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