Controversial bypass intersection: Protesters say, “Fix it or close it”

Protesters demonstrate Friday at the intersection of Ga. Highway 54 and the newly opened West Fayetteville Bypass, scene of a fatal wreck before it opened last week. Photo/Ben Nelms.

Nearly 75 people gathered late Friday afternoon at the intersection of Huiet Road/West Fayetteville Bypass and Ga. Highway 54 to silently protest the opening of the southbound lanes prior to the installation of the traffic signal. Fresh on their minds, some said, was the death last week of Peachtree City resident Amy Layton that resulted from a traffic crash as she was attempting to turn west onto Hwy. 54 from the newly opened southbound lanes of the bypass.

The protest Friday was organized by Suzy Obsitnik and Jenny Humbard, whose children attend the nearby Cleveland Elementary/Bennett’s Mill Middle School complex.

Humbard, Obsitnik and nearly 75 others assembled just inside the unopened north side of the bypass. They stood in silence for 30 minutes with the newly opened southbound lanes directly across the intersection. Many held signs that said “Fix it or Close it,” or “Why,” or “Safety First.”

Obsitnik before the silent protest said the opening of the southbound bypass lanes Aug. 9, the same day the schools opened, created a confusing dilemma for motorists and amounted to an accident waiting to happen. Obsitnik’s five children are all districted to Bennett’s Mill Middle School.

“There was no reason to open (the intersection) before the work was finished and the traffic light is installed,” she said. “Either close the intersection or close the left turn lane on Huiet Road for people going to Peachtree City. They can go (a short distance) east and turn around before the hospital.”

Humbard agreed, adding that when she heard that Layton had died she remembered having said to a friend that, “Somebody’s going to die here.”

Obsitnik said the need for a traffic light at the intersection has been an issue for years.

“We needed a light since the day Bennett’s Mill opened,” she said. “But why open an unfinished road the day school starts and not wait for the traffic light.”

Commenting on the idea of closing either the southbound bypass lanes, Huiet Road or both until the traffic signal can be installed in the coming months, Fayette County Administrator Jack Krakeel said Friday morning that he spoke with representatives from the sheriff’s office, the county public works department and the project’s consulting engineer.

All said (the intersection) was safe in terms of the provisions being made for the traffic flow at an intersection under construction, Krakeel said.

Layton, 21, died as a result on injuries she sustained in a traffic accident Aug. 13 when she attempted to cross the eastbound lanes of Hwy. 54 around 3:54 p.m., officials said. As she did so, her vehicle was struck on the driver’s side by a 1995 Oldsmobile Alero traveling eastbound, causing Layton’s car to spin into the westbound lanes of Hwy. 54, officials said.

Layton suffered serious injuries and was transported via air ambulance to Atlanta Medical Center, where she later died from her injuries, officials said.
Layton’s fiance, Peachtree City resident Adam Gault, was also at the protest. Obviously shaken, Gault offered only a limited comment.

“My angel, Amy, didn’t deserve to pay for the lowest bidder’s mistakes with her life,” Gault said.

Commenting on the crash Friday, Krakeel noted that the preliminary accident report by sheriff’s traffic investigators pertaining to the Aug. 13 crash showed that line-of-sight was not an issue and that the barrels positioned along the construction site were appropriately placed and did not obstruct the view of oncoming traffic.

“We did everything we could to make the intersection functional for the traveling public,” he said.

Krakeel also referenced the loss of life that followed the Aug. 13 accident, noting that he, too, has a 21 year-old daughter.
“This was a tragedy,” Krakeel said.

Also at the protest was Fayette County Commissioner-elect Allen McCarty, who said he was there to help support, “The citizens of my county with the problem they are having.”

McCarty, too, called for the closure of the southbound lanes of the bypass or perhaps re-open Huiet Road until the traffic light is installed.
“The road wasn’t ready to be opened,” McCarty said.

One of the number of Fayette County sheriff’s officers at the scene Friday was Maj. Bryan Woodie. Asked about the number of accidents at the intersection, Woodie said there had been five accidents so far this year, six in 2009, seven in 2008, 11 in 2007 and 10 in 2006. There was another fatality at the intersection approximately five years ago.

pips1414
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Getting A Traffic Light Is Like The Keystone Cops

On Monday, August 16, John Munford of The Citizen wrote the following about getting a traffic light installed where Ms. Layton lost her life:

"The intersection, which is part of the West Fayetteville Bypass, is under construction and it could be several months before the necessary traffic light is installed because the mast arms for the signals remain to be manufactured."

On August 22, another local newspaper stated the following:

" The intersection, always dangerous, has gotten more confusing with the construction of the West Fayetteville Bypass, County Administrator Jack Krakeel said the lights should be installed in about two weeks. Public Works Director Phil Mallon said the county staff must involve the state in any decision-making since 54 is a state road, and is evaluating the intersection. However, this will take several weeks, and the road will remain open."

Let's hope that the county finally gets coordinated, and we finally get a traffic light at this dangerous intersection. It's the kind of thing that you might call in about, and get a different answer every time.

ginga1414
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rg and 1big hammer

Amen and amen, again. Thank you so very much. You are absolutely right.

I am not a very tall person. I have a van that sits higher than a lot of cars. It is difficult for me to see at that intersection, under the best of circumstances. And, absolutely yes, there were a whole lot more barrels there on the day Amy had her accident. Way over half of the barrels disappeared by the next day.

After the accident, Jack Krakeel initially said it could take up to 60 days for the light to be installed. Major Woodie said it could be 6 weeks. I believe one of the news articles said that it would be installed in 2 weeks. However, it was my understanding that residents had been promised a light several years ago.

That intersection should not have been opened without a light.

