PEDS to Host July 30 Sidewalk Maintenance Forum

DSC_0009Passing along the following from our friends at PEDS. Unfortunately, this meeting is the same night as the BeltLine overlay district meeting for the VaHi area so you’ll have to pick your poison. The VHCA plans to have representation at both meetings.

The Atlanta City Council is considering an ordinance that will dramatically change the way sidewalk repairs are funded in Atlanta. If approved, the Public Works Department may no longer require property owners to pay for repairs to sidewalks that abut their property.

To give ourselves time to learn more about the proposed ordinance and its likely impact, we have rescheduled the Sidewalk Maintenance Forum.

When: Weds, July 30, 6:30 – 8:00 PM

Where: First Presbyterian Church, 1328 Peachtree Street (Half-block from Arts Center MARTA Station)

Please join us to learn more about the proposed policy changes and bond referendum, as well as innovative funding solutions other cities have adopted. You’ll also hear from Todd Fulk, who will tell us about low-cost ways other cities are using to eliminate tripping hazards.

If approved, the proposed ordinance will be a big step forward. Yet the ordinance doesn’t allocate tax dollars to sidewalk repairs, so much more is needed. Learn how you can make that happen.

Peggy Berg and Randy Guensler: VaHi’s 2013 PEDS Golden Shoe Award Winners!

The 2013 PEDS Golden Shoe award winners. Randy Guensler is on the far left, Peggy Berg is second from left.

The 2013 PEDS Golden Shoe award winners. Randy Guensler is on the far left, Peggy Berg is second from left. Photo credit: Todd Burford

Congratulations to VaHi residents Peggy Berg and Randy Guensler who were named recipients of the 2013 Golden Shoe award from PEDS, the pedestrian advocacy organization. The pair was given their awards at a ceremony Thursday night at All Saints Church on West Peachtree Street.

Berg won the award for Pedestian-friendly Activism. As safety/sidewalks chair for the VHCA Berg negotiated an arrangement with the city’s Public Works Department that resulted in the first large-scale repair of sidewalks in our neighborhood in 40 years. Ms. Berg took responsibility for all of the program’s considerable organizational challenges – securing partial matching funds from the neighborhood association, overseeing public outreach, answering every respondent, measuring and estimating the repair costs of each section, and submitting the collected funding and schematics to the city. Bundling sidewalk repairs in this manner was a win/win for both parties, enabling the Civic Association to promote a comprehensive approach to making sidewalk repairs on a large scale and the city to perform the work in a cost effective, efficient and timely manner. Click here to read more about this effort.

Berg was also recognized for her participation in a city hall task force last year that took a hard look at the city’s policies and procedures for dealing with sidewalk maintenance, widely considered to be archaic and ineffective. The task force produced recommendations that will hopefully bring about improvements.

Left to right: Georgia Tech graduate assistant Alice Grossman, Peggy Berg, Randy Guensler, Georgia Tech graduate assistant Zan Frackelton

Left to right: Georgia Tech graduate assistant Alice Grossman, Peggy Berg, Randy Guensler, Georgia Tech graduate assistant Zan Frackelton

Guensler received the award for Pedestrian-friendly Research for the comprehensive sidewalk inventory project he spearheaded through Georgia Tech’s Center for Traffic Operations and Safety. Guensler fitted a tablet device onto a wheelchair and programmed the rolling contraption to take video, measure cracks and bumps, and upload latitude and longitude coordinates to a mapping system. You can read more about Guensler’s sidewalk inventory mapping project here. 

Click here to learn more about PEDS and read more about Thursday night’s awards ceremony.

Congratulations again to two VaHi residents who are making a difference in the walkability of our neighborhood and the city of Atlanta!

PEDS Sidewalk Repair Forum

Town hall forum with Atlanta’s Public Works Commissioner and City Council hosted by PEDS to discuss sidewalk repair. Free and open to the public. Come let the City know that safe sidewalks and pedestrian access are important in Atlanta.

