At Issue: What intersections in Gwinnett County are driving you nuts?


For the past few weeks, Gwinnett citizens have been invited to participate in a series of public meetings to help shape the county’s comprehensive transportation plan, a blueprint that will steer its roadway investments through 2040.

The fifth, and final of this series of meetings will be held 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Monday at George Pierce Park Community Room, 55 Buford Highway NE in Suwanee. Many of the potential projects discussed will require joint efforts among city, county and state transportation agencies and rely on millions of dollars to reach fruition.

At the same time, several major intersection improvement projects are slated to begin soon. U.S. Highway 78 at State Route 124/Scenic Highway in Snellville is about to undergoing a major overhaul creating a continuous flow intersection.

In Peachtree Corners, construction will begin soon to create an additional southbound lane on Peachtree Parkway from Holcomb Bridge Road onto State Route 141/Peachtree Industrial Boulevard and an additional southbound lane on Peachtree Industrial Boulevard onto Winters Chapel Road.

Gwinnett residents voted again in the fall to approve a one-percent Special Local Option Sales Tax that is expected to generate $950 million over the next six years. Of those tax dollars, $486.3 million will fund transportation projects in unincorporated Gwinnett. Millions more will be available to Gwinnett cities for additional or joint transportation projects.

Even if you haven’t attended a transportation meeting, you probably have your own intersection frustrations. Where do you sit in traffic the longest? Which intersections have you using profanity and longing for traffic relief? Send comments to communitynews@ajc.com. Responses may be published in print and/or online.

More stories about Gwinnett transportation:

http://www.ajc.com/news/local-govt—politics/tonight-your-chance-weigh-gwinnett-transportation-future/SbbbuBjKzJgmWeFiehzw9K/

http://www.ajc.com/news/local-govt—politics/gwinnett-residents-get-glimpse-county-transportation-future/qHVw6Hpkr3AdbuZ3fWeSgI/

https://www.ajc.com/news/local-govt—politics/gwinnett-transit-teams-with-google-make-commuting-easier/QuKY2b2N6OxgV421vbWGZL/

AT ISSUE: IS STATEWIDE COYOTE KILL A GOOD IDEA?

The Wildlife Resources Division of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources is sponsoring the Georgia Coyote Challenge: For every coyote carcass you turn in, up to five a month through August, you’re entered into a drawing for a lifetime hunting license. Some applaud the incentive; others are howling mad.

Here’s what some readers had to say:

The idea that the Georgia Department of Natural Resources would turn hunters loose to slaughter coyotes is appalling and horrific and the fact that they create a “contest” to further coax more loaded guns out into our local woodlands is just irresponsible. … Scrap this deadly, dangerous and needless slaughter of coyotes now. — Jeff Sharpe

Is it right to kill coyotes in metro Atlanta? Having our 15-year-old cat killed by coyotes was a terrible blow. The coyotes live in our backyard on Nancy Creek here in Chamblee, inside I-285. We see them during the day, walking around the neighborhood. Do we just stand by and allow coyotes to kill our domestic pets, right in our own fenced backyards? We have a great backyard that we once shared with deer, rabbits, squirrels and birds. Now we see only coyotes. All the science says that if you kill coyotes, the litter sizes will increase, but something has to be done. — Dianne Hiers

I emphatically oppose DNR’s Coyote Challenge. Scientific studies have shown that culling coyotes has no long-term effect on the population. Coyotes have naturally expanded their range in the United States as a result of the human-altered landscape and in spite of our efforts to eradicate them, and they’ve filled a vital niche as top predators in the absence of wolves and big cats. They deserve protection and respect, not mindless persecution. — Melanie Furr, Atlanta Audubon Society, education director AWARE Wildlife Center

There is no use for coyotes to be allowed to live! They are of no benefit to the human race, just like mosquitoes. They only live off the back of other animals. The area I hunt has seen a decrease in rabbit, squirrel, turkey, duck and quail, not to mention a drastic depletion of deer, because of coyotes moving in. — Mark Sussmann

There is absolutely no justification for Georgia DNR’s ghoulish game. Killing anything should never be taken lightly, and the idea of encouraging anyone