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Share Your Ideas for Improving Festivals in Piedmont Park!

How can we improve the festival planning and execution process?

Dear Neighbors of Piedmont Park (Midtown, Ansley, VaHi, Morningside-Lenox Park Neighbors, Piedmont Park Conservancy, APD, NPUs, City of Atlanta, etc.):

I am writing to you today to invite you to provide direct feedback (via Midtown Patch) on how to improve the festival planning and execution process. 

With the Atlanta Jazz Festival now behind us, we have learned a lot of great ways to improve the planning and execution of such a large festival.  Please feel free to comment below, or upload photos and/or videos with captions to help the neighbors and the city understand where we can find areas for improvement to cohabitate peacefully and happily.   

Please provide detailed facts and potential solutions. 

Some areas of improvement might include these.  Please feel free to comment, add to, or comment on (veto) any of these ideas.  Constructive criticism is welcomed. 

1.       Keep all festivals completely in the park.

2.       Do NOT close 10th St.  (If you absolutely must close 10th St, consider closing it from Piedmont (or Argonne) to Monroe, and close Myrtle).

3.       Respect the NPU and APD input process for all festivals.

4.       Festival Ordinance 02-O-1777 suggested revisions:

  • Revise ordinance to ensure city is required to follow their own ordinance.
  • Revise ordinance to require that the detailed traffic plan (maps, street closings, officers posted where, signs posted where, etc.) be made public at least 1 week before the event and posted online on the atlantaga.gov website.  Any changes to it (made during the event) must be posted online immediately. 
  • Sanitation services need to cover beyond 1500 feet, and not just a "top job," especially each night.

5.       Provide equal traffic/parking protection for all adjacent neighborhoods.  Some streets/neighborhoods deserve the same protection/treatment as the Park Drive, Elmwood Circle, and Cresthill streets.

6.       Residential permit parking enforcement and general parking enforcement cannot and should not relax during festivals on weekends and holidays.

7.       Traffic planning must include BOTH ParkAtlanta and APD.  And BOTH entities need to understand how and what they will enforce.

8.       Specific to Atlanta Jazz Festival: 

  • Encourage a green event by discouraging/forbidding patrons to bring tents, grills, and their entire kitchen.  No other festival encourages this, and the food vendors will appreciate it. 
  • On the festival website, provide more details on traffic patterns and how cars will get to all of the parking decks.

