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54W study remains in council gridlock

Yet again, the Peachtree City Council has punted a fairly significant issue following a messy exchange between council members that left some audience members shaking their heads in disgust Thursday night.

The discussion of traffic issues along Ga. Highway 54 West sprung a flat tire at the start when Councilman George Dienhart moved to deny a new traffic light on the highway at Line Creek Drive and also deny a developer’s unofficial request to link that development to Planterra Way.

Dienhart’s motion ultimately failed for lack of a second after it was noted that a technicality on the wording of the agenda item might prevent council from taking action.

The problem was that the agenda said council would “discuss” the traffic conditions on Hwy. 54 which implies that no action would be taken.

Instead of trying to convince his fellow council members to see it his way, Dienhart blamed them for failing to keep a political promise “to protect the residents of Planterra Way and Cardiff Park.”

Dienhart said the connection to Planterra Way would put kids in danger from cut-through traffic, and he blasted his fellow council members for working “behind closed doors” on a developer’s proposal to put a grocery store on the site at Line Creek Drive instead of working with the city’s economic development coordinator.

Councilmember Vanessa Fleisch said she limits her conversations with the coordinator in an effort to keep the employee away from “the political milieu that has derived from our dysfunction.”
Fleisch added that the coordinator has been busy working with existing industries on a host of other matters.

Later in the discussion, Fleisch advocated asking the Georgia Department of Transportation for a comprehensive study of the entire highway corridor, and she presented a suggested letter for council to approve that would jump start the process. That concept flew off the rail, at least temporarily, as Mayor Don Haddix said he hadn’t seen the letter prior to the meeting and that he wouldn’t sign a document he didn’t agree with.

Council ultimately tabled the matter to allow time for the letter to be massaged before it will come back up for a vote at the June 20 council meeting.

Another consideration offered by council was the possibility of asking businesses in the industrial park to stagger their shift times so a large flux of employees aren’t getting on the roads around the 5 p.m. drive time.

Resident Tim Lydell urged council to pursue the large-scale DOT study of the area.

“I ask you to please do that, and please tone down the rhetoric,” Lydell said. “Get along, shake hands, kiss and hug, do something different than what you’ve been doing, because what you’ve been doing ain’t working.”

The sentiment drew applause from several in the audience.

Resident Paul Lentz suggested council consider a “real-time adaptive system” of traffic lights that could be modified on the fly as traffic gets bogged down. Such a system could include the traffic lights on Hwy. 54 West and also on Ga. Highway 74 as well.

Lentz said a study by the Atlanta Regional Commission predicted in June 2011 that the trips between central Coweta County and central Fayette County would increase from 32,000 a day to more than 50,000 a day by the year 2040.

“The only candidate road for that traffic is state road 54,” Lentz said.



Jolly for PTC Mayor's picture

Lets vote for new leadership in Peachtree City in November. We need new people to lead our city, and that know how to work together to get the job done. Vote for the best people for the job, and not vote back the same people whom don't seem to be able to work together to get anything done now.

Robert W. Morgan's picture

Jolly good of you to put forth those thoughts to keep us focused on the task at hand.

Live free or die!

Anyone who blogs really doesn't deserve to be mayor....for goodness sake, you are on here with me, many anonymous strangers and Haddix.

Try running a real campaign, spend some money and do it legit! No one will take you seriously if you blog! You would do better standing on 54/74 with a handwritten cardboard sign around your neck in a chicken suit.

Jolly for PTC Mayor's picture

everyone is entitled to their opinion

You are judged by the company you keep!
Welcome to the blogs....

Busy Bee's picture

I would pay money to see Don Haddix standing on 54/74 with a handwritten cardboard sign around his neck in a chicken suit. I wonder if he would consider that for a campaign fundraiser...

Looks like George is continuing his campaign to trump up votes by puffing himself up to be the defender of the oppressed and maltreated in Peachtree City.
Never you mind the details (i.e. facts), just be comforted that the guy who makes the biggest show of saying how he is standing up for you is surely doing the right thing.
Sadly, this political strategy works quite often. The same low hanging fruit (dumb voters) who find appeal in this sort of politicking are, sadly, a huge portion of the modern voter turnout.

I know it's like trying to bail water out of a hole in the ground with a shovel while it's raining because the more capacity you add the more traffic will come. But, GDOT has already had a stab at improving both 54 and 74. They applied the same rubber stamp strategy they apply all over Atlanta. More lanes, more curb cuts, more traffic lights, and sidewalks used by nobody. In a place like PTC where alternate transportation is a reality why they could not have replaced the sidewalks that are not used with a cart path and added bike lanes?

Don Haddix's picture

The answer to that is under MUTCD Federal Law the sidewalks are mandated.

As to why they were not replaced with cart paths, I asked that when I took office in 2008. Then Mayor Logsdon said it was not under Council jurisdiction so they didn't ask.

You always ask. GDOT will listen to reasonable requests and might grant them if done correctly. Some they cannot but will explain why. Purely political ones does not sit well with them.

It works. I worked on expediting the CSX/54 cart path, warning signal at the BSC, some sound walls residents wanted on 74, etc. Also currently working with GDOT and the ARC on a Fischer Road connection to I-85.

As for bike lanes, the paths are for bikes as well.

<strong><em>Peachtree City Mayor</em></strong>

<cite><strong>Don Haddix
Peachtree City Mayor</strong></cite>

Obviously you've never ridden a bike on the paths, have you. First of all, the majority of the paths are not suitable for 10 speeds. Too many of them buckle and and too rough. No way anyone would risk ruining an expensive bike built for a smooth surface. Second, try riding a mountain bike on them. And then try avoiding people flying around a curve on the wrong side of the path head on at you. I have. Its always a blast crashing while the driver of the golf cart looks at you like you did something wrong and goes on his/her merry way.

When we moved to the area back in 2009, we looked at several homes in the Planterra development before purchacing a nicer and more expensive home in unincorporated Fayetteville just past the Peachtree City "border". Boy, are we happy!

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