Does anyone besides commissioners want West F’ville Bypass?

I attended the town hall meeting at Christ’s Church [May 24]. This was designed to acquaint the citizens with and address questions to the Republican candidates running for Fayette County commissioner. All four candidates attended, and other attendees were told they would be given time to ask questions to the candidate of their choice.

In terms of questions asked, the West Fayetteville Bypass was the hottest issue. Candidate Steve Brown has written articles in opposition to the project for some time.

When asked why he opposed the WFB, candidate Allen McCarty said that under the original SPLOST plan, the WFB was not to have come about until the year 2020, yet it had been given priority over other more needed projects.

Commissioners Smith and Maxwell both said that the WFB was (compared to the East Fayetteville Bypass) “the best bang for the buck.” When asked what could be done with WFB earmarked funds if the project didn’t get built, Commissioner Maxwell said that the WFB SPLOST money could be transferred to or subdivided among other SPLOST projects.

For some time, citizens have been complaining about not knowing that they voted for the WFB. According to Commissioner Smith, it was not the current administration that kept the WFB off the face of the ballot, but the 2003 administration.

Both Maxwell and Smith said that the WFB would route traffic away from Fayetteville, thereby relieving congestion. Both commissioners have continuously been in favor of the project, and have not recently publicly addressed any criticism of the project. I gathered from their demeanor that they both believe that the majority of Fayette County citizens support the WFB.

But from the questions asked, that did not seem to be the case. People lined up asking question after question related to negative aspects of the WFB. One question that related to feasibility or traffic studies was directed to Mr. Smith. Mr. Smith said “all that was done in 1985.”

Another question involved the East Bypass being swept away from priority, and replaced by the WFB. Commissioner Maxwell pointed out that EFB crossed wetlands and a golf course, which made its cost prohibitive.

When asked about whether or not an alternative route for the EFB that might cost less, would not cross wetlands, and would overlay Corinth Road had been considered, Commissioner Smith said that he was not familiar with the specific alternative route suggested.

Upon further questioning, he finally said that the commissioners had considered all alternatives, but time was called by the moderator before he could explain.

All in all, the timing of the meeting left something to be desired with question time reduced to the point that many of the questions could not be fully asked or answered. But it became clear that, of the questions asked, those pertaining to the WFB outnumbered those that did not.

My complaint is that the commissioners work directly for the taxpayers. They have an obligation to recognize that the single most important issue to the taxpayers is the WFB.

WIth the WFB not yet built, they should level with the public and clearly illustrate why their determination to proceed with the project outweighs the wishes of their constituents.

What was done 15 years ago no longer applies. We are in a bad economy, and can’t afford to buy bang that we don’t need for millions and millions of dollars with the expectation that a two-lane road, even with a viable destination, could even begin to relieve more traffic congestion than it caused.

I would welcome any comments, especially some hard 2010 facts that support the project. It is time that the commissioners very clearly demonstrate that they realize the majority of the public is against the project. Has anyone seen an article in favor of the bypass that was written by a citizen?

Steve Smithfield

Fayette County, Ga.

Spear Road Guy
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West Fayetteville Bypass Will Be Smith And Maxwell's Waterloo

The people aren't stupid. The commissioners cannot justify the bypass and the taxpayers don't want it.

Suddenly Smith and Maxwell move the largest chunk of SPLOST money to the West Fayetteville Bypass. Why??? For what reason???

They're going to plaster that central part of the county with houses and the developers need the road.

Jack Smith is a city slicker from Peachtree City and knows how to work that system.

Go vote!

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You are correct. The incumbents don't listen to us.

No one wants the West Fayetteville Bypass and the incumbents can't come up with a good reason for building it.

There's obviously something in the background driving the construction of the road. Smith on the board of the local bank lending to developers gives everyone a very good reason to be suspicious.

ginga1414
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moc thank you

It is very gratifying to know that other folks can see what a lot of us have been talking about for over two years, now. moc, you have said it very well. Thank you so much for posting your views about the WFB. It is good to have you in our corner.

rmoc
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wfb needed but not the one planned

The problem is not the need for the bypass but the path of the bypass. What does it bypass?? It is not what is needed..Yes, we may have not been as attentive as we should have been but the path of the road is illogical. It is not a road that most folks would use to bypass Fayetteville traffic. We need something that skirts downtown and goes to where people actually live. It is not a bypass but a road that will only benefit a few developers since it does not link up efficiently to anyplace that people go...

