DOT help to be sought for 54W traffic study

As seen from the pedestrian bridge crossing Ga. Highway 54 at North Lake Drive, traffic backs up during rush hour from the Hwys. 54-74 intersection. Photo/Ben Nelms.

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.

Larry.Sussberg
Larry.Sussberg's picture
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Joined: 01/20/2013
Those Evil PTC Council People!

It will soon be over.

Then there will be peace in jungle. Scar will be gone and Simba will rule.

Kumbaya for all.

Don Haddix
Don Haddix's picture
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Joined: 08/17/2007
Haddix: Not Factual

The letter, as composed by Fleisch, claimed all on Council supported the request of the letter. That is false.

I have made my positions crystal clear on why I oppose the study.

Learnard challenged me on why I had not done a rewrite on my own. Simple fact is I was never asked by Fleisch for any input into wording. Nor, as the City Manager acknowledged was he.

An Agenda Item belongs to the person placing it on the Agenda. No one else can alter it.

Imker actually asked me if I would contact GDOT to express my opposition. I said I did not know yet.

At times one can be removed, as I did two of Councilman Dienhart's ordinance proposals on who pays for a study and the moratorium. He had no actual ordinances to propose plus they have to go through Staff and the Planning Commission before coming to Council.

While it has been my position since 2008 developers must pay for studies using engineers selected by the City, it has to be done correctly.

Ironically, when I brought this need up at during The Gates Annexation Agenda Item, Dienhart sat silent. No backing.

Husband and Fat...
Husband and Father of 2's picture
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Joined: 07/23/2012
You want a formal invitation to take part?

This style of "leadership" has been your MO for way too long.

You must have been the neighborhood kid no one invited to the birthday party because you ruin the mood for everyone else.

As a manager of people, with your worldly experience and letter writing skills, I'm sure you can add credence to councils letter.

Don't stand on your high horse because you weren't invited, because you only look like the horses patooty.