Courthouserules
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blame

So the blame here lies with too many barrels, and restricted vision for whatever reason.
I think that had there not been a big hullabaloo over the road itself not being built, none of these blogs would have been written.

rg
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Huiet Road/Hwy 54

I have turned left off Huiet onto Hwy 54 for many, many years. Like any intersection, caution should be used.

Prior to the accident, barrels were everywhere. I drive an SUV, and I had a hard time figuring out where I was supposed to be....I happened by this accident shortly after it happened, and I believe she was driving a small, low to the ground vehicle. I wasn't the least surprised there had been an accident, but was deeply saddened to hear a young woman lost her life.

I have noticed that since the accident, the speed limit has been dropped to 45 mph,the barrels have been repositioned, and many seem to be gone. In my opinion, the barrels were poorly placed and maintained.

IAMCAN
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West Fayetteville Bypass

So WHEN is the traffic light scheduled to be installed?

1bighammer
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This is the biggest cluster (insert word here)

in the county.

On Thursday night August 12th , my wife and I were coming back from southern Fayette county and came to the new intersection for the first time. It was horrible with no lighting and what seemed like 200 barrels in every line of sight you can imagine. I almost turned left into the east bound lanes it was so confusing. I told my wife at that point, "someone is going to get hurt" my heart sank when I heard about Miss Layton's death.

Jack Krakeel should be ashamed of himself for making the statement, “We did everything we could to make the intersection functional for the traveling public,”. NO YOU DID NOT! If you had, this wouldn't be an issue and more than likely, Miss Layton would still be alive!

Commenting on the crash Friday, Krakeel noted that the preliminary accident report by sheriff’s traffic investigators pertaining to the Aug. 13 crash showed that line-of-sight was not an issue and that the barrels positioned along the construction site were appropriately placed and did not obstruct the view of oncoming traffic.

Oh really? How many of those investigators drove an MR2, or a prelude, or any other car where the driver is close to the ground? That's what I thought! I drive an SUV and the barrels obstructed my sight of traffic coming from PTC.

Oh and FTP...your an insensitive rose thorn. Crawl back under the rock you came from!

bad_ptc
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.

.

CRAZY
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Bypass

well they sure couldn't wait for the state to aprove the red light, as that would never happen, The state must see a need for the red light , the county could never prove this need without any traffic on the road or use of the intersection.

I just don't understand why they couldnt save every one alot of money and possibly lives too and just widen or improve upon the existing redlight and intersection of old norton, sandy creek and 54.

ftp
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If you can't see......

Then don't proceed into traffic. It's a pretty simple concept for most. Lets not make this area any MORE difficult to travel through. You can't go blaming lack of traffic lights for every accident, and toss one up. It's irrational. Accidents happen, people make mistakes. Be aware of the problem and try to take precautions to make it safer for you.

If you are patient and use your head, the roads in this area are perfectly manageable. If you are not capable of this, you should not be driving.

I am sorry for their loss, but I have passed this intersection in all different directions recently and have not had any problems. I do not need to sit through one more light that isn't timed around here.

grassroots
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A Cross Before A Street Light

The West Fayetteville bypass is not worth even ONE innocent life. Vote your opinion at www.SPLOSTPOLL.com as to the safety of the Phase 1 construction site. This is not the proper time for politics Mr KRACK HEEL so quit lying and covering up. We'll tackle you when the proper time comes. Our sympathy to the victim's family and friends.

idk_revisited
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Lying and Covering Up...

just what, exactly? If the intersection is a work in progress, which it is (and was), how do you stop accidents from happening? You put up signs, barrels and tell folks you're doing road work. All that was done. Again, if you can't see, you shouldn't turn.

Conspiracy theories abound! Go read this statement and tell the world that you think everyone is out to screw the citizens!

grassroots
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Sheriff's Dept Does Not Agree

They've stated to indivduals that it isn't safe and wait until the attorney finds it was politics that rushed the finishing and the county pays out millions.

Silence Dogood 1776
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Sheriff's Dept Does Not Agree

Your statement is untrue. Unfortunately I doubt the Sheriff's Department will slog in to the trenchs of blogdom and refute your statement.

This death is a tragedy that the family will have to long endure after the opponents of the West Fayetteville Bypass have moved on to another subject.

I would put forth one small question; Has anyone taken the time to compare this road project to any of dozens (or even hundreds) that they might have seen elswhere over time? All road construction projects are confusing at one point or another; this one is no different. Has anyone driven on Georgia Highway 74 south? It is just as bad or worse and the Fayette County Board of Commissioner's didn't have anything to do with it.

Oh, and while I'm thinking about it, I don't care for the West Fayetteville Bypass either.

The parents at Cleveland Elementary and Bennett's Mill Middle School were right to voice their protests about the intersection; they drive that route every day. Their mantra fix it or close it is appropriate. Apparently it will be fixed in about 6 weeks.

Mr. McCarty, did you even know where Huiet Road and Lester Road were before you campaigned against the WFB. Ms. Abdul-Salem, did you?

My fellow WFB opponents, let Ms. Lyton's family grieve and let's try to act with some dignity.

Steve Brown
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IDK_revisited

You posted, "Otherwise, you and Steve Brown need to stop baseless accusations."

Exactly what "baseless accusations" have I made regarding this intersection? For someone who keeps demanding evidence from the other bloggers, you certainly have a habit of throwing out the baseless accusations yourself.

Stick to what you know.

Steve Brown

idk_revisited
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Sorry Steve...

I confused the issue. You haven't said anything on this intersection. My "baseless accusations" comment was more general toward you (developers in cahoots with politicians, MARTA coming to Fayette County) stuff.

The Dawg
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What are you saying?

