Residents discuss the proposed bike lanes for Peachtree Road at the Buckhead Council of Neighborhoods meeting.
Residents discuss the proposed bike lanes for Peachtree Road at the Buckhead Council of Neighborhoods meeting.

Residents unhappy with the proposed “road diet” for Peachtree Road sounded off during last night’s Buckhead Council of Neighborhoods meeting. Although an official from the Georgia Department of Transportation wasn’t able to attend, the floor was opened to comments from the larger-than-normal crowd.

The plan calls for re-striping Peachtree Road through Buckhead to include turn lanes and bike lanes. The majority of residents on hand for the BCN meeting were opposed to removing travel lanes to accommodate for bike lanes.

“Peachtree Road is overcapacity and it should be for cars and nothing else,” one meeting attendee said.

Other residents were concerned that less thru lanes for vehicles on Peachtree would mean more cars diverting into neighborhoods. Another resident suggested maybe it was time for Atlanta to stop spending money to accommodate more cars and start charging a congestion fee similar to the one in London where motorist pay a toll to drive in the heart of the UK capital.

“I’m a cyclist and would never ride my bike on Peachtree Road,” one woman said. “The speed of traffic and density makes it unsafe even with bike lanes.”

Other attendees said community focus should shift from how to accommodate more cars to alternative transportation. One resident mentioned the new grassroots organization The MARTA Army, which is mobilizing Atlantans to use the train and bus service rather than drive.

Dist. 54 House Rep. Beth Beskin, R, said the majority of residents she had spoken to were against the bike lanes. She also said residents need to start contacting the city about the proposed extension of the Atlanta Streetcar system from Lenox Square to Fort McPherson.

Here is the current GDOT “road diet” plan for Peachtree Road:
• Maple Drive to Shadowlawn Avenue would have seven taffic lanes with three travel lanes in each direction, one turn lane and two bike lanes.
• Shadowlawn Avenue south to Peachtree Battle would have six traffic lanes with three southbound lanes, two  northbound lanes and one turn lane. There would be no bike lanes on this stretch.
• Peachtree Battle south to Deering Road: Five traffic lanes with two travel lanes in each direction, one turn lane and two bike lanes.