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IDK

Peachtree Parkway was built by PCDC
- GA 54 widening was studied by GDOT
- GA 74 widening was studied by GDOT
- GA 314 widening was studied by GDOT
- Helen Sams Parkway - no idea

GDOT has to evaluate all state highway projects. You can get as much as a curb cut without their permission.

Citizen Bob
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idk-revisited

Why don't you do your OWN open records requests?

idk_revisited
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Mr. Ross, thanks for your comments!

I don't need to do any open records requests, because those issues are not relevant - my point is the roads I referenced weren't probably ever reviewed by ARC, and none of that would've been an issue - probably because they didn't go through certain people's homes. Again, if these roads didn't go through their property, I would really think certain people wouldn't be as politically active - NIMBY wins again.

Citizen Bob
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idk-revisited, may be true for some, but ...

I don't live anywhere near the contemplated route and still object to spending nearly $1,500 per taxpayer without some quantitative analysis of need. I drove to the projected terminus last week just to see it, then tried a couple of routes to I-85. Both were circuitous and would have put me into considerable traffic if I'd done it during the rush hours.

That's too much moolah for a project that's got so little traffic engineering behind it.

I also downloaded the route map from the county's website and saw developers' property along both sides of the route. One in particular, Ed Wyatt owns 333 acres and would gain a 3/4 mile frontage along the road. He also owns several service stations in the county- all of them sporting Smith & Maxwell campaign signs (Brown & McCarty were denied equal time). All legal, but doesn't strike me as being in our interest...

Cheers, Bob

idk_revisited
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"in our interest"

Well, if your interest is getting Brown and McCarty elected, then I don't think it was in your interest!

Service stations are businesses - they don't have to put signs up for people and things they don't support (like you said, it's legal, but it's also quite simply their right).

Why do people think that businesses and developers are, by nature, bad?

So what if he gains a frontage along the road?

Your candidates' assertion this is a developers road doesn't sell to me:
http://archive.thecitizen.com/node/41539

Oh well - that's the beauty of debate.

Citizen Bob
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I just mind the frontage...

when my wife and I are paying $3,000 for it out of our own pocket.

Ed Wyatt et al are certainly free to develop their own land, even to make nice profit at it. But improving access should be part of THEIR collective development expenses, not ours.

In my decision process, the issues drive the ballot choice, not just a candidate.

idk_revisited
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$1,500 per person for WFB?

at a penny per dollar (which is what the SPLOST was), that means you and your wife have purchased $150,000 each of items with sales tax from 2005 to 2010 - you spend $208 per month in Fayette County!

Yeah, but it's not just you - you know all those Coweta County tags at Wal-Mart - they are also paying for it....and those Clayton County tags at the Pavilion - they paid for it too! And when your friends from out of town bought you dinner, THEY paid for it!

You make it seem like it was a bad thing - ?, is the $1,500 per taxpayer based on just the WFB costs?

The entire SPLOST was $23,171,453.40 annually (if you take the full amount and divide it by 5). If there are 85K "taxpayers" living in the county, each taxpayers individual share is $272.60 per year per taxpayer, if they're all buying a similar amount per month...in five years, that's the $1,500 per taxpayer your referring to - for the WHOLE SPLOST!

So, you didn't pay $1,500 for the WFB, did you? You did it for path improvements in Peachtree City, intersection improvements in Fayetteville, and a host of other things.

Can you run those numbers for me again?

SPLOST - sales tax

Next time - no SPLOST means increase property tax - you'll definitely be paying more for it then.

pips1414
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No, I don't Speak for you IDK

In 2009, the West Fayetteville Bypass Coalitiion (“WFBC”) filed an Open Records Request with the Atlanta Regional Commission for West Fayetteville Bypass traffic study records. The WFBC found that, according to all documents gathered from that request, there have been NO TRAFFIC STUDIES. The documents obtained cover a period from 1985 through June, 2009. It was found that all references in association with the need for transportation growth to bypass downtown Fayetteville have been conducted by outside consulting firms at the request of the Fayette County Commissioners and Public Works Dept. A total of five consulting firms with many different plans and recommendations with several variations have been submitted with NO TRAFFIC STUDIES. The only independent study performed was enlisted by “the Association of Fayette County Governments” in the late 90’s. The ARC was brought in to “lend technical assistance” in the area of County transportation projects and act as a “neutral partner” in further developing and assisting the county for state and federal funds. ARC’s Transportation Improvement Plan never recommended a West Fayetteville Bypass and was only used for a vote on the EFB in February, 2000. In an August 6, 2009 email, we found the following: “As far as ARC traffic model studies, there were none performed exclusively on these projects,” Sincerely, Tom Weyandt, ARC Director of Comprehensive Planning. Most notably, as late as April, 2004, ARC found the WFB “ did not score high enough and is too expensive.” Jurisdictional Briefings Draft 2030 RTP and FY 2005-2010 Project Lists, Section 3.2, April 15, 2004.

