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Old 10-26-2012, 03:26 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
6,458 posts, read 7,285,724 times
Reputation: 4205

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Quote:
Originally Posted by arjay57 View Post
I understand, CW.

IF -- and the IF is where the problem lies -- if we could simply turn East Paces Ferry into a nice city street across GA 400 and past Lenox Square that would be one thing. And IF you could somehow manage the traffic on such a street so that it didn't become a roaring torrent through the neighborhood. And IF we could ensure that such a street would be pedestrian oriented. And IF we could confine growth so that it stayed in the zones marked for commercial development and didn't continually eat away the single family neighborhoods like it has everywhere else such roads have been constructed.

And so it goes.

There's a terrific piece in this week's Saporta Report by urban designer Mike Morgan, in which he talks about why Decatur has been so successful.
However, an ever expanding sea of asphalt has begun to tear at the fabric of urban life. Increases in congestion and asphalt have begun to damage much that has made the city attractive. The “city in a forest” has come to be seen as the city of traffic jams, pavement and heat.

A recent event opened my eyes to another view of Atlanta. A colleague from Boston was in town for meetings and commented that she wished that Boston’s public transportation system was as good as Atlanta’s. I was floored by her comment. Isn’t Boston’s system excellent and Atlanta’s second-tier?

My colleague had flown into ATL, boarded the MARTA train to Decatur, walked from the Decatur station to a downtown Decatur hotel. She spent a pleasant evening in Decatur, and the next morning she took the train north to Doraville for meeting preparations. Around noon we took the train downtown for our meetings. She then hopped a train back to the airport and debarked for home.

As a visitor, she experienced an Atlanta that few auto-bound residents perceive. Atlantans, however, seem trapped in a belief that roadway improvements are the only way forward and that huge inputs of public funding are required to make the city more inviting. Perhaps an alternate vision is called for rather than a bigger road network.

Fortunately, we do not have go very far to find a great example the results that can be achieved through a change of direction.

Decatur is the place, and it is right next door. Decatur made a radical choice to reorient itself to the realm of the pedestrian. They went on a road diet. They narrowed Ponce De Leon Ave. to two lanes. They replaced auto capacity with shady sidewalks, on-street parking, and bike lanes. They focused a vibrant living environment right on top of their fine downtown train station.

Rather than separating residents from transit with vast expanses of asphalt, Decatur actually mandates a mix of uses – residential, working, and recreation all together within the compact area of downtown. They placed emphasis on livability over throughput, and the yield has been one of the most desirable urban environments in the US.

Atlanta, to date, lacks a focused commitment to an urbane lifestyle. Look at the areas surrounding most of the intown train stations. While originally envisioned as community centers, policies were never put in place to make transit development desirable.

Stations are separated from users by blasted looking parking lots, high fences, atrocious urban design, dangerous roadways and sprawling commercial districts. The stations are not friendly to pedestrians or bicyclists. Is there any wonder that few people use them?

Much of Atlanta is actively hostile to people who are not in cars. Just walk along the edges of Piedmont Park if you don’t believe it.

Decatur provides model of how Atlanta can reorient its growth to people | SaportaReport
That's exactly what SPI-9 and SPI-12 are attempting to do. Let's worry less about adding throughput than enhancing the quality of life in the vibrant, thriving communities we have in the city now.

Well I would argue I'm trying to promote livability. That is why I wanted to make myself clear I wasn't trying to build a large parkway. The issue is that is different between my vision and yours is -what- the livability is.

You're thinking small houses on a neighborhood street can't have all the traffic on it.

I'm thinking it would foster a denser urban neighborhood across the whole area that aren't just houses on a quiet street, but has higher accessibility to both areas and lets people get around (not necessarily through) the urban core better. It can be made livable and vibrant and for even more people.