 -- Loretta Jurewicz, Midtown resident on Myrtle Street

Wavie Davie June 01, 2011 at 06:29 PM
Code revisions: Prompt notification on the neighbors by mail has been effective in the past. It should be codified; postcard in the box one week before NPU. It is in the code that the City does not have to follow its own code! If the City of Atlanta hosts an event, their exemption to ordinances should be nullified, and they should have to follow all rules set for for applicant's in general. my 2 cent
Annette Bernard June 02, 2011 at 11:34 AM
The park is now big enough that there is no need to stop cyclists and dogs from ALL areas of the park. I cut through the Park regularly on my bicycle on my way to work, and it is dangerous for me to be on the streets surrounding the Park. I understand the need not to have cyclists mixing in with the festivities, but there is no need to stop us from entering other areas of the park. Sadly, I also witnessed the dog park being empty all weekend because of a similarly unnecessarily restrictive policy on dogs.
Terry Smith June 02, 2011 at 11:47 AM
Doesn't the city still own City Hall East? there is a parking garage attached, which would hold many vehicles, unless it is structurally unsound for use. also the Civic Center has a large parking lot. If the AJF sponsors/city/who ever, ran shuttles to and from both of these off site locations to the Park, this could go a long way towards providing parking for those who will not ride Marta, either because they can't get on Marta with all of the crap they want to bring, or because as one man said to me, "people have big comfortable cars for a reason". this snappy remark was made following his own admittal that were all of this insanity happening in HIS neighborhood, he'd be screaming bloody murder, too...how does one change that type of thinking, that is a mystery to me. We also have that parking gargage next to the Botanical Gardens, which was erected against the wishes of many in the area. so, aside from Marta, which has ample parking at it's rail lines North, South, East, and West, there are 3 parking sites which can accommodate a lot of automobiles, if the sponsors & AJF push this option. actually enforcing the parmitted parking only in the areas so impacted over the weekend would help, it seemed like there was a lot of confusion as to WHAT was supposed to be done in terms of enforcing parking. We don't look upon the park as OURS, we just would like to be able to come and go from our homes, without being inconvenienced or hassled.
rick June 02, 2011 at 02:19 PM
Someone needs to study the parking, shuttle and side street plan of the October Greek Fest. And dogs belong in some section of the park no matter what event is there!!!
Tim June 08, 2011 at 03:10 PM
I live on Park Dr NE. Saturday night of the festival I come home to find the non parking side of my street completely full from Inman Park Middle School to the backside of Piedmont Park. Incredible. It was like Freaknic in the sense of the amount of trash and how most of the participants were acting. They also parked in front of my and others driveway. It's funny how other festivals the cops are all over my street writing tickets and towing. They show a very strong presence - even towing for parking too close to stop signs. Why in the world would the cops not press these idiots especially the way they were acting. I know the answer.
mike and izzy June 08, 2011 at 03:19 PM
The AJF has more than 30 year's experience - somewhere in there are learnings. And, the current Director has more than a dozen year's in position - again somewhere in there are (or should be) learnings. That is my rant! 1) follow the NPU process; 2) enforce existing permitted parking regs; 3) consider resident permit parking only; 4) keep the festival in the Park; 5) make sure that APD knows the process!; 6) keep this wonderful festival - it is a treat for all Atlantans. Lastly, The City is considering a concert in September to raise funds for a City program. We should start now to make sure that the proper process is followed. Mike and Izzy
Liz June 08, 2011 at 03:39 PM
I've been following this closely, lets keep in mind that I have gotten a couple of permits for events in the past. First, let be fundamental about this, there is a U.S. Constitutional right to Freedom of Assembly, which always us the right to gather, let's be sure not an tread on that. Second, The NPU and the Civic Associations are aware of all upcoming events that requre a permit, they can easily share the information with the surrounding neighbors and they often choose not to publish the event in their newletters or send out email blast because they "feel its promoting an event" and they will often try and "sell" advertisments instead. Third, All events due follow the NPU process, but, the NPU is not a governing body and will often interject their own "personal feelings" about an event, which again, treads on the constitutional right of assembly. Fourth, I drove Midtown the weekend of the AJF and had NO PROBLEMS with traffic, with parking, which directions. NO PROBLEMS. As for resident parking, these are City streets that my tax dollars pay to repair and I certainly don't live on every street, Its called sharing folks. Share. its just one weekend, should your driveways be blocked - No- then I agree that a car should be towed. But these are City streets - learn to share. Fifth, Dogs should be allowed. period. you can have children, you can have strollers you can should be allowed to have dogs.
JoshI June 23, 2011 at 03:22 PM
I second that Liz: "Dogs should be allowed. period. you can have children, you can have strollers you can should be allowed to have dogs." This is a park and doesn't stop being a park because of Jazz fest.
Terry Smith June 25, 2011 at 12:11 PM
When you have some people who adamantly and willfully refuse to pick up after their dogs, that's all we need, allowing dogs into the park for these festivals. I'm a dog person, I love my dog. I also pick up after him, while I have a neighbor who not only allows her dogs to roam free, but absolutely refuses to pick up after them. So sorry but I disagree, not as long as there are those who think rules don't apply to them.
lig June 30, 2011 at 07:46 PM
I've lived in Midtown for 9 years. I bought here because I like being close the the park. And the festivities. And that means dealing with some traffic issues from time to time. And yes, there are ungrateful attendees at some of these events. But there's nothing we're going to do to stop these people, and we shouldn't regulate ourselves to death trying to. I say get over the nitty gritty and enjoy the festivities. And recognize that living here means dealing with some of this stuff

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