How Should Norcross Break the Buford Highway Barrier?

It's no doubt that, even though the east side of Buford Highway is now in the city limits of Norcross, there's still a cultural gap.

Ever since the annexation of the east side of Buford Highway almost a year ago, city of Norcross officials and involved citizens living in the older parts have been wondering: What's the best way to connect people on both sides of the highway?

It's no doubt that, even though the east side of Buford Highway is now in the city limits of Norcross, there's still a cultural gap between with the east and west. The east side is extremely diverse with dozens and dozens of cultures, and the population there is huge.

But the citizens engaged in Norcross events such as city hall meetings and festivals still come mainly from the west side. 

The topic has been tackled in the city's Norcross Together events, which included a leadership summit and a soccer game in the spring. But more recently, the subject resurfaced in discussion at Wednesday's PDC meeting.

Many citizens at the meeting, who are all from the west side minus a few,  chimed in on the matter. It was pointed out that the city's code enforcement has been doing a good job of keeping the homes in regulation, but something else needs to be done in order for the different cultures on both sides of Buford Highway to come together.

So what should the city and citizens do to bridge the gap? How do we get there and what needs to be done?

As one citizen said, if the main interaction that the newly annexed citizens are getting is from code enforcement monitoring them, the east side isn't exactly getting the most positive outlook from the west side of Norcross.

It was fairly agreed upon that more citizens from the west side should go to the east, and more city events should be held there. One citizen suggested the PDC meetings could be held on the east side once a month, possibly at Pappadeaux or Malibu Grand Prix.

But even if the meetings are held over there, how should the PDC get the newer citizens to attend? Would signage in lawns and flyers be enough?

Regardless, it was pretty evident that the westside citizens believe that something needs to be done. If the older and newer parts of Norcross could have a better relationship, city officials would know more about what the citizens on the east side want and need.

And as a last note, as one PDC-goer said, the city of Norcross could have the best Cinco de Mayo in Georgia if both sides could just connect and organize.

How should the city embrace the newly annexed citizens and pull them into the older part of Norcross? Tell us in the comments.

See also:

  • Viewfinder: Norcross Together's Soccer Invitational
  • Bridging the Gap on Buford Highway
  • City Plans for 'Norcross Together' Event

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LilZ November 16, 2012 at 01:23 PM
It's not just 'new' citizens you're talking about - I have lived off of Brookhollow Parkway for 6 years and have always been part of the city of Norcross. I feel very disconnected from the rest of the city, even though I'm not far away. I would love for more events to take place over here! I also think that the city really concentrates on making downtown look great (and has been really successful) but it does not concern itself with the area east of Buford Hwy. I would love to see beautification and greenspace efforts in this area. Maybe walking trails and better lighting. Downtown and the west side are so cute - we want to be cute too!!!
Sarah Bakhtiari November 16, 2012 at 05:53 PM
Hi LilZ, thanks for the input! Something I didn't put in the article is that the city actually has some landscaping and improvements in line for the area, according to Mayor Bucky Johnson in the PDC meeting. A walking trail sounds good, too!
James Tola November 16, 2012 at 06:44 PM
The fact that Norcross is working on creating a more inclusive community speaks volumes for the city!
Pam Reich Hopper November 16, 2012 at 09:31 PM
The city owns the 5 acres next to the Cooperative Ministries. Great place for some green space & a park.
Neva Spell November 20, 2012 at 02:05 AM
I'm not so sure that its "inclusivity", so much as, cleaning ANY side, and, more jobs are needed for survival. The city of Norcross is basically responsible for governing both sides of the city, and its citizens are responsible for developing business opportunities, for themselves. And, all improvements, on ANY, side of the city, will be done with tax revenue, bottom line. CHEERS:-}


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