Monday, March 31, 2008

Atlanta envies Charlotte

CATS played host last week to a group of Atlanta officials who came to to see how Charlotte is integrating land-use and transit. Here is a take on their visit in the AJC.

Here are a couple of thoughts on comparing Atlanta to Charlotte:

1) When MARTA opened its first train in 1979, there was pretty much zero chance of integrating land-use with rail service. People were fleeing the city for the suburbs, so developers viewed the idea of building high-rises around train stations as foolish. Charlotte has done an excellent job at using the Lynx to remake South Boulevard, but it also benefited from perfect conditions: A booming population, a solid housing market, and, most important, a willingness of people to move back in the city.

2) MARTA has suffered from tight budgets and service cutbacks this decade, especially in its bus service. But the system is a workhorse. It has 48 miles of heavy rail, and its trains carry about 77 million passenger trips annually. The LYNX is 9.6 miles, and it will probably carry between 4 and 4.5 million passenger trips in its first year.

64 comments:

Anonymous said...

MARTA also gets ZERO support from the state and the outer metro area, both tax-wise and opinion-wise. With gas prices rising and global warming a growing concern, public transit is only just now being considered a dignified option by Atlanta's suburban business commuters -- for most of its history, MARTA was for "those people" while the average commuter stayed enamored of their car. Now that demand is up, MARTA is getting caught short-handed and under-funded, and is scrambling to catch up from years of lackadaisical management and low performance standards.

I'm a recent transplant and haven't used CATS or Lynx yet, but I'm thrilled that Charlotte seems to be behind a truly viable public transit initiative and all its benefits. Please continue to plan public transit and land use with this kind of foresight, rather than taking Atlanta's route of building ever more roads to fill up with cars!

Matt said...

I moved here from Atlanta just 8 weeks ago, for many reasons, but one was definitely the Atlanta traffic problems. ATL's rush hour is literally from 6:30am-10:00am and 3:00pm-7:30pm. It is absolutely ridiculous and cripples the entire city. MARTA is basically non-existent unless you live & work on the rail line or are unfortunate enough to lose your license or not have a car.

In 1990, Atlanta had bad traffic with 1,000,000 residents. They have not built any new roads, new rails, etc in the past 18 years yet now ATL has 5.5M residents. Utter lack of long-term planning has crippled the city. People are still moving there and the US Census estimates more people will continue to move there over the next decade. Will Atlanta do anything to address traffic? Probably not... Just like they aren't doing anything to plan for the lack of drinking water, the aging sewer system, the failing schools, etc. Which is why I moved to CLT.

Hopefully, the leaders of Charlotte will recognize and pro actively anticipate the growth here and plan accordingly. Gosh I hope so, I don't want to move again.

Anonymous said...

*Just like they aren't doing anything to plan for the lack of drinking water, the aging sewer system, the failing schools, etc.*

charlotte already have these problems and the real question is will they do something about and people complain about the traffic here also. so what's the difference? Charlotte just got one rail and they already having a hard time getting money to build the others rail.

Anonymous said...

Having lived in Charlotte for 12 years and moving to Atlanta 4 years ago, I can attest to the severe traffic problems. My only thought is that Charlotte better plan ahead and focus on solutions now rather than wait. There is no doubt that Charlotte will grow like Atlanta has and one day will have 5 million residents. Push local officials to combat the problem now.

Anonymous said...

Charlotte needs to continue pushing the light rail up towards Mooresville,one towards the speedway into Cabarrus county, down Independence past 485 into Union County, and one towards the airport making its way into Gaston County. Mecklenburg needs to work with other counties to make this option possible. Urbanists will continue to move to Charlotte put will pay an ultimate price for living outside of Mecklenburg County. I would rather pay for light rails than improving roadways. Hand select the biggest problems in and around Charlotte's roadways and tackle each problem. The NC DOT just does not get it. Everything is always kept in Raleigh to the east. Politics in this state have to change as well. Good luck on keeping us with the growth of Charlotte....in a couple of years (maybe 10 Charlotte will be only able to complain about the traffic).

Anonymous said...

I have lived here in Charlotte for 8 years and I have to find it amusing to think that any city would envy Charlotte. I have lived in several other cities over the years and in comparison Charlotte has the worst traffic caused by incompetent drivers and the worst road system I have ever seen. How you think you can keep traffic flowing in a city with only 2 roads going in and out. There is no reason for the traffic jams at rush hour other than very poor road planning by the city. That is not to mention a useless mass transit system.

