Falcons fans might not see the effects that their presence has on the area. But the residents who live in the surrounding communities have had to tolerate noise, trash, and antics…”10 to 12 hours of what amounts to a festival that, under a normal circumstance, would have to go before city and be permitted.” And the rest of the year, the lots are dead zones.
The above graphic comes from an Atlantic Cities article on the decline of driving. I found these survey results to be startling. Keep in mind that these are “strongly agree” answers.
Notice that the numbers of Millennials with kids in both urban and suburban settings who strongly agree about staying put are pretty much the same. And look at that high number of 42% who strongly agree that having kids doesn’t mean you have to move “out of the city.”
Info like this should get in front of the eyes of anyone with a hand in urban livability. We need to make sure that schools, child care and playgrounds are plentiful in our cities and that our streets are safe to walk. The old paradigm of “live in the city while you’re young then move to a cul-de-sac subdivision when you have kids” has changed. We can’t plan for that anymore if we expect to prosper.
One of my favorite local news writers is Thomas Wheatley at Creative Loafing. The past couple of weeks he’s written some real gems and I thought I’d collect them in one post.
Here’s a quote:
If implemented, the [parking tax] measure could encourage transit ridership, help spur denser development, and raise tens of millions of dollars each year. That revenue will help build and operate bus and rail, fill potholes, and repair decaying bridges.
This sounds good to me. Though I’d also like to see some of that revenue go towards cleaning up water basins that are polluted by runoff from parking facilities.
One look at this map from a couple of years ago, showing the parking structures in Midtown Atlanta, gives you an idea of how much revenue we could be getting:
This is a report on recent statistics on metro homelessness. The numbers come from a census conducted one night in January of this year. Here’s a look at some of the numbers:
"The largest number (2,736 people) was counted sleeping in emergency shelters, with persons found in unsheltered locations a distant second (2,077 people), and those in transitional housing third (1,851 people)"
The need for continued, improved and better-targeted services for homeless people remains high.
Road diets — taking a lane (or more) of automobile traffic and turning it into a bike lane or wider sidewalks — is an issue that can rile up motorists who are used to decades of policy aimed purely at moving more cars faster on roads.
But it’s exactly what we need more of in many parts of the city that lack good pedestrian and cycling space on public roads.
Are suburban motorists’ dreams of shaving a few minutes off the trip time between I-75 and their Downtown office more important than those of Atlantans who might not want mini-highways outside their apartment building?
The enormous “intown highways” as I call Spring Street and West Peachtree are wide, one-way gulches of asphalt that are supremely unpleasant to walk along or cross as a pedestrian. Making both of those (and others) two-lane roads, with car lanes reduced in order to make wider sidewalks and bike lanes, should be a goal for Atlanta.
— Turns out cities are safest places to live | TIME.com, July 23, 2013
— How American Cities Can Thrive Again | US News & World Report, 12/13/2012
Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities