A single representative voice

Have you had the experience of reading about a local decision — whether it was new construction adding to traffic, a zoning decision that didn’t make sense to you, or a logical community improvement plan that was never implemented — and wondered why the community wasn’t aware of the issue earlier? Or if it was, why local voices were not more impactful?

A city of Vista Grove could communicate with a single representative voice, making it easier to cooperate with neighboring cities and other governmental and non-governmental stakeholders on issues of local importance — among them, reducing traffic and sprawl through smart transit.

Not having a representative local voice on transit has both long-term and short-term implications for our community. For example, following this year’s creation by the Georgia Legislature of the new Atlanta-Region Transit Link Authority (or The ATL), our neighboring cities are working closely with the county and other municipalities in the 13-county authority. Included as partners in the corresponding study for our county are nearby cities like Decatur  but not our area.

We are missing the opportunity to participate as a community in an important ongoing conversation about transit, as well as to provide input specific to our area into transit plans and initiatives.

For another example, you may have read that MARTA has decided to cancel an important local bus route, Route 33-Briarcliff Rd/Shallowford Rd, or seen the red “bus stop closure” signs. As of Aug. 18, Route 33 will no longer operate on Briarcliff Rd between Clairmont Rd and Shallowford Rd. Maps and descriptions for the entire set of service changes are available online. And this is occuring at the very time that citizens in our area so clearly want and need alternatives to sitting in traffic and spending more time in cars.

This was a change that took many in the community by surprise. One wonders whether, given the opportunity to communicate through our own city government, this decision would have gone forward. The stated rationale was lack of ridership. But if we could add new sidewalks in our area and make access to key transit stops safer and smoother for all nearby residents, more riders could use those lines. A city of Vista Grove’s local input and smart planning and zoning could revitalize our retail and other commercial areas, giving residents additional reasons to be out and about.

If you have concerns about this decision, please contact MARTA’s service planner for this route, Spencer Stoleson. He can be reached at 404-848-5344 or sstoleson@itsmarta.com.  

More generally, if you agree that our community needs to be part of the transit conversation going on between cities and regional stakeholders, and to have our own representative voice on the topic, please consider getting involved with the Vista Grove movement.

How can you help make Vista Grove a reality?

  • Donate to help us fund our education and outreach efforts.
  • Encourage your neighbors to sign our petition to let legislators know we want the option to consider cityhood.
  • Help represent Vista Grove by attending other key community meetings (please wear your Vista Grove shirt!).
  • Volunteer with Vista Grove Initiative.

Sincerely,

Andrew, Meg, Lara, John, and Megan

Vista Grove Board Member Bios

www.vistagrove.org
Vista Grove Initiative
http://www.vistagrove.org/