That is why, for me, the issue isn't livability and vibrancy, but ultimately boils down to an argument of the historical value held in 4 blocks of older housing.
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Old 10-26-2012, 03:31 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
6,458 posts, read 7,285,724 times
Reputation: 4205
Quote:
Originally Posted by cqholt View Post
Whoa, how the hell did I get dragged into this crap? Roads are needed, I just simply want to give people choices in commuting.
When you pretty much shortly replied to my argument with a conclusion that was trying to "to accommodate an unsustainable form of transportation, single-occupancy car."

I directly responded to that.

I actually read what you wrote.
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Old 10-26-2012, 03:40 PM
 
Location: Kirkwood
22,209 posts, read 16,238,370 times
Reputation: 4924
Quote:
When you pretty much shortly replied to my argument with a conclusion that was trying to "to accommodate an unsustainable form of transportation, single-occupancy car."

I directly responded to that.

I actually read what you wrote.
That was like 3 pages ago. I've moved on since then.
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Old 10-26-2012, 03:46 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
6,458 posts, read 7,285,724 times
Reputation: 4205
Quote:
Originally Posted by cqholt View Post
That was like 3 pages ago. I've moved on since then.
It was yesterday. This was the first time I returned to this thread.

You responded to me... I will respond back if I feel I need to.

If you don't like it, then don't respond to me or realize I might not be there to -immediately- respond back.

That is kind of how a discussion thread works.

This is really getting kind of ridiculous.
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Old 10-26-2012, 03:55 PM
 
28,186 posts, read 24,748,296 times
Reputation: 9565
Quote:
Originally Posted by cwkimbro View Post
It was yesterday. This was the first time I returned to this thread.

You responded to me... I will respond back if I feel I need to.

If you don't like it, then don't respond to me or realize I might not be there to -immediately- respond back.

That is kind of how a discussion thread works.

This is really getting kind of ridiculous.
I am envisioning a chess clock where CQ posts, and then hits his timer button, waiting for CW to reply.

Tick...tick....tick....
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Old 10-26-2012, 04:10 PM
 
28,186 posts, read 24,748,296 times
Reputation: 9565
Quote:
Originally Posted by cwkimbro View Post
Well I would argue I'm trying to promote livability. That is why I wanted to make myself clear I wasn't trying to build a large parkway. The issue is that is different between my vision and yours is -what- the livability is.

You're thinking small houses on a neighborhood street can't have all the traffic on it.

I'm thinking it would foster a denser urban neighborhood across the whole area that aren't just houses on a quiet street, but has higher accessibility to both areas and lets people get around (not necessarily through) the urban core better. It can be made livable and vibrant and for even more people.

That is why, for me, the issue isn't livability and vibrancy, but ultimately boils down to an argument of the historical value held in 4 blocks of older housing.
We are probably on the same page when it comes to the big picture, CW.

I don't believe tiny neighborhoods should have absolute veto power over growth and urbanization. However, that isn't at all the situation with Peachtree Park. They have proven to be extremely adaptable and progressive to some of the most intense urbanization in the south. They have also worked very hard to promote intelligent density all around them, while still preserving the character and quality of life in their little historic neighborhood.

For example, the Piedmont Corridor study (in which they participated) envisions continued urbanization on their side of Piedmont, which literally backs up to the neighborhood. SPI-9, of which they were an integral part, envisions tens of millions of square feet of mixed use growth in the immediately adjacent village. SPI-12, another biggie for Peachtree Park, focuses on similar massive urban growth to the immediate north. Phase III of the Peachtree Boulevard initiative (in which they have also been active players) will promote dense redevelopment along Peachtree south of Maple.

So it's hardly as if these folks are a bunch of isolated stick-in-the-mud NIMBYs. There is simply no reason to mess with this little jewel at this point in time. Someday, if all these other projects come to fruition and there is enough demand to justify turning Peachtree Park into something else, I'm sure that will happen. That is the natural evolution of cities. We're just a long way from that at this point in time.
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Old 10-26-2012, 04:23 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
6,458 posts, read 7,285,724 times
Reputation: 4205
Quote:
Originally Posted by arjay57 View Post
I am envisioning a chess clock where CQ posts, and then hits his timer button, waiting for CW to reply.

