20-year transportation plan aims to protect 'county’s values and rural character'

AECOM representative Paul Moore responds to questions March 30 at the final public information session of the "Fayette Forward" 20-year Transportation Plan that has been in the works for more than a year. Photo/Ben Nelms.

It was a meeting intended to get public input on Fayette County’s Transportation Plan covering the next 20 years. But some of the 60 people

at the “Fayette Forward” public information session Tuesday focused as much on the West Fayetteville bypass

as on the other projected transportation needs that could take Fayette to 2030. The meeting was essentially a repeat of four others that have spanned more than a year.

The meeting was conducted by AECOM transportation consultants Joel Mann and Paul Moore. AECOM has been working with the county to help develop the 20-year Comprehensive Transportation Plan. The March 30 meeting was the fifth and final of the public information meetings.

Arranged as Tier 1, 2 and 3 projects, the 39 projects in the Tier 1 group, or at least as many of them as can be accomplished, are slated for funding over the next five years from the county’s 1-cent transportation tax and are based on the 2003 transportation document. The 5-year collection period for the 1-cent tax expired March 31.

Fayette County Public Works Director Phil Mallon told the group that the plans’ commitments included maintaining the county’s values and rural character, to position Fayette to compete with other areas for funding that might become available and to uphold the need for safety and operational improvements. Mallon added that the proposals extending to 2030 include no new large-capacity projects.

There is approximately $87.5 million currently available for the 39 Tier 1 projects.

Mann and Moore offered a sampling of projects from the 1-cent tax-funded Tier 1 projects and the many Tier 2 and 3 projects for which there is no current funding.

In all, Moore said Tier 1 projects are meant to address critical safety issues and operational efficiency, while Tier 2 projects (5-10 years out) are intended to modernize infrastructure, provide for street extensions and improve corridor operations. Tier 3 projects (10-20 years out) are expected to continue needed street extensions and to address traffic capacity additions.

Among the Tier 1 projects are bridge upgrades and replacements, turn lane installations, intersection reconfigurations, third lane additions, roundabouts and pedestrian projects such as bike paths.

One of the Tier 2 projects that may or may not come to fruition is the East Fayetteville Bypass, a project that is largely state and federally funded. Originally, included in the 1-cent tax that just expired, the East bypass had to be dropped from consideration due to the recession’s impact on those funding sources.

Moore noted during the discussion that any of the Tier 2 and 3 projects could fall by the wayside given the uncertainties of state, federal and local funding.

Residents after the presentation asked a number of questions and expressed various concerns relating to the projects. More than half the questions and concerns expressed dealt with the West Fayetteville Bypass that was approved in and funded by the recent 1-cent sales tax. Some of the comments questioned the use of Lester Road designated for Phase 3 of the bypass project while others centered on the project’s cost and the belief that it would be disruptive to the county’s rural character.

Other comments focused on issues such as the long-range plan to connect Fayette’s population centers using a system of multi-use trails and paths. Some in attendance were in favor of the idea while others were opposed.

The information provided in the meeting mirrored that provided a year ago at the Fayette Seniors Services center. Similarly to the March 27 meeting, the March 2009 event was heavily attended by those opposed to the West bypass. It was noted after that meeting that nearly all of the large group opposed to the bypass left the meeting after the bypass was discussed and did not stay to hear about the numerous countywide proposals that might be implemented over the next two decades.

The plan requires the sign-off of the county and all municipalities in coming weeks. Once approved, the plan will be forwarded to the Atlanta Regional Commission.

The plan can be viewed on the county’s website at http://www.fayettecountyga.gov/planning_and_zoning/Comprehensive_Transpo...

pips1414's picture
Joined: 03/18/2009
Hopeful Community Loses Hope with New Corridors Planned

In reading the county's version of Tier 1, Lee's Mill Rd., New Hope Rd., and Kenwood Road will all be widened from the West Fayetteville Bypass and Lee's Mill East to State Highway 85. It appears that the county finally figured out that it just didn't make sense to end the WFB at Westbridge Rd. For all practical purposes, it is now extended several more miles to become a major thoroughfare. With the old route to Westbridge, this also gives MARTA a direct route from Highway 138 just North of the County Line to Highway 54 at Fayette Piedmont Hospital. And there evidently is enough of the old SPLOST money left to complete both projects. Get ready for rampant development folks. This is the joker in the deck nobody knew about. I strongly urge anyone reading this to go to the county website link Mr. Nelms provided above. There, you will find the awful truth.

Bonkers's picture
Joined: 03/01/2010
No Transportation to PTC wanted!

The"awful truth" as you say.

It will happen folks, sooner or later and the fighting is just ulcer making only.

Once upon a time College Park I think was a country town, also.

The PTC developers knew all this in the 60s, otherwise they would have built PTC City in Winder or Meriwether county woods.

There should have been a second major Atlanta airport near Winder or Bugaloosa by now anyway!

MARTA Rider's picture
Joined: 05/13/2009
The Good Ole Days

College Park? You don't say! I've actually heard tales about a long time ago, when all the people in THE WHOLE STATE lived in these separate villages, even did their own hunting and farming. Then some fellow who went by the name of DeSoto (an illegal no doubt) and some others like him put that to an end to that. Family values went out the door, and "schools" nowadays don't even teach our kids how to skin and gut a deer and then use the remains to make clothes! Things are changing!

Bonkers's picture
Joined: 03/01/2010
MartaRider and Tonto

Yeah, I remember my Grandmother telling about my Grandfather going deeper into the woods and killing wild hogs to eat for the winter. Only parts of South Georgia and the Arkansas mountains still do that---and it is limited to politicians doing it for the "Wild Pig" supper.

The only thing they went to a trading post for was coffee, salt, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, matches, kerosene, and overalls with built in suspenders. Flour and corn meal was ground at a river mill from their own corn and wheat. Sometimes a few seeds. All bought with egg money.
Bullets and shot gun shells once in a while. Drummers had these, along with medications to keep one from a "doctor," or Vet somewhere.

Many of these things were also obtained by "barter."
Coal mining at that time paid $75 a month for 12 hours a day, six days a week, no benefits or holidays. Excellent money, .25 per hour.

If you got hurt you were usually fired.

Columbus was also an illegal Italian working for a Spaniard. Too bad the Indians didn't deport him sooner. They finally did but Spain nor Italy didn't want him either. A car was named after the other fellow you mentioned!
Good ole days, huh?

Yeah, I also remember hearing when everything west to the big river was worthless tree land and deserts. (Still is) Mountains and snow caused people to eat other people. But I digress.

ginga1414's picture
Joined: 09/01/2008
Fails "To Protect"

The County spent who knows how many thousands in taxpayer dollars to have these consultants plan the taxpayers' future. They were nice enough to ask our opinions about how we wanted to live in the future. They have made a big show of telling us on numerous occasions that they have tried very hard to protect the "rural character" of our county. However, they intend to destroy 6 miles of rural character that includes a quiet little dirt country road by paving it with the West Fayetteville Bypass. They intend to destroy pasture land and a large barn that houses many horses. They intend to destroy and impact hundreds of acres of pristine forest. This is supposed to be how they protect the county's rural character? I just don't know whether to laugh or cry. It makes me physically sick.

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