Monday, December 21, 2009

Atlanta BeltLine official praises Trees Atlanta and others for role in walkable city; Atlanta, GA

Carless in Atlanta — seeing city’s streets and neighborhoods on foot « SaportaReport:
By Guest Columnist E. FRED YALOURIS, director of design for Atlanta BeltLine Inc.

I am often asked about my decision to move to Atlanta without a car, and, if there is time, I like to take the opportunity to bore my listener with the story of how I made this decision.

I had come to Atlanta a month before starting work at the BeltLine to attend a public meeting at City Hall. It was on a beautiful spring day, Saturday afternoon, May 2, 2008. The sun was shining, the outside temperature was 64 degrees, and you could smell the spring blossoms in the air.

It was such a nice afternoon, that, after an excellent public meeting, I decided to walk the nine or ten blocks up Peachtree to my hotel. To my naïve surprise, except for a few homeless folks, I saw no one on the sidewalks over the roughly one mile walk through downtown Atlanta!

Secondly, although it was a salubrious spring day, all the cars on the street had their windows up. Curiously, this experience helped me to understand one of the key underlying missions of the BeltLine vision: get people out of their cars and allow them to walk.

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