Time: Tuesday, July 17, 2012 6:30PM until 8:00PM
Location: City Hall old council chambers
Address: 55 Trinity, Atlanta

More information at the PEDS website

The Annual PEDS Wire Hunt

PEDS, our watchful city-wide pedestrian advocacy organization is sponsoring its annual hunt for fallen utility wire hazards and needs your help to find them. Go to http://peds.org/wire-hunt/ to find out how to report and enter the contest.

(3/21/10): From our good friends at PEDS – our local and very effective pedestrian advocate – two stories of important interest. The first deals with their annual Hazardous Wire Hunt Survey that is in full swing right now. We’ve all seen hanging wires on sidewalks all over the city – make sure they are reported.

The second story deals with keeping sidewalks clean and free of vegetation, overgrown shrubbery, low-hanging tree limbs etc. This is your responsibility as a property owner.

Safety Team Report 4/13/09

I have held off sending out a new report awaiting more crime state reports from Zone 6, but didn’t want to wait any longer ( this is a subtle hint to Zone 6) to let you know what is happening. I have not received a Zone 6 report since week # 12.

AJC Articles

The AJC today has a story about yet another pedestrian assault on Briarcliff Road in DeKalb County. Read the story at http://www.ajc.com/metro/content/metro/dekalb/stories/2009/04/12/briarcliff_area_crime.html The April 10th AJC had a revealing story about the backlog problem in our Fulton County court system – read this http://www.ajc.com/metro/content/metro/atlanta/stories/2009/04/10/fulton_court_backlog.html No wonder the Fulton County jail is overcrowded.

There is also another story on 4/13 in Metro, page B6 that is not online, concerning a movement to start a local chapter of the Guardian Angels here again to patrol downtown streets. On the surface this all sounds good, giving APD more sets of eyes and ears, but I also wonder if they do establish a downtown chapter and start chasing panhandlers, thugs, etc from those streets where do they go to? We already seem to be having more and more aggressive panhandlers on our VaHi streets and I wonder if this Guardian Angel movement may send more vagrants to our neighborhood. No word yet, according to the article, as to when or if, a chapter will be set up here in Atlanta. Stay tuned for this.

Arrest and Jail Report

Frederick C. Stranahan, the subject of the alert I put out last week, was arrested on 4/10 at the Intown Suites on Piedmont Circle, N.E. by Zone 6 Officer Britt. See his jail report at http://www.fultonsheriff.org/Jail/individual.asp?BookingNumber=0911777

Michael Corley, arrested on 3/25 here in VaHi after a home breakin on Orme Circle and leaving a stolen Jeep on Crestridge Drive, had his case deferred last Thursday morning in court. He is still in jail – his report at http://www.fultonsheriff.org/Jail/Individual.asp?bookingnumber=0909923

Phone Numbers

Don’t forget the back-door number to call from your cell phone for an Atlanta 911-type emergency call which is 404-658-6666 while you are calling from within the city limits. This helps to eliminate the problems with cell phone calls bouncing off towers outside the city limits that may direct your call to a suburban 911 call center. Also – don’t forget the phone number for our VaHi Security Patrol on Friday and Saturday nites from 10 til 2 for non-emergency calls – this number is 678-772-0448. Use this number for non-emergency quality of life matters that APD may not have time to respond to.

PEDS Problem Sidewalk Survey

Find the details of this sidewalk initiative at www.peds.org as to how to send reports on our many stretches of unwalkable sidewalks during the month of April.

Neighborhood Trash Cleanups

A small group assembled by Victoria Hathcox, our VaHi “trash queen”, cleaned up litter and illegal signs along North Highland Avenue Saturday morning, the 11th. Victoria hopes to make these cleanups a monthly affair – watch for a date for May.

BeltLine Cleanup

A cleanup of these tracks from Freedom Parkway southward to DeKalb Avenue is scheduled for Saturday morning, April 18th, from 8 til noon. Sign up at www.keepatlantabeautiful.org and to get more details. This will be the second leg of BeltLine cleanups that we had in our area last November.

