Category: Short Takes

The BeltLine does not need fixed rail to be successful

By Howard S. Wertheimer Note to readers: Howard S. Wertheimer, FAIA Emeritus, LEED AP, is a lecturer at Georgia Tech’s School of Architecture; former AVP for Capital Planning & Space Management and Institute Architect at Georgia Tech, and former COO at Piedmont Park Conservancy Oct. 6 – There is a fast-growing community of citizens who […]

Better Atlanta Transit

By Mike Dobbins Sept. 10 – There is a great need for better Atlanta transit. The current plans are obsolete. There have been no comprehensive transit plan updates since: Before the 2017 transit referendum; Before COVID with its ongoing disruption of settlement patterns, thus shifting the locations of origins and destinations essential to plan transit […]

MARTA, transit at post-pandemic inflection point

By David Pendered July 30 — Survival of the nation’s transit systems may depend on service innovations such as door-to-door service, which MARTA is evaluating, and new revenues such as New York’s planned commuter tax, according to panelists at a recent briefing hosted by the Volcker Alliance and Penn Institute for Urban Research. This inflection point is […]

Correcting Atlanta’s Growth Mythology – Why It Matters

By Mike Dobbins March 9 – As a member of AIA Atlanta’s Architect Principals Roundtable back in 2015, I looked forward to our meeting welcoming Tim Keane as Mayor Kasim Reed’s newly appointed commissioner of planning. His emphasis on elevating design quality as a core value was music to our ears. Leaving the meeting, though, one […]

ATL CFO trial: Guns, wire fraud charges stay together

By David Pendered Feb. 1 – Former Atlanta CFO Jim Beard will face charges in the same federal corruption trial on counts involving two machine guns and wire fraud, a federal judge ruled Jan. 24. U.S. District Judge Steve C. Jones issued an order rejecting Beard’s claim that prosecuting him in the same trial on […]

MARTA’s low fare revenues a future concern

By David Pendered MARTA’s revenues from fares are at an historic low as remote work remains a norm. MARTA’s not alone. Investors are watching this emerging trend at other transit systems, a New York-based bond researcher said last week. Howard Cure didn’t name MARTA when he spoke in a panel discussion hosted Jan. 19 by […]

Downtown Streetcar to Ponce? A Recantation

By Mike Dobbins Jan. 12 – I first rode the Downtown Streetcar back in 2014, soon after the full loop had been completed. I live downtown, and a friend who occasionally rode the streetcar to the Auburn Curb Market suggested I give it a try. I boarded at the Peachtree and Ellis stop with the […]

Reshaping the BeltLine

By Mike Dobbins Jan. 10 – The BeltLIne trail on the east side has become a treasured community asset. It is likely to gain in popularity as other segments underway hook up with it. Its very popularity, however, has brought stresses not anticipated in the BeltLine’s current long-term plan. Trail functionality, along with safety and […]

Streetcars on the BeltLine

By Mike Dobbins Jan. 2 –There remain a few people who believe that streetcar transit will actually, finally, someday, somehow, arrive on the Atlanta BeltLIne. Their beliefs are well-intended, and their persistence, if not their numbers, is impressive, to the extent that politicians and agencies are loath to deliver the inevitable eventual flat-out no. The […]

Georgia’s budgets prepared for ongoing inflation

By David Pendered Dec. 7 – Gov. Brian Kemp is preparing Georgia’s government to face ongoing inflation, according to an Aug. 10 letter from his chief budget writer to agency leaders. Kemp has ordered state agencies to hold spending to current levels in the requests they’ve sent him to consider as part of the budgets he’ll […]