The reality is that Charlotte is not the center of the universe despite the belief that most who live here think. But that seems to be a common attitude with many of these blogs. Everything is better in Charlotte… IT IS NOT

Anonymous said...

If you don't like CLT, go back to where every you came from and stop complaining!

Anonymous said...

I agree with both sides- it's a bitter-sweet situation. Charlotte is a nice, small city which offers most of the benefits of a larger city. Once they beef up the public transportation system and expand downtown beyond the "inner loop" with shopping, entertainment etc-- Charlotte will be extremely desireable (and expensive!)

Karina said...

Nobody appreciates the frequent blog comments imploring people to move elsewhere if they "criticize" their city.
It is our duty as citizens to identify areas in need of improvement in our community. How else are we to continue to get better? If you think Charlotte or any other place is perfect and has no potential to improve, you are naive.

Anonymous said...

I was a lobbyist in DC for the Atlanta Olympic Games when the decision came up to widen the highway instead of putting the money in transit. People made the same mistake that they make in Charlotte. Everyone wanted their cars, despite the fact that every single study stated that if you build roads, the traffic will get worse. After lobbying, I actually moved to Atlanta to work for the Mayor. It isn't that Marta was mismanaged, it was that there was no political will to make it better. Now, all people cry about is the Atlanta traffic. Having lived in Charlotte and Atlanta, I'm sorry, it's Atlanta hands down. You have to deal with the traffic, but the City is alive and vibrant, something that Charlotte is not. Charlotte is making the exact mistakes that Atlanta did. It's only a matter of time.

Anonymous said...

You want just one reason MARTA in Atlanta failed? They put a Welfare mother on the MARTA board with absolutely no experience except she rode MARTA. I've lived half my 50 yrs in Charlotte and the other half in Atlanta's Burbs. Both city's haven't a clue long term. Charlotte has always envied Atlanta. Be careful what you wish for Charlotte, you're getting it already. As for each City? You can have both, I'll never live in either one again. I was lucky to plan ahead for my escape plan. See Ya suckers!

Anonymous said...

If Charlotte wants to become a world class city, its leaders should seriously consider augmenting the 1/2cent transit tax with a higher car registration and car rental fees. You should not be so dependent on getting 50% of revenue for rail from the state & federal government. Neither has proven to be a reliable source of funding. Get realistic. The state only has enough highway money for repairs. Let toll roads meet the demand of more traffic. Char-Meck should take a regional approach and encourage surrounding counties to buyin on commuter rail and get their people to support a 1/2 cent sales tax. We are too dependent on cars and planes with too few alternatives.

Heru said...

The problem in Charlotte is that the city and county leaders lack the courage and/or skill level to put together a cohesive and common sense regional transportation plan. It appears our city and county politicians have a build first and plan for roads and public transit later mentality.

Even when roads are built, the construction takes so long that when the new roads finally open, they open to bumper to bumper traffic - or are poorly designed; as is the case with 1-485.

If we don't bite the bullet now to fund and implement a fully functional transportation system that includes bus, light rail and commuter rail, the one we have now will eventually collapse into a 18 hour bumper to bumper nightmare similar to L.A.

Anonymous said...

Atlanta envies Charlotte? That is laughable . . After living in Charlotte for six years I was fortunate enough to be transferred to Atlanta. Atlanta is three times the size of Charlotte, and is a thriving, international City. Sure there is traffice, but there is traffic in every major City in the world (think, NYC, DC, Chicago, Dallas). Comparing Atlanta and Charlotte is like comparing apples and oranges. A fair comparision to Charlotte would be Salt Lake City or maybe even Denver, but not Atlanta. If the growth continues, Charlotte may one day be able to compare itself to our country's major Cities, but for now Charlotte is just a mid-size southern City that has hit a little bit of a growth spurt. Believe me, if traffic were so bad in Atlanta, the metro area would not continue to lead the country in growth. Trust me when I say that the upside of living in a thriving, bustling city like Atlanta well out-weighs the downside of the traffic.

Anonymous said...

Charlotte builds 9 miles of light rail and suddenly wants to compare itself to Atlanta, who was: 50 miles of heavy rail; hundreds of express buses connecting to the inner city train system; a 25 mile ring around the inner city w/ biking trails and light rail in the works; bus rapit transit in the works; commuter rail to Macon, Athens and Chattanooga in the works. Charlotte has also had an awful case of Atlanta envy and now you try to turn it around. Good try, but you can't compare a City of 5.5 Million with a City of 1.5 Million.

