For my first time in downtown Atlanta, my experience away from the Occupy Atlanta movement itself didn’t exactly fill me with a warm and fuzzy feeling, and I’m not sure I’ll ever visit the city again.
We’d love to have you back, Melissa! Let me give you some pointers for your return visit:
You state that “for a large city, the downtown Atlanta area is ridiculously bereft of accommodations on the weekends.” Here, let me Google that for you: downtown has 2 Waffle Houses, 2 Starbucks (Peachtree Center & Marriott Marquis locations), a Cafe Intermezzo and several hotel restaurants that are open for business on Sundays. You’re welcome!
And Melissa, just FYI — regarding that horrifying breakfast visit to the downtown McDonalds that commands the bulk of your article — McDonalds contributed $998,331 to federal candidates in the 2010 election cycle. That might not be the best business to patronize while at a protest that focuses on corporate money in politics.
I hope you’ll come back and give us another chance, Melissa. Just maybe do a little Google time before you leave. Being prepared can make a vacation so much more enjoyable and productive!
Downtown Augusta sees success in revitalization efforts
The Augusta Chronicle reports that, though the overall number of businesses has dropped, downtown Augusta, Georgia has seen gains in office and residential renovations. This comes on the heels of a big push for revitalization.
[Downtown Development Authority director] Woodard said residential growth is what will bring revitalization to the tipping point. The effort seems to have traction. Downtown apartments have waiting lists, she said. All nine of the Emporium’s units rented for above-market rates within 11 weeks, she said.
"(The tipping point) will be getting people living downtown. We’ll keep (homing) in on that."
I see this as a win. Downtown Augusta is becoming less of a single-use zone for commercial property — one that people only drive to for shopping before heading back to the ‘burbs — and more of a mixed-use place that includes apartments and offices. It’s on its way to becoming a successful, complete neighborhood.
Bill Dunaway, Mayor of Marietta, Georgia from 2002-2009, writes a bold editorial in this week’s Marietta Daily Journal.
Dunaway understands that, if Cobb County’s infamous, car-centric sprawl had been developed in a more compact form and located near transit, the county’s green space could have been spared.
MARTA was voted down in Cobb in the late 1960s… if MARTA had come to Cobb, we would not have as much of the urban sprawl that we have today. Much of our denser commercial, office, and residential developments would now be concentrated along the transit lines instead of eating so much of our green space in all parts of Cobb.
He goes on to defend public transit:
So only poor people and gangs would use public transit? I just had a daughter and her family use transit to get to the airport. It was cheaper and faster than any alternatives. We all have business friends who use public transit in Atlanta for the same reasons.
I grew up in Cobb in the 70s and 80s and watched in disgust as its lovely farms, fields and streams became an endless pattern of space-hogging subdivisions, shopping centers and parking lots. The experience was a key driver for my adoption of Smart Growth ideals.
For dramatic effect (and to thoroughly depress myself) I’ve included a Google Street View shot of the Cobb County subdivision that now stands where there was once a lovely, unspoiled forest, field and pond — one where my grandfather took me hunting for snapping turtles. (Full disclosure: though the memory is precious, I refused to eat the resulting turtle soup.)