Readers write, Feb. 4


Traffic is the beast to our area’s beauty

Recently, I asked my daughter if she missed Atlanta. Her response was an immediate and direct, “No!” Her answer is based one major issue: Atlanta’s Achilles heel — of course, our traffic problem.

With its rolling hills, national forest and a river that provides much recreation, Atlanta is a beautiful city. Unfortunately, we’ve turned it into a beast. Our recent weather debacle is one of many problems this city has. As two of our professional sports teams embark on building new massive stadium complexes, I can only wonder: “Why was there no master plan to build a world-class complex that incorporates two stadiums with a major entertainment and transportation system?”

The “snow event” that is still on everyone’s mind is just a strong reminder that Atlanta has no plan, lacks vision, and forevermore will be gridlocked by traffic, politics and finger-pointing. Yes, the beast has swallowed the beauty.


Governor, mayor don’t deserve blame game

I am disgusted by the efforts of the media to place the blame for all of the storm problems on the governor and mayor. In fact, I have more respect for them than I do for the media. They have both stood up and accepted responsibility even for decisions they did not make. The fact is the weather forecasts are not classified documents. They are available for all to see and use.

I have been involved in making decisions to close offices in multiple states. Not all were good decisions, but never did we try to shift the blame to someone else. Looking at the pictures of the interstates last week, it is obvious that there were thousands of bad decisions made that day. What is lacking are leaders willing to take responsibility for these decisions.

The media has certainly made poor choices on their own. Reporters have appeared on national news programs giving inaccurate information. Consequently, we have received calls and emails from relatives around the country worried about our safety. I have had to explain the inaccuracies of these reports. What we really need are more problem solvers and less blame placers.


Light rail can ease gridlock; roads can’t

While your coverage of what went wrong has been excellent, at the root of the problem is the fact that Atlanta does nor have a major road system capable of dealing with the car population of the metro area during normal rush hour, nor will it ever. One of my Midtown law firm colleagues left his car in the deck, took MARTA to Brookhaven and got home easily. What this city needs is an expanded high-speed light-rail system — one that goes west at least to Douglasville, a southbound train with a couple of stops between here and Macon, a northwest route to Marietta and a northeast route to Lawrenceville and Athens. More roads and lanes are not a solution because car usage has outpaced road development for decades. There is a reason major northern metropolitan cities and great cities like London are not prisoners to car traffic; it’s called “trains.”