Anonymous said...

To all the Atlanta haters, I love how you all take the time to come to a CHARLOTTE forum to express your hate and venom, "anonymously". Truth is that I, like most Charlotteans, spend little time thinking about Atlanta. When most Charlotteans speak of Atlanta, we talk about how much we are trying to NOT be like Atlanta. If you morons with all the hate, took the time to read the article you would realize that the context of the Altanta envy was only in terms of transit planning. But, of course, your insecurities cannot be contained. I visit Atlanta often, unfortunately, and it is not all of a sudden this international, world-class utopia, like Paris or NYC that some would make it out to be, it is a large, major southern city. People move there for the same reasons people are moving to the ALL cities in the south in general, good jobs and cheap real-estate. I travel to various American cities frequently....You can keep Atlanta for yourselves, I love it in Charlotte and the direction in which it is headed.

Anonymous said...

I agree with every post that says Charlotte sucks!! Please get me out of this armpit!!!!

Anonymous said...

Please stop comparing Atlanta to New York, Chicago, L.A., and other cities of that size and presence. Atlanta is simply a Mayberry on steroids with thugs as citizens.

Anonymous said...

Give me a break...with the exception of larger than Charlotte, Atlanta is VERY overrated.

Anonymous said...

To the person that says Charlotte is a small city with a little growth just does not do any reading. The city of Charlotte has over 700,000, and is third in the nation (ahead of Atlanta) in growth, the metro area is 1.65 million, and in the top 10 in the nation in growth. True that is not as large as Atlanta, but if that makes Charlotte small, then Atlanta is small compared to New York, Chicago, L.A., and so forth.

Anonymous said...

The big difference in my eyes (someone that has spent considerable time in both, but lives in SC), is that Atlanta is a sophisticated city whereas Charlotte is mostly full of backasswards rednecks.

Anonymous said...

Charlotte people are so concerned about what people in other parts of the country think of us. I have news for you all, no one else cares. We are not even on the radar screen of 99% of Americans. Stop being so self conscious, people. Putting other places down to try to make us feel better about our own mediocre city makes us all look pathetic. We are what we are. Get over it.

Anonymous said...

I was forced to move from Atlanta to Charlotte to be close to family. I would pack up my bags and head back to Atlanta this afternoon if I could. I'll trade Atlanta's traffic for all the City has to offer any day of the week. What do you people do here? This place has no character and nothing to offer but strip shopping centers and big bank buildings. Georgia on my mind.

Anonymous said...

Nobody with any sense would want to see Charlotte turn into Atlanta. Let's see, what does Atlanta have that Charlotte doesn't?

1) 50 miles of heavy rail that goes nowhere, is uncomfortable and unsafe to ride on, and is completely separated from streetside development. Not exactly the London Tube.

2) Plenty of stuff downtown, except it all closes after sundown because the bums and gangstas make it unsafe to stroll around. I brought my son to Underground Atlanta at 7pm and will NEVER make that mistake again!

3) An interstate running through the middle of downtown. Nice.

4) An environmental crisis so bad they tried to steal the Tennessee river AWAY FROM TENNESSEE in order to stop their water shortfall. Think that situation's getting better in the next 50 years... think again.

5) Thousands of square miles of endless sprawl with no character, history or future. Yes, Charlotte has some of this too... but it's not in the same league.

Charlotte has "Atlanta envy" for the simple reason that Atlanta got a lot of amenities early on -- pro sports, mass transit, shiny skyscrapers, huge parks. But don't think for a second that Charlotte actually wants to BE Atlanta... nothing could be further from the truth!

Anonymous said...

I'd sure as heck want to live in Charlotte than anywhere else in the country-- we are a city of opportunity; we are at a fork in the road- the decisions we make now and in the coming years will either take us towards being a successful metro area for the next century or, if not, we will become just another hole of sprawl.
Charlotte is a great place to live, and as has been talked about on this forum, we should consider the good and the bad so we can continue to improve. However, I do tire of hearing comparisons to other cities without any constructive criticism attached. To all the gripers; great, you've identified a problem, so what's the solution, other than a self-centered philosophy of an "escape plan". Sure, it's easy to ditch the process rather than participate and be active in it.

Anonymous said...

