Weekly Links: Led by coastal lawmakers, a bi-partisan group in the Georgia Legislature pushes for a ban on offshore drilling. And, western US cities may soon look a little more like New York. Plus, new poll numbers show a minority of Gwinnett residents oppose MARTA expansion – unfortunately those people are most likely to get their voices heard.
Educating Kids is Our Greatest Victory In The BP Oil Spill Settlement
Weekly Links: The money used to educate kids about science may be the most influential and significant piece of the multi-billion dollar settlement agreement with BP. Plus, a transit-oriented soccer league is developing in Atlanta, a new study shows exposure to television news decreases your ability to discern fact from opinion, and e-scooter companies are finally being sued for negligence.
Oh Yeah, Transit is Supposed to Go On The Beltline
Weekly Links: This week, facing pressure, MARTA adds more light rail for the Beltline while cutting funding for Emory rail. Also, this month is on pace to be the hottest September on record in Atlanta. Plus, Georgia finally got its very own model solar zoning ordinance!
The Great Streetcar Conspiracy Strikes Again
This week, Gwinnett County’s approval of rail expansion comes in the wake of a recent report highlighting the efforts of a conservative lobbying group to kill local transit projects throughout the country. This is reminiscent of General Motors’ effort decades ago to kill trolley ridership in favor of cars. Plus, we’ve introduced a new chart to put Atlanta’s temperatures into a historical context.
Housing Crisis? What Housing Crisis?
This week, amid a nationwide housing crisis, HUD proposes cuts to housing subsidies for the poor, elderly, and disabled. Also, Roanoke incorporates beer into their official marketing and economic strategy, MARTA released its list of proposed transit projects, and California will require solar panels on all new homes.
Will Uber and Lyft Make Mass Transit Obsolete?
Ridesharing also fills a significant void in late-night transportation options. In most major cities, transit is either non-existent or very limited between 10pm and 4am. Research done by the American Public Transportation Association shows that ridesourcing now accounts for a signficant share of late night/early morning alternative transportation. So perhaps ridesharing alleviates the burden on local governments of needing to provide more late-night transit options. But is that a good thing?
Transit-Oriented Development Can Put A Stop to Metro Atlanta's Growing Pains
Density doesn’t have to be a bad word. Allowing more people to live in strategic and desirable areas in closer proximity to one another doesn’t necessarily mean turning all parts of the region into Manhattan. While we aren’t talking about San Francisco or New York levels of density, we are talking about raising the density levels in certain parts of the region to something a little less Mayberry and a little more DC or Seattle.
Space Flight Noise, Atlanta's Transit Awakening, and Confusing Stream Buffer Rules Highlight the 2016 Legislative Session
Last year the Georgia Supreme Court threw the policy into confusion when it declared that the buffer only applies when “wrested vegetation” (permanent vegetation) is present along rivers and streams. This effectively means that the buffer could apply and then not apply every few feet along a single river. For example, if a property owner has a lot that abuts a river, the rule may apply for the first two feet where vegetation is present then not apply along the next 15 feet if no vegetation is present… and then apply again along the next 30 feet where vegetation is present. This clearly creates a confusing and somewhat silly situation….So the Georgia House took up HB-966 to declare once and for all that the buffer applies along all state rivers and streams regardless of whether vegetation is present.