Tag Archives: pedestrian

Things I’ve Declined to Buy on the Street

29 Sep

1. A rubber-banded bundle of MAC lip glosses (Not in the boxes)

2. A reduced-fare Breeze card

3. Several brands of baby formula

4. Newports

5. Mini-bottles of liquor

6. “Socks! DVDs! Socks! DVDs!”

7. A “gold” chain wadded up in a paper napkin

8. A plastic bag of costume jewelry and a “leather” jacket

9. A mix CD: $5, unless you only have $2, in which case he’ll take that

10. A copy of Creative Loafing

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Things People Say If You Mention Walking Home from Work

1 Jul
  1. “You do what?”
  2. “At night?”
  3. “By yourself?”
  4. “Aren’t you scared?”
  5. “In the heat/cold?”
  6. “Are you crazy/serious/kidding?”
  7. “All the way home?”
  8. “How far is that?”
  9. “It takes how long?”
  10. “Thirty-five minutes is a long time”
  11. “Do you have mace/pepper spray/a gun?”
  12. Why?”
  13. “You live down here?”

You live in Atlanta but you don’t have a car, so…

24 May

  1. You have only a very faint idea what the “top-end perimeter” is.
  2. You don’t know what or where Spaghetti Junction is.
  3. When people stagger into work groaning about how “Highway xxxx was backed up all the way from xxxx Boulevard to Exit xxxx and it took me 30 minutes just to get to xxxx Road!” you say “Wow!” or “Really?” even though you don’t know what they’re talking about.
  4.  It never occurs to the other party in the above conversation that you might not know what they’re talking about.
  5. You’ve heard, but never actually listened to, a traffic report.
  6. You buy a lot of your stuff at grievously unfashionable places because the low-profile boutiques and out-of-the-way markets are too much work to get to.
  7. Cute shoes are something to be picked up, looked at wistfully, and put back down.
  8. When you go somewhere with a visitor who drove in from out of town and they ask “Where do I park?” you don’t know.
  9. Your driving directions are sometimes not to be trusted because you navigate at least as much by landmarks as by street names.
  10. About once a week you reflexively pull out your Breeze card instead of your debit card to pay for something.
  11. You see the same people on the street downtown so much that they long ago stopped asking you for money.
  12. You can take your jacket off, move your bag from one shoulder to the other, talk on the phone and walk, all at the same time, without slowing down.
  13. You don’t know what the big deal is about the parking at Atlantic Station.
  14. When you get a Zipcar you’ll probably either forget to turn on the lights or which direction to push the turn signal lever.
  15. People think you don’t have a driver’s license.
  16. You carry a bag, not a purse.
  17. You don’t leave home in the summer without baby wipes, a few paper towels and maybe an extra shirt.
  18. You can walk up the escalators at Peachtree Center faster than people half your age or 30 pounds lighter than you.
  19. You carry something with long sleeves in the summer if you know you’ll be riding a bus.
  20. Although you’d never say it to anyone, you don’t know or care how much gas is.

MARTA News: Buses and Bridges

17 Jan

Bus stop sign

If you’re already bored with last September’s set of bus route modifications, another round is being proposed to take effect in April. MARTA will hold public meetings Tuesday, Jan. 24 and Thursday, Jan. 26 for input on the proposed changes, which will affect five routes:

  • Route 1 – Centennial Olympic Park /Coronet Way
  • Route 12Howell Mill Road / Cumberland
  • Route 32Bouldercrest / Georgia Aquarium
  • Route 86Fairington Road / McAfee Road
  • Route 115Covington Highway / South Hairston Road

Preliminary work is scheduled to get underway today on the new entrance and pedestrian bridges that will link the north end of Buckhead Station with Tower Place. MARTA awarded the contract (PDF) for construction of the project to Archer Western Contractors last October and expects construction to be completed in November 2013.

Edit: See Atlanta Business Chronicle for more, bigger and better renderings of the project. H/T to AtlUrbanist

Distance only gets you halfway there

13 Jan

Because of Atlanta’s lingering tendency toward low-density development, lots of the “cool” places that have cropped up in the last few years are in places that can be inconvenient to get to using transit. The prospect of trying a new gallery, restaurant or store loses a lot of its appeal when getting there requires an hour of walk-wait-ride-wait-ride-walk, especially when it would be a 10-minute drive from your starting point.

So when The Little Tart Bakeshop (LTB) opened at a Memorial Drive location less than a mile from King Memorial Station with Octane, it looked like a rare and welcome exception to that trend. In order to walk from King Memorial Station to LTB, you only have to go South on Grant Street, cross Memorial Drive, then continue walking east on Memorial Drive until you reach The Jane, which LTB is on the south side of.  Sounds simple enough. But it looks like this:

 

Grant Street tunnel

King Memorial Grant Street lot

There were supposed to have been a couple more photos from Memorial Drive, but the camera drew some unwanted attention there and it was starting to look like this post was going to end up being less about a bakery and more about a robbery.

These shots were taken at 6:45 p.m. in January, but even with the addition of sunlight (and subtractration of the guy sizing you up and eyeing your camera), the empty lots, narrow sidewalks, close, fast-moving cars and lack of other pedestrians make it a monotonous, un-inviting walk.

The parking lot behind The Jane was nearly full of cars, as were the lots and sidestreets near the bars and restaurants on either side of it. The lack of people on the street was no indicator of the number of people to be found at the destination. But both on the way there and on the way back, it felt as if a dead possum in the road and I were just about the only ones who tried walking anywhere that night. People are attracted to a space by other people, so if no one walks there, no one will walk there.The Little Tart Bakeshop

Sometimes it pays to walk. Literally.

28 Dec

Found fiveIt would have been warmer to catch the 110 bus from Trader Joe’s to Buckhead Station last night. But then this $5 bill might still be lying in that flower-less flower bed next to the sidewalk.

Not quite as cool as spotting a $20 bill swirling around in a little pile of windblown leaves at the top of an escalator at Civic Center Station about a year ago, but still worth that 15 minutes in the wintry wind.

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