Dedicated pay-to-use lanes do alleviate traffic, but the benefits are significantly skewed towards the wealthy. We continue to spend billions of taxpayer dollars on HOT lanes while endlessly debating the funding of an actual necessity: transit.
Weekly Links: The EPA Loves the NHL, Snow Leads to Better Urban Design, and Atlanta’s World-Class Traffic
A weekly roundup of interesting stories from around the country. The National Hockey League is not just one of the biggest buyers of green energy among sports leagues, but among all US companies. Philadelphia created better designed streets simply by looking at where cars drive in the snow. And a stress-relieving simulation of traffic moving through various types of intersections.
Atlantans, your luxurious 8pm cutoff time to vote on election days is causing havoc across the state. Fortunately, a bill in the Georgia Senate would put an end to that.
Above-average temperatures often occur when people don’t notice or care, such as at night or in the winter months. Add in the fact that the year ended with colder-than-average weather and it’s easy to overlook the warmth of 2017.
Water Wars Update: When Georgia and Florida finally had the opportunity to argue their cases in front of the US Supreme Court, several justices appeared sympathetic to Florida. Meanwhile, in a brief on the matter, Atlanta asserted that the Supreme Court shouldn’t even attempt to help Florida because the benefits of the environment are often too vague to be valued.
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.
Home and small music studios are the lifeblood of the Atlanta music scene. Recent violence in city neighborhoods has given rise to an ordinance to eliminate studios from residential areas. While an updated regulatory scheme may be necessary, the proposed Atlanta ordinance is a step in the wrong direction.
The case lets surface the fundamental problems we have in addressing quality housing for all people. At a time when affordable housing shortages are increasingly widespread, the Georgia Supreme Court’s decision should prompt us to address a past wrong. We can start by encouraging the private development of affordable housing in the same we encourage the private development of other important land uses, like conservation and agriculture.
We’ll likely see an increase in the number of poorer suburban communities. While Cobb and North Fulton will still have enclaves of wealthier residents, they will increasingly become the destination of lower-income individuals when they are priced out of the walkable Atlanta area. While quality-of-life is an issue even for wealthier residents in auto-centric communities, it is much more of a problem for their poorer residents. Try getting to the grocery store or your job when you don’t have a car and your community doesn’t support sidewalks or alternative transportation. While sitting in traffic on the way to work is stressful, having no transportation options to safely get to that place of work is arguably more stressful.
Aside from being a geographically small city, Tybee creates walkability through a grid network of narrow, shared streets. Additionally, most streets on Tybee eschew the implementation of sidewalks. The narrow streets encourage slow driving and the lack of sidewalks requires pedestrians to be in the street. The shared street concept requires drivers to be more cautious, which produces a more relaxed street atmosphere that increases accessibility for walkers and cyclists.