paulblackgsx

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About paulblackgsx

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  1. paulblackgsx

    Metro Atlanta Projects.

    Pretty sure it wasn't the Ivan Allen work I saw.
  2. paulblackgsx

    Metro Atlanta Projects.

    Yep.
  3. paulblackgsx

    Metro Atlanta Projects.

    In your DT listings, you forgot the Twelve Development. Twin 30 story towers with 1000 units, plus hotel. I've seen some renderings floating around the net, don't have them handy though. Although I don't think the developer has had the ground breaking ceremony yet, site prep work is well underway.
  4. paulblackgsx

    Atlanta Beltline - Emerald Necklace

    I think you bring up a great point, one which is often lost on Atlanta politicans and boosters. Building transit first and controlling the development around transit is much better than attempting to provide transit to low density units or waiting until an area is developed. Although the beltline does have the advantage of not needing to worry about development building over the ROW for transit, it's still seems that Atlantans in general don't seem to understand the benefit of transit first.
  5. paulblackgsx

    Atlanta Beltline - Emerald Necklace

    MARTA is funded by a 1% sales tax on Fulton and Dekalb counties. No tax districts, no state funds. MARTA's 1% sales tax in those counties expires in 2032 and the voters choose not to extend it, which means MARTA can not issue bonds against future revenues (since most bonds are 30 year bonds). MARTA is not expected to fund either the Beltline, Peachtree Street car, or any of the other streetcar proposals I've heard of. All of them are looking for alternative funds (tax districts mostly).
  6. paulblackgsx

    Atlanta Beltline - Emerald Necklace

    The biggest challenge the beltline has to being successfully isn't necessarily the height of the developments. It's the impact of those developments on the neighborhoods BEFORE the infrastructure is in place. You provide a valid point in the original post, that transit before development is likely to have a poor showing, and potentially crumble support for completing the transit portion of the beltline. Likewise, development (in the density needed to satisify developers profit margins) before transit dumps 1000s of additional cars into neighborhoods, which is the neighborhoods biggest fear. Not to mention, how it effects development. With no significant transit options available you can expect that developers will need a parking space per adult, vs a parking space per unit or less with a TOD. I don't think the Beltline is necessarily going to kill the Peachtree Street car. I do think the Beltline is a great way to encourage redevelopment off of Peachtree street and provide additional transit options in the city, and could be a great piece of an overall transit picture. I've ranted on here many times that MARTA does not serve enough residential, and the beltline is the step in the right direction. However, I've honestly got to say if they were ready to roll out a North Ave or Memorial street car, I think that would be a better use of our cities tax dollars. But honestly, I really think the state needs to give a little and get in the game on supporting some of these projects so it doesn't become a choice. Atlanta as a city needs transit options to better compliment what it has with MARTA and hopefully will have with suburban linked BRT and commuter rail down the road.
  7. paulblackgsx

    Metro Atlanta Projects.

    Is it even going to be that long? I thought they were due to break ground in the next month. It looks like they've already started site prep work.
  8. paulblackgsx

    Metro Atlanta Projects.

    Yep, it's suppose to open the day before Thanksgiving.
  9. paulblackgsx

    Metro Atlanta Projects.

    I should have worded it this way instead: a true BIG city. I didn't mean to imply that Atlanta isn't a "city", but when you think of the preimere cities in this country (LA, NYC, Chicago, Boston, etc) and the world you think of not only their size, but recongition in arts, landmarks, famous buildings, etc. Which is not to say Atlanta doesn't have any of this, but it order to really move to that next level, the city needs more of it. I do agree that they could have picked a better location for the ASO Hall than where it's going. It will be a little out of place amongst all of the high rise buildings. Even a little further up the street beyond the High, the building heights are lower, it would stand out better.
  10. paulblackgsx

    Metro Atlanta Projects.

    The design of the ASO Hall is impressive, though not entirely unique. It still would be unique enough to draw attention. It's also the kind of thing that will make Atlanta more of a true city. It's great to see the city maturing with the arts. The problem is funding. It's going to most likely have to come from private donations. I just don't think there is enough public support money available. With the many needs of the city, it's going to get harder and harder to fund these types of projects with public money.
  11. paulblackgsx

    Atlanta's Regional Rail and Transit Systems.

    I modified my post to clarify what I believe our disconnect is.
  12. paulblackgsx

    Atlanta's Regional Rail and Transit Systems.

