Georgia personal injury attorney

Whoever Wins the Tug of War for Hartsfield-Jackson, Passengers Still Lose

In a controversial move that Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms likened to “declaring war on the city,” the Georgia State Senate voted on March 7th to remove control of Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport from the city of Atlanta and place it with the state. Weeks later, the Georgia House approved a heavily altered version of the bill, softening the state takeover into the creation of a state-run oversight committee. Yet amid all the debate over who has the right to control and profit off of the busiest airport in the world, few are talking about passengers’ rights to a safe travel environment, or how to fix Hartsfield-Jackson’s ongoing failure to provide one. The Record of City-Level Corruption Is Long and Indisputable As one of the biggest economic…

Georgia personal injury attorney

Gwinnett County’s Rejection of MARTA May Be about More than Partisan Politics

The voters of Gwinnett County have recently rejected a proposal for a local MARTA expansion. This isn’t the first time — voters turned down similar proposals in both 1971 and 1990 — but greater population diversity and worsening traffic congestion had led many transit advocates to believe this might be MARTA’s year in Gwinnett. There were no doubt many factors contributing to the proposal’s defeat, some of them underhanded. The issue was left off the November ballot and relegated to a special election, excluding many lower income voters and giving the county’s dwindling population of wealthy suburbanites a louder voice. One anti-transit activist even arranged robocalls telling voters that MARTA was planning to “put thousands of apartments in Gwinnett,” exploiting racist and classist prejudices against…

Public Safety

DeKalb County Has Raised Pay for Public Safety Employees by 4%

As of November 2018, public safety employees in DeKalb County, including police officers, firefighters, and 911 operators, have been granted a pay raise of 4%. This is in addition to the February 2018 vote to create 155 new police officer jobs. DeKalb County has good reason to focus on attracting quality talent to police positions and ensuring that officers are well incentivized and supported. In 2017, the DeKalb County police department was severely understaffed, leading to a rise in both unsolved homicides and homicides in general. By the middle of the next year, the unsolved homicide rate showed significant improvement, thanks to a fuller staff of detectives. One crime journalist and former councilman suggests that the link between officer retention and crime solving goes beyond…

Atlanta Premises Liability Attorney

The Safety Hazards of Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport’s “Plane Train”

The people-mover known as the “Plane Train,” which shuttles passengers around the busiest airport in the world, is so ridiculously unsafe that it’s become a running joke, yet nothing is being done to improve safety. The interior of each Plane Train car is empty, except for 10 vertical bars to be shared among 50 riders at a time. Before each start and stop, an automated voice advises travelers to “please hold on” — and it’s not kidding. The train then lurches in and out of its 24-35 mph operating speed abruptly enough to knock unbraced passengers off their feet. Automated voices also warn at each station that “the doors are closing and will not reopen.” Apparently, being caught in the doorway doesn’t instantly sentence a…

injury cause by damaged sidewalks

The City of Atlanta Is Being Sued for Unsafe Sidewalks — Again

Simply walking down the street can be a risky endeavor in Atlanta, where obstructed and deteriorating sidewalks are a fixture of everyday life. Getting around safely is even more difficult for those Atlanta residents for whom walking itself is challenging or impossible. Small cracks and rises that many able-bodied pedestrians don’t notice can pose a serious danger and obstacle for users of wheelchairs and other assistive devices. That’s the reason for the latest lawsuit concerning Atlanta’s sidewalks. Three Atlanta residents with physical disabilities have filed a class action lawsuit against the city, on behalf of themselves and others in similar situations, for its failure to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Atlanta Never Kept Its Promises from Last Time Being sued for the condition…

Georgia gang violence attorney

Victims of Gang Violence Are Entitled to Increased Compensation under the Georgia Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act

When choosing an apartment, or even a place to spend a day off, local crime rates are a significant consideration for many. Raw crime data isn’t hard to find, but rarely does it mention whether that crime is organized or not. That’s unfortunate, because gang activity is a significant factor in predicting crime patterns, and often a sign of property owner complicity. Funding for federal data collection on gangs was suspended in 2012, but the most recent figures indicate that gang-related violence accounts for at least 13% of homicides nationwide, and closer to 50% in many big cities. More recently, the U.S Attorneys for the Middle and Southern Districts of Georgia estimated the ratio to be even higher locally, potentially as high as 90%. To…

Gas stations need to do more to protect customers from violence

Gas Stations Need to Do More to Protect Customers from Violence

If you feel vulnerable while filling up your tank, it’s not just your imagination. According to a survey by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S gas stations are the site of approximately 63,530 violent crimes per year. That’s almost as many as hotel rooms, banks, and public transport stations put together. Such crimes are so common that they almost run together on the news. In November of 2018, a drug deal in an Atlanta gas station turned sour and became a shooting that killed two people. Less than a week later over in College Park, another pair of people were shot at a gas station, one in the face and one in the hip. The next day, another young man was fatally shot while pumping…

City of Decatur to repair sidewalks

The City of Decatur Has Begun Another Long-Term Project to Fix Crumbling Sidewalks

As part of an ongoing attempt to address the state of local sidewalks, the City of Decatur has announced its plans to smooth out tripping hazards over the next 3-4 years, starting with West Ponce De Leon Avenue. This project, while badly needed, will focus solely on tripping hazards that are under 2” in height and can be corrected by sawing down the protruding edges. Larger hazards that require full sidewalk replacement will be left for a later project, though a particular timeline for such a project has not been given. Decatur’s Sidewalks Should Never Have Been Allowed to Get This Bad Sidewalk construction and renovation has been a consistent presence in Decatur for over a decade. Given the emphasis that pedestrian access and safety…

property liability in high crime areas

Property Owners in High Crime Areas Are More Responsible for Security, Not Less

In a 2018 analysis that’s caused no shortage of controversy, Atlanta has been ranked among the nation’s 50 most unlivable cities. Of course, statistical rankings offer only the shallowest glimpse of what life is like in a given city. The metrics used for ranking, especially crime rates, can vary drastically from one neighborhood to another, or even from one business to the one next door, depending on property owner policies. Another more fine-pointed study back in 2010 found that the specific areas of Atlanta where people were most likely to fall victim to crime were along Carter Street, Marietta Street, Richardson Street, and Humphries Street. More recently, residents have noted a crime spike in Buckhead, in spite of its safe reputation, made up especially of…

Georgia’s Condo Boom Puts Gun Violence Prevention in the Hands of HOAs

Condominium living has become increasingly popular in Georgia in recent years, between the wave of downsizing baby boomers and the influx of millennial first-time homeowners seeking more modest and centralized options than the suburbs. Although construction has yet to catch up with demand, there are more people living in Georgia condo complexes with each passing year. Unlike apartment complexes or detached houses in informal communities, condos are usually regulated by a governing board or homeowners’ association (HOA). Among their myriad powers over residents, condo associations have the final say on many matters of security, gun safety, and violence prevention. More Square Footage Doesn’t Necessarily Mean More Safety One of the reasons condo living is so popular is that it feels safer than the alternatives. Condos…