Tennis, budgets, ALTA and the suburbs
One of the greatest shortcomings, so I’m told out here in the suburbs, of Atlanta is that you have to drive everywhere to do anything. Too much of a sprawl. Not a great downtown.
It’s just as true about the truly ex-urb nature of the OTP crowd as well. Folks have to get in a car.
Now the beltline is a good step to start attracting folks in-town and our own james has turned me around about using Marta more regularly (which would rate as “at all” for things not involving the airport of seeing the Braves, Hawks, Falcons or Thrashers) but what people really get moving for is Tennis.
Follow with me.
ALTA is purportedly the world’s largest member tennis organization, the largest recreational community tennis league in the world, says WikiPedia, though a citation is needed.
In any case, folks will drive to play tennis. They will come to tennis facilities in the city to play their matches. My folks, who live in Newnan (charitably an Atlanta suburb), play at least one or two matches at Bitsy Grant each season.
So with all the budgetary problems in the City of Atlanta why not just ask ALTA (or tell them) to pay more to use these public facilities? Why have a dark day when you can charge an incremental fee for those folks who don’t actually live in the city but use the facilities?
I’m not the first person to suggest that suburbanites like myself who work in the city contribute in some way financially (I’m not sure taxation is the right nomenclature here, but it’ll do) to support the infrastructure that benefits their lifestyle. It would make sense that if the city can’t keep up the facilities on their current base then they should either scrap the courts (which is overreaching), close on some days (the current plan) or figure out an alternative source of revenue to keep them open.
The one defining characteristic of Atlantans – at least all the ones I knew in the suburbs as a child and the ones I work with now as an adult – they ALL eventually play tennis for at least a season or two.
I’m no economist or pundit but it seems to me that if there’s an issue that would really get folks who normally don’t think about City of Atlanta problems (other than to complain about crime or congestion), tennis is your ticket (racket?) to think about their impact and role within the city itself and not just as an interloper.
But what do I know? I’m trying to solve a shortfall through tennis. I need my head examined.
Climb on your own soapbox in the comments and rail against suburbanites like me, the Mayor’s office or tennis. We don’t mind; we encourage it.