You can continue to support wasteful projects unfriendly to the ecology of Fayette County if you want to. But try explaining to the readers how the WFB going to a remote area of Highway 92 reduces traffic congestion in Fayetteville if you're going from Whitewater to Riverdale, or even Atlanta. There are no Interstate connections or attractions to draw traffic up that way. And why not consider other more needed SPLOST projects that could have been done, were it not for the WFB?

Most folks think that Fayette County is blessed in being the only county in Metro Atlanta not having Interstate highways. If you don't like it the way it is here and want high density development, there are plenty of other counties. Here, we have a case where a project was not determined to be viable enough for federal or state funding, so we get to fund it ourselves through SPLOST taxes. Do you have any facts to support the WFB other than Smith and Maxwell supporting it?

idk_revisited
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Please do an open records request...

to tell me if the ARC did traffic studies to show the need for the following roads?

- Peachtree Parkway
- GA 54 widening
- GA 74 widening
- GA 314 widening
- Helen Sams Parkway

The same ARC that tells us mass transit is a good thing, right? Convenient how you rely on them for some things, but not for others - and are any of these other projects really "needed"?

The only fact I need to support the WFB is the voters funded it. "Most folks" probably don't care that there is an interstate in Fayette County.

By the way, that "remote area of 92" is really close to getting you to the 138 exit of I-85, and a short drive up from there, the Flat Shoals Rd exit (ever been to Christian City?).

What are the "more needed SPLOST projects"? Please, identify them for us.

Yeah, let me guess what road you live on.

Citizen Bob
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idk-revisited: what the taxpayers voted for

Have you SEEN the 2004 SPLOST question that citizens actually voted on? I found it on Brown's website on this page

http://www.sb4faycom.com/2004_SPLOST_ballot.html

One simple Yes-No question that doesn't enumerate a single project. Not quite the voter mandate Maxwell-Smith purport...

idk_revisited
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I did see it...

...and voted for it. And back then, if I cared to find out what projects were included, the information would have been available to me if I contacted the County!

Nothing was hidden...again, don't blame the commissioners for citizens that don't understand civics.

ginga1414
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AtHomeGym

You are right, ATHome. It is sneaky politics. Jack Smith continually practices his own brand of sneaky politics.

AtHomeGym
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idk & the SPLOST

So you think it's just fine that voters gave the Commissioners a free pass to do what they wanted with that money--without knowing one word about a single proosed project. Does that mean you support the WFB? I am quite sure the wording on the ballot was intentionally vague and generic with absolutely no intention for full or even partial disclosure. You call that ethical? I call it sneaky politics in search of power.

idk_revisited
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I call it stupid citizenship

If you don't know what you're voting for, you can not vote for it. More people voted for it than did not. Government does provide the information; it's not their job to knock on your door and give it to you with a spoon and some sugar.

Nothing will overcome lazy citizens.

Do I support the WFB? Sure, why not - I voted for it (and I live very close to phase I). Watching it being built, I'm thinking it's looking silly that they are building a new road right next to another road, but we'll see where it all goes when it's done - maybe the old road will go away. And an intersection that County residents use to bring their kids to school will get a traffic light - not a bad thing, in my opinion.

"intentionally vague and generic with absolutely no intention for full or even partial disclosure"

So, when the sample ballots are made available WEEKS before an election, why wasn't there a hub-ub then? Well, quite simply, it must be corruption; it can't be the voters fault; they obviously don't know what's really going on :)

You reap what you sow - stupid citizenship. But the problem isn't that government isn't providing information. They do, but no one cares to actually go get it. The drive-through, sit-com culture - if I can't get it immediately, I move on to something else.

All the municipalities have budget workshops open to the public - three people show up. The most important discussions of the year - how the money collected in taxes will be used, and no one cares.

Meetings to talk about roads and transportation are held, but they're not sexy enough for folks to show up. When the bulldozers and survey equipment starts coming out, that's when people start paying attention - WAY TOO LATE.

