Archive for March, 2011

Public hearings at MARTA, GDOT and ARC

MARTA

Tomorrow, March 24, MARTA is holding three public hearings   – two in Atlanta and one in Decatur – to gather input on bus route changes as well as tenative plans to revive the Braves Shuttle. The shuttle, which usually runs from Five Points Station to Turner Field on Atlanta Braves game days, was axed during last fall’s service cuts. Bus routes affected by the proposed changes are:

  • Route 2 – Ponce de Leon Avenue/Moreland Avenue
  • Route 87 – Roswell Road/Morgan Falls
  • Route 99 – Boulevard/Monroe Drive
  • Route 181 – Buffington Road/South Fulton Park & Ride

Here’s a map (PDF) detailing the proposed changes to routes 2 and 99. Here’s one for routes 87 and 181. The service changes, if they’re adopted will go into effect June 18.

GDOT

Next week, on March 30, the Georgia Department of Transportation is holding a hearing for public input regarding the Multi-Modal Passenger Terminal (PDF) project that’s planned for the downtown “gulch” area. GDOT announced last week that it had selected a development team led by Cousins Properties to build the potentially transformative transit project, but proposal summaries from all three of the short-listed development teams are still on the GDOT site.

If you can’t make it to the meeting, use the online comment form.

ARC

Still not enough civic engagement for you? The Atlanta Regional Commission is inviting metro Atlantans to an “online public meeting” to offer opinions on draft transportation recommendations  for “Plan2040,” the agency’s plan to “accommodate economic and population growth sustainability over the next 30 years.”  The online meeting is open until April 30.

Study ranks Atlanta fourth most literate city

Stack of fiction and non-fiction hardbacks

Photo by author

I just came across a USA Today story on a study that ranks Atlanta the fourth “most literate” among the country’s 75 largest cities. (The study’s author uses the term “literate” to refer to whether people do read, not just to whether they can read.)

Atlanta placed highest among cities in the Southeast. Raleigh, N.C. was the next-highest ranking Southeastern city at 13th.

2010 was the eighth year for the study, which was conducted by Central Connecticut State University. The city has seen a steady climb through the rankings for the past four years after falling from a tie with Washington, D.C. for third place in 2006 to eighth place in 2007.

The author formulated the results by comparing cities with a population of at least 250,000 based on six criteria:

  • Internet resources to access books and newspapers
  • The number of bookstores per 10,000 residents
  • Education level
  • Library staffing, holdings and rate of utilization relative to the population size
  • Newspaper circulation
  • Magazine and journal circulation numbers relative to the population size

“It’s a surprise to me, ” Chantal, a member of the staff at A Capella Books in Little Five Points, said of the study’s conclusions. Chantal declined to give her last name, but said that she’s lived in Raleigh and that she was surprised that it landed so much lower in the study’s rankings than Atlanta.

“Raleigh seems like a more literate city to me than Atlanta,” she said. Independent bookstores are more plentiful there and “People seem more into literary culture, ” she said.

Edward VanHorn, executive director of the Southern Newspaper Publishers Association, hesitated to render an opinion on the accuracy of the study results as he wasn’t familiar with the data the author used. SNPA concerns itself more with promoting literacy as it relates to the skill of reading, VanHorn said.

He did say that it was “fascinating” that Atlanta came out so near the top of the list, given that he doesn’t often see people reading books or walking around with a newspaper tucked under one arm.

If you’re interested in the study’s methodology that’s here. Data sources are here.

What do you think? Is Atlanta lower, higher, or just where it should be in the results? Or is this another one for the “grain of salt” file?

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