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DeKalb TAD district
Responses to "TAD deserves careful thought" and "Turn lanes won't magically appear," @issue, Dec. 17
Posted: February 17th, 2009 @ 9:42pm
Source: By Alida C. Silverman, Alan Abramowitz, Butch Entrekin, John Titus, Joseph M. Knippenberg, Henry Kahn, George Pilkington, Katherine Bell, Sid Osborne, Edward Martin, Paul Jaeger, Grant Essex. Photo: Jessica McGowan
No way to make sense of a senseless situation
Bonnie Hoyt, who lives in a DeKalb County neighborhood bordering a tax allocation district proposed for north-central DeKalb, studies a map of the proposed TAD area during the DeKalb County Commission's recent public meeting at Kittredge Magnet School.
Just when I had stopped trying to make sense of the DeKalb County Briarcliff-North Druid Hills intersection situation, I realized that my commissioners were way ahead of me. And it was Monday's editorial and op-ed piece that did it. There is no way to make sense out of the situation given the status of planning in our state.
I have been clinging to the notion that effective planning is possible. Not to be. So what is left? Makeshift, make it up as you go along, look for bigger Band-Aids and intimidate citizens who cannot help but feel that something is not right. Hence the tax allocation district.
At least my commissioners are making a gesture toward infrastructure improvement. And with inadequate public funds for what is probably going to happen, there has to be some mechanism in place. Will conditions be put on approved projects tied to infrastructure? Personally, I am about to re-read "Alice in Wonderland."
ALIDA C. SILVERMAN, Atlanta
Opponents fired-up for a reason
I was taken aback by a statement in the AJC editorial that "overheated opponents who contend the company's plans will 'destroy' the residential character of the area seem willfully oblivious to the unappealing, traffic-clogged morass that already exists at the intersection of Briarcliff and North Druid Hills." I don't know which "overheated opponents" the editorial board was thinking of, but based on my contact with the leaders of StandUp DeKalb and others who have spoken out against the Sembler project, that statement is inaccurate.
Opponents are only too aware of problems in the area of proposed development. This is a major reason for the opposition to the construction of an enormous mini-city that would add greatly to traffic congestion. It is not development per se that StandUp DeKalb and others oppose. It is this massive development and the funding mechanism proposed for it.
The editorial further states that "among the improvements critical to the success of the project —- with or without a TAD —- is a transit component that could help ease congestion." But there is no such component to the Sembler project. While the Garvin study suggested that MARTA would consider adding buses to serve the area, there was no commitment. Without a major mass transit component, Sembler's mini-city will make the traffic problem much worse.
Abramowitz is the Alben W. Barkley professor of political science at Emory University.