I am glad that Vaughn Stewart won the mayor seat in Anniston. Plus many city councilmen are going to be replaced as well including the controversial Ben Little. Many people are commenting online about what needs to happen to Anniston so it can reclaim its glory. I have a couple of ideas which I think will help the people who live in this area plus it will help Anniston come back. Many people have talked about the crime problem in Anniston and unless the city puts the smack down on crime nothing will change. The saying is Anniston has the 4th worst crime rate in the country for a city its size. When you read that statistic; who is going to want to move to Anniston? Anniston has got to do a better job in retaining police officers and training police officers to do a superior job in the city. I would also invest in community watch programs so the citizens can have a say in preventing crime in the city.
Jobs are another problem in Anniston. I have been unemployed for 14 months now and I am sure many other people have been unemployed for a long time now as well. I get very discouraged when I go down to the career center or look online and I see the same things every day with not much new listings. Anniston needs to work with other cities and the chamber to put together a plan to recruit new businesses. Anniston needs a strategic plan for the next 5-10 years and it needs to re-develop the McClellan property and downtown so its ready for businesses to move in. I find these two issues as the biggest problems in Anniston right now but I am going to talk about a few lesser-known issues.
First I would like to see a community garden set up in Anniston. Cities like Sylacauga and Lenoir, NC have set up successful community garden programs that help feed the less fortunate. Here is a link from Parade Magazine showing how the city of Lenoir, NC has set up a successful community garden program. http://www.parade.com/health/2012/08/19-north-carolina-town-community-garden.html.
I would also like to see more programs to see our kids being engaged in Anniston. A few programs have already started up but I believe we need more. I would also like to see better ways to direct drivers in Anniston. If you see an 18-wheeler turning around in the middle of the road because of bad signage you know that’s dangerous. We need to put up bigger road name signs at our traffic light intersections like they do in Birmingham and Georgia.
I would also like to see better signage pointing drivers to the area points of interests in Anniston. Many cities do this and I am sure Anniston can do this as well.
If Anniston also wants to become the eco-tourism hot spot that I know it can become we need to maintain our streets better. I would like to see some streets have bike lanes on them. The city could easily take out the center lane on certain streets and replace them with bike lanes. I would also like to see the Chief Ladiga trail extended into downtown Anniston which should have been done a long time ago.
I would also like to see some intersections re-done as roundabouts. I believe Anniston has a few too many traffic lights in the city and some of the traffic light intersections could be easily redone as a roundabout. Roundabouts are safer than both traffic circles and junctions—having 40% fewer vehicle collisions, 80% fewer injuries and 90% fewer serious injuries and fatalities. Oxford leaders have refused the idea of making the Friendship Rd. and Leon Smith Parkway intersection a roundabout which is a shame. Anniston could prove the Oxford leaders wrong.
I also would like to see something done about Quintard Ave. Many people have chimed in about the traffic light timings and the traffic. When a car trying to cross Quintard Ave. has to block the left lane to wait for traffic to get through it’s an accident waiting to happen.
I also have a few videos below that shows how bad the lights are on Quintard Ave. When it’s 10am on a weekday 35 seconds for a green light on Quintard Ave. is not enough time.
Here is another video showing all of traffic light problems in Anniston and Oxford. I hope Vaughn Stewart and the new city councilmen will address these problems.
So I hope that the new mayor Vaughn Stewart and the new city councilmen will work together for a change and bring the Model City back. By the way Geek Alabama and me Nathan Young will be keeping an eye on this new city administration.