Tick...tick....tick....
lol I think it might make posts shorter
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Old 10-26-2012, 04:38 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
6,458 posts, read 7,285,724 times
Reputation: 4205
Quote:
Originally Posted by arjay57 View Post
We are probably on the same page when it comes to the big picture, CW.

I don't believe tiny neighborhoods should have absolute veto power over growth and urbanization. However, that isn't at all the situation with Peachtree Park. They have proven to be extremely adaptable and progressive to some of the most intense urbanization in the south. They have also worked very hard to promote intelligent density all around them, while still preserving the character and quality of life in their little historic neighborhood.

For example, the Piedmont Corridor study (in which they participated) envisions continued urbanization on their side of Piedmont, which literally backs up to the neighborhood. SPI-9, of which they were an integral part, envisions tens of millions of square feet of mixed use growth in the immediately adjacent village. SPI-12, another biggie for Peachtree Park, focuses on similar massive urban growth to the immediate north. Phase III of the Peachtree Boulevard initiative (in which they have also been active players) will promote dense redevelopment along Peachtree south of Maple.

So it's hardly as if these folks are a bunch of isolated stick-in-the-mud NIMBYs. There is simply no reason to mess with this little jewel at this point in time. Someday, if all these other projects come to fruition and there is enough demand to justify turning Peachtree Park into something else, I'm sure that will happen. That is the natural evolution of cities. We're just a long way from that at this point in time.
Well moving on from this...

Is there any chance we at least both agree E. Paces Ferry needs some type enhanced sidewalk leading to the path over GA 400? And perhaps a realignment of a bike lane and sidewalk on the east side to Lenox Station and to City Place?
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Old 10-26-2012, 05:14 PM
 
3,209 posts, read 4,518,676 times
Reputation: 1732
Quote:
Originally Posted by samiwas1 View Post
As I mentioned before, I think density is good, but we have to be smart about it. I'm not even considering "historical protection" or significance in my opinions. But I think having pockets of nice green tree-laden streets with parks and single-family homes in neighborhoods really close to midtown/downtown adds a whole lot of charm. You don't see that in many large cities.

I love driving through the Prado/Ansley Park and thinking about how awesome it is that a neighborhood like that can exist just steps from Midtown. I love it's winding streets with big old trees. The same goes for the SFH part of Inman Park, Va-Hi, and L5P. But an area like Home Park, as mentioned before, just seems to be a blah old neighborhood. I could easily see transforming that.

I've seen a few here advocate for super-high density development. What does this mean? Like skyscrapers of condos? I'm not as big a fan of that as I am the 6-or-so story buildings with balconies and the first floor being retail and entertainment with street-side seating. To me, that brings much more community than a series of high-rises. That's what I'd rather see developed, something along the line of the dense part of Inman Park. Enough of those types of developments within walking distance of each other would create quite the vibrant scene, I think. I'm just not a big fan of blocks and blocks of high-rises.
I mean basically turning Home Park into Little Sao Paulo. Contingent upon some sort of transit along 10th and 17th streets, that is.

Home Park is great because the impacts will be very internalized. It doesn't border any SFH areas and most of its transportation needs will be filled by the connector and MARTA.

There are plenty of other atmospheric neighborhood village areas with sidewalk cafes and midrise apartments. Atlanta is chock full of them. We need some serious density that can accommodate tens of thousands of people in a small land area.
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Old 10-26-2012, 05:23 PM
 
28,186 posts, read 24,748,296 times
Reputation: 9565
Quote:
Originally Posted by cwkimbro View Post
Well moving on from this...

Is there any chance we at least both agree E. Paces Ferry needs some type enhanced sidewalk leading to the path over GA 400? And perhaps a realignment of a bike lane and sidewalk on the east side to Lenox Station and to City Place?
Oh, yeah. I think the former is addressed in the GA 400 trail. The latter is covered in the SPI-12 update. Peachtree Park has supported both.
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