Regarding the letter “Build transit first and development will follow” seems to me a little off base. One of the main premises of the letter is how well areas of Atlanta with MARTA train stations have grown over the years and in particular the Brookhaven area.
I don’t dispute that Brookhaven has seen good growth over the years but if it was primarily due to the MARTA rail service, then why have areas like East Point, West End, Kensington, West Lake, Oakland City, H.E. Holmes, Bankhead (and others) not seen this amazing growth as well?
These are all areas of Atlanta that have been served by MARTA train service and stations for decades but for whatever reasons, that spectacular growth per the writer that should have followed due to the heavy rail transit lines has not really materialized in any significant way.
I think heavy rail can be a factor in how an area develops but by itself is not the magic bullet as shown by these ongoing, real-world, time-tested examples.