I have to disagree with the previous post stating that Atlanta's train system goes nowhere and is seperated from streetside development. This may have been the case 10 years ago, but if you have spent anytime in Atlanta lately, you will know this is no longer the case. My business takes me to Atlanta several times a month so I regularly experience this first hand. Have you visited the new development around the Lindbergh Station? It is a small City within a City. What about the two stations that serve the lenox/buckhead area? This part of Atlanta alone offers much more in the way of dining, shopping, and entertainment than all of uptown Charlotte. Midtown is served by three stations, and if you haven't seen what is happening in between 17th and 5th Streets and along the borders of Piedmont Park, it is worth a trip. It is a bustling part of town, full of pedestrians all hours of the day and high rise condos going up in every direction. It is like a slice of Manhattan. I'll agree with the post about underground/five points area, but the west side of downtown Atlanta (around Centennial Park) is booming, although it is mostly a tourist destination, with the world's largest acquarium, the cocoa-cola museum, cnn ctr, ga dome, philips arena, the tabernacle, etc. Also, along the MARTA line is Decatur, Inman Park, Candler Park, Brookhaven, and much, much more. I have nothing against Charlotte, but just want to point out from a frequent Atlanta visitors perspective, that the above post re: Atlanta's transit system is totally inaccurate. This statement is comparable to someone who visited Charlotte 20 years ago making the statement today that Charlotte is a sleepy southern town.

Anonymous said...

after 40 years in large w. coast cities, Portland, Seattle etc, and now 8 months in Charlotte, two observations:

1. Take a hint from Seattle's gridlock. Build light rail now, often, everywhere and soon. The Lynx is a splendid start.

2. What's with ignoring yellow and even red lights? In 40 years I had seen, ummm, a handful of drivers deliberately run red lights. Here I can see three on any cross-town trip. Is it NASCAR mentality? It's an epidemic. The police should have a concentrated campaign on this.

Anonymous said...

"I have to disagree with the previous post stating that Atlanta's train system goes nowhere and is seperated from streetside development."

Last time I was in Atlanta (February) I attempted to board the MARTA station near Buckhead. It is so separated from the rest of the streetscape that I had to ask for directions to the entrance. That's not exactly a "slice of Manhattan".

Besides, nobody wants to ride MARTA because it's basically just a regular city bus on rails. If you can find a seat without a bum sleeping in it, you have to sit on a newspaper to keep from staining your pants with vomit (or worse).

God help Charlotte if the LYNX ever turns out to be that disreputable.

Anonymous said...

I have ridden Lynx for the first and last time, as I returned to my car only to find the back windshield busted out by some punk. When at the police station filing a report, I was told this had been a common occurence at this Lynx lot. You can have your joke of a transit system, I'll stick to my car.

Anonymous said...

I try the country extensively and send much time riding our country's mass transit system. My two cents, Marta is not perfect, but it is not bad. I'd rank it top 5 systems in the country. With exception to Bart, it is better than any system offered on the west coast. Of course no system can compete w/ the T, L or subway. That said, if you have a phobia of homeless people you will want to avoid the Chicago, Boston and NYC trains. For that matter, you will probably want to avoid any major city in the world. I'd suggest you stick to your pick-up truck and redneck Charlotte suburbs.

Anonymous said...

I doubt very seriously that Atlanta envies Charlotte . . . Why would any place envy Charlotte? Seriously?

Anonymous said...

Atlanta doesn't have time to envy Charlotte, they're too busy commuting.

BTW, 7/3 8:10, your car can be vandalized anywhere in Charlotte. It's something young kids do for kicks. Sorry it happened, but I wonder if it had happened in a parking lot if you would now be saying "I'm never using a parking lot again"?

Anonymous said...

I think the money in Atlanta should be spent on teaching its residents reading/comprehension. The article stated that the MARTA system is much larger than CATS. No one in Charlotte wants to be like Atlanta, TRUST ME, most of it is a ghetto except for a few small pockets....If you drive thru downtown Atlanta you will see droves of homeless people lying around; it's very aristocratic and swanky, LOL...We don't envy your ghetto, traffic, homeless situation, public utilities basically just living conditions in general....Internationl city? More like International Sh$thole

Anonymous said...

I think both Charlotte and Atlanta are over-rated. I live in New York City - a true "world class city."

As a result, I've gotten past the idea that my success and personality are defined by the size of my house and what kind of car I drive, which is the norm in Char-Lanta.

Plus - I haven't had to buy a gallon of gas since December.

