Melinda Kenan 0

Citizens against IBM site for new North Atlanta High School

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As neighbors, commuters, and/or current and future families of students at North Atlanta High School, we, the undersigned, call upon the Atlanta Public School Board to remove the IBM site on Northside Parkway as a potential site for the new North Atlanta High School for the following reasons: The addition of North Atlanta High School at the IBM site will not only worsen already significant weekday traffic gridlocks in our area, but will also inevitably result in an increase in accidents, safety issues and hazardous driving conditions. At the intersection of Northside Parkway, Mt. Paran Road and the I-75 exit ramp, there are numerous traffic accidents due to congestion and confusing traffic patterns. This is especially evident on weekday mornings from 7:30 AM to 8:00 AM and again from 3:00 PM through the workday rush hour. So much of the Cobb commuter traffic to Buckhead either proceeds south on Northside Parkway or exits I-75 South at Mt. Paran and is forced west off of the exit ramp. There is also a significant amount of additional traffic that proceeds west on Mt. Paran and north on Northside Parkway in order to access Warren T. Jackson elementary school (APS) and three private schools in the immediate area: Lovett, Trinity, and Westminster. All traffic proceeding west on Mt. Paran that wishes to go straight through or turn right onto Northside Parkway must change over 1 or 2 lanes to the right. At the same time, all traffic exiting I-75 South is forced to turn right off the ramp onto Mt. Paran but most cars want to turn left at the Northside Parkway intersection. So at the same time Mt. Paran traffic is crossing the lane(s) to the right, the I-75 traffic is trying to cross the same lane(s) to the left. Additionally, numerous drivers who exit I-75 South frequently make illegal U-turns in order to proceed east on Mt. Paran Road – again resulting in accidents. THERE ARE FREQUENT ACCIDENTS AT THIS SITE ALREADY, AND ADDING AN ENTIRE HIGH SCHOOL'S WORTH OF PARENT AND STUDENT DRIVERS PLUS SCHOOL BUSES IS CLEARLY A RECIPE FOR DISASTER. Another consideration is that Mt Paran and West Paces Ferry Roads (just south of Mt. Paran Road) are the two main thoroughfares going into Buckhead from Cobb County. They are both residential two-lane surface streets and suffer considerable traffic congestion already. Another major concern is that there are many liquor-licensed establishments up and down Northside Parkway to Cumberland Mall, which could result in many problems during and after football games and other large school events. The lights and noise from these events would have a significantly negative effect on neighbors, in addition to increased traffic on neighborhood streets. Finally, the proposed IBM site is in the very northwest corner of the city of Atlanta – a location that is inconvenient for the majority of the students who would attend North Atlanta High School. It clearly seems more prudent and environmentally correct to select a more centrally-based location for gas savings for both school buses and parent/student drivers. In conclusion, we call on the Atlanta School Board to eliminate the IBM site from consideration due to all of the above-mentioned reasons (significantly increased traffic hazards, safety issues, proximity to liquor establishments, disturbance to already-established neighborhoods, and lengthy commute for the majority of the student population served).

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