Transportation planners hear residents: Keep Fayette rural

Tue, 03/24/2009 - 4:05pm
By: John Munford

Last week Fayette residents got an overview of potential transportation improvement projects for future years.

The meeting was hosted as part of a long-range transportation plan being prepared for the county by the Glatting Jackson Kercher Anglin consulting firm.

One of the most important facets of the plan is that it must be designed to gain widespread community support, said project manager Paul Morris. That’s why the county had several day-long “drop-in” workshops for citizens to share their views about potential transportation projects.

One of the most often-heard requests from residents at those workshops was a need to maintain Fayette’s rural look and feel, said project manager Paul Morris.

“One thing we’ve heard loud and clear is ‘rural character,’” Morris said. “While the county continues to grow, the reason many of you moved here and what you value about this place is this rural feeling.”

Morris noted that about half of Fayette’s land is still undeveloped, but that will change in the future as the county’s population is projected to hit 150,000 in 2030.

To help preserve Fayette’s rural character, Morris said instead of widening roads from two to four lanes, the county could instead install left turn lanes to allow traffic to flow smoother. He also noted the county’s conservation zoning allows for more natural area to be located along roads.

Interstate access is a key for Fayette, which has many commuters driving to and from Atlanta, Morris said. To help traffic flow smoother onto Interstate 85, Morris said one suggestion would involve building an access road parallel to the interstate that would link Ga. highways 74 and 92.

In that scenario, motorists would no longer get on I-85 northbound from Hwy. 74 but instead would use a new on-ramp at Hwy. 92, Morris said.

About 28,000 people live in Fayette but travel elsewhere to work, Morris noted. About 16,000 live and work in Fayette while another 18,000 people live elsewhere and commute to Fayette to work, he added.

Still, those commuting trips only represent about 20 percent of the trips generated by a typical home, Morris said.

Approximately 70 percent of all trips occur within three miles of the household, he added.

Morris addressed different options for the often-clogged intersection of hwys. 54 and 74, “which is a giant mess,” he conceded to laughter from the audience.

One option is to do nothing and deal with the congestion, Morris said. Or additional left turn lanes could be added within the existing right of way along with new technology “to push cars through,” Morris said.

He also said a bridge could be built to bring Hwy. 74 over Hwy. 54. That project would require ramps that would take some land from the nearby Avenue and Marketplace shopping centers, Morris noted.

A fourth option would be to build another east-west road north of the intersection to perhaps link with access roads in the McIntosh Village shopping center.

One often-heard refrain from residents at the planning meetings was to accommodate the needs of seniors in new transportation projects, Morris said.

At last week’s wrap-up meeting at City Hall, there were plenty of opinions on “mass transit.” Several residents, including Peachtree City Councilman Don Haddix, said mass transit attracts crime.

Morris noted that the mass transit called for in the future would be of a commuter rail type facility that would have several trains going one way into Atlanta in the morning and returning in the evening. State officials will control when or if such a commuter rail would come into existence, but the proposed line would start in Senoia, stop in Peachtree City and several other places before stops in East Point (for transfers to the airport via MARTA) and later a multi-modal rail station in downtown Atlanta.

While the mere mention of mass transit drew negative reactions from many residents at the March 17 meeting, there were a couple of positive remarks in favor of commuter rail.

Morris also mentioned that several intersections in the county might be candidates for redesigning as roundabouts. He specifically listed five such intersections: Goza and Old Greenville roads, Redwine and Quarters roads, Sandy Creek and Ellison roads, Ebenezer and Spear roads and Beauregard Boulevard and Grady Avenue in Fayetteville.

Roundabouts have 20-25 percent fewer crashes than intersections with stop lights, and they have 50 to 75 percent fewer injuries, Morris said.

“It’s not a solution that fits everywhere,” Morris cautioned.

Residents who were unable to attend the public meetings but still want a say are urged to take an online survey about the county’s future transportation needs. The survey is available on the county’s website: To reach the survey, click on the link at the left side for “transportation plan” and then scroll to the bottom of the new page for the Fayette Forward Community Survey.

The next step in preparing the transportation plan is for the consulting firm to develop cost and effectiveness data for each potential project. Those results will be presented at a September meeting before the plan is adopted, Morris said.

A major portion of the plan is being funded by the Atlanta Regional Commission as it wants to find out how counties want their state and regional transportation money spent.

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Cyclist's picture
Submitted by Cyclist on Wed, 03/25/2009 - 5:06pm.