Anonymous said...

Hey.. Dr. Traffic..

How about writting something?? Anything?? There must be something news worthy to talk about.

Anonymous said...

Matt said, "Will Atlanta do anything to address traffic? Probably not... Just like they aren't doing anything to plan for the lack of drinking water, the aging sewer system, the failing schools, etc. Which is why I moved to CLT."

Well Matt, you're totally wrong regarding drinking water and the aging sewer system. The City of Atlanta has drastically made improvements in Service Delivery/Benefits for customers, which include:
• The Nancy Creek Tunnel has reduced the volume of sewer overflows by 60 percent.
• The Sewer Separation Program was completed earlier this year, resulting in new water and sewer lines and newly paved streets in three sewer basins.
• More than 1,000 miles of sewer line have been evaluated through the SSES program, and more than 250 have been rehabilitated.
• They are repairing approximately 800 sewer leaks per month, compared to the 700 leaks repaired per year when privatized under United Water.
• The Consent Decree project costs have increased just 1.27 percent over the original 2003 estimates (despite serious increases in the cost of gasoline, steel, concrete and building supplies.

Get your facts straight.

Anonymous said...

As a result, I've gotten past the idea that my success and personality are defined by the size of my house and what kind of car I drive, which is the norm in Char-Lanta.

Because as we all know, New York is known as a place where people are judged based purely on their personal character. New Yorkers have no time for materialism or shallowness.

Riiiiight...

(by the way, don't you have better things to do in your world-class city than troll small-town message boards?)

Anonymous said...

Atlanta must be doing something right. They have been one of the fastest growing metro areas for three decades, including #2 on the list (to Dalls-FW) since 2000. In addition, they are home to more Fortune 500 companies than any metro outside of NYC and Houston. Plus they are redeveloping like crazy down there. Have you seen Atlantic Station? They just announced a project of similar size and scope near the airport. Everybody that I know that lives down there loves it. I'd certainly love to be there.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the above post. People think Atlanta, they think capital of the south, olympics, coca-cola, cnn, tbs, ups, home depot, world's largest acquarium, etc., etc. One thinks Charlotte, and if they think of anything it is NASCAR. I swear, no matter where I travel, when I say I am from Charlotte, they turn their noses up and say, oh so you like NASCAR I guess. Our po-dunk of a town ain't all that. This post should be comparing us to Greenville, SC, not Atlanta.

Anonymous said...

Multiple posts about homeless people show just how ignorant Charlotte people can be. Do you people not get out? There is NOT one large city in the
WORLD that does not have a large homeless population. Think about it, Paris, London, Rome, San Fran, LA, Seattle, Chicago, New York, Washington, Philadelphia, Boston and on and on and on. Every successful major city also has major traffic congestion. People that live in major cities don't sit around and think about this. It is just part of living in one of our world's great cities. Why we in Charlotte are obsessed with other cities problems shows just how insecure we are about our own city. Some of these posts make me embarassed to call Charlotte home. Open your minds!!!!!

Anonymous said...

In addition, they are home to more Fortune 500 companies than any metro outside of NYC and Houston.

You are wrong.

New York, Houston, Dallas, and Chicago have more Fortune 500 companies located within their city than Atlanta.

As far as metropolitan areas are concerned: New York, Chicago, Houston, Dallas, Minneapolis, San Francisco, Los Angeles (just to name a few) have more Fortune 500 companies than Atlanta.

Anonymous said...

well, in my opinion. i have not been impressed with the south in general. Atl or charlotte. the mentality is just to narrow for me. living here in charlotte and always getting asked what church you go to, why not married, where you work. these can be conversation starters but this more about being in bible belt south. charlotte has not impressed me. it is not world class. where are the zoos, major downtown parks, highway access to EVERY part of the city, and why is it so dark down here, its like they are against lighting the highways.(485/brookshire/harris blvd) And please for all the folks that think the trees make charlotte beautiful. have you ever lived in a river city,(cincinnati, memphis) coastal city,(san diego, miami) or a mountainous city(denver, portland). that is what makes visual memories and cities stand out. too me charlotte is just dry, and before someone anonymously posts why dont you leave if you dont like it....i'm working on it now.

KMAL said...

I love this area, but we are NOT Atlanta. Atlanta is a metropolis and we are not. We are MUCH, MUCH smaller than Atlanta. You may be able to compare us to Atlanta in the 1970's, but not now. Both cities have much to offer, but to compare them is the classic apples to oranges comparison.

