Peachtree Road Update

If you commented on a certain project last year, you should have received a notice from GDOT. Inside was an update to the project, extending it south to the Buford/Spring connector (just over the bridge at the north end of Midtown). The letter reads, in part: "No bike lanes would be included in the project." 


Full letter here.

all_dist.gifThe original project began as a safety effort. Peachtree Road from Brookwood to Buckhead has a much higher car-car crash rating than similar state roads, and GDOT wanted to add a center turn lane. With a few feet left over, engineers suggested bike lanes, in keeping with the state's Complete Streets policy (2012 announcement and policy - chapter 9).

Despite its humble beginnings, the bike lane quickly dominated all talk of the project and became the focal point for opposition, and of course, the rest is history. 

We believe the few feet of space proposed (4' protected by paint) simply wasn't enough to let most folks imagine themselves biking on a dangerous road like Peachtree.

That said, the project design that would have included bike lanes scored highest for overall project safety - for everyone, not just people on bikes. While the design will add a center turn lane, making it safe to drive on Peachtree Road, it won't do much for people outside of cars.

This is a missed opportunity, especially since the postscript to the email reads "Pedestrian deaths are surging in Georgia - 206 people were killed while walking in 2015." That's an increase of 37% in two years.

If you'd like to help shift the tide towards safety in this state, it's a good time to get involved. One way to do that is contact your GDOT board member to let them know you think safety, not popularity, should be the metric we use to make project decisions.

The GDOT board member list is here (districts are based on your congressional district.)