Buckhead residents have voiced strong opinions for and against a state Department of Transportation proposal to create bike lanes along a portion of Peachtree Road. GDOT proposes repainting the lanes on Peachtree to create a central left-turn lane from Pharr to Deering roads and add bike lanes on the portion from Peachtree Battle Avenue to Deering.

The Buckhead Reporter asked elected officials who represent Buckhead what they thought of the plan. Here’s what they had to say.

Fulton County Commissioner Lee Morris

“In an ideal world, we would have 12-foot sidewalks and bike lanes and left-turn lanes. But we do not have enough right of way to have an ideal situation on Peachtree Road. So it’s a question to me of priorities. To me, traffic flow in this limited corridor is the highest priority, with bike lanes not being a priority to me on the south end of Peachtree. I am not a traffic engineer, but intuitively it seems to me that the middle turn lanes will free up some fl ow. Ultimately, though, government ought to hear the public and make its decisions based on what the public states are its priorities – I hope GDOT does so.” –Fulton County Commissioner Lee Morris

Atlanta City Councilwoman Yolanda Adrean

“Peachtree Road is one of the most significant corridors in the state, serving thousands of families and those coming into Atlanta
for work, travel or recreation. The safety of all users, including motorists, pedestrians and cyclists is of utmost importance. While I believe a shared left-turn lane will provide more efficient use of limited roadway, I am very interested in specific plans to safely accommodate the “storage capacity” for those traveling north and south in a shared left turn lane while competing for multiple curb cuts. I have the same concern for cyclists–too many curb cuts and potential for accidents. I am looking forward to recommendations from the Georgia Department of Transportation following the public comment period. Overwhelming participation and communication by stakeholders should provide a tremendous opportunity for GDOT to both address concerns and provide the best possible design for Peachtree Road.”

–Atlanta City Councilwoman Yolanda Adrean

Rep. Beth Beskin

“I do not support bike lanes on Peachtree Road. I am a recreational cyclist and support efforts to make Atlanta an even more
livable city. However, I believe other nearby north/south routes are better suited for bike traffic, and will best balance the needs and safety of bikers, pedestrians and drivers throughout Buckhead.

I suggest two alternative proposals for Peachtree Road, neither of which includes bike lanes. First, because the left lane in each direction is essentially already a turn lane, I suggest keeping both as turn lanes and striping them as such, with continuous turn arrows along each lane. This would avoid the problem I see in GDOT’s proposal of one alternating center turn lane which would stack back into the left through lane.

For example, at the intersection of Peachtree Road and Peachtree Hills Avenue, by the Chevron gas station, traffic heading
north to turn left onto Peachtree Battle Avenue is often stacked all the way back to Peachtree Hills Avenue and beyond. To accommodate the alternating left-turn lane for those wanting to turn left off of Peachtree onto Peachtree Hills, there must be a turn lane in that direction.

Those waiting to turn left onto Peachtree Battle will thus stack back into the left of the two through lanes, thus limiting through traffic to the right lane. The right lane will be slowed by the need of those drivers to yield to the increased bike traffic facilitated by the proposed bike lanes. The right lane of Peachtree, in my opinion, will thus be dramatically slowed as the right hand turners into the many businesses along this vital commercial corridor wait for a break in the bike traffic.

The second proposal is to essentially accept GDOT’s proposal of one central, alternating turn lane, but to make each lane, including the through lanes, 12-foot lanes rather than the current 10. Five,12-foot lanes would, I believe, increase the safety as well as improve the aesthetics of the Peachtree Road corridor between Deering and Pharr.”

–Rep. Beth Beskin

One reply on “Commentary: Elected officials sound off on Peachtree bike lanes”

  1. It is unbelievable to me how elected officials continue to use intuition over science. And distressing how one official, Beth Beskin, is proposing her own idiotic solution with absolutely no knowledge of traffic design whatsoever. I am embarrassed to have her represent my district. If you want to be an effective representative, put some trust into actual engineering science, modeling and experience. Intuition does not design safe roads. And with 1000’s of new units planned for Peachtree Road, would you rather everyone drive to work or have healthy and safe choices like biking, walking and mass transit?

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