You said "I confused the issue. You haven't said anything on this intersection. My "baseless accusations" comment was more general toward you (developers in cahoots with politicians, MARTA coming to Fayette County) stuff."

So are you saying that Steve Brown is a politician that is in cahoots with developers? I hope not. I voted for him!!!!

idk_revisited
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Prove it!

Prove the statements were made. Name who made the statements in the Sheriff's department, and to whom. Otherwise, you and Steve Brown need to stop baseless accusations.

Courthouserules
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grass

I thought the law suit was just to keep someone else from getting hurt or killed! Millions awarded will not help the one killed, and road departments are not afraid of law suits.

A deputy sheriff yapping with an individual does not a sheriff's department opinion make!

The road will be built! Drive carefully.

Doug
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County asleep at the switch on this one

I drove by that intersection the day it opened and I drove by it yesterday. There was a significant difference. If the intersection wasn't dangerous, then why did the county change things around after the woman was killed?

One of the big problems is people are exceeding the speed limit traveling east-west which is why they should have delayed the opening until the traffic signal was installed.

pips1414
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The Barrels Got Gone Pronto!

I attended the protest, only to see that the many barrels that had been at the accident sight had been removed. I saw Commissioner-elect McCarty there, and he told me that he believed the intersection had been opened for traffic too soon. While the county blamed Ms. Layton for the accident, there might never have been an accident if they had removed the barrels and added the people directing traffic prior to the accident instead of after it happened. Barrels are very confusing and obstruct your view. Cones, on the other hand, serve the same purpose with less visual interference with what's coming. The high accident figures here demand a traffic light and an unobstructed view before the public is allowed to use the new improvements.

The Layton Family just may have a case, and I admire them for wanting an independent investigation.

Cyclist
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pips1414
pips1414 wrote:

The high accident figures here.....

I'm curious, how many accidents have occurred at this intersection?

All Smiles
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Bypass Intersection- Deadly Turn

It is only a matter of time before a school bus full of children gets broadsided. I wonder........does the Fayette County Board of Education allow buses to use this intersection? I am aware the school board will not allow our buses to use certain other roads or even crossover certain roads. Example, crossing 19/41 is a no no for Fayette County school buses, to go over to Henry County, the buses have to use the interstate. This ALL goes back to the SPLOTS vote where the bypass was HIDDEN!!!! They really tricked us good!

Busy Bee
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School busses at Huiet/54 intersection

The school board does not allow school busses to use this intersection and never has. Any bus needing to turn west on 54 takes Old Norton Rd to 54 and turns left assisted by the traffic light there. And I would do the same until the light at Huiet is active.

The Dawg
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School Bus Rules

School buses are not allowed to turn left on roads with 4 or more lanes unless it's a four way stop, there's a traffic light, or someone directing traffic. Thats not unique to this intersection. But I did go through that intersection the day of the accident and I do think that using barrels instead of cones to guide traffic hampered my vision. I had trouble going through it myself.

Bikepilot
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Sad

I navigate this area almost daily as many do. On Aug 18th and days previous since opening the barrels were placed directly against the the edge of the right lane headed eastbound on 54. On Aug 19th at approx 830pm a news van was in place as I made a right hand turn from Huiet on to 54 east. I couldn't help but notice the barrels had been moved back from the edge of the right lane. I assumed the news van was there to do a story and wonder if the barrels had been moved back by those involved to make the camera shots look less cluttered when the news broadcast occurred. I will not use this road until a light is in place to make a left turn. Since the barrels were in place along the edge of the right lane it is very difficult to identify cars coming over the ridge when trying to turn left. We have all at some point become complacent while driving and in broad daylight with no distractions either pulled out when we shouldn't have or made a lane change and cut someone off. There can be tons of speculation when talking about this but it is obvious that the previous location of the barrels was a danger and added difficulty to making left hand turns.

Spear Road Guy
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This Is Truly Sad

The bypass has been controversial from the start. What's missing from this story is why the county opened the intersection before the traffic light was installed? They had to know there would be a lot of activity with the schools nearby.

Good to see Allen McCarty was there. You ain't going to find Jack Smith of Eric Maxwell there, that's for sure!!!

klc
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photos from today

If you would like to see photos from today...
http://kharachunn.smugmug.com
Click on "Fayette County Protest"

Spear Road Guy
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IDK

Don't make jokes about people mourning the death of a young woman. Try to show some class.

idk_revisited
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Hi There!

Nice to see you chime in...if they were mourning the death of Ms. Layton only, I would have no problems here. This was not what this protest was about, in my opinion. It was to push the agenda to "fix it or close it". My take is "don't use it".

I am sorry someone died due to an accident, but it is my opinion (and not a popular one, I know) that it wasn't the construction and barrels that caused the accident. It was a very unfortunate mistake made with very tragic consequences. In this era of people wanting "less government" and more personal control, it is my opinion that we as individuals have an obligation to take care of ourselves. If it's raining too hard to see, do you keep driving? If you can't see when you pull out, do you still pull out into an intersection? Unfortunately, we won't truly know what happened - only those in the accident know with certainty.

I'm sorry that I don't agree with others posting, attempting to put blame onto factors that are outside of the control of the individual. I just disagree.

That's all I'm going to say; I'm done with this and with people who think the world should always turn in their direction.

Good night and fare you well on this topic. Feel free to disparage my opinions with facts.

Ninja Guy
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Personal Responsibility To The Fullest

I suppose you drive an Onstar-equipped vehicle so passersby won't have to call 911 if you are ever in an accident. Also, if anything happened to you, have you taken personal responsibility for appointing someone to take care of your dozens of house cats?

idk_revisited
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I don't care who you are...

...that's funny. Bravo, dude.

grassroots
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idk research expert.

