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Here We Gulch Again…

July 13, 2015

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If it don’t make dollars, it don’t make sense. So why are there proposals to put a money-maker in place of another?

That’s what MGM wants to do with a proposal of a…wait for it…$1 billion dollar casino in the Gulch area of Downtown Atlanta. Now, while this seems cool and all, most non-transportation souls will also overlook the fact that the space is also the site of the Multi-modal Passenger Terminal.

Now the first thing that came to my mind was, “Someone is proposing yet another big ticket item that isn’t transportation”.  The next was, “Not another casino project.  The GOP will looooove this”.  Now the item on my brain is, “Say if MGM gets the green light to do their money vacuum. It’ll take up about what…6 of the 119 acres in the Gulch for what…a sea of parking?

No, thanks.

I know that the MMPT is a wish upon a star, but if we can take cues that accessibility to and around Downtown Atlanta may just be more important that what attraction is Downtown (because we have PLENTY TO DO!), then people will stop calling everything they won’t want to use a boondoggle. We can’t always overlook a bigger project for something that is expected to turn over an immediate profit.  I’m not against the casino either, but it’s just not a logical place judging that the infrastructure for future high speed rail, Amtrak, the existing MARTA rail and future busbays, GRTA Xpress, Greyhound, Megabus, taxi service, and adjacent mixed-use activity can fill up this whole space. Also, there is plenty of space in South Downtown right where all those ‘2 hours to Harrah’s Cherokee billboards are. But what do I know? I’m just a city planning nerd with a Masters Degree.

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