‘Hear ye, Hear ye’: Must attend: Town hall meetings on bond
October 05, 2013 11:30 PM | 3004 views | 6 6 comments | 56 56 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Marietta citizens will have the chance to express their views to city officials concerning the proposed $68 million redevelopment bond for the Franklin Road area. The city has scheduled two town hall meetings to hear from the public in the next two weeks, setting the stage for the Nov. 5 referendum.

The bond proposal represents Mayor Steve Tumlin’s visionary hopes for turning a blighted and deteriorating part of the city into a centerpiece of new development and economic growth not only for Marietta but for other areas of Cobb as well.

If approved, the bond would provide $64 million for acquiring and demolishing 10 apartment complexes bordering Franklin Road, leaving up to 190 acres cleared for new development by the private sector and infrastructure improvements. The remaining $4 million of the bond proceeds would be spent for streetscape work along Whitlock Avenue, including sidewalks, pedestrian lighting and intersection improvements.

Mayor Tumlin has said the focus of the redevelopment is to create a commercial setting not limited to specific developments.

The point, he told the board of the Downtown Marietta Development Authority last month, is that Marietta should not miss out on any opportunities that may arise. At the same meeting, city school board chairman Randy Weiner said the redevelopment would help the school system that now must contend with a highly transient population in the Franklin Road area.

Weiner said that in 2012 school tax revenue from the corridor generated only about $800,000 — but it cost the school district $6 million in local revenue for educating students from Franklin Road. In contrast, he said a light industrial complex would produce three times as much tax revenue as does an existing apartment building there.

The first town hall meeting for citizens to give their views will be Thursday, Oct. 10 at 7 p.m. at City Hall. The second public meeting will be a week later on Thursday, Oct. 17, at 7 p.m. at Marietta High School, 1171 Whitlock Ave.

Information about the redevelopment plan and how the bond proceeds would be spent, including detailed maps of the areas and conceptual drawings, are posted on the city’s website, mariettaga.gov, a starting point for learning about this $68 million bond proposal. But to get more details and to ask questions of our city officials, Marietta citizens should take advantage of the town hall meetings in the next two weeks. If there’s one thing our city needs, it is well informed voters.
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Jim Warren
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October 11, 2013
BTW, I do realize that bond funds could not be used for widening of Whitlock/traffic abatement, but my point remains.
Jim Warren
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October 07, 2013
Hopefully, someone can adequately explain why extending sidewalks/landscaping and crosswalks where few, if any, persons

actually cross the road would be a plus to a street that is in gridlock mornings and evenings? I guess it will be more attractive while sitting in bumper to bumper traffic?

Seriously, I do not wish to be negative, but when we have a MAJOR traffic issue on this corridor, why in the world would money be spent to "beautify" it? Let's say for arguments sake, that at some point Whitlock could actually be widened, etc. to actually accomodate the traffic it handles. Rather than spend money now on these "improvements", would it not make more sense to do such improvements when the actual improvement needed (better traffic flow) is addressed? I wonder if any studies were done to see how many people actually walk up and down that part of Whitlock anyway? If so, I would bet it would be a low number.
anonymous
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October 07, 2013
Jim- You don't know what you are talking about. I live off Whitlock and would love to be able to walk to the square. I travel up and down Whitlock everyday and see people walking in the dirt paths created by the walkers! Many, many people would walk to the square IF there were sidewalks on BOTH sides. Everyone around here wants sidewalks and would use them.
Whitlockmom
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October 07, 2013
Do you even live near Whitlock?? You're sadly mistaken.
Marty Dell
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October 09, 2013
traffic will always bottleneck towards the square, no matter how wide it is, Jim. I for one, would use the sidewalks IF there were sidewalks. Every one I know would like to walk or ride bikes to the square. Maybe you don't see walkers because it's dangerous to walk on dirt paths 1 foot from the road.
Jim Warren
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October 10, 2013
I do indeed live near Whitlock and have to avoid it to get home due to gridlock! Feel free to disagree with my position, but at least be civil.

My main point is the folly of using funds to beautify an overburdened road when efforts should be focused on alleviating the traffic. Have you even looked at the renderings? Landscaping in the middle of the highway? REALLY? "Improving" the intersection at Whitlock and Mountain View by adding those little islands where you can risk your life waiting to cross? I live in Whitlock Heights and often have walked to the square and can do so with the side walks that are in place. There are many areas in my neighborhood that don't have sidewalks. Where there are sidewalks, they are not on both sides, either.

Sidewalks I could possibly get behind, if no apparent effort can be made to alleviate the mess that is Whitlock. I am all for intown

walking improvements, but focusing on sidewalks when traffic is at a standstill is like lipstick on a pig. If this is indeed what folks want, would it not be better to have the city consider a wider area than a regular sidewalk on just one side so that strollers, bike riders etc. could use the wider space to traverse to the square, rather than two small sidewalks, one on each side?

I am also talking about the gridlock going WEST on Whitlock as well. It is not just a problem going the other way.

This problem creates ripple effects all the way back to south loop and towards Church Street on the North Loop as well.

Marty, thanks for you comment and having the manners to post your actual name. If more persons did so, I think these conversations would be more productive, as one would be embarrassed to make some of the comments on some threads by those with a "screen name". We can all have differing opinions without being indignant.
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