Even as we are at odds you do good research. Could you please explain to everyone WHY there is even two blocks of the WFB on the South Side of 54? What is the purpose of starting over there? Why not just a light and start the WFB Phase 1 on the west side?

idk_revisited
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Pure Speculation...

I don't have any concrete data from any reports to back this up...so here's my guess based on what I see every day...

They are going to put a traffic light at the intersection. Given the increase of traffic due to two schools and a bunch of houses, and possibly more growth in the future with Waterlace built out, the engineers probably imagined "queueing" at the light. If cars are going left, they need a place to queue. If cars are going straight, they need a place to queue too. So that's two lanes needed at the intersection, plus a lane to allow for cars to turn right from 54 westbound onto the bypass road and a lane to allow for cars to go straight across 54 from the north side of the bypass to the south side. So that's a four lane requirement at that intersection.

Now let's look at the way the intersection was before. Directly across the street is a very large power substation. Really hard to move that. So, to make the intersection as close as possible to a perpendicular intersection, which is preferred (if you've ever been in ATL around Five Points, you know what I mean), that makes the existing Huiet Road a problem. Also, there's BellSouth equipment at the top of the hill by the BP station - again, quite problematic.

My guess is the road design in this area is a combination of these factors. Again, I don't have the actual details, but I bet you someone from Fayette County Engineering or the traffic engineers could tell you that.

Now - do I get an award signed by Steve Brown, Allen McCarty and Bob Todd?

The Dawg
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idk - personal responsibility

I'm all for personal responsibility and less government. Less government, and we wouldn't have this road that most people don't want being built anyway. Now as for your cold statement about personal responsibility let me say this. We're all human and make mistakes. No one needs to be put into a situation where a mistake could cost you your life by a greedy, incompetent government. As for your "Don't use it" argument. You state that you have used it for years. Do you still? If you have an accident there will it be your fault because you didn't follow your own advice?

idk_revisited
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The Dawg...

I do still use the intersection. If I don't feel safe going left, I will turn right.

Less government = the road wouldn't have been built. Not to switch topics, and I know I should expect a chapter on "it wasn't known" malarkey from at least three members of the WFBC, how come it got approved by the voters?

Again, PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY. If you didn't know what you were voting for, why did you vote for it (if you did)?

The Dawg
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IDK - SPLOST

I did not vote for it. But surely you understand how a SPLOST works? You vote to improve roads ect. Most of the time the people don't know the exact projects that will be "improved". We trust our elected officials to do the right thing and not do the things that we are against. Most of the people will not take the time to find out all the details of a SPLOST. Again they trust the media to tell them or their elected officials to do the right thing. The people were lied to and mislead. But you already know all of this and I'm sure that your response is the "personal responsibility" cop out.

idk_revisited
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Hmmmm....Hiding the 2004 SPLOST in plain sight...

So if I follow your statement, those who voted for SPLOST but didn't know what it was going to be used for just handed a blank check to the County government, and now they're griping because the County government actually did something with it that people didn't like? Hmmmm....and you would advocate that it's the responsibility of the media to tell them? The media, whose dual role is to provide information and operate as a business to make money....I wonder if the media ever provided this information to the voter:

Hmmm...seems like somebody knew about this in 2008, even...
http://archive.thecitizen.com/node/33320

And even earlier than that:
http://archive.thecitizen.com/archive/main/archive-041110/fp-06_newroads...

Holy Cow! Even THE CITIZEN NEWSPAPER SUPPORTED THE SPLOST!
http://archive.thecitizen.com/archive/main/archive-041027/op-02.htm

And what's this, 2002?!?! You're just pulling my leg now:
http://archive.thecitizen.com/archive/main/archive-020410/news/in-03.html

So.....that's where my PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY "cop-out" comes in. You had all the information, were invited to the table, and yet when it passes, you continue to complain.

Enjoy your weekend!

The Dawg
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IDK- Thanks

You should be a politician if you're not. I state that most people were against the WFB and you turn it into a SPLOST debate. OK but I must say thanks for making my point anyway. The links talk a lot about a SPLOST for road improvements. (Sounds good on the surface) I think I may even have seen one mention a bypass. But where are the details? I guess you think that people should go find them out for themselves.

Well in the real world most people work all day, come home to feed the kids, help them with their homework, bathe them, put them to bed and try to spend a couple of minutes with their significant other. What you're asking from most people to satisfy your definition of personal responsibility is not realistic. Maybe you're single with no kids and tons of time but thats not true of most people.

idk_revisited
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SPLOST vs WFB, Time Management

"most people were against the WFB and you turn it into a SPLOST debate". So, I guess the SPLOST didn't have anything to do with getting the funding to build the WFB. And more people voted for getting the funding than voted against it. Astonishing...I guess the details are in the documents available at those meetings the media were promoting back in 2002, and 2003, and 2004....so, if you expect the media to write up all the details, be prepared to pay more for your free paper.

I'm sorry I wasn't able to immediately respond to your post, as I was feeding the kids and spending a couple of minutes with my significant other. And, apparently, you and others have time to post your thoughts on the Citizen, but not enough time to research them. Interesting...

I wouldn't want to be a politician - there's no pleasing you folks.

The Dawg
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Which is it????

You have to be either Jack Smith's or Eric Maxwell's son. If you don't defend Dad you can't live in the basement anymore!!!*LOL* You look more like Maxwell!! *LOL*

idk_revisited
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My true identity...

I wasn't so much born as spawned from the cesspools of local government corruption...reared in the smoke-filled back rooms of developers...unleashed upon the the world to perpetuate the vast conspiracy...I am....dramatic pause - GOVERNMENTMAN3000!

I have no feelings.
I only regurgitate the government view.
I am a shill for the man - whatever man that is.