Morris addressed different options for the often-clogged intersection of hwys. 54 and 74, “which is a giant mess,” he conceded to laughter from the audience.

So tell me again why there is no plan for a bypass around PTC?

Caution - The Surgeon General has determined that constant blogging is an addiction that can cause a sedentary life style.

Don Haddix's picture
Submitted by Don Haddix on Wed, 03/25/2009 - 5:27pm.

None of the options for 54/74 are acceptable. One is pointless, one would shut down The Avenues, Westpark and Marketplace and one would wipe out about half of the Marketplace businesses plus put a bridge over to Walmart.

As for a bypass it would have to go into Coweta. And that would create yet another development area for them to populate on our border. So, would we be trading one problem for yet another?

I hope the widening of Fischers Road will help bleed traffic away from 74. But, that plan is years old with no real start date given.

The completion of the McDuff extension should help as well.

Don Haddix
PTC Councilman
Post 1

Cyclist's picture
Submitted by Cyclist on Wed, 03/25/2009 - 4:59pm.

here, in Fayette County! Egad!!!!!
Caution - The Surgeon General has determined that constant blogging is an addiction that can cause a sedentary life style.

Submitted by skyspy on Wed, 03/25/2009 - 10:52pm.

We don't need marta or any other rail system. If people want an easier commute to jobs in Atlanta it should be easy. Homes are selling for a dime a dozen in Cabbagetown. Don't like that? How about the West end or East Atlanta, maybe Clarkston, or Kirkwood? Go get some of those bargains. You will be real nice and close to work.

Most normal people researched Fayette County before moving here. Then we moved here on purpose to be far away from the ghetto some call Atlanta. Atlanta/Detroit/Chicago/LA all have their differently special, multi-cultural, challenged behavior, and "misunderstandings". We have enough problems with crime and criminals now streaming in from river-crime-dale and south fulton. Do we really need to invite in more problems?

To those people complaining about the drive to Atlanta; did you honestly think Fayette County would magically move closer to the ghetto just because you moved here?

Submitted by mysteryman on Thu, 03/26/2009 - 6:54am.

We will call her Quashe (Name changed to protect the innocent). Had just purchased the foreclosure across the street that had been empty for the last three years. The first day they were moving in a friend of theirs had got stuck in the front yard. So i went over and pulled em out and welcomed them to the neighborhood. Quashe a young mother had explaned that they had just moved from Hollywood courts, and this was her first home, and that the goverment had helped her with the down payment assistance program now availiable in Fayette County thanks to our lovely commision... Anyhow it was her, and her newborn, and a teenage son. No daddy to be found, oh well none of my bussiness. Anyhow i was enjoying this past Sunday, as that is the one day a week that i do nothing, About 8am there was a knock on the door, it was Quashe, she said she had been standing at the end of the street for almost an hour and a half, and wanted to know what time the BUS would be by and said she did not know the route number to Atlanta... I said did all these folks who helped you buy this house even enlighten you as to the fact that there is no bus service in Fayette County, she replied no... I said did you even ask, Quashe replied dont it runs everywhere. No i replied. Then she says, "I was wondering why there was no sidewalks bettween heres and Riberdales.... Nyce welcome to the neighborhood.....Can you gives me a ryde to da sto.....NAWL....PEACE OUT DEUCES HOLLA BACK......

The 5-0's picture
Submitted by The 5-0 on Thu, 03/26/2009 - 6:59pm.

I feel bad for you but it still is kinda funny.

Submitted by skyspy on Thu, 03/26/2009 - 7:21am.

Your neighbor needs to go look up in Kirkwood or Clarkston.

matt.barnes's picture
Submitted by matt.barnes on Thu, 03/26/2009 - 7:18am.

That’s awesome. She bought a house in PTC and just assumed there was a bus that would take her from the end on her driveway to Atlanta. Please tell me you made that up to be funny. Or, you at least exaggerated some of it.

Submitted by mysteryman on Thu, 03/26/2009 - 6:14pm.

Sitting in the driveway now, the hoods yellow, drivers door brown, no hubcaps, and it looks to be an old interceptor with the spot light on the drivers door. I wonder how long Quashe will ride around with tag applied for on the back window. Welcome to the hood.....PEACE

Evil Elvis's picture
Submitted by Evil Elvis on Wed, 03/25/2009 - 4:56pm.

The Riverdale jaywalkers are already jaywalking across SR 85 all over Fayetteville. It's just awesome to see people standing in the median, waiting to cross -- especially a few feet from a crosswalk. Really defines a community as quality.

Wouldn't it be awesome to have Marta bus stops too?