    There is no arguing the majority of metro Atlanta is in the burbs. However, I don't think it will do the area much good other than a line across the top end of 285, maybe a EW line through Alpharetta. If you had commuter rail, BRT, and with the existing MARTA connections, you would allow people to move EW across the burbs without having to come all the way DT. I don't think the politics of running the line is the problem either. It's who pays for it that is always the issue. Cobb, N Fulton, and Gwinnett are all supportive of transit.... as long as they don't have to pay for it. But I will say this: simply creating cross suburban transit isn't not going to be effect. They need to have other the pieces in place for it to be effect, whether its commuter rail or BRT/LRT. There is valid for several reasons (and my reasons for where I think our disconnect is): 1. Cross suburban transit without additional N/S to core transit isn't effective because most suburbs do not have transit friendly employment centers. For example, if I drive to a commuter station (or BRT/LRT stations) from my house, and it connects me to Alpharetta, where my place of my employement is... guess what, Alpharetta is not a walkable employment center. I'm forced to either make a bus connection (which we know most suburban commuters will no do), or walk a distance I'm unwilling to walk. I do support a Galleria to Dunwoody (northern I285 arc) transit line because the Galleria employment center and Dunwoody are dense enough that they are semi-walkable, and have the ability (or already have) begun converting to a more walkable enviornment, which is a key for transit destinations to be successful. 2. It's rarely thought of, but much like freeways in the suburbs produce sprawl, transit in the burbs will produce development too. The further out you put these transit lines, the further out the development goes. It is far more effective to put these developments in a patterns where the majority of the commuters and development focus on key "employement centers". The problem with suburban (and supporting them in just about anyway) commuting patterns are, is they spyder web. If people like in the burbs, but work in a more centralized (city, edge city) employment center, it is easier for mass transit to be effective. 3. Land Use still needs to catch up. The cost of supporting transit is usually the big issue. There are enough people to support mass transit, but their land use doesn't encourage them to do so. Recent trends in Atlanta (and around the country) is for suburbs to develop around "town squares" rather than around retail developments. This is absolutely key to transit being success. The only suburban transit (other than bus) that I would suggest is those that are built around this town square. But moving some of the shopping, entertainment, resturant going activities into a town square, surrounded by denser development, followed further out by low density housing, is you begin to develop an opportunity for transit to be based in these town squares (or nearby). 4. One of the missing pieces, what makes Atlanta transit uncomplete, isn't their lack of service to the suburban commuters, it's the lack of residential connections. Most Atlanta transit serves employment centers and parking decks, not residential centers. Even in town, the majority of Atlanta's neighborhoods (where the majority of residents live) are not serviced by rail. Those living in the city, often times will take a bus to connect to transit. This generally isn't successful in the suburbs. So my argument is: suburban to suburban commuting is LAST because it is more dependent on the other pieces. I'm not saying it shouldn't be done, I think it should. Even more so closer in. Without those pieces, cross suburban transit only gives you an expensive, uneffective line that not only will not significantly improve mobility, but in some cases could actually continue to encourage bad suburban habits.
  13. paulblackgsx

    Atlanta's Regional Rail and Transit Systems.

    I would agree that a line across 285 (if there are lines up to Cobb and some kind of line up in Gwinnett) would make a lot of sense. I will also note, you have a point that the most successful systems don't rely on a single interchange point. Also, though, the most successful systems don't spend a lot of time "pandering" to the suburbs either. A single cross connection would be sufficient, assuming that the connections to other suburbs are there. Other than that, I wouldn't spend a lot of time in the burbs. Commuter rail, and a couple of lines to the key "cores" in Cobb, N. Fulton, and Gwinnett would be more than enough.
  14. paulblackgsx

    Atlanta's Regional Rail and Transit Systems.

    I honestly think light rail would do more for Atlanta than additional MARTA stations. Although there are certainly places, even in the city where I could additional MARTA lines. What Atlanta really needs is something to tie it's neighborhoods together, offer alternatives to the car for moving around the city, and something to encourage developers and residents to dump the car and hope on a trail. Light Rail can do that more effectively than MARTA's heavy rail can. It really brings people out into the street and can have a more positive effect on a greater area, while often being less disruptive. The problem with heavy rail, even more so in a city like Atlanta, is it doesn't have the density to develop rail in residential areas. The big piece missing in Atlanta's transit system is that it doesn't serve a lot of the residential areas of the city, just the commerical. In order to have a successful transit system, and to truly take advantage of the heavy rail in the commerical districts, people have to be able to board near their residents.
  15. paulblackgsx

    Atlanta's Regional Rail and Transit Systems.

    The commuter rail is essentially a go. I believe September 2006 is set for the opening. They are also trying to stretch the startup budget to allow for two additional stations in Hampton and Griffin. The current budget is for a line to Lovejoy (just north of Hampton). Though Hampton isn't very accepting of it, Griffin is pushing hard for it. MARTA expansion is essential at a stop unless Fulton and Dekalb extend their sales tax or they get funding from somewhere else (like the state). Dekalb and Fulton, in revolt to supporting a transit system for the "region" with no support from the region, choose not to extend the sales tax, which means MARTA can not issue construction bonds based on future revenues. Other possible (without funding): Peachtree Street light rail, including a loop around olympic park. And not rail, but budgeted by the state: BRT to Cobb County.