NIMBY, plain and simple, shouldn't be an excuse. Representatives do what they hear the citizens say in how they vote. The citizens said spend this money. Sorry you want "take-backs".

AtHomeGym
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No, No, idk,

don't put words in my mouth. I have no knowledge of "corruption" and would never use that word without some hard evidence.

idk_revisited
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putting words in your mouth

well, you're questioning the ethics of the commissions (of the past) who put the SPLOST on the ballot? What would be the rationale for that unethical behavior? "Sneaky politics in search of power" - well, we voted them in, so they are in positions of power, right? If, as your words asserted, they were acting without ethics, wouldn't that fall under the definition of corruption - the "search of power" itself could be a something that corrupts a man.

All that said, I just don't see that as having happened. Again, the resolution for the SPLOST is a very public document, available for the world to see, even back in 2004!

So, sorry that you believe I put words in your mouth, but your insinuation of unethical behavior builds an easy bridge.

AtHomeGym
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idk & corruption

Disagree--corruption would involve some sort of private gain and I never used any language to infer such.

Citizen Bob
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idk-revisited, say what you will about our citizens,

but in the end, they are what they are- most are hard working, pretty honest, and live busy & sometimes confusing lives with everything going on.

We can all model the ideal voter, or even one that's just a tad less apathetic. But we Fayette County voters are what we are. Leaders should encourage us to become more involved (maybe they want to operate under the radar, though?) and continue to use every opportunity to educate and solicit opinion.

Even the absence of ALL that, though, is no license to approve very large amounts of people's earnings for revised priorities with dubious benefits and such potential for special interests' benefits.

Kinda like saying the kids didn't learn what they were supposed to about a balanced diet and exercise, so I'm off the hook as their leader/parent to provide both; they want to sit on the couch with a controller and eat Twinkies, so be it- I gave 'em an opportunity.

Citizen Bob
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idk-revisited, say what you will about our citizens,

but in the end, they are what they are- most are hard working, pretty honest, and live busy & sometimes confusing lives with everything going on.

We can all model the ideal voter, or even one that's just a tad less apathetic. But we Fayette County voters are what we are. Leaders should encourage us to become more involved (maybe they want to operate under the radar, though?) and continue to use every opportunity to educate and solicit opinion.

Even the absence of ALL that, though, is no license to approve very large amounts of people's earnings for revised priorities with dubious benefits and such potential for special interests' benefits.

Kinda like saying the kids didn't learn what they were supposed to about a balanced diet and exercise, so I'm off the hook as their leader/parent to provide both; they want to sit on the couch with a controller and eat Twinkies, so be it- I gave 'em an opportunity.

idk_revisited
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If I may have the last word...

I'm going to move on, as what I say probably won't persuade anyone to change their opinions going into the election.

Before I go, three points I would like to reiterate/make:
- I don't see a "reprioritization" of the WFB project, as it was a "top three" before the SPLOST was passed in 2004, and in the 2003 transportation plan it was recommended for implementation in 2006-2010 - http://www.fayettecountyga.gov/road/SPLOST/resolution.pdf - ; there was money slated and estimated for the project ($12,500,000), and I do not know if those expenses have gone over yet (but I don't think they have), so where's the fire?

- You say voter apathy "...is no license to approve very large amounts of people's earnings for revised priorities with dubious benefits and such potential for special interests' benefits". I say you drink Steve Brown Kool-Aid, which is your right, but no one has provided proof of any actual corruption. Until that proof is brought to light, you are perpetuating Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt. It's just rhetoric - the same rhetoric the citizens of Peachtree City saw through when they kicked Steve Brown to the curb.

- You say "Kinda like saying the kids didn't learn what they were supposed to about a balanced diet and exercise, so I'm off the hook as their leader/parent to provide both; they want to sit on the couch with a controller and eat Twinkies, so be it- I gave 'em an opportunity." I say that equates the citizens you characterize as "hard working, pretty honest, and live busy & sometimes confusing lives with everything going on", to children who don't know better. I disagree with that statement. Citizens can, and SHOULD, be better informed, and the information is available to anyone who wants to get it. The problem as I see it is the citizens want information on their terms, but they don't want government to run amok with bureaucracy. I challenge you to find a government office that is not an HR department or public safety or court that wouldn't provide you with anything you wanted to see if you ask for it. If you don't see that, call them out here on this forum, with specific details, and let them explain themselves then.

