TL:DR: City of Johns Creek votes “full and complete opposition” to MARTA expansion into its city limits.
Johns Creek is often lost in the shuffle when it comes to the affluent, predominantly-white regions of the outskirts of Metro Atlanta. However, much like Roswell and Alpharetta, Johns Creek is the oft-overlooked third member of the north Fulton “Milton” county region, that likes to stir the pot and raise controversy every few years about how they want to secede and become their own county, and not be lumped in with the rest of Fulton county AKA “where all the black people live.”
Make no mistake, when it comes to demographics, atmosphere, and sense of entitlement, Johns Creek is sparsely different than its neighbors in Roswell and Alpharetta.
Except when it comes to the acceptance of MARTA, and the stigma that comes along with MARTA.
Although it’ll seem like another lifetime before it actually comes to fruition, Roswell/Alpharetta have taken the risky plunge and provided it doesn’t fall through along the way, expansion into way-north Fulton county is the plan, providing the area with a means to transit their way into Midtown/Downtown Atlanta without having to sit in the parking lots of 400 and the Connector.
Johns Creek, however? I would have assumed that the Gold line that ended in Doraville, would have been proposed to have continued to travel northbound into John’s Creek, adding anywhere from 3-6 additional stops along the way.
But that’s going to happen because Johns Creek apparently unanimously shot the idea down, because much like other detractors of MARTA like all of Cobb county, they don’t like black people.
Seriously, let’s not sugarcoat it, or act like that’s not the reason why places like Johns Creek and Marietta don’t want MARTA. I’ve said it before, I’ve seen firsthand what could happen with the introduction of mass transit connecting urban areas to affluent suburban ones, and there’s little to no effort to even attempt to integrate. It’s basically Charlie Wilson’s War, but on a slightly lesser scale, and resulting in only local violent organizations springing up, and not al Qaeda.
Now I don’t hide the fact that I love to criticize, glorify and take legions of cheap shots at MARTA. It’s practically a national pastime for me, undoubtedly. However, the truth of the matter is that as far as transit in Metro Atlanta goes, MARTA is really all we’ve got, and if Metro Atlanta wants to have any shot at actually being considered the world-class city they like to often boast about them already being, they’re going to need some fucking mass transit.
And not more stadiums. Fuck more stadiums.
Sure, I’ve seen what transit can do to an unprepared area (RIP Springfield Mall). But I’ve also been to places and seen what good having reliable mass transit can do, within the United States, and especially in cities in Europe. It is absolutely incredible to be able to get from the airport into the center of Amsterdam within 30 minutes without having to worry about needing a car. I was able to get from hotels located on the outskirts of Chicago and Boston to Wrigley Field and Fenway Park without having to spend a single minute in the crippling traffic that both cities are known to have on the roads. I laughed at road ragers in Paris before slipping into the Chatelet station for the 50th time before hopping on the 4 train that basically took me everywhere I wanted to go in the city. And only on rare occasions have I really ever needed a car to get anywhere I needed to go whenever I went into Washington D.C., when I could park my car in Springfield and Metro it instead.
Sure, there’s the obvious stigma and half-truths to the idea that MARTA is full of Africans being Moved Rapidly Through Atlanta, but I think it’s how the potential expansion sites handle the expansions and the influx of people, not just the blacks, that determines whether or not a place becomes another Springfield Mall, or flourishes like actual world class U.S. cities like Boston, Chicago or New York.
I mean, it’s easy for me to say, but I don’t know, create more jobs like security, reinforce the idea that MARTA expansion is still safe, and hope that it doesn’t deter but actually encourage more people to come to Johns Creek to leave their money behind, or perhaps expand, and possibly flourish?
The way Johns Creek xenophobia sounds, it’s like they believe a black person from like Riverdale county will hop on a bus to get on a train to College Park, where they will ride it all the way to Johns Creek, walk to the nearest affluent white neighborhood, bust down a door, steal a 60” television, walk back to the MARTA station, hop aboard a train with a 60” television in their arms, all the way back to College Park, take a MARTA bus back to Riverdale where they will successfully have heisted.
Doesn’t really matter though, I’m just one person, and Johns Creek is many. But in a nutshell, this is what’s wrong with Atlanta. The city wants to talk a big game about how they’re a world class city, but it’s full of segmented neighborhoods that want all the benefits of being lumped into a major market, without having to actually give the undesirable black people access to them.
The racism is abundantly transparent, regardless of what anyone says and until places like Johns Creek and all of Cobb county get over their inherent fear of black people, Atlanta as a whole will never be united, and with no unity, all hopes for true expansion and growth will always fall short.