Kick the bums out - until we get the new bums, then kick THEM out too....you folks are funny.

Good night, citizens - until we conspire again!

PTC Observer
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Idk-r - You are correct

You are correct, people who pass SPLOST taxes and not expect politicians to use these revenues at their whim should think again.

This is why Mayor Haddix is pushing the SPLOST again, he knows that if it passes it will simply give our politicians money to use any way they want. No matter how “carefully worded” the SPLOST is, it just more government we don't need.

idk_revisited
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Government We Don't Need...

...I'm curious. We've got nothing but space. What is your ideal government?

PTC Observer
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idk -r Government

The best government is a Republic

idk_revisited
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Examples of Republics

Iran - Islamic Republic
USSR - Soviet Republics
Rome

Perhaps you should be more specific?

PTC Observer
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Republics Defined- idk-r

Republics are governments that have representative government but, and it's a big but, they restrict the franchise (vote).

We no longer have a Republic in the US, it is a democracy, and it is one man one vote. Our Founders did not support democracy and in fact they were in fear of it. Why? Well pretty much because of what we see today, out of control spending, printing paper money, taxing those that create wealth for the purpose of redistribution, the development of an elite political class, etc. When a group of people discover that they simply need to vote themselves support from the government at little cost to themselves, well it's all over. The citizens then have the keys to the treasury; individual property is taken by government by force of law. However, ironically the central role of government is to protect individual property, not take it. This concept dates back to Cicero in 44 BC in his thesis De Officiis (On Duties).

Now I know you’re going to have plenty of other questions on this subject and I would be happy to answer them, but to keep things simple, ask one question at a time.

Believe me there are plenty of people out there that disagree with this concept because they have vested interests in keeping things just the way they are.

Davids mom
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republic - a matter of usage/definition

republic/s - defined by Merrium-Webster dictionary

1 a (1) : a government having a chief of state who is not a monarch and who in modern times is usually a president (2) : a political unit (as a nation) having such a form of government b (1) : a government in which supreme power resides in a body of citizens entitled to vote and is exercised by elected officers and representatives responsible to them and governing according to law (2) : a political unit (as a nation) having such a form of government c : a usually specified republican government of a political unit
2 : a body of persons freely engaged in a specified activity
3 : a constituent political and territorial unit of the former nations of Czechoslovakia, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, or Yugoslavi

and from Wikipedia:

A republic is a form of government in which the people or some portion thereof retain supreme control over the government,[1][2] and in which the head of government is not a monarch.[3][4] The word "republic" is derived from the Latin phrase res publica, which can be translated as "a public affair".
Both modern and ancient republics vary widely in their ideology and composition. The most common definition of a republic is a state without a monarch.[3][4] In republics such as the United States and France, the executive is legitimized both by a constitution and by popular suffrage. In the United States, James Madison defined republic in terms of representative democracy as opposed to direct democracy,[5] and this usage is still employed by many viewing themselves as "republicans".[6] Montesquieu included both democracies, where all the people have a share in rule, and aristocracies or oligarchies, where only some of the people rule, as republican forms of government.[7] In modern political science, republicanism refers to a specific ideology that is based on civic virtue and is considered distinct from ideologies such as liberalism.[8]
Most often a republic is a sovereign country, but there are also subnational entities that are referred to as republics, or which have governments that are described as "republican" in nature. For instance, Article IV of the Constitution of the United States "guarantee[s] to every State in this Union a Republican form of Government."[9] The Soviet Union was a single nation composed of distinct and nominally sovereign Soviet Socialist Republics.
Niccolò Machiavelli described the governance and foundation of the ideal republic in his work Discourses on Livy. These writings, as well as those of his contemporaries such as Leonardo Bruni, are the foundation of the ideology political scientists call republicanism.

PTC Observer
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DM - So

So you have proven you can do basic searches on the internet, the real question is can you think independently?

I think not.

Go back and read these carefully. Then ask yourself can PTC Observer's definition fit into one of these definitions?

Davids mom
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PTC OBSERVER

can PTC Observer's definition fit into one of these definitions?

EXACTLY! That's why (matter of usage and definition). Get off the defensive - and enjoy your day. However, in a debate - you may have a problem with this statement:

We no longer have a Republic in the US, it is a democracy,

Observerofu
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Representative Republic-If we can keep it

that what was given to us. A Democracy is what this abortion has turned into.

Chavez has a Democracy.

Kim Jong-il has a Democracy.

Obama is creating a Democracy.

America was a Republic and may be again after 2012.

PTC Observer
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Observerofu - Republic

I am afraid it's too late. We have not been a Republic for many years. We are on a downhill slide and we operate only on momentum. The die is cast.

If you don't believe this just look around you.

The Republican party was just as much a part of this debacle as the Democrats.

PTC Observer
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DM - Defensive?

I think you have mistaken me for someone else.

My assertion stands, we no longer have a Republic; we have a democracy, one man one vote. The only small exception to this is the Electoral College when electing the President. I guess that you and many like you would like to see this changed to be more "democratic"?

idk_revisited
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Nothing Says Safety...

...like having children stand on a busy intersection with a bunch of people waving signs. Well done.

Busy Bee
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Idk, that was my first thought

When I saw the photos from the protest I thought "It's a good thing no one was hit by a car standing there with a sign."

smokerisemom63
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You're right...personal responsibility is the need here....

