Georgia Department of Transportation on Friday confirmed a rumor that has been swirling for weeks: the plan to put bicycle lanes along part of Peachtree Road in Buckhead has been killed.
The decision followed a huge community backlash against the proposal. Seventy percent of about 2,000 public comments that were received as part of the evaluation process were against the bike lanes, GDOT said.
“This is the public involvement process at work,” said GDOT Chief Engineer Meg Pirkle in a statement. “Throughout the planning and development of this project, we have consistently looked for meaningful ways to engage the public; to listen to the concerns and ideas of various audiences; and to make sure that their input and comments were properly reflected.”
Peachtree Road carries an average of 37,000 to 43,000 vehicles per day, and has been the location of more than 800 crashes in the last five years. GDOT officials said the plan was put forth in an effort to improve safety and operations for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians alike.
The preferred plan called for bike lanes from Deering Road to Peachtree Battle Avenue. It also called for one lane of directional travel to be eliminated to make room for a continuous two-way left turn lane down the center of the street from Deering Road to Pharr Road. The project proposal also included left turn lanes at intersections and traffic signal modifications and timing adjustments.
Going forward, the new plan will maintain nearly all the features as the original one, minus the bike lanes.
Between Deering Road and a likely transition point at Peachtree Battle Avenue to the north, there will be three northbound lanes. However, the number of southbound lanes will be reduced to two in order to add the center turn lane.
North of Peachtree Battle, the schematic would flip-flop so that there would be three southbound lanes and two northbound with the center turn lane.
Construction will start in the fall of 2016.