The Edgewood Target Store

I recently received this message from our Major Propes of Zone 6 about shopping at the Edgewood Target store. She states – “If anyone ever has a problem at the Edgewood Target or is concerned about a suspicious person in the store, please make contact with the Target security team. The Executive Team Leader of Assets Protection at Edgewood Target is Kachavias Rodgers. He works closely with us here in Zone 6 and I assure you, he will jump on anything bought to his attention by a customer of the store. Target has an incredible camera system that we access often during a variety of follow-up investigations.” They have red wallphones all over the store that you can use to call security if you have a need to contact them. Mr. Rodgers was a big help with our VaHi National Night Out event last August.

Let Me Know

I have been getting reports about urban camping behind Church of Our Savior on North Highland Avenue – does anyone else know about this potential problem? I am also getting new reports about the valet parking at the Wachovia Bank parking lot on Virginia Avenue, and the problems associated with them – let me know if you have a report to make also. These are things I’ll tackle after I hear more reports from you. Any new incidents concerning the neighborhood kids firing bb guns?

Crime reports from APD

The following report is for only week # 12 of 2009 taken from the crime stat report from Zone 6, with emphasis on our Beat # 603, but with news from around the Zone as it pertains to us.

  • Aggravated Assault – On 3/21 on Rockledge Road – 2 acquaintances were involved in a fight.
  • Auto Theft – Vehicles were stolen from Briarcliff Place, Cooledge Avenue, and 3 from PDL Avenue, including one from the Briarcliff Summit parking garage which had the keys left in the ignition.
  • Larceny From Auto – Cars were broken into on Amsterdam Avenue, PDL Avenue, Vance Avenue and Virginia Avenue. Please remember the Clean Car Campaign and keep your car cleaned out and don’t tempt the guys who wander our streets looking for opportunities. In all of Zone 6 in just this one week period – there were eleven GPS systems stolen.
  • Auto Theft Recovery – Stolen cars were found on nearby Monroe Place and Linwood Avenue.
  • Larceny Other – A female victim lost $500 in cash from her (quite obviously unwatched) purse at the bowling alley on Piedmont Circle. When I checked with the victims last week, the dognapping from Virginia Avenue is still unsolved. See the report at http://www.myfoxatlanta.com/dpp/news/Dog_Stolen_for_Ransom_032009 A PDL Avenue Kroger shopper left her wallet at the checkout counter, and it was found it was taken by an employee (ex-employee I would assume now).
  • Pedestrian Robbery – On 3/17 at 1:20 a.m. a male was robbed of his cellphone by two armed b/m on Lindberg Drive who fled in a Chevy Blazer. On 3/15 at 7:30 p.m. a Briarcliff Road resident was approached on Seminole Avenue by 3 suspects who asked for a cigarette – and then demanded money. As the victim was giving them his cash – one perp struck him, and then showed a pistol. One perp was located and arrested.
  • Residential Burglary – An Elkmont Drive home was entered via a front window. Two apartments on Piedmont Avenue were entered – one through an unlocked front door.

Voice – Fall 2001

Download PDF (981 kB)

  • Jules Burt, artist and creator of artwork for Summerfest incl. t-shirts
  • Planning update by Betty Baumann and Winnie Currie: Eats ‘n’ Sweets location, 830 Ponce (case to save the trees was lost)
  • PEDS
  • Summerfest 2001 was success
  • Park and tree news: GA Power line clearance, 817/821 Brookridge trees, Final defeat at 830 Ponce
  • Overview of VHCA committees

PEDS Walk In Virginia-Highland – March 22

There will be a very important PEDS walk on Thursday, March 22 from 3:00-5:30 p.m.in the neighborhood.

Seven neighborhoods are participating during this time — it will be a very large event. Please meet in the CVS parking lot promptly at 3:00 p.m. to secure your signs and assignments. We are crossing 27 crosswalks en masse from Ponce de Leon to Los Angeles along Highland in an effort to slow traffic and make drivers aware of the crosswalks in the neighborhood. Please join us!

Volunteers are needed to make signs for the event. If you can help, please come to the PEDS office at 1447 Peachtree Street, Suite 801 on Saturday, March 17 at 10 a.m. Free underground parking is available. Please contact me if questions.

Thank You!
billie jo, Safety Chair catladybilliejo@mindspring.com