DOT help to be sought for 54W traffic study
The Peachtree City Council will send a letter to the Georgia Department of Transportation asking for a corridor study on Ga. Highway 54 West in the hopes of finding a solution for the stop-and-go westbound traffic that clogs the area in afternoon drive times and on weekends.
That letter will not bear the signature of Mayor Don Haddix, who had not hammered out a letter with language to his liking since council tabled the matter two weeks ago.
Haddix did not explain his rationale for opposing the corridor study at Thursday night’s council meeting. Previously he has said that none of the large-scale options for improving traffic are workable because they would disable shopping centers at the junction of Hwy. 54 and Ga. Highway 74.
Because council couldn’t wrangle Haddix’s support, the letter will bear the signatures of Mayor Pro Tem Vanessa Fleisch and council members George Dienhart, Kim Learnard and Eric Imker.
Imker inquired if Haddix felt inclined to share his negative opinion of the request with DOT. Haddix would not commit to staying out of the matter.
“I don’t suspect I would,” Haddix said, noting that he would not be surprised if DOT contacted him to ask why he didn’t sign the letter.
Imker said he felt the issue was far too important to leave an opening in which the DOT may not be able to conduct the study.
“I’m just hoping we can proceed with proper communication with GDOT,” Imker said.
The motion to approve the letter was 4-1 with Haddix against.
Earlier in the discussion, a frustrated Learnard was exasperated that Haddix hadn’t prepared a draft of the letter he could be happy with.
Haddix blamed fellow council member Fleisch for not approaching him on the topic since it was “her agenda item.”
Imker said he was glad for the two-week delay so he could learn more about the process of petitioning GDOT for help. He added that he was very comfortable with the language in the letter.