I think the citizens of Fayette County need a change - a change from the rhetoric. Jack Smith and Eric Maxwell are doing fine by me, and I'll be voting for them in the primary. I recommend that the citizens of Fayette County review Steve Brown's four years in office in Peachtree City, and see what his "leadership" got PTC fiscally and in the eyes of its citizens. I recommend the citizens of Fayette County find out the agendas of those who lobby so feverishly and publically for changes from the approval of the 2004 SPLOST. I recommend the citizens of Fayette County actually pick up a phone and call each of the candidates running, or send them an email if they have concerns.

Good luck to you all - as for me - I see nothing wrong with Mr. Smith and Mr. Maxwell as representatives for me in governing Fayette County (along with the other current members - Mr. Horgan, Mr. Frady and Mr. Hearn)

Citizen Bob
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idk, re: the WFB... we discussing the same projects?

Your dates suggest we may not have been.

Phase II, from SR 92 to Sandy Creek, is the most controversial part of the road. You are informed, but for more casual readers it was designated R-5 in the 2003 Fayette County Transportation Plan, with a recommended implementation period of 2011-2015 (which takes it out of the top three).

Phases I & III, identified as Project R-28 in the plan, include the short segment now under construction by the hospital that was approved for 2006-2010 construction (higher priority than Ph II), as well as other work farther south connecting Ebenezer & Harp roads.

Unfortunately, the overall price of the WFB has grown from the $12.5m in 2003 dollars (for R28 alone); the 2003 Trans Plan estimated the future-dollar cost (and their future is our 'now') for R-5 & R-28 at $24.5m. The 2007 Atlanta Regional Commission's TIP document shows the number had doubled again to $50m.

Just wanted to ensure we were looking at apples or oranges, but not both :)

idk_revisited
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I stand corrected...

thanks for pointing out what I overlooked in quoting numbers, but I still don't have an issue with it - implementation schedules can change all the time, but that's what you're hanging your hat on.

So you would let a part of the WFB stand and not finish it? I think that's even more foolish and really does make the NIMBY agenda stand out like a sore thumb.

In terms of the "$1,500 per taxpayer" comment, I still stand by that. And the road is still not a surprise. And the voter apathy.

If I am understanding correctly, you're upset with how the funds were prioritized? So what other projects would you do with the "estimated" $50 million (how much of that is on phase II and phase III, because you might as well kiss the phase I costs goodbye since there's asphalt and curb). The list is out there - tell us (or have Steve and Alan tell us)

The tax collected $18,502,117.61 less than what was projected - the 70% of that would be $12,951,482.33. With less money, focusing on getting the best "bang for your buck" done makes sense to me - I think that's what is happening with the WFB. We can agree to disagree, but there isn't any corruption (still waiting for PROOF of that, not speculation).

Citizen Bob
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I'd certainly complete the part under

construction by the hospital. It was a priority even under the previous commission, and it makes no sense to abandon it now.

The ARC's 2007 TIP shows $43m against the Ph II and III portions of the overall project.

Citizen Bob
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Couldn't agree more that many voters could have researched ...

to learn what projects the single sentence referred to, the projects' relative priorities and costs, whether they were supported by appropriate traffic/other feasibility studies, if they included state & federal support, etc, etc, etc.

Instead, we seek candidates who we believe will act in our best interests, then elect them to work with their staffs, contractors, consultants, & agencies to do that due diligence for our collective benefit.

I believe that taking the "voters made me do it" approach amounts to a disingenuous technicality. But if one does subscribe to that justification, how do they justify switching from the #1 priority- another route altogether?
And that was a decision that apparently has no audit trail (tried an open records request to see when it was made, which commissioners voted, and what their votes were). Such actions raise my suspicions further ...

Elected officials: act in the citizens' best interest, please.

idk_revisited
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Decisions without audit trail?

Hmmmm...from this week's online edition...
-----------------------------------------------------

[Editor’s note: The following was submitted by Fayette County Commissioner Robert Horgan.]

HISTORY OF THE WEST FAYETTEVILLE BYPASS PROJECT

Fayette County has a long history of planning and growth management. The county government, and subsequently some of its municipalities, has imposed building codes, zoning ordinances, and a host of other development and land use requirements for decades. In fact, Fayette County enacted its first building codes and zoning laws in 1959 and ’60, a move almost unheard of for a rural, struggling county in Georgia at that time. This history of regulating the types and locations of development, both residential and non-residential, has resulted in Fayette County being one of the most sought-after communities in which to live and raise a family for more than forty years.

