Archive | January, 2011

Seems like yesterday

29 Jan

Trash tree

Was Christmas really just a little more than a month ago?

This tree appeared on the ground next to the trash can Tuesday night. Wednesday night it had migrated about 10 yards down the sidewalk. Thursday it looked like this. Last night it was gone.

It’s possible that the Department of Public Works picked it up but there’s just no telling around here. I won’t be surprised if it’s back tomorrow.

Quick review: Legislators in first gear and an escalator in reverse

29 Jan

Is it Saturday already? How did that happen?

Well, while I was away:

  • The Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) wrote model legislation for the structure of a regional transit authority to be delivered to the House Transportation Committee. But rather than having a turn on the legislative runway, this model looks to be destined to spend the season backstage.

“This is a major investment in the community and so we need to take our time and be careful,” Rep. Donna Sheldon, R-Dacula, who chairs the House Transportation Committee, told the AJC.

Transit advocates wanted to see a regional transit system formally established this year so that voters would have plenty of time to become familiar with what it is and how it will work before voting on whether to fund it with a transportation tax in 2012.

Legislators don’t appear to be inclined to move that quickly, though. “On the Senate side, Tommie Williams, R-Lyons, said this week that there is no groundswell for major transit legislation this year,” the AJC reported.

Weeks’ leg was broken when the elevator suddenly ran in reverse, throwing riders to floor at the bottom.  About a dozen other riders sustained less severe injuries.

MARTA refunds, MMPT shortlist, and weekend reading

22 Jan

A little local news:

From around the Web:

  • From the New York Times, some explanation of the three new aisles of groceries that suddenly sprouted at the front section of the Target in Buckhead a couple of years ago: “Big retailers fill more aisles with groceries.”

Closing the Borders – and the chocolate boutique

19 Jan

Bad news: The Borders in Brookwood is closing. The loss of a bookstore is always unfortunate, especially when its one of a development’s anchor tenants. But it’s just a bit worse in this case because of a novel feature that the store has: A street-facing door that’s kept unlocked so that people can use it. Brookwood borders "Store closing" sign

It sounds like a small thing, but locked, blocked and otherwise inaccessible street-level doors in ostensibly “urban” developments are epidemic in Atlanta. (The Kroger just a couple of doors down comes to mind.) It’s a shame to lose places with thoughtfully executed pedestrian access.

Good news: They’re having a BIG sale. Signs indicating 30, 50 and 75 percent markdowns were visible through the windows Monday. So, now’s the time to buy that grotesquely expensive coffee table book you’ve been flipping through and reluctantly leaving behind over and over again.

The Lindt store in Lenox Square is also in its last days. Mall store closings aren’t normally within this blog’s purview but I probably spend about half the price of a used hatchback on Lindt chocolate every year. Also, the cashier working there Monday night said the Lenox location is the last Lindt store in Georgia, so we’re all officially cut off when they close on Wednesday, Jan. 26.

Everything in the store is 70 percent off and the stock is getting sparse. The normally tidy product placement was much less so and even some of the fixtures had notes attached indicating that they’ve been sold. The area behind the counter was a welter of cases of chocolate in various stages of unpacked-ness and customers were weaving between the tables, gathering up armfuls of cheap sweets.

Yes, you can buy Lindt chocolate in Walgreens and Target, but only a few varieties. For example, you won’t find these in either of those stores, nor in World Market:

These were the last 23 Sorbetto truffles in the store Monday night. I’ll be back Wednesday to check for more.

The escalator problems at Lenox Station are still unresolved, by the way. The down escalators on both ends of the platform are still shut down and barricaded. It could be worse. A lot more people are able and willing to walk down two long sets of stairs than up.

Even though last year’s five-month, system-wide escalator inspection process was completed, at least two dozen remained closed due to a lack of parts to service them. Several more have repeatedly been in and out of service after being repaired.

 

 

 

A few more MARTA notes:

  • There was no elevator access on the Southbound platform at Five Points Station Tuesday morning. The train operator announced that anyone needing elevator access would have to remain on the train, get off at Garnett Station ride back to Five Points and use the elevator on the northbound platform.
  • MARTA will hold public hearings Jan. 24 for input on proposed changes to bus routes 42, 56, 120, 121, 125 and 126. The proposed changes would go into effect April 23, 2011.
  • The agency will also make a decision Jan. 19 regarding giving refunds to weekly farecard holders who lost several days of bus service last week. Check the site for more information.

Transit dependency’s Catch-22, or Why my rent’s so high

15 Jan

Waiting about 25 minutes for a train at Lindbergh when it was 20 degrees was decidedly un-fun. Walking down and back up the icy hill to Publix has been more excitement than I really require. I could have done without three days of having to choose between scooting along the edge of the street and gambling on the hazardously glazed sidewalks between my building and Civic Center Station as well.

But because I live and work close to rail stations, and I’m in good enough health to walk any distance I might need to, I can do those things. And because I can do those things being transit-dependent isn’t the sort of hardship for me that it is for many other people in the city.

From Thursday’s AJC:

“For many MARTA riders, its historic decision to shut down bus service completely this week might as well have shut down the food supply or access to the hospital.” Continue reading

Snow days, pedestrianism and prime real estate

12 Jan

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

It’s now been so long since I’ve gone to work that it’s going to take me the two remaining work days in this week just to remember how to do my job. Then Monday is a holiday, so I’ll be off for another three days, during which I’ll forget again.

Since I’ve been home so much I’ve noticed at least twice as many people walking by my building the last few days than I normally do. I can even hear someone crunching by right outside my window right now. A lot of homeless people live in the area, so pedestrian traffic is pretty high around here by Atlanta standards, but the last few days it’s practically been a parade.

I guess it’s not just me.

Many of the people picking their way along the the sidewalk or occupying the far right lane appear to be students from the Georgia State dorms just down Piedmont going to Publix and Walgreens. Being cooped up in a house or apartment is one thing. Three days trapped in 120 square feet of dorm room – probably with another person? Yikes.

MARTA is slowly coming back on line. I heard the #16 bus sliding and sloshing up and down the hill today and a few other routes were also back in action.

Finally, in case you missed it, Busnow reported that Avanti Properties Group, which is based in Orlando, purchased the lot at the southeast corner of 14th and West Peachtree – the one where the Einstein Brothers is. EB has gotten a little grubby over the years and I noticed some…inhabitants in the ladies room on my last visit there. It would be really nice to see them as a ground floor tenant in a brand new building.

The story says the parcel that Avanti purchased is 1.5 acres. That’s not quite enough to encompass those two long-vacant residential buildings at West Peachtree and 13th, is it? I hope so. Somebody, anybody, do something with those.

(Less than a) Post A Day/(More than a) Post A Week

9 Jan

I’m getting in on this a touch late, but I’ve signed up for PostADay/PostAWeek.

As you can see by how long its been since the last fresh content, as well as the sporadic nature of posting in general around here, this whole enterprise is sorely in need of some structure.

Trying to post every day would be just asking for trouble, especially as I’m also supposed to be writing for Metblogs a couple of times a week this year, but getting something new up here at least twice, preferably three times a week isn’t unreasonable, even if it’s just a photo or two.

So if you happen to wander through, tell me what you (don’t) like or what you’d want to read more (or less) of.

Thanks!

%d bloggers like this: