Atlanta Streets Alive, West End
Atlanta Streets Alive was great today! Streets were closed to cars and open to human powered transport in the lovely historic West End neighborhood.
The route included the West End Trail of the Beltline. Another highlight: goats! It was definitely one of the best Streets Alive events I’ve been to — it drew a huge crowd and everyone looked to be having a good time.
My favorite part was seeing West Enders in front of their houses saying hi to visitors. It’s a friendly place.
Agree! This was by far the friendliest, most welcoming, and most community-like community for a Streets Alive event yet.
Bike Lanes on Peachtree Road? Could it be?
Last night I attended an info session at a church a couple of miles up the road. I walked. Or I tried to. About 3 blocks south of the church the sidewalk is closed. Fortunately a MARTA bus was coming, so I caught a ride for the rest of the trip.
The info session was resplendent in maps and street cross-sections and other beautiful visions of the future. That future being as early as Spring of next year for my neck of the woods, that is, GDOT project ID 0012870, the Safety Project . It takes Peachtree Rd, the road that somehow grew to 6 lanes, down to 5 lanes, including a left-hand turn lane down the middle, or a median/pedestrian refuge, and bike lanes on each side.
Bike lanes! This would make my bike commute safe! I had two cyclists pass me on the sidewalk waking up there. That’s how friendly the road is now.
One of the urban planning people asked me if I had any questions. I had just one: what’s taking so long? :-) He then asked me to please fill out a comment card, because there were a lot of people bashing the project on their comment sheets, and they needed some positive comments.
And I ask you, dear reader, to please support this worthy project as well. Even if you don’t live in Atlanta. Just tell them something like having these bike lanes would make the area much more attractive for business trips and vacations (there are a lot of hotels, restaurants, and shopping on this road). Applaud this progressive action, note that you are sure businesses will find the area much more attractive now, what with more commuting options, better quality of life, that kind of stuff.
Here’s the address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Our condo is getting a new cooling tower. The old one, a galvanized unit from ~1994 is rusting away.
So I’m in geek nirvana!
As a condo board member, I’m working with the contractor re the specs. And having just this week attended the annual parks conference that focused on stormwater issues, and also being the guy who tests the water in our local creek, well, I couldn’t just sit around and let us buy just any old cooling tower.
So the one we are looking at has a 414 ton capacity. It can evaporate 9.94 gallons of water per minute. That got my attention.
That’s 596.4 gallons of purified drinking water, that we buy from the water department, every hour.
Atlanta has very expensive water, btw.
One of the speakers at the conference was Brad Lancaster (google him), who spoke of rainwater harvesting in Tucson. He also has a youtube video with a localized talk for Amman, Jordan, where he spoke of catching air conditioner condensate. So that got me thinking.
He is also a car-free bicyclist - very worth knowing.
We have about 600 fan-coil units in this building. The condensation (and there is a lot in humid Georgia) goes down the drain, and is sent to our local water treatment plant, even though it is clean water.
Still with me? So how about sending that water to our cooling tower instead? It’s free water, and it’s super pure.
I asked the contractor. Oh, and we also have 2,000 gallons of water tank storage capacity in our boiler room. I was saving it for a rainwater catchment system, but this is better.
So the contractor says, “sure! We do it all the time!”
Well that was easy. But if I hadn’t asked, it wouldn’t be happening.
So always ask. You might be surprised by the answer.
Good for the environment, good for the association’s budget.
I just walked down to 28th Street to score some organic goodies from the Farm Mobile. It is a great day for a walk, and it allowed me to stop and take photos, thawing frozen meat notwithstanding.
These are of the famous Peachtree Road, in the Buckhead region, just south of Lindbergh Dr. Yes, Atlanta got caught up in Lindbergh mania after he crossed the Atlantic. And like so many other cities, it named a road after him.
Unlike many other cities, it didn’t rename the road after Lindbergh became a big supporter of Fascism, Hitler, etc.
Atlanta is funny like that. But I digress.
Back to Peachtree.
This is the road I bicycle on. Yes, I’m crazy. But we might get bike lanes or cycle tracks or something. I’ll learn more next week at a public viewing of the plans.
Peachtree Creek runs under it just south of here, and the creek water we test flows into Peachtree Creek a little east of here.
We are all connected.
This section of the road, actually, most sections of this road, are pretty ugly, in spite of its bucolic name.
Somehow it became okay to put suburban style strip malls on this road. So across the street from the most expensive condos in Atlanta are a bunch of curb cuts leading to surface parking directly on the street.
Don’t get me wrong, we should have retail within an easy walk of homes. So walking on a sidewalk shouldn’t be dangerous, but with cars swooping in and out of parking lots, lots of parking lots, well, it is.
To make it even more interesting, most of these overly wide sidewalks are at grade with the road. So really the only way to tell is the sidewalks are concrete and may have bus shelters and utility poles, and the road is asphalt. Note in the first photo the road seems to be creeping up the apron/sidewalk.
We could pull the sidewalks away from the road (we don’t need 10’ wide sidewalks) and put in a buffer (grass, flowers, cycle track). And take away a bunch of these curb cuts.
Our building (the not-ugly photo) almost gets it right, but if I had my way I’d get rid of the entrance on Peachtree (in the foreground). And again, the sidewalks are way too wide. A 5 ’ sidewalk could handle the crowds of pedestrians in these photos.
And this concludes my mini critique of all that is wrong in my hood - urban planning-wise.
Pretty flowers on a pretty street
Where’s Ringo?: The Story of The Beatles in 20 Visual Puzzles [Hardcover]
Ringo has got lost! You must find him.
An album-sized hide-and-seek seek caper through the story of the Beatles.
It’s due for publication on 4th September 2014, but you can pre-order now, with the book priced at £9.99.
My birthday is In late October