Tuesday, August 28, 2012

West Nile Virus in Dunwoody

A DeKalb County GA Dept of Health official confirmed yesterday (08/27/2012) that a mosquito in Dunwoody has tested positive for West Nile Virus.  The official was unable to tell us how the mosquito made it outside '285' and into our city limits.

If you live near me please make sure there is no standing water on your property.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Dunwoody Parkway

Lots of out parcels along Dunwoody Parkway.  With a new road the city could see some  new businesses pop up

Back in FarmHouser glory days, Dunwoody Parkway was planned to be a bypass of sorts

Tonight Dunwoody's city council will discuss the Dunwoody Parkway project.  I'm confident something will get done here, it's just a matter of what.

First order of business is the question of whether or not the city should even be spending any money here.  I've read where some people think there are higher priorities.  Well, city business is always a mix of high and low priorities.  Every couple of meetings the city has some proclamation honoring someone.  Are these important?  Will the city crumple and die if we stopped these?  No.  But it's part of what government does.  How about 20 minutes at a council to swear in a new police officer? Could that be done in a back closet on a Wednesday morning?

Project Renaissance in Georgetown? That was not on the radar a year ago.  Why couldn't the city let the PVC 16 acre parcel just sit empty for a few years?  It wasn't hurting anybody as a field of weeds.  Did the city's Park and Rec department really need to sponsor a movie at Brook Run?  One could go down a list of the past 100 actions of the city and conclude that over half were not critical actions.

One could take it a step further and say the city should sell all the parks in Dunwoody and cut ties to all the non-profits, sell the Banister-Chesnut-Whatever farm house for scrap lumber, and eliminate our marketing department (that last one is actually not a bad idea).

While the city has its shares of traffic issues, I don't think the city government exists only to deal with roads, police, and zoning.  The role of local government is diverse.  But that doesn't mean taxpayer money needs to be used to build new infrastructure all over the place to try to spur growth. 

Now let's assume a majority of council members agrees to accept matching funds and make improvements to Dunwoody Parkway.  There are two issues to discuss:

1.  Bike Lanes
Future plans call for 5 foot wide bike lanes on the major roads Mt Vernon and Chamblee Dunwoody.  These bike lanes will provide ample routes for bikers in Dunwoody.  We know local car traffic uses Dunwoody Parkway as a cut through - do bikers need a cut through?  Or, are the bike lanes the final segment needed to connect neighborhoods to destinations?  Do we need two five-foot bike lanes on this road?

2. The Median
Should the median be saved or dismantled?  I'm not a fan of the current median.  I think it hinders visibility on a road with so many driveways. 

There are three options to discuss tonight.  No way will this thing be a 7-0 vote.  Lines have been drawn in the sand by some.  And maybe one council member will now vote 'no' on everything proposed by the mayor and city manager. 

For those on council they need to ask themselves, "Is this project a good idea for the residents of Dunwoody?"  "Will this project benefit homeowners and business owners?"

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Brook Run and Murphy Candler

Dunwoody Councilman Doug Thompson said it well, "Parks are successful when they are used".  If that is an accurate assessment, and I think it is, then Brook Run Park is a 100-acre failure at this point in time.  Of course $7 million owed to us in Dunwoody (owed from the folks in DeKalb who said they would make improvements to Brook Run but instead knocked down a couple of buildings and 'gifted' us a chained link parcel designated for dogs to pee and poop in, aka the Dog Park) would go a long way to add amenities to Brook Run.  Where are we on that lawsuit?  I suppose we in Dunwoody have no right to a speedy trial.

So back to the matter at hand.  This weekend I stopped by  Murphy Candler Park.  it was opening day for Atlanta Colts football and cheer leading, and there were some baseball games.  parking was at a premium, with people parking all over the place - blocks away on residential streets. But fear not, local law enforcement was on hand to assist with parking  make sure people had a great day at the park.
don't pull into the grass along the right-away on the streets around Murphy Candler or you will get a citation
Based on the Thompson theory of park success, Murphy Candler is a successful park.  Perhaps too successful.  As we mentioned here before, Murphy Candler is operating beyond capacity at times.

After the last post on the Atlanta Colts I received a decent amount of feedback (most feedback is via email, some via interpersonal communication. No more comments here on the blog.  I'm afraid Jimmie from the Patch will stop by.  TOD was right, no comments needed) on the idea to move the Atlanta Colts to Brook Run.  Many liked the idea, and of course many did not.  I'll simply remind everyone that Murphy Candler will soon be under new leadership.  The way things have operated in the past is not an accurate prediction of how things will operate in the future.
Take a knee young men. 

The basket toss, Atlanta Colt style

So what was happening this weekend at Brook Run, the 100 acre park serving the city of 50,000 residents?  Anyone?  Anyone? Bueller?

I think an elderly lady planted her fall carrots, a few dogs from Gwinnett County urinated all over the place at the Vernon Jones Dog Park, and some kids rode skate boards. Other than that, not much. Brook Run saw no baseball, no soccer, no football, no cross country racers, no tennis or basketball, no lacrosse, and not even Frisbee golf. The spandex biker group doesn't even go in there to do a few laps. But fear not - soon we'll have a 12-foot wide concrete patch circling the place - that will really bring in the crowds of youngsters and seniors alike.  Not.

That brings me to news of a new group that is forming - Play Here.  Play Here is reportedly a group of Dunwoody residents working on a plan (a plan to change the current failed Brook Run plan).  The group reportedly wants to put in sports fields in the back of Brook Run.  Imagine that!  Children playing at Brook Run?  The group reportedly wants to get something in front of council by the end of the year, and on the November 2013 ballot.  And we know the Dunwoody 2013 ballot should be interesting next year. Three council spots (the spots currently held by Shortal, Bonser, and Thompson) will be voted upon, and Play Here reportedly wants a ballot initiative for a bond for funding the new Brook Run.  I haven't all the details, but this bond initiative will relate only to Brook Run.  It will not be a monstrosity involving condemning apartments, a farm house wedding chapel, nor anything outside of Brook Run.  Interested residents email dunwoodyparent@gmail.com for future updates.