Went to the rally....held up a sign. Guess what? I would LOVE to see some personal responsibility for this tragedy. Amy - does she have personal responsibility? Well, of course she does. But, if you are a living, breathing person who has attempted to navigate this intersection with poor visibility, an obstacle course of orange barrels that further impede visibility, the nervousness of entering onto a busy road.....you wonder where the personal responsibility rests? I will tell you: It rests with a FayCo BOE that scoffed when we reported that the Sheriff's office told us this was the #2 worst intersection for accidents in Fayette county! Friends...that was over 3 years ago. We were PROMISED a traffic light here when they built BMMS and shipped our kids here! They scoffed when we tallied the wasted taxpayer dollars in bus fuel to travel down Old Norton Road South east of the hospital so that the bus could make a west-bound turn at a traffic light. Wasted taxpayer dollars and 40-minute long bus rides to the school. Well guess what......personal responsibility is the need here. New Superintendent PAY ATTENTION! WE'RE TIRED AND WE'RE NOT TAKING IT ANY MORE!!!

smokerisemom63
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You're right...personal responsibility is the need here....

Went to the rally....held up a sign. Guess what? I would LOVE to see some personal responsibility for this tragedy. Amy - does she have personal responsibility? Well, of course she does. But, if you are a living, breathing person who has attempted to navigate this intersection with poor visibility, an obstacle course of orange barrels that further impede visibility, the nervousness of entering onto a busy road.....you wonder where the personal responsibility rests? I will tell you: It rests with a FayCo BOE that scoffed when we reported that the Sheriff's office told us this was the #2 worst intersection for accidents in Fayette county! Friends...that was over 3 years ago. We were PROMISED a traffic light here when they built BMMS and shipped our kids here! They scoffed when we tallied the wasted taxpayer dollars in bus fuel to travel down Old Norton Road South east of the hospital so that the bus could make a west-bound turn at a traffic light. Wasted taxpayer dollars and 40-minute long bus rides to the school. Well guess what......personal responsibility is the need here. New Superintendent PAY ATTENTION! WE'RE TIRED AND WE'RE NOT TAKING IT ANY MORE!!!

idk_revisited
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Living, Breathing Person...

I'm one. I do it every day, seven days a week, since I learned to drive and 54 was two lanes. I did it before BMMS was opened, before the BOE decided to send your children to this school. #2 worst intersection for accidents in Fayette County? I would have to beg to differ - maybe in the unincorporated county it's more than a few, but I wouldn't say there were that many. Again, I live here, use the intersection every day. And I'll be happy when there's a light.

Who promised you the light? Type out their name. Then tell me if they actually had the ability to promise you anything. I'll promise you I won't ever do anything bad to you ever...oh wait, how could I guarantee that?

I'm very sorry that you're not happy to send your children to the school in the middle of nowhere. We weren't thrilled to see ya'll coming, either, because it, and the development around Lester, is the genesis of all this mess. Really, if we could've have just stopped letting people into the County about 20 years ago, we wouldn't have any of these problems. Your kids would go to Booth like I did, then to McIntosh. Oh, wait, your kids would've gone to the school whereever you lived that wasn't PTC.

Sorry about that.

turtlejack
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Look back at the County

Look back at the County records after the Stinchcomb property lawsuit was settled for the Waterlace development and I think you will find that the light passed by the county council to be built before Cleveland Elementary was to open.

Secondly, it makes perfect sense to build a "bypass" designed to travel over a 35-MPH two lane road through two public schools and five large residential developments and numerous private homes. But then again, you are a know-it-all that believes just because you have lived here for a hundred years, life will stay the same just for you.

idk_revisited
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I'm sorry, who are you?

"life will stay the same just for you". Yeah.....never said that. It would've been nice if the CIGNA property was never developed, but that's just not realistic. One day, vast tracts of land become too valuable to not develop. Houses and schools will go up to serve more people, and with that will come the need for better traffic flow once the areas are developed (or even before, if you want to be forward thinking and try to plan for growth).

Oh, wait....you mean tracts of land JUST LIKE THOSE WHERE THE REST OF THE BYPASS ROAD WILL GO? You're kidding!

The "county council" probably said they had to meet some kind of justifications - and the road where the light is on a state highway, meaning the state gets a say. And, just cause I don't care to do the research, I'll just make up something that says that state probably told them to wait until the road improvements planned were done (hey, they've been talking about this bypass road for almost as long as they've been talking about that new Lake McIntosh thingy - and that's actually happening too!).

Yeah, thanks for stopping by.

idk_revisited
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Fix It, Close It, or Stop Using It...

I'm sick of this crap. Where in the world is PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY?!?!?

Protestors telling the county to "fix" an intersection that they are working on fixing already....for those of you PTC mommies who shuttle your children to Bennett's Mill, please do the following.

To drop your children off at school, please have them visit their nearest school bus stop. They'll take care of the rest of that.

If that's not good enough for ya, please drive little Theo and Mauri to the intersection of Old Norton Road and 54. Make the right on Old Norton. Take it until it ends at Lester Road. Turn right. Travel until you reach the school. To get to your tennis match, either reverse route or take Lester Road to its end, turn right on Ebenezer Church Road, take it until it ends, then turn right on Ebenezer Road. Travel to traffic light at Ebenezer and 54. Turn left and resume wondering what your husband does on all those out of town conferences.

It's so easy to take pot shots at construction crews and government officials, but where in the world is your PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY?!?!?! If you don't feel an intersection is safe, don't take it! Instead of media opportunities for "silent protests", spend your time reminding people to slow down, get off their cellphones, quit drinking their coffee at intersections, quit thinking that driving is NASCAR.....

I take that intersection from my home near the schools every day to go to my job westbound. Before the intersection improvements, you'd see 3 or 4 idiots playing chicken in the middle lane trying to turn left. If drivers would actually use COURTESY and PATIENCE, we might all make it out alive. And they're not done with the intersection yet. Heck, they would've been done sooner if the weather cooperated with them in the winter and spring, but let's not let facts get in the way of a good story.

