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Published on December 27th, 2015 |

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BuckheadView readers weigh in on the hottest topics of 2015

As 2015 draws to a close, it’s a perfect time to take a look at the BuckheadView coverage that drew the strongest response from our readers. BuckheadView compiled all our readers’ comments for the past year to create the “word cloud” accompanying this story. The larger the word, the more frequently it appeared in comments.

From bike lanes to streetcars, the Peachtree Road corridor was by far the hottest topic. Readers were motivated to weigh in on this more than any other subject, debating the best use for valuable road width between drivers, pedestrians, bike riders and streetcars.

Next, Brand Properties’ plan to build a mixed-use office/retail building on the site of the old Garden Hills shopping center caused neighbors on all sides to share their opinions on the building design.

On the west side of Buckhead, the city’s reluctance to fund an extension of Moores Mill Road that would allow the addition of a grocery store in the derelict Moores Mill Shopping Center caused nearby residents to admonish Mayor Reed and thank City Council member Felicia Moore.

New apartment projects were announced on a regular basis throughout the year. In December, yet another planned apartment high-rise (this one on the corner of Peachtree and Shadowlawn) caused several neighbors to cry “enough!”

Ending our wrap-up on a nostalgic note, the historic Garden Hills shopping center was demolished  in 2015, and a few long-term residents shared fond memories.

Feel free to weigh in on any of these topics, or add your vote for the most important stories of 2015 in the comments box at the end of this article.

GDOT’s Peachtree Road plan and bike lanes
(Click here for the GDOT coverage and here for bike lanes in general):

“This is traffic engineering by popularity contest at its best.”DSC_0431

“All the studies done on the south end of Peachtree Road by the adjacent South Buckhead communities apparently matter not, and all the recommendations by knowledgeable traffic engineers and internationally recognized urban planners really don’t matter when it is just so easy for unaffected communities (read: North Buckhead) to loudly say ‘no.’”

“Nobody got a good deal here. Bicycles will still be able to take up lanes southbound, making Peachtree effectively one lane. Traffic racing through South Buckhead will still be angry. Bicycles will still have nowhere to legally travel except in traffic lanes. Pedestrians will still have to cross 6 lanes of traffic, if they survive traversing the narrow, un-buffered sidewalks.”

“Thank you, Sam Massell, for this letter of opposition! Bike lanes do not make sense on this area of Peachtree Road. The number of curb cuts along this area of Peachtree between Peachtree Battle and Deering makes bikes a safety hazard. Decreasing the number of lanes on Peachtree in such a dense traffic area makes no sense.”

“A traffic count of 45,000 vehicles daily is at the top of the scale for Atlanta, is lethal mixed with bicycles, and is certain to grow with multiple large condo, retail, and apartment developments already announced along Peachtree Road this year and next.”

“Why is it so hard for the Atlanta metro region to adopt and support multi modal methods of transportation and provide the infrastructure? Go to ANY viable major metro area worldwide and the support for bike lanes exists – DC, NYC, San Fran, Portland, Denver, the entire country of The Netherlands, even Boston has now adopted multi modal transportation policies. “

“I first commuted down Peachtree by bike in 1980 (Brookhaven to Georgia Tech). The acceptance of cyclists’ presence on Peachtree (and across the city) has grown steadily. I think we’re at the point we can recognize it’s time to address the safety of all road users, and with safe bicycle routes, more of us can ride bikes with our kids to practice.”

“If you want to add bike lanes, fine, but do it without taking away vehicular lanes. Too many streets have already been significantly narrowed throughout many parts of the city now because of vehicle lanes being transformed into bike lanes. Traffic congestion gets worse as a result, yet usage of the bike lanes is minimal compared to the displaced cars.”

Streetcars
(Click here for coverage):

“Peachtree is a major vital thoroughfare through the city. This would cause such traffic issues on top of what we all experience currently traveling this road daily with major backups in both Atlanta Streetcardirections. We need better planning.”

“First of all, look at the success of established streetcars in other American cities like Portland and San Francisco before you denounce them as useless. The concept is still new to Atlanta. Marta rail is great but it doesn’t go very many places. Imagine being able to take the train within a 5-minute walk of wherever you need to go. This is already a reality in world-class cities like New York, London, Paris, and Tokyo. Projects like the Beltline and Atlanta Streetcar are starting to make this possible in Atlanta.