Anonymous said...

Steve! With the astounding success of light rail and the increasing cost of gasoline, isn't it time to buckle down, get serious, and find creative ways to implement this: http://www.infostruct.org/qcsystemmap.pdf

Or do we just have too many idiotic millionaires who only care about their prized W-stickered SUV?!?!!

Anonymous said...

There is NOT one large city in the
WORLD that does not have a large homeless population. Think about it, Paris, London, Rome, San Fran, LA, Seattle, Chicago, New York, Washington, Philadelphia, Boston and on and on and on. Every successful major city also has major traffic congestion.


True, but Atlanta has these problems beyond normal proportions. You can go to NYC and not experience 1 second of traffic by using public transit, or avoid the homeless for the most part by hanging around in safer areas. But in Atlanta you can't avoid these problems long enough to have a good time... if you aren't sitting in a traffic jam you're getting hassled by a vagrant or intimidated by gangstas.

The reason Atlanta residents don't mind these issues as much as visitors is because nobody actually lives in the city; they live out in satellite suburbs where they pretend they don't have to deal with urban reality. At least Charlotte is making an attempt to develop a traditional city core, with medium-density neighborhoods nearby. And we're trying to do it without crushing poverty or soul-sucking traffic being an everyday uptown experience... in that sense we're a lot more like NYC than Atlanta can ever hope to be. A long way to go, but at least the vision is there.

Anonymous said...

I have to say as an Atlanta resident (for the past five years), who has grown sick of the hustle and bustle of the city and considered moving to Charlotte, this post has definitely been food for thought!

Anonymous said...

Confirmation that metro Atlanta is indeed home to 3rd most Fortunue 500 headquarters-

Article taken from the Business Chronicle, April 20-26, 2007

Fifteen Georgia companies made the Fortune 500 list for 2007, and Atlanta ranked No. 3 in the nation among cities with the most Fortune 500 headquarters.

Fortune compiles its annual list of the biggest and best businesses based on 2006 fiscal and calendar year financial performance, focusing on revenue.

The Home Depot Inc.(NYSE:HD) dropped from a ranking of 14 in 2005 to 17 in 2006, with $90.8 billion in revenue.
United Parcel Service Inc. (NYSE:UPS) moved up one spot to 43, with $47.5 billion in revenue last year.
The Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE: KO) achieved a 94 ranking, compared with a ranking of 89 in 2005. It had $24.1 billion in revenue for 2006.
Moving from 120 in 2005 to 118 in 2006 is Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc. (NYSE:CCE), which had $19.8 billion in revenue.
Delta Air Lines Inc. (Pink Sheets: DALRQ), which will soon emerge from Chapter 11, fell one spot to 136 with $17.2 billion in revenue.
Columbus-based insurer Aflac Inc. (NYSE:AFL) went from 151 in 1005 to 164 in 2006, posting $14.6 billion in revenue.
Southern Co. (NYSE: SO) generated $14.4 billion in revenue in 2006, but it still fell three spots to 168.
SunTrust Banks Inc. (NYSE:STI) jumped 34 spots to 183 with $13.3 billion in revenue last year.
Genuine Parts Co. (NYSE: GPC) drove up one spot to 244, with $10.6 billion in revenue.
Calhoun-based carpet and tile company Mohawk Industries Inc. (NYSE:MHK) moved ahead 23 spots to 304, posting $7.9 billion in revenue in 2006.
Consumer products company Newell Rubbermaid Inc. (NYSE:NWL) dropped 11 places to 343 on the list, with revenue of $6.7 billion.
Beazer Homes USA Inc. built itself a home at 420 with $5.6 billion in revenue, compared with a ranking of 429 in 2005.
AGCO Corp. (NYSE AG) fell from 399 in 2005 to 421 in 2006, with $5.4 billion in revenue.
BlueLink Holdings Inc. (NYSE:BXC) ranked 456 with $4.9 billion in revenue , compared with a ranking of 387 in 2005.
Energy company Mirant Corp. (NYSE:MIR), which emerged from bankruptcy in 2006 and posted $4.7 billion in revenue, ranked 474, up from 479 in 2005.
Meriting mention are 11 other Georgia-based companies (with rankings) that made the Fortune 1000: Synovus (NYSE: SNV) at 514; Superior Essex Inc. (Nasdaq: SPSX) at 661; Exide Technologies (Nasdax: XIDE) at 679; AGL Resources Inc. (NYSE:ATG) at 717; Spectrum Brands Inc. (NYSE:SPC) at 729; Georgia Gulf Corp. (NYSE GGC) at 754; Graphic Packaging Corp. (NYSE:GPK) at 766; Acuity Brands Inc. (NYSE:AYI) at 769; Rock-Tenn Co. (NYSE:RKT) at 822; Gold Kist Inc.(Nasdaq:GKIS), which is now part of Pilgrim’s Pride, at 824; and Flowers Foods Inc. (NYSE:FLO) at 889.