People died at that intersection before the bypass was built. Where's the protests for them? I'm sorry someone else died, but accidents happen, and that's what this was - an accident. Get off the backs of the people doing the work to try to finish this project with your whining. Gripe until you get your way, sue if you don't....ya know what, MOVE. 5h1t happens, folks.

Can't wait for the light, until then, when I don't feel comfortable going left, I'll turn right and make the u-turn at the next intersection. Everybody else quit your complaining and go find something else to do.

TinCan
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idk let's face it....

First, the loss of a child or any family member is a tragedy and a really sad situation. Second, I'm surprised how often I agree with your observations. And finally third, you do realize but for the bitching and moaning on here there would be no blogs.

idk_revisited
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Amen, TinCan...

...I just hate to only see one side of a story portrayed, which is why I post. Nice to know I'm not alone in my thinking.

ginga1414
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Jack Krakeel and Jack Smith Should Have Been There

I was one of the protesters today. It is very easy to see how and why Amy Layton lost her life at this intersection.

Where were Jack Smith and Jack Krakeel? Why weren't they there?

Jack Krakeel talked to the press without the protesters.

Oh, I forgot. Jack Krakeel works at "the behest" of Jack Smith and the commission.

Bennett's Mill and Cleveland Elementary are two of the schools along the West Fayetteville Bypass route. The county has plans for a high school along Phase I of the bypass and Rivers Elementary has already been built along the route of Phase II.

Why in the world would anyone build schools in such close proximity to highways and a bypass?

Oh, I forgot, again. Jack Smith is going to get his "more bang for the buck" no matter who suffers for it.

Be ashamed Fayette County Commission, Fayette County Public Works and the DOT! Be ashamed! There are parents and grandparents out here worried out of our minds about this situation.

Put those barrels back out there. Put that road equipment back out there. Put it all back just the way it was when Amy Layton lost her life. Then and only then should you go look at the situation. Then and only then, should you try and turn left out of Huiet Rd. without a cop there to direct the traffic.

I want to see Jack Smith, Jack Krakeel, and Major Bryan Woodie drive a car just like Amy's out of Huiet Rd. at the same time of day under the exact same conditions and then say there is nothing wrong with that intersection.

Contrary to Jack Smith's belief, the citizens of Fayette County ARE NOT "IGNORANT."

normal
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Time to end the blame game

This will not bring the young lady back. No one wins here. End it. Just put up the light asap and move on. And old ginga, I know you have driven around here. How about all the Jack asses who drive 70 plus with a 55 speed limit. Have you wondered how fast the person was going that hit her. Or why did she pull out in front of them. You see we could go on forever. I have better things to do, may she rest in peace.

Road Runner
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Jack Krakeel and Bryan Woodie,

Your so full of it! Line of sight was an issue and those barrel's obstructed traffic and those of us who use this deadly intersection everyday know that for a fact. I didn't see any cop out there to direct traffic before this happened. Like ginga1414 said, put those barrels back out there, road equipment and all and then go look at the complete mess there was when Amy lost her life! Don't cover up the facts Smith, Krakeel and Woodie because this was a total blind spot of an intersection before the accident.

idk_revisited
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No cop to direct traffic...

...funny, he was out there the first day of school. And the 2nd. And the 3rd. And so on, and so on...if anything, they've reduced how much their directing traffic now that people have caught on.

If there was a total blind spot, would you have pulled out, Road Runner? Just asking....

Road Runner
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idk, i was waiting for you

Bet you look just like your pic, ugh...you must be one of the 'boys' involved in this useless piece of bypass. Should have had a traffic light up longgggggggggg time ago. Are you one of the boys...........:)

idk_revisited
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Fat and Happy...

in my luxury abode that I bought off the backs of hard working Americans like you....wait, my private jet is ready for takeoff from the Red Fox Run....gotta get to my weekend of backhanded deals at the Capitol!

No, I'm just a poor schmo who decided, yet again, to be an annoying minority voice. Ya'll don't mind me, go about your silliness.

idk_revisited
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Krakeel's Job...

...when it's open, put in for it. You have all the answers.

hyperd
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I can't believe they opened

I can't believe they opened this road, especially on the first day of school, just down the road from an elementary school. First day jitters of parents of new kindergarteners, and total chaos in traffic do not mix. This intersection was insane---- barrels everywhere, no lines in the road, construction vehicles blocking the view..... How can they say this accident was driver error??

idk_revisited
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Yeah, you didn't see the intersection...

barrels? Yep.

Lines in the road? Yep, sorry you missed them.

Construction equipment everywhere. Yep. Couple of backhoes and a dump truck.

First day jitters? Hmmmm....how about practicing the route a couple of times? Might have seen the barrels then.

Yeah, don't tell me any different - I live here.

hog4fun62
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you have got to be kidding me!

I was there that day an every other day just as you. You KNOW that they have made MAJOR changes since the accident.

First, they added 14 feet of asphalt where there used to be a ditch allowing them to move the barrels back that same 14 feet.

Second, they no longer allow the contruction equipment to park at the very end of the southbound lane (inside of what is now the hashmarked (/////) lane).

Third, they have removed over half of the barrels on the south side of the GA-54.

Fourth, They took the 70-80 barrels out of the middle of the intersection that just confused drivers on how to negotiate the intersection.

If I wasn't in my gas-guzzling SUV with the three other people I commute with every day, I would not have been able to see over those barrels. The young lady was in a small car and couldn't see over the barrels. She probably inched out to see around them and then took her chance -- and paid dearly for it. Be glad it wasn't you or one of your loved ones.