A part of this growth management has involved forecasting and evaluating trends in growth and planning for it, including planning for transportation needs. It is no secret that a majority of Fayette’s working residents have continued to commute daily to destinations north of Fayette County to work, including the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta Airport and areas in and around Downtown Atlanta. Also, it is no secret that at least historically, the majority of Fayette County citizens, including commuters, have been vehemently opposed to any initiative that would bring any form of public transportation to Fayette County. Thus, local officials to-date have not formulated any plan for public transportation, be it bus service, commuter rail, or even vanpool service. As a result, however, planning for vehicular traffic has been ongoing for decades.

In recent months much has been said about the roadway project known as the West Fayetteville Bypass. This project was planned as a limited access, two-lane roadway intended to route vehicles along a path from a point in north Fayette County to a point south of Fayetteville. It has been suggested that the current Board of Commissioners initiated this project sometime in recent history, with little forethought or planning in mind; and that information about the project has been purposefully withheld from the public. Below is summary information about the development and history of the West Fayetteville Bypass Project, all of which can be found in public records accessible to the public. This information dates back 25 years.

1985

Consultants Robert and Company prepared a Land Use Plan for Fayette County. Though transportation issues were not described in detail, the Plan included a map of “Future Thoroughfares”, which recommended east and west bypass projects around Fayetteville. The route of the suggested west bypass project follows along the same route as the current West Fayetteville Bypass Project.

1989

The State Planning Act went into effect requiring local governments in Georgia to develop comprehensive growth management plans. The established format for these plans required that several “elements” be included in every jurisdiction’s plan, including a “transportation element”. Fayette County’s transportation element at that time suggested east and west bypass projects around Fayetteville, as the County’s current Comprehensive Plan does. Planning efforts occurring during this period laid some of the groundwork for the 1990 “Fayette County Road Improvement Plan” prepared by Moreland Altobelli Associates, Inc., an Atlanta consulting firm.

May, 1990

The County received the “Fayette County Road Improvement Plan” prepared by Moreland Altobelli Associates, Inc. This document represents the County’s first county-wide comprehensive transportation improvement plan, although the plan generally did not include municipal roadways, other than some major thoroughfares. This plan recommended both east and west bypass projects around Fayetteville. It refers to the future bypass west of Fayetteville as the “Central Parkway”. It follows the same route as the current West Fayetteville Bypass Project.

No commitment to funding the Plan was made at the time, thus, without a commitment for funding, the Moreland Altobelli plan was not implemented. However, many of the projects recommended in the Plan, including intersection and bridge improvements throughout the County, have been completed through annual budget commitments, capital improvements funding by the County and some of its cities, and later by Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax proceeds.

1995 – 1997

In 1995, the Association of Fayette County Governments, a coalition of municipal and county elected decision-makers, initiated a study to address transportation needs throughout the entire County. The organization enlisted the Atlanta Regional Commission to lend technical assistance and to act as a “neutral partner” in the effort to develop and/or integrate existing transportation plans in Fayette County. The Atlanta Regional Commission’s involvement would also include assisting Fayette’s leaders with the complexity of competing at the regional level for state and federal funds for transportation projects. The study was completed in December, 1996 and was accepted by all entities on August 26, 1997. This document also identifies and recommends both the east and west bypass projects. The route recommended for the west bypass project was the same as the current route of the West Fayetteville Bypass. The route for the proposed east bypass project differs slightly from the one currently underway.

At the time of the adoption of this study, the Board of Commissioners consisted of Robert Sprayberry, Scott Burrell, Herb Frady, Glen Gosa and Harold Bost. The Board of Commissioners voted unanimously on August 14, 1997 to sign the Resolution of the AFCG adopting the “County-Wide Transportation Plan”.

February 5, 2000

At the County Commissioners’ annual planning meeting, a vote was taken to escalate the construction of the “Fayetteville Bypass” by approaching the Atlanta Regional Commission and the Georgia Department of Transportation concerning funding; and to have the project moved up in the ARC’s Transportation Improvement Plan and Regional Transportation Plan. This vote refers to the east bypass project only.

October, 2001

The Board of Commissioners authorized an update to the Fayette County Road Improvement Plan done in 1990 by Moreland Altobelli Associates, Inc., and proceeds to issue requests for proposals to interested firms.

