Monday, February 15, 2016

Six Foot Over

If you develop or even renovate property on Dunwoody Parkway the law laid down at City Hall says you must install 12 foot wide sidewalks. You will note this happened in front of faux Georgian office building when it was rehabbed. Since this code carries the weight of law you might expect this dictate to be enforced evenhandedly. You might be forgetting the first principle of legislation--laws are for the wee people not for those writing them. After all it was the City that put in the current non-compliant sidewalks. Yes there was the property ownership/rights issue, but this is simply City blackmail--you want to develop? then you have to build our sidewalks.

And why demand 12 foot sidewalks (and install 6 foot) in the first place? There was a reason for the twelve footers, wasn't there? Not one with sufficient political clout to spawn a grant industry (think bicycles) but it had to be more than some architect's renderings ripped right off the Mad Men set. You know, A-Lines pushing baby buggies and suited gentlemen tipping a fedora as they pass, all in pencil and pastel. Is that what crafts our laws?

Or is it a code at all? The second principle, in the vernacular, is that all rules are meant to be broken. Now that we have our first major re-development on the Parkway the first thing they are likely to get is a pass on the 12 foot requirement. What about those Olde Farts and their walkers trying to 'Shroom On In? How will they pass? Or when their grandkids visit and want to walk with their strollers to the hardware store to pick up some Duct Tape? What if they have twins? These are real problems. At least as real as catering to all the bike commuters in Dunwoody. It must not look good in pastels.

When City waivers are there for the asking it makes you wonder what other codes and ordinances spilling out of City Hall fail to rise above a mere suggestion.