There is a very interesting article in the Johns Creek Herald. Apparently on April 11 the Johns Creek City Council discussed the issue of how little money MARTA spends in North Fulton County. They also talked about the fact that if Johns Creek residents will be expected to pay an additional transportation tax then MARTA should provide their residents nearby access to trains.
The catch is that they don’t want the MARTA trains to come into the city of Johns Creek. They just want the trains to be extended into my neighborhood of Windward in Alpharetta.
As Mayor Bodker says:
Bodker said the North Fulton cities need to look at their land-use policies to see whether they even want transit, and if they do, how they would support it. He said Johns Creek does not lend itself to trains, however, buses could connect the city to train lines extending northward via the 400 Corridor or Gwinnett County.
“These are all long-term plans that won’t happen overnight,” he said.
However, plans need to be made and land-use policies changed in the meantime. He said even those who do not use transit benefit from it, because taking cars off the road makes it easier for those who continue driving. He also said continued development is unsustainable if people continue relying on cars.
So the man who didn’t honor his word when it came to charging Alpharetta residents higher recreation fees would like us to change the complexion of our city for the good of his constituents? Right. We’ll get right on that.
And Mayor Bodker wasn’t the only one suggesting Alpharetta should change for the sake of its North Fulton neighbors. Johns Creek City Councilman Randall Johnson said:
…something he would like to see happen is for the train line to extend all the way to Windward Parkway.
“I think you would see more people from North Fulton utilize it,” he said.
This doesn’t surprise me. I have watched as politicians and developers from Johns Creek lobbied for the urbanization of Alpharetta. And I have watched as Alpharetta City Council has acquiesced every time.
I can see how Johns Creek, Milton, Forsyth County, Cherokee County and every other person outside of Alpharetta might enjoy the convenience of having trains in someone else’s backyard. It is much less obvious how the destruction of our quality of life benefits me and my family. I will have more on this subject… a lot more… but for now I am so furious I can’t see straight.
You can read the whole article here.
I hope you all enjoy a wonderful Good Friday and Easter weekend.
It really bites when I think that we paid a premium price to be in a home that had easier access to GA 400. How dumb am I?
Get your house in order and ready to sell now before the word gets out. If it were left up to the Alpharetta politicians, the whole idea would be lurking in the shadows until construction begins. Unfortunately, the other cities will be proudly talking it up as a selling point for their cities, so word will be out soon.
There is still time to get out of here with the skin still on your back but time is closing in. Especially once the scores start coming in from Bethany Bend v. Alpharetta and Milton HS.
Oh, but you might want to put blinders on your clients on the way in town. They may not be eager to buy into a community dotted with mud pits and “for lease” signs in all the buildings.
I think we need to be honest with ourselves that decisions on regional transit involve more than just the interests of one community. Jim, I”m sure you would acknowledge that you are a special interest here as you live near an area of regional import. Special interests should always be balanced by the voices of all those who are impacted by a land use decision. Everyone should have a voice and that includes the people who work in the Moe’s, Jason’s, CVS’s etc that support the lifestyle that Windward affords its residents.
I get the special interest piece coming from Johns Creek as well. But they deserve a voice. Moving away from the politicians and developers, we might want to consider what a cross section of N.Fulton wants.
Your favorite organization, the Atlanta Regional Commission, conducted a survey in 2009, the N.Fulton County Public Opinion Survey. In it, 1,000 N.Fulton residents were surveyed. The breakdown was Alpharetta 18%, Johns Creek 19%, Milton 8%, Mountain Park 1%, Roswell 28%, and Sandy Springs 26%.
What were the two most important items according to the respondents? Repairing the roads (67% “extremely high” or “high”) and developing more public transit options (66%). The next two items were making it easier and safer to walk in the area (63%) and improving connections and making it easier to get to destinations in the North Fulton County area (63%). The margin of error on the survey was +/- 3.1%.
The 2006 study North Line Transit Oriented Development (TOD) Study by MARTA showed that 76 percent of residents and employees surveyed believe it is important to have nearby access to MARTA rail as their community grows, with just as many wishing they would reduce the amount of time they spend driving.
These survey’s could be completely jacked up but I really doubt that. The majority of people in N.Fulton want MARTA rail eventually and the logical corridor is 400. Anyone who invested in property near 400 thinking that there wouldn’t be growth and eventual mass transit in that corridor didn’t do their research or they were misinformed.
Michael- You seem like a nice enough guy online but I don’t have much patience for your collectivist ideology. Despite your vision of what “North Fulton” wants and how the actual residents of Alpharetta should submit to the will of their neighbors there are still laws which protect us from that garbage. You, Mike Bodker and and every developer in the city of Milton have the right to voice your opinions but you don’t have the right to vote here.
If the majority of people in Alpharetta don’t want taxpayer subsidized trains bringing BFPL gang members to our doorstep then we have the right to say no.
I understand the need for regional cooperation but cooperation doesn’t mean subjugation. In fact it is people like you that make me think Alpharetta might be worse off if Milton County ever becomes a reality. Alpharetta is a relatively small percentage of the voters in North Fulton and if surrounding communities are going to treat us as a cash cow to pay for their low density lifestyles then Alpharetta would be no better off than we are now. If the creation of Milton County means we are just trading one master for another then you can count me out.
Unfortunately the Mayor of Alpharetta and our City Council have consistently voted to support your goal of urbanization. That is why they have to go.
I don’t want roads paid for by the public bringing BFPL gang members to my doorstep, or SUR 13 gang members for that matter. Wait, that already happened. My opinion is that roads are a lot more likely to provide an easy in/out for serious crime than transit ever will be. There is not really much research out there to prove or disprove the anecdotal assumption that transit brings crime to neighborhoods. I’m not buying it. The social issues and neighborhood designs of the areas around the transit stops are much more likely to have an impact on crime than whether people can come and go from a particular location by modes other than a car.
If hearing out all of the interested parties is collectivist, then we might want to reexamine the principles upon which our country was founded.
You made a good point in your subsequent post on the 2006 MARTA survey. The map distribution is definitely missing the east side of Windward.
Michael- The comparison of roads to trains is absurd and diminishes the credibility of transit skeptics every time it is used. Roads are the basic building blocks of our society. Yes gang members can use roads but they are absolutely necessary if you also want fire trucks, ambulances and police cars to be able to reach your home. If you like grocery stores to have food in them you have to have roads for the trucks to get it there. We can’t live and prosper without roads. We can and do live very well without taxpayer subsidized trains.
And by the way, it isn’t the “hearing out” of your views that is collectivist. I have no problem with your attempts to convince me that taxpayer subsidized trains are good for Alpharetta. The collectivism stems from your desire to impose your desires upon the city of Alpharetta regardless of what we decide because it is for the benefit of others.
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