April 3, 2002

The Board of Commissioners accepted a proposal from the firm URS Corporation to perform an update to the County’s Road Improvement Plan at a cost of $40,000.00.

April, 2003

County received the final “Transportation Plan Update” from URS Corporation. Receipt of this document was the catalyst for discussions for holding a Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax Referendum to fund transportation projects countywide. This plan was developed with input and participation of the municipalities. Citizen input was gathered via public workshops, surveys and other opportunities for the public to comment. This Plan recommended both east and west bypass projects. This entire Plan would eventually be approved for funding when the referendum for the 2004 Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax was approved; understanding that SPLOST funds to be collected over the five-year life of the SPLOST would not be enough to pay for every project. The recommended west bypass project is the one under construction at this time, known as the West Fayetteville Bypass.

October 28, 2003

The Board of Commissioners met with all municipalities to establish “countywide” transportation project priorities. A list of ten was adopted, with the first three being: (1) East Fayette Bypass; (2) SR 54 East widening; (3) West Fayette Bypass.

The Board of Commissioners consisted of Greg Dunn, Herb Frady, A.G. VanLandingham, Peter Pfeifer and Linda Wells. Mayors were: Peachtree City/Steve Brown, Fayetteville/Ken Steele, Tyrone/Sheryl Lee, Brooks/Bobby Butler, Woolsey/Gary Laggis.

March 3, 2004

The Board of Commissioners met with municipalities to determine transportation projects for inclusion in a Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax Referendum. It was agreed that 30% of the anticipated SPLOST proceeds would be divided (by population) to fund priority projects identified by each of the municipalities and the County. The remaining 70% would fund agreed-upon “common” projects identified in the Transportation Plan Update of 2003.

The Board of Commissioners consisted of Greg Dunn, Herb Frady, A.G. VanLandingham, Peter Pfeifer and Linda Wells. Mayors were: Peachtree City/Steve Brown, Fayetteville/Ken Steele, Tyrone/Sheryl Lee, Brooks/Bobby Butler, Woolsey/Gary Laggis.

May 27, 2004:

The Board of Commissioners passed Resolution 2004-09 calling for a referendum for a one-percent Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax in the amount of $115,857,267.00 to fund transportation improvements throughout the County. The approved Resolution includes Exhibits A and B which define the projects to be funded. Exhibit A is a list of projects submitted by the County and each municipality as priority projects for each entity. Exhibit B is the entire 2003 Transportation Plan Update. This Plan includes projects identified as R-28 and R-5, which encompass Phases I, II, and III of the West Fayetteville Bypass Project currently underway.

Project R-28: Begins at Lester Road near Cleveland Elementary School, crosses Highway 54 and connects with Sandy Creek Road north of Piedmont Fayette Hospital. This portion of the project is considered “Phase I”.

Project R-28: Also includes what will be known as “Phase III” of the West Fayetteville Bypass Project. Phase III will begin on Lester Road near Cleveland Elementary School and follows a route along Lester Road, crossing Ebenezer Church Road and terminating at Redwine Road. The precise alignment of this segment of R-28 is not known at this time nor has funding been allocated.

Project R-5: Begins at the intersection of Tillman and Sandy Creek Roads, progresses along a portion of Tillman Road, through developed and undeveloped properties, across Lee’s Mill Road to Highway 92 North at Westbridge Road. This project is considered “Phase II” of the West Fayetteville Bypass Project.

The Board of Commissioners consisted of Greg Dunn, Herb Frady, A.G. VanLandingham, Peter Pfeifer and Linda Wells.

November 2, 2004:

The Referendum for the one-percent Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax for transportation improvements was passed by the voters. Collection of the tax would occur for a period not to exceed five years or until the stated amount of $115,857,267.00 is collected, whichever comes first. The collection of the tax commenced April 1, 2005 and will end March 31, 2010, unless the full amount is collected prior to that date.

September 7, 2005:

The Board of Commissioners voted to authorize a Notice to Proceed to Mallett Consulting, Inc. to perform engineering and design work for a series of Transportation S.P.L.O.S.T. projects, including Phase I and Phase II of the West Fayetteville Bypass and the East Fayetteville Bypass, as approved in the S.P.L.O.S.T. Referendum. The work authorized included surveying, environmental and geotechnical investigations, alignments, preliminary design and Right-of-Way and Construction Easement determination. Phase I is identified as Project R-28 (Southern Portion) and Phase II is identified as Project R-5 (Northern Portion). This action by the Board of Commissioners initiated the construction process for the West Fayetteville Bypass Project.

