Business owners have a legitimate interest in maximizing the number of people who can use their parking spaces. Immobilizing improperly parked vehicles in those spaces is a poor way of addressing the issue and masks the overall need for better land use policy.
While evidence showing the benefits of trees continues to mount, urban and suburban areas are losing tree cover at an alarming rate. In debating the removal of trees in urban areas, let’s not forget why we like living in Atlanta.
Throwing eggs and leaving angry notes are just a couple ways people have shown their dissatisfaction with someone parking in front of their house on a public street. These actions come despite the angry note leaver or egg thrower having no legal right to the parking spot. While parking restrictions may be necessary in some situations, burdensome auto abandonment laws and inappropriate restrictions could raise rents and create more trouble.
Pervasive light pollution prevents most Americans from seeing the night sky. As Carl Sagan and others have recognized, a clear view of the night sky can encourage curiosity, promote cooperation, and increase the respect we have for our planet. It’s time we open our cities to the universe.
An abundance of asphalt and concrete increases air temperatures locally, which can exacerbate the effects of heat waves and generally cause unpleasant conditions. This is known as the urban heat island effect and it can be true for both sprawled suburbs and dense cities. Savannah’s beautiful green spaces offer a prime example of how the benefits of dense development can be achieved while mitigating or eliminating the urban heat island effect.
Buckhead has sometimes been referred to as the Jewel of Atlanta, though this title is severely threatened by its increasingly underwhelming user experience. Its lack of vibrancy, identity, and walkability make the neighborhood a shining example of poor urban design and undercut its ability to attract residents and businesses. In its attempt to remain relevant, Buckhead should look to Miami’s Brickell neighborhood, Virginia’s Tyson’s Corner, and Atlanta’s Midtown neighborhood.
Pro-helmet and anti-helmet advocates both make compelling arguments in the quest to make cycling safer. While better urban design principles would fundamentally solve the safety problem, courts may find that cyclists have a duty to wear a helmet.
Cities are in love with small coffee shops, artisan burger shops, and boutique clothing stores. The only thing they like more is taking people’s property and converting it to those types of businesses. This is, of course, a bit of hyperbole, though many would make that statement with much more sincerity. A bill passed by the Georgia Legislature would allow local governments to condemn blighted property and sell it to developers. It’s not a bad idea.