Seriously ... what's with the jaywalking?

Submitted by mysteryman on Tue, 03/24/2009 - 8:34pm.

The Bus Stops Here, What are these folks smoking???? If Fayette County ever has a rapid transit system, train, bus, or flying carpet, it will have A.R.C. funding written all over it, come on folks a one way in the morning train, and return service in the evenings... Please it will be MARTA, or nothing at all. There is no way even with SPLOST that the county could finance an exclusive railway all on its own.... Besides that while are they wasting money on this study when they are going to do whatever they want anyway.....BLESS..

Don Haddix's picture
Submitted by Don Haddix on Wed, 03/25/2009 - 8:21am.

You are correct. ARC is behind this portion of the plan. The proposed plan as a whole is overseen by the County.

It is the same plan presented about five years ago. Nothing changed. But it was rejected by Fayette County.

Remember, each ARC County has two representatives on the Board, the County Commission Chair and one Mayor. They are approved by ARC, not the County.

Chairman Smith and Mayor Steele are our representatives and both are pro transit.

Don Haddix
PTC Councilman
Post 1

Submitted by mysteryman on Wed, 03/25/2009 - 8:03pm.

As if the A.R.C. would choose someone who is against transit. It is the only way they can hope to get their pet projects endorsed and their builder developer buddys power centers approved by the Atlanta Regional Commision (A.R.C) for our less fortunate readers.... Get used to hearing more about A.R.C and pay attention to any and all articles relating to the A.R.C. For it wont be long if we do not take a stands folks. And now with the housing market being in shambles, and the economy lowering home prices through foreclosures ans short sales, enabeling people to buy homes in the community who should not be able to afford to do so had this situation not arisen, get ready for these newcomers to be the ones who vote for and proposition for public transportation to be brought into Fayette County for these are the ones with the government vouchers, and 10 unrelated people living or renting the same house. And as a new resident asked at the last commisioners meeting. "Whys aints yalls gots no sidewalks on 92 Norfs." My goodness....Its cause we planned it that way fo a reason...PEACE

Evil Elvis's picture
Submitted by Evil Elvis on Wed, 03/25/2009 - 5:02pm.

Dear Don,

I've recently noticed that Fayetteville now has a healthy share of jaywalkers on SR 85 -- just like Riverdale. What are YOU doing to bring classy jaywalkers to PTC? Lets not be left behind!


Gene61's picture
Submitted by Gene61 on Tue, 03/24/2009 - 5:15pm.

It may not be MARTA, but it ( Rail ) will still bring Atl closer to Fayetteville, do you enjoy seeing our crme rates go up? This county already deals withthe gangs from Riverdale and the drug traffic that has found its way here, whats next?

Keep at least this part of the state the way god made it. When is enough a enough?

Submitted by ptcmom678 on Tue, 03/24/2009 - 4:44pm.

Gang, this is not exactly rocket science. As Morris mentioned, there's be several trains going INTO the business areas of metro Atlanta in the morning, at then at the END of the business day, several trains would go back to Fayette County. This is not Marta. We are not talking about a constant back-and-forthing of trains. Which would you rather - sit in your car half-asleep on one of the interstates and have to keep an eye out for the drivers around you during a trip that takes at least twice the time it should.....or drive a short distance to a commuter rail parking lot and let someone else do the driving while you have your coffee, your computer, and the freedom to surf the net or get a jump-start on the day. For less than the commuter van program costs due to being able to get more people on the train.

The Wedge's picture
Submitted by The Wedge on Tue, 03/24/2009 - 5:17pm.

It takes me 55 minutes to get midtown from southern Peachtree City. Since the mileage is over 45, that is not an unreasonable time. Commuter rail is normally not self financing. So it becomes what people "think" they need. When you throw it driving to a park and ride location, the actual train trip, and then the inevitable multi-block walk, bus or cab ride from the commuter rail exit point, I don't see where I save any time. Throw in that I do not work midtown, but on the west side, it becomes a complete non-starter for me. There are very few places that commuter rail even approaches a break even point on costs. I cannot fathom it being profitable here in south metro atlanta. I don't want to finance anyone else's idea on how I should live and then be forced to live that way.

mudcat's picture
Submitted by mudcat on Thu, 03/26/2009 - 5:12am.

A real quick and easy research project. How many people take the PTC commuter bus everyday? 10, 12? OK how many are on the waiting list? 0? OK, now how many of them would choose rail over the bus if both were available at the same price? How many would pay more for rail?

Any questions?

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