Transportation: it’s a big topic in District 8. Vehicles clog our residential streets and speed through school zones, and the pavement on which they travel needs constant repair. Much of this newsletter is devoted to the topic of transportation and traffic. Where does it originate? What can we do to ease it? How do we make our streets safer? We need a plan we can all trust. I believe our city’s new Department of Transportation, under the direction of Josh Rowan, will help provide answers.
In this issue of the newsletter, we’ll address what we can do to rein in speeders who blow through school zones. It’s a serious problem. By my count, we have eight private and nine public schools in District 8. That’s a lot of kids we need to keep safe.
We also encourage you to vote in the March 24 presidential primary. There is an important but little-known item on the ballot that deserves your attention. We’re being asked to approve a four-year extension on a one-cent sales tax that has cleaned up Atlanta’s water and upgraded our aging sewer system. The work is far from done. Your support is needed.
The PATH that rings Chastain Park will soon be widened to 10-12 feet from a too-narrow 5 feet. The 0.6-mile stretch, now known as Chastain Avenue, is Chastain Park’s “main street” that runs from Powers Ferry Road to Lake Forrest Drive (it was formerly West Wieuca). There will be disruptions, but this is a fitting conclusion to nearly 30 years of work. Hundreds of thousands use the Chastain Path each year.
Meanwhile, crime in Zone 2, which includes District 8, is up 2% for the first seven weeks of 2020, as compared with the same period a year ago. City-wide, crime is up 8%, fueled largely by thefts from autos, up 22%, and larceny, up 12%. In Zone 2, thefts from autos have increased 4% to 306 from 293 a year ago.
Stolen vehicles are our biggest crime problem at the moment. Down 2% in all of Atlanta, they are up 11% in Zone 2 — 83 versus 75. Major Andrew Senzer and his Zone 2 officers have instituted a full-court press to reverse this trend. There have been 58 burglaries in Zone 2, down 16% from 69 a year ago. As you might suspect, the crime in Zone 2 is centered around our retail corridors, not in our residential neighborhoods.
Finally, we celebrated the completion of major improvements in Fire Station 26, at Howell Mill and Moores Mill Roads, with a dedication on February 27. The work at the station, which also has two new trucks, was paid for with your Renew Atlanta bond proceeds.