Atlanta placed third among cited with the most Fortune 500 headquarters, behind New York and Houston.

“For the sixth year in a row, Atlanta has ranked third on the Fortune 500 list. Even during a slow national period, metro Atlanta has made a strong showing on every measure of economic health - job growth, population growth and housing starts,” and Sam A. Williams, president of the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce. “Atlanta’s robust and diverse economy gives our region a strength that continues to attract new business and talent.”

The metro region account for about two-thirds of Georgia’s economy, 72 percent of the state’s job growth and 72 percent of its population growth.

Anonymous said...

"Or do we just have too many idiotic millionaires who only care about their prized W-stickered SUV?!?!!"

Most of these types only dream of being millionaires. They are too busy trying to "live the image"-poseurs. Which makes their bumper stickers all the more ridiculous.

I don't have any problem with a comprehensive light rail system for Charlotte. I understand though that Charlotte is very low on the list for Federal funding. So where is the city going to get the $$$? Also, while the South Blvd. corridor is currently a success, it fails to tap into a large and growing population node at Ballantyne. Given all the hoopla and back patting, this rail line ends in an area relatively devoid of any high density residential land use. Had it been extended just a few miles, it would have tapped into 10's or perhaps 100's of thousands of additional riders. With that said, I fail to see how this rail line could be held as a model for light rail corridor development...

Anonymous said...

I grew up in Atlanta and will move back there just as soon as I retire. Charlotte is ok, but really lacks the cultural offerings that I desire to experience in my years of retirement. The reference that Atlantans live in suburbs and away from city center is just simply not true. In fact, if you look at the trends over the last 10 years, you will see that the intown neighborhoods are some of the fastest growing in the entire metro Atlanta area. You think there is a lot of condo development in Charlotte, well it is small, small business compared to what is happening in Atlanta’s midtown, buckhead, downtown and perimeter center districts. I would argue that individually, everyone of the mentioned districts within Atlanta offer much, much more in the way of walkable, transit oriented areas with abundant restaurants, shopping, entertainment and cultural offerings, than Uptown Charlotte. On a related note, the fact that someone tried to compare Charlotte to NYC is one of the most ludicrous things I have ever heard in my life.

Anonymous said...

While Charlotte prides itself on landing a NASCAR museum, Atlanta is chosen over DC, NYC and Chicago to be home to the new National Health Museum ( http://www.nationalhealthmuseum.org/news/articles/atlanta_location.html ). Which would you rather be home to? Sadly, I am afraid that many here in Charlotte would say NASCAR, which explains in part Charlotte's less than desirable reputation around the country.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Confirmation that metro Atlanta is indeed home to 3rd most Fortunue 500 headquarters-

Article taken from the Business Chronicle, April 20-26, 2007

Fifteen Georgia companies made the Fortune 500 list for 2007, and Atlanta ranked No. 3 in the nation among cities with the most Fortune 500 headquarters.


LOL!! YOU'RE WRONG YET AGAIN.

The 2008 Fortune 500 list was released this past April and here is the link that proves you are wrong: http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune500/2008/

Again, the city of Atlanta ranks behind New York, Houston, Dallas, and Chicago. The Atlanta metro doesn't even rank in the top ten. Heck, two of Atlanta's companies dropped from the Fortune 500 this year.

Get your facts straight before arguing with others.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

While Charlotte prides itself on landing a NASCAR museum, Atlanta is chosen over DC, NYC and Chicago to be home to the new National Health Museum


So Atlanta is getting the new National Health Museum. Why does this matter as it won't attract people from all over the country.

Furthermore, the fact that Atlanta will have this new museum does not place it in the same league as NYC, DC or Chicago. Not even close.

Anonymous said...