As far as practicing the route... IT CHANGED THAT DAY!!! They closed the old road on Lester BEFORE they had the barrels removed from the GA-54 end. How do I know??? We we forced onto the new road and had to wait on the other end for them to move the barrels.

idk_revisited
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Hey...you're right

The route wasn't open until that day. But that doesn't mean you couldn't have seen what they were doing.

And, in my absolute final comment, you said it most accurately:

The young lady was in a small car and couldn't see over the barrels. She probably inched out to see around them and then took her chance -- and paid dearly for it.

I think that pretty much sums it all up.

Courthouserules
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hyperd

The road didn't do any of the driving!

Txn in GA
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Fix it or close it

Jack Krakeel needs to talk to the citizens directly affected by this intersection. For him to rely on the word of the project managers who are responsible for the root cause of the issue, no traffic lights, and to rely on second and third hand reports is ridiculous! If sight lines were not obstructed, why did the barrels disappear virtually overnight?
Mr. Krakeel, for you to say, even suggest this intersection is safe as presently constructed is like Obama telling us the economy is in great shape. Gimme a break! The people know the truth. Fix it or close it!

idk_revisited
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Krakeel and Obama

Really? Why not just throw Satan in too? He's feeling lonely not being referenced.

Jack Krakeel needs to talk to the citizens directly affected by the intersection - sure thing, tell him to call me; I'll tell him it's fine.

Were you in Fayette County when they widened 54 between PTC and Fayetteville? Remember that? If people griped then the way folks are griping now, we'd still have two lanes...

Take a defensive driving class and find another topic to gripe about. I hear Harry Reid is planning a secret meeting with Nancy Pelosi to plot the continued direct destruction of our country through the vast left-wing conspiracy - we've got to put a stop to it!!!! ;9

Txn in GA
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just way smarter than me

IDK,
You win. Clearly you are the smartest man in fayette. Your grasp of the facts and amazing sense of wit do me humble. I am impressed! The problem is you deal in fantasy land. You must be bored tonight to post the plethera of comments you have all over the place on a local paper. Sorry spike TV doesnt have the Star Wars marathon on this weekend to keep you occupied; no Star Trek either. Guess your D&D and Magic groups couldnt make it out tonight either huh? Well thats ok, lets use this as a teachable moment.

First, my reference to Obama was an analogy. But I am certain you know that because after all, you are the smartest man in Fayette. Second, I am a professional driving instructor. I dont need to take a defensive driving class, but thanks for your concern. Third, when I moved here in 2005 I inquired about the traffic light at the intersection and was told it was in the works; sorry, I dropped the ball, I was busy doing what we commoners do, called working. Fourth, I spoke directly with Jack Smith at market days on 7/17 and asked him if a light would be operational before they opened the wfb, and I was assured it would be. Again, my bad- I took the man at his word.

The fact is, it is stupid to open an intersection where 4 lanes of traffic in each direction will meet without the proper markings and lights. There is not another intersection like it in the entire county.
The excavator and barrels did obstruct line of sight, especially in a small car like an MR2. Fayette County Schools DOT even recognized this, otherwise, why re route busses?

I know I am preaching to the choir though, because with your vastly superior intelligence is no match for me, except for one thing; I am using facts and common sense!

you have yourself a good night sunshine- oh and I hear NY comic con tix are on sale in the morning. So buck up cowboy, it aint all bad.

idk_revisited
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naivete is believing a politician

Yeah, sorry, I thought I was out, and you pulled me back in...

Unfortunately, common sense and reality rarely ever meet.

"without proper markings and lights" - hmmmm....ever been on 85 around Harp Road? Not a light to be found. And what are orange signs and barrels for, anyway? Perhaps a visual clue to slow down and be more careful.

Thanks for taking pot shots at me too, that's a rational analysis, to take on your Star Trek reference.

Why would I go to NY Comic Con when DragonCon is in town ;)

I'll think of your comments tomorrow when I use the intersection.

Txn in GA
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again you got me!

Wow! I guess you are the only one who can deal in sarcasm. My apologies. I didnt realize you were so thin skinned; you can dish it, but cant take it.

Anyway, you are missing the point, so I will speak or in this case write slowly and clearly so you can understand. The barrels (with me so far?, good) blocked (aka, obstructed, got in the way, blinded) her view. I dont care if she was turning right, going left, doing a wheelie whatever--she couldnt see because the proper measures were not taken to ensure a safe crossing. If the barrels and excavator were not an issue, why did they disappear within 24 hours? Does she bear partial responsibility, yes. I have never argued that point. If she didnt feel comfortable going left, she should have gone right and made a U turn. But the bottom line is the intersection is dangerous, and poorly designed.

My basis for believing Mr Smith was based on the plans I saw and his response were both in line with stated target dates of the project. Little did anyone know, there would be a rush and acceleration of the project to open 2 months early.

Well have fun at Dragoncon in 2 weeks, and please be careful. It would be a shame if anything happened to a great stalworth of Fayette such as yourself.

ptctaxpayer
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More bang for your buck from

More bang for your buck from Chairman Jack. What this Commission has done is nothing compared to what they're planning to put under the Christmas Tree for the local developers.

idk_revisited
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Oh my, DEVELOPMENT!

Please, no more! I don't want convenience anymore! Please, make me drive miles to get things or to live in a nice place!

We're full, nothing more to build here, move on.

DOH!

aliquando
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Cheese boy

Having had to deal with this intersection since 2002, it has been bad and now it is dangerous. Your comments are inconsiderate and sophmoric. The road is a waste of taxpayers dollars.

idk_revisited
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In 2002...

I used the intersection...and for the 10 years prior to that too. You're right - it is bad. How would you fix it - maybe realign it and put in a light?

Hey, that's what they're doing! A waste of money for sure!

Sorry we don't agree.