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perimeter285

Power Lines

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I am fed up with the power lines in this city. I haven't fully researched it, but we have to be the only major city in the country that has large, very noticeable power lines in key urban cores.

For example, our new downtown tourist superblock on Ivan Allen Blvd has prominent high-voltage lines running nearby. Can you imagine power lines next to Shedd Aquarium in Chicago?

One of the most offensive, if not THE most offensive, is the high-voltage line running right down the middle of 14th street. How in the world can that happen? You have a prominent, very dense, urban area marred by high-voltage lines.

All of our major thoroughfares such as Peachtree Road, Piedmont Road, etc. have prominent power lines all over the place.

I guess my question is...what can we do about it?? Can we all petition Georgia Power to at least phase out any above-ground lines in the urban core? Can we start letting the city and state know how we feel and hopefully they can create some pressure?

As I am sitting here writing, I envision our future Midtown Mile dream realized, but the nice multi-level storefronts could be blocked by an ugly power pole and line. Sounds great, doesn't it?

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I feel your pain, perimeter285. I've never seen another city so clogged with ugly power lines.

But I guess that's the way we do things here in Georgia. From what I've heard, Georgia Power basically says doing anything with these lines is totally out of the question.

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I'm not an expert but I've heard many different reasons for this:

1) Southerners are cheap! Georgia Power has some of the lowest rates in the country because they cut corners on everything. Above ground power lines are cheaper to build and take care of than underground ones. In the northern states, the frequent ice storms narrows this cost difference but down here where we get an ice storm only once every two or three years, the added cost of burying power lines does not outweigh the cost of dealing with storm damage.

2) Once again, we're cheap! The power "grid" in Atlanta is not set up in as a grid like in other big cities but rather on a hub and spoke model that causes there to be more high voltage power lines, which can not be buried for many technical reasons. If we had more of a grid, not only would there be more low voltage, easy to bury lines, but the system would be more redunant and less prone to outages.

3) We don't have allyways like other cities so there is no above ground hidden path for power lines to take.

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Extremely good points, Aubie.

Perhaps one other factor is that in the city there'd be more retrofitting required.

One thing I'll have to hand it to the suburbs on is the fact they've placed most of their power lines underground. It's astonishing how the sky opens up once you get outside the Perimeter! It took me a while to realize what the difference was but it's certainly a vastly cleaner look.

Aubie, your comment about the lack of alleys is well taken. In my opinion service alleys are a vital part of making a city workable. It's too bad that they were eliminated here in the city of Atlanta. Wasn't that part of the effort to prevent "undesirable" housing in city neighborhoods?

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I am fed up with the power lines in this city. I haven't fully researched it, but we have to be the only major city in the country that has large, very noticeable power lines in key urban cores.

For example, our new downtown tourist superblock on Ivan Allen Blvd has prominent high-voltage lines running nearby. Can you imagine power lines next to Shedd Aquarium in Chicago?

One of the most offensive, if not THE most offensive, is the high-voltage line running right down the middle of 14th street. How in the world can that happen? You have a prominent, very dense, urban area marred by high-voltage lines.

All of our major thoroughfares such as Peachtree Road, Piedmont Road, etc. have prominent power lines all over the place.

I guess my question is...what can we do about it?? Can we all petition Georgia Power to at least phase out any above-ground lines in the urban core? Can we start letting the city and state know how we feel and hopefully they can create some pressure?

As I am sitting here writing, I envision our future Midtown Mile dream realized, but the nice multi-level storefronts could be blocked by an ugly power pole and line. Sounds great, doesn't it?

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Burying your average power lines is totally different than burying the high voltage lines along 14th street. Apparently they generate too much heat to be buried. I remember a few years back Detroit Edison experimented with super conductors cooled with liquid nitrogen for distribution of high voltage underground but I never heard much more about it. Georgia Power certainly isn't going to do something so cutting edge. I've heard talk of moving the 14th street power lines to another street nearby. Sadly, while many of the utility lines can be buried (and what you see on the poles are normally much more than just power), the high voltage lines have to go somewhere.

I actually don't notice the high voltage power lines on 14th that much. The pylons desperately need to be resurfaced and painted but in general they're so high and the street level has enough to keep the eye visually occupied that I can live with them staying there. Perhaps something innovative can be done to make the pylons blend in better.

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i can only speak for midtown, but i know that powerlines are being buried in midtown. it is a matter of money, it is expensive. powerlines on peachtree & w. peachtree are being buried now, then they will be buried on 10th street (if you have driven w. peachtree recently you can see the burying in process). not sure what the order is after that. i know juniper is somewhere low on the list, possibly 14th street when they do the new bridge? they are also hoping developers will pay when they have large projects.

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There was a working plan to bury all the power lines at Georgia Tech recently that bit the dust. The project was going to cost tens of million of dollars and the school balked at sharing the cost.

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I don't know about the 14th Street lines, but it was way too expensive to bury the big line on Piedmont by Peachtree. It was something like 100,000 dollars just to move a small portion of the lines five feet for a turn lane.

The 14th St. line doesn't look as big as Piedmont's line and hopefully it won't take as much to bury it. It would certainly look pretty strange to build that amazing (and expensive) symphony hall and have a power line right in front of it.

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I guess there's nothing we can do about them but I've never seen power lines like we have in Atlanta in other cities.

:(

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It sounds to me like people want to bury the power lines, and work is being done to make that happen... Its just a matter of time and money (ok, mostly money).

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It sounds to me like people want to bury the power lines, and work is being done to make that happen... Its just a matter of time and money (ok, mostly money).

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I've never seen another city so clogged with ugly power lines.

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