Saturday, August 13, 2011

We did it once...

Pimp our highway, please | Opinion | Creative Loafing Atlanta

I'm astounded that at the same time we face the imminent catastrophic failure of a regional transit proposal, Central Atlanta Progress and the Midtown Alliance are talking about, not functional improvements, but redecorating the downtown connector.

One reader takes it the logical step further and suggests "Roof it over from 17th Street to the Grady curve. Make it a linear park." Why, that's absurd, it... wait.

We did it once. Underground Atlanta is only part of a much larger area one story below downtown Atlanta's current street level. Long-time residents still call the area "the viaduct". It stretches from GSU and the Capitol west to CNN Center and the World Congress Center. Railroads became such a large part of the city's economy that multiple overpasses were built for vehicular and pedestrian traffic. An architect named Haralson Bleckley had the outrageous idea to rebuild the iron bridges in concrete and connect them with a linear mall.


LATER: Okay, "catastrophic failure" may have been unnecessarily hyperbolic. "Failed to reach a consensus" seemed inadequate.

Fulton says "we didn't ignore Dekalb, see, here's Clifton Corridor", and DeKalb says "I-20 rail line or no deal", and Clayton says "Hello, remember us?" and Henry says "Please, forget us", and Fayette says "We don't even have interstates here, let alone rail transit, and glad of it!" I had such high hopes for a committee on which other areas (read "south of I-20") were represented.

I underestimated the intensity with which the doughnut hates the hole.

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