What is it about bike lanes that turns Nimbys into lunatics?
The plan, which is strongly supported by Mayor Mike Davis and was approved by the city council, would cut the 4-lane road to two lanes, add sidewalks and bicycle paths on each side, erect park benches and classy lighting, and do away with the leafy median. Davis said this would be a “significant first step” to giving Dunwoody something that it doesn’t have — a real downtown. The vision is that a spruced-up boulevard and stricter zoning in the area would bring new buildings closer to the road, push parking to the back and give what is now a suburban shopping area an old-timey, hometown feel.
Bikes, trees and money seem to be the driving points of debate. Bikes especially.
Joe Seconder, a retired Army major and cycling activist, said he is excited for the plan. “It’s a down payment on revitalization. I see it as a lovely place to congregate,” Seconder said, adding other nearby cities, like Roswell and Sandy Springs, are gussying up their town centers. “We’re competing with our neighbors.”
Seconder said he is frustrated by what he calls the CAVE folks — “citizens against virtually everything.”
Here is one CAVE dweller:
Norb Leahy, a 29-year Dunwoody resident and tea party leader, said the roundabout and “smart-growth” plans like the parkway redevelopment are out-of-tune with a conservative citizenry.
“We see these plans as fluff, as fads, as driven by the urban planners,” said Leahy, who likened the plans to U.N. Agenda 21, which calls for “sustainable” urban growth. “They want transit villages like in Europe, rack-and-stack housing. They want to package us into urban areas. It’s a busy-body bunch who’s pushing it. That’s the rebellion here.
“Besides,” he added. “No one takes a bike to get groceries. It’s the suburbs.”