Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Debate wrap-up

Blake's got his coverage from last night's debate, and I was able to get there in time for the discussion between Ed Robinson and Red Petrovs. Not terribly lively, but then again, when you start debating opportunity zones and land-use plans, I suppose it never really is.

Some observations ...

- Robinson did very well in discussing the overuse of Mitchell Bridge Road and Timothy Road as corridors that are designed for residential use but, due to increased development and increased traffic along Epps Bridge Road and Atlanta Highway, have become options for cars to cut through. Robinson noted that those roads aren't designed for such use, and there needs to be an effort to move traffic back to The Loop. I don't disagree.

- Both candidate disagreed with banning left-hand turns onto Atlanta Highway from Mitchell Bridge Road and/or Timothy Road.

- Petrovs was very strong, particularly with regard to focusing on ways to redevelop blighted, big box shopping centers. This is something I've harped on for years, so he has scored major points with me in recent days for discussing this. Robinson's answer was rather disappointing as he acknowledged it wasn't an issue he had given much thought to. I appreciate the honesty though.

- The typical NBAF discussion with both candidates supporting the project, though I think both missed opportunities on the second part of the question from Don Nelson - what have you learned from the opposition to this project. Petrovs did OK, but Robinson bluntly said that we just needed better education and better public relations. An honest position to be sure, but not the ideal answer.

- Neither candidate squashed the silliest question of the night, which was 'I haven't seen y'all at a lot of commission meetings, have you ever been?' They all played it safe and talked about when they did attend and what they've learned. This whole notion that you've had to sit in the audience to get a feel of what you'd want to do when on the commission is foolish to me, and it would have been nice to hear one of them say it.


Blogger jmSnowden said...

Your first and third points are connected. Much of the Mitchell Bridge traffic is people from lavender, whitehead, Homewood hills and forest heights trying to get to the grocery store since the Winn Dixie was closed and converted to a warehouse and a call center.

We certainly need more thoughtful development and redevelopment on this side of town.

8:36 AM  
Blogger Brian said...

I think that is the strongest point that Red or Ed could make. The reality is that thoughtful ideas about developing in district six have often been superseded by issues that seem more relevant to intown neighborhoods. Wonder how the candidates feel about the new Publix shopping center that is being proposed?

9:12 AM  

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