. When I lived three miles outside Washington, D.C., it was the same. My apartment building was directly behind a Target store, so if they’d been selling produce then, it would have cut the time down to about four minutes.

As several people in the comments mentioned, I wonder how different the rankings would look if the time threshold for a “quick” walk was changed to 10 minutes. Five minutes seems unreasonably low for even large cities in the United States and there’s no mention of why that number was chosen.

(Source: urbanplannerholic)

Views from the roof garden on the the fifth floor of Clough Commons at Georgia Tech.

Driven: how Zipcar's founders built and lost a car-sharing empire | The Verge

"Today, Zipcar — which is still headquartered in Boston — has offices in more than 26 American cities and 860,000 members across the US, Austria, Canada, Spain, and the UK. And the company’s profile only grew when car-rental giant Avis bought Zipcar for $491 million in January 2013. But in fact, both founders left the company more than 10 years ago, as power struggles and disputes prevented both Chase and Danielson from seeing their shared vision through. Now 56, Danielson hasn’t spoken to Chase in more than a decade. "
A fascinating story about two people whose friendship didn’t survive the creation of a company built on the idea of sharing and compromise.

TransportationCamp South 2014

TransportationCamp South is next weekend, Saturday April 12 at Georgia Tech. This year’s event is a two-in-one:

"This year, we are joining forces with Govathon and Code for Atlanta to produce a one-of-a-kind combined event that will see TransportationCamp run concurrently with a transportation-focused civic hackathon. While participants will register for either TransportationCamp or Govathon, joint brainstorming sessions will be held Saturday morning, and attendees are encouraged to “float” between both events’ activities for the duration of the weekend. The result will be a series of tangible, technology-based solutions to our most pressing transportation challenges.”

Purchasing registration to either event will get you into both, so as of right now there are a total of 43 tickets still available.

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