To the person tired of the hustle-bustle of Atlanta and considering a move to Charlotte, a little advice from someone who made that mistake, DON’T DO IT!!!!! I made that mistake 2 years ago, and regret it almost every day. I have been truly amazed at how little Charlotte has to offer in the way of arts, entertainment, unique dining opportunities, etc., etc. Charlotte really is like one oversized suburb, although I’d say the Atlanta suburbs of North Gwinnett, with minor league hockey, arena football and soon to be AAA baseball, have more to offer than all of metro Charlotte. If you like strip malls and chain restaurants though, maybe Charlotte is your place.

Anonymous said...

I loved Atlanta when I went last weekend. It was great that we never needed our car...we took cabs and took the train/bus to the concert at Lakewood. It very much reminds me of Charlotte, which I also happen to love. I do have a problem with greedy folks in Charlotte that want everyone to make it easier for them to live 30 miles outside the city...ummm...don't care...the traffic never bothers me...i've been taking public transportation for years...so I think you folks that live so far out really have no room to complain...you wanted a bigger house for less money...and you want the rest of us to foot the bill (more roads! more roads!) Yeah..I don't think so.

Anonymous said...

This blog has not had anything new since March 31st. Did Steve Harrison get fired during the recent round of layoffs?

John said...

Well this is an interesting forum. I don't even want to think about getting in a silly argument of Charlotte Vs. Atlanta. I have lived in both cities at different times and in Atlanta during this decade. I think both cities have positive and negative aspects. Who cares if one is better than the other? I don't anymore especially not after reading this forum.

Anonymous said...

The reference that Atlantans live in suburbs and away from city center is just simply not true. In fact, if you look at the trends over the last 10 years, you will see that the intown neighborhoods are some of the fastest growing in the entire metro Atlanta area.

Nonsense. The intown neighborhoods are the "fastest growing" because currently almost nobody lives there. Buckhead isn't even walkable from downtown due to the way the streetscape is cut up by interstates and 8-lane highways, and the district itself is barely walkable due to lack of pedestrian improvements over the last 30 years -- so for all intents and purposes it's just a vertical suburb.

Some facts that pretty much close the case:
Atlanta city population - 486,000
Atlanta metro population - 5.1 million
Ratio of urban to suburban residents - roughly 1:10
Largest proportionate daytime population gain due to commuters in the nation.
Longest workday commute per person in the nation.
Second most dangerous city for pedestrians in the nation, behind Tampa.

At least in Charlotte you have the option to try and live an urban lifestyle, even if there are still some elements missing. Atlanta is hopelessly suburban by nature, and its physical layout prevents that from ever changing.

Andrew said...

Really? Over three months and still no new posts? Bring back the old Dr. Traffic!

Anonymous said...

This blog is riduculous. It is like comparing Charlotte to Columbia, SC. Totally different set of issues and challenges. As a previous post stated, comparing Charlotte to Atlanta in the 80's would be fair. Also, it is obvious that the same person is making most of the posts in defense of Charlotte. Just another example of why Charlotte is so, so small town.

Anonymous said...

I live in Uptown Charlotte and spend about 12-15 weeks every year on business in Atlanta. I stay in Atlanta a week at a time and split time b/w Buckhead, Midtown and Downtown. If the arguement is over which City is more "urban" or pedestrian friendly, it goes to Atlanta hands-down. It is not even close. All three Atlanta neighborhoods that I mention are extremely foot traffic oriented (although much of this has happened within last five years) and one you can hope from one to another with a quick trip on the MARTA rail line.

Anonymous said...

To the numbskull arguing population numbers and urban density. The City limit size of the City of Atlanta proper is extremely small compared to most Cities, resulting in a smaller portion of the total metro population. In fact, the City of Charlotte proper is almost twice the size of the City of Atlanta proper.

Fact:
City of Atlanta proper = 132 square miles
City of Atlanta population = 519,145

City of Charlotte proper = 242.9 square miles
City of Charlotte population = 645,117

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Anonymous said...

Can anyone speak to "why Charlotte is great?" Seriously, without even the mentioning the negative posts or things I could say, I am yet to hear or see anything that makes Charlotte great or desireable. The vague mentions of 'things every major sity has' is what? Riverwalk, zoos, museums, activities, schools, what? Not seeing it. Shopping? Has to be something you can't find EVERYWHERE else. Get it? I mean one PB and one PBK is not cutting it. Close proximty to some fun things I guess, but still not IN Charlotte. So, anyone? What is SO great? If you mention something, please don't forget to explain the "why" of your mention!

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