The Board of Commissioners consisted of Greg Dunn, Herb Frady, A.G. VanLandingham, Peter Pfeifer and Linda Wells.

2008

In June, with final design in place and upon final acquisition of needed right-of-way north of S.R. 54, ground was broken to commence the construction of Phase I of the West Fayetteville Parkway, which extends from a point on Lester Road near Cleveland Elementary School, proceeding north across S.R. 54 to a point on Sandy Creek Road. Simultaneously, the design and process of assessing and acquiring right-of-way for Phase II began. Phase II begins at the intersection of Tillman and Sandy Creek Roads and proceeds along a portion of Tillman Road, then through developed and undeveloped areas, to a point of terminus on S.R. 92 North. Phase I of this project is anticipated to be complete in late 2009 and is being funded entirely by Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax proceeds.

Also, in 2008, Fayette County received an 80 / 20 grant from the Atlanta Regional Commission to develop an updated comprehensive transportation plan (CTP) for Fayette County. This initiative, known as Fayette Forward, will be completed by the firm of Gattling, Jackson, Kercher, and Anglin and will replace the existing Transportation Plan of 2003 and is expected to be completed in late 2009 or early 2010.

The Board of Commissioners consisted of Jack Smith, Eric Maxwell, Lee Hearn, Robert Horgan and Herb Frady.

2009

In 2009, Phase I of the West Fayetteville Parkway (Bypass) received its final grading, storm sewer infrastructure was installed, a stone base was laid and concrete curbs and guttering were installed. Asphalt base was installed on about half the new roadway before bad weather halted further significant work as winter set in. Working with the Georgia Department of Transportation, a final design and permits were acquired for traffic signalization and other intersection improvements where the Bypass will cross State Route 54 at Huiett Road.

Regarding Phase II, following public input, preliminary environmental studies and scrutiny of a number of conceptual designs, a final alignment was developed and ultimately approved by the Board of Commissioners in June, 2009. The approved alignment was intended to impact as few property owners as possible. An application for a required Army Corps of Engineers was filed.

Work on the Comprehensive Transportation Plan continued, with a series of public workshops and meetings with municipal officials and staff. Completion date has been moved to mid 2010.

The Board of Commissioners consisted of Jack Smith, Eric Maxwell, Lee Hearn, Robert Horgan and Herb Frady.

2010

Work on Phase I resumed with the coming of warmer, drier weather. Work was awarded to a contractor in April for the installation of the traffic signal and other intersection improvements for the intersection of the Bypass with Highway 54 at Huiett Road. Paving of Phase I continued.

At the time of this update, the County is awaiting approval of the Army Corps of Engineers Permit for Phase II.

Prepared by Carol Chandler
June, 2009
Amended April, 2010

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Looks like in 2003, priorities were set to include the WFB. 2 years before the SPLOST went into effect, before the SPLOST was on the ballot. Hmmmm...

Instead, we seek candidates who we believe will act in our best interests, then elect them to work with their staffs, contractors, consultants, & agencies to do that due diligence for our collective benefit.

ABSOLUTELY, and I feel that was done here. Sorry you don't. Ask Mr. Brown about the 2003 AFCG meeting, since he was there...

idk_revisited
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Joined: 09/29/2006
You don't speak for me

"They have an obligation to recognize that the single most important issue to the taxpayers is the WFB"

The single most important issue to THIS taxpayer isn't the WFB. It's how the County uses the money we provide to them to help keep our infrastructure, provide services that keep us safe, and otherwise stay out of my way.

I'm sorry your paradise is going to be paved into a parking lot, but your neighbors voted that in, and because you don't like it, and you have identified with a demagogue who will tell you he'll "cancel that road" but won't have three votes to do it if he's acutally elected (and if he is, it'll just be confirmation that the citizens of Fayette County really don't pay attention), you think you can run the show by writing a new letter to the editor every day?

Yeah, the saddest thing is you'll probably get your way...."special interests" indeed.

Citizen Bob
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Joined: 05/06/2010
Steve Smithfield; The answer is Yes!

Several people own very large development tracts of land that I suspect more than just 'want' the bypass- they'd LOVE it. After all, we taxpayers would be on the hook for their $52m* access road to parcels such as Ed Wyatt's 333 acres (he'd get about 3/4 mile of frontage on the road).

So who says it's just Smith & Maxwell who want the road???

* Latest TIP estimate from the Atlanta Regional Commission

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