“The streetcar must be in a dedicated (exclusive) lane to work on Peachtree. A dedicated lane streetcar does not get stuck in traffic. It is better than a bus because it can hold more people and load/unload faster. The ride is smoother. The route is permanent which encourages development around the stations much more so than a bus stop. It does not have the stigma of a bus and will attract more choice riders. An underground subway system is also a great option but that is far too expensive for Atlanta to afford.”

Brand’s Garden Hills development
(Click here for coverage):

“The redesigned building looks like the county lockup. The original design was just fine.”Brand New design 2

“This development will add value to our neighborhood. Remember what was there? Can you imagine another 30-story high-rise condo tower there? Thanks to the developer for distinctive designs that will add value to our neighborhood.”

“I hope GDOT weighs in on this. There should be no left turns allowed into or out of the Peachtree entrance at any time of day or night. It’s crazy there is an entrance/exit there in the first place.”

“Any development on the Brand property is going to change the complexion of the neighborhood but if the rendering and stated plans hold true – it seems to be much less invasive and a whole lot less objectionable than some development might have been! I’m just glad it’s not another high-rise condo that would really impact parking and traffic on Rumson. The little charming strip center that was there “forever” is a fond memory of the past.”

“Not happy with this at all. This area needs to be pedestrian friendly. There is so much activity at this corner on Saturdays with the Farmer’s market. I was sad to lose the shopping center and theater, but the green space has actually been refreshing. “

Moores Mill road extensionMoores Mill Shopping Center
(Click here for coverage):

“Politics as usual. Let’s get projects done rather than playing games. As a native of Atlanta, I’ve been waiting to see this redevelopment happen for many decades. Let’s get it done.”

“Shame on you, Mayor Reed! Just think of the sales tax and property tax income we are missing, not to forget having to look at that mess.”

“Why doesn’t Eden just pay for the extension themselves and move on? Developers build roads all the time, just look at the roads in these new subdivision that developers paid for.”

“I am writing to express my appreciation to Felicia Moore for her hard work and perseverance on the Moores Mill Extension project.”

Shadowlawn development plans
(Click here for coverage):Shadowlawn residential

“400+ cars on Shadowlawn? Do you drive on Shadowlawn? That tiny side street can’t support the current traffic. In addition, the increased cut through traffic it would bring to already max’ed out Buckhead Forest just isn’t feasible.”

“NPU-B, please reconsider the traffic flow challenges. East Shadowlawn cannot support the traffic influx. Most current small businesses utilize street parking for their customers. There will be total gridlock along this street dumping onto both Peachtree and East Paces Ferry. Too many high density properties along this corridor.”

Garden Hills memories
(Click here for coverage):

“Moved to ATL in 82 – Garden Hills, Screening Room, Ponce Plaza were our theaters. Zasu’s, Harvest Moon Saloon, the little Cafe at 17th/Peachtree apts, the first Fellini’s pizza when it opened next to GHC, a little later Vickery’s, Moe’s & Joe’s, 1019 restaurant, the old Murphy’s location, the little wine bar in Va High were where everyone went – it was like a small town with familiar faces everywhere. I tipsily pretended to be French talking with George LeFont one night and he sweetly indulged my silliness.”

“I remember seeing the Rocky Horror Picture Show there after Lafont stopped showing it at Peachtree Battle. Ahhh… the good ol’ days of my youth!”

An earlier view of the theater when it was owned by John and Ruth Carter and wall called the Fine Art theater.

An earlier view of the theater when it was owned by John and Ruth Carter.

“The one block strip of businesses on Peachtree Rd. has many wonderful memories for me and my family. I remember Carter’s Drug Store, later Law’s Drug Store, where your doctor could call in your RX and they would deliver; it also had a soda fountain with high bar stools; Abraham’s Delicatessen served delicious sandwiches where you sat in big booths to eat. As Seniors at CK High School, once a week we were allowed to walk there and eat lunch; A Record Store with private booths where you could listen to records you were considering buying; The grocery store (I can’t remember the name. was it Schuman’s?), Mother would call in her order and they would deliver or we would walk there with her and bring the groceries home in a wagon. LIFE WAS MUCH SIMPLER THEN!”

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