Alpharetta Named No. 7 By Forbes in US Friendliest Towns

Alpharetta jogger as captioned by Forbes{[}]{[}]In a nice prelude to the start of work on Alpharetta’s new City Center project, Forbes has named the city to it’s 2012 list of America’s Friendliest Towns. In compiling the list, Forbes teamed with and used 4 criteria in determining which American towns would make the cut: percentage of owner-occupied homeownership, percentage of college graduates, charitable giving and crime rate. US towns with populations between 5500 and 150,000 were considered; once the initial screening was completed, then surveyed residents of the top towns to determine Forbe’s final rankings.{[}]{[}]{[}]{[}](The photo on the left depicts work on the new round about that will be on Haynes Bridge Road at City Center.){[}]{[}]{[}]According to the Forbes report, the ranked towns had other commonalities, with nearly all boasting large tracts of public open spaces and a central downtown or main street hub that lends itself to town-sponsored events and uses these places to host festivals, concerts and street markets. Many of the towns also promote crime reducing activities such as neighborhood watch groups and events like National Night Out.{[}]{[}]Digging further into the report, Alpharetta was cited for throwing events throughout the year, including Alpharetta Arts Streetfest, Taste of Alpharetta, the annual Scarecrow display, Veterans Parade and the annual Christmas Tree Lighting. On a side note, the accompanying “Alpharetta” photo (shown here courtesy of the Forbes posting) is pretty hilarious.  I mean, when is the last time you saw a jogger wearing flip-flops?{[}]{[}]Okay, I get that the criteria and surveys make this list quite arbitrary but I confess to some civic pride in Alpharetta ranking so high on the list. Being a Georgia native and having lived in North Fulton for decades now, I see these qualities daily and appreciate the national recognition. My mom, God love her, sometimes tells me, “Say you’re from Alpharetta! People don’t know where Milton is!” Now Milton people, don’t get angry with me, like you I had an Alpharetta address for so long I feel I can still claim residency (in both) and take pride in the recognition. Now I just hope our civic pride and friendliness will become contagious and some of you folks driving will get off your cell phones, pay more attention and be a bit more courteous on our roads!{[}]{[}]One last thing: I feel certain that our local leaders, including Mayors and City Council, take a lot of heat and criticism while working for our respective cities. But I want to thank them and our public service employees, such as police and fireman as well as other city employees, for making progress towards all the things that contribute to making this list. Low crime, walkable downtown and public areas and year-around events all contribute to the quality of life we enjoy in North Fulton. So thanks, and Happy Holidays to all!

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