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Gwinnett’s Charlotte Nash on MARTA: ‘We are ready to roll’

By any measure, Charlotte Nash is a poster child of Gwinnett County.

She has lived her entire 65 years in Gwinnett, one of the few among the county’s 920,260 residents as of a year ago. When she was born, Gwinnett had fewer than 40,000 residents.

Nash now serves as board chair of the Gwinnett County Commission. Over the years, she has had a front-row seat to view changes in the county, one of the fastest-growing counties in the nation over the last 30 years.

Now is a good time to create a City of Atlanta transportation department

When contemplating a vision for Atlanta’s future, transportation issues often are a centerpiece of how we envision our city.

The assumption of the Atlanta City Design Project is that the city’s population will double or even triple over the next 30 years.

So the challenge facing Atlanta is how do we incorporate more people living within the city limits without having complete gridlock on our city’s streets.

A special time for France – and for all who long for global harmony

After France won the World Cup on Sunday, I called my cousin – Alain Bourla – in Paris. Alain lives along Boulevard St. Germain near Boulevard St. Michel in the Latin Quarter (my favorite part of Paris).

So what was the reaction in Paris? Alain told me the city was going crazy. He took the phone to his balcony so I could hear the wild celebration outside his apartment.

Plans to redesign Monroe Drive are ‘completely incomplete’

It’s no secret that Monroe Drive is an accident-prone corridor in the City of Atlanta.

Just ask Ivan Schustak. He was walking along Monroe Drive in the crosswalk at Yorkshire Road on March 29thwhen he was hit by a car turning left from Monroe Drive.  

Schustak, who is visually impaired, attended a Renew Atlanta community presentation of the latest proposed plans to improve the corridor of Monroe Drive-Boulevard Avenue at a town hall meeting at Grady High School on June 28th.

City needs to hit pause on Brock English Ave. project

A proposed mixed-use project by Brock Built Homes and partners has become a lightning rod in the already divided English Avenue community.

Despite a lack of consensus among key players on the Westside, the project has been sailing through the Atlanta City Council’s committee meetings. It was scheduled to go before the full Atlanta City Council on Monday, July 2, but it has been delayed for 30 days. 

Atlanta region needs to refresh annual LINK trips

For 22 years, an impressive group of metro Atlanta civic, business and government leaders have spent three days a year visiting a North American city to learn how other cities are handling their urban challenges.

The LINK trips also have provided people an opportunity to get to know each other – connecting with leaders from different races, genders and sections of the Atlanta region as well as people from different circles of influence.

Let’s honor Atlanta with statues of Ivan Allen Jr. and Maynard Jackson at Peachtree and Sweet Auburn

Before leaving office, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed announced in late November that a statue of boxer Evander Holyfield would be placed near Woodruff Park at Peachtree and Auburn Avenue.

With all due respect to Holyfield, Woodruff Park is the wrong spot to honor the boxer, who fought Bert Cooper on Nov. 21, 1991 at the now demolished Omni Coliseum – the site of Philips Arena.

Atlanta’s ParkScore jumps seven spots, still has lots of room to improve

The City of Atlanta jumped from 50 to 43 in the Trust for Public Land’s annual ParkScore survey of the nation’s 100 largest cities.

The improved ranking shows how Atlanta has gained traction when it comes to acquiring and maintaining parks and green space in the city limits. TPL also including a few other factors in its ranking – such as including private support for parks – that helped boost Atlanta’s standing.

Center for Civil and Human Rights gives us timely inspiration

For me, the Power to Inspire gala – the benefit for the Center for Civil and Human Rights – inspired a sense of gratitude for what we have in our town.

The Center will celebrate its fourth anniversary next month, and it’s hard to imagine an Atlanta without this touchpoint for our community. It combines in one place our unique place in the history of civil and human rights.

Influential Atlanta leaders to visit San Diego in May for 2018 LINK trip

Housing affordability and transit will be key focus areas of the 2018 LINK trip to San Diego, which will take place from May 9 to May 12.

Ever since 1997, a group of more than 100 Atlanta leaders – representing governments, businesses and nonprofits –  go to a different city to learn about the best practices that we can bring back to our region. And it also provides an opportunity for leaders from the 10-county region to get to know one another.

Atlanta Housing Authority’s recent actions need further scrutiny

Recent actions by the Atlanta Housing Authority need to be viewed through a magnifying glass.

Despite owning hundreds of acres of land, AHA is spending millions of dollars to buy more land from the City of Atlanta, another public entity.

AHA couches these land deals as helping fulfill its goal to develop more affordable housing in the City of Atlanta. But over the past eight years, AHA has not developed any new housing units on its significant land holdings.

Enough already: GRTA, SRTA, MARTA, GDOT, ARC…and now….the ATL

Nearly 20 years ago, key business and government leaders heralded the creation of a new transportation authority that would tackle metro Atlanta’s traffic problems by expanding transit.

And so the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority – GRTA – was born.

At the time, there was one naysayer – the late Harry West, the longtime executive director of the Atlanta Regional Commission.

Georgians finally will be able to vote on a dedicated fund for conservation

At long last, Georgia now has a pathway to create a dedicated funding source to conserve our land and water.

The state legislature on Thursday passed the Georgia Outdoor Stewardship Act calling for a referendum on a constitutional amendment that would dedicate a portion of existing state sales and use tax on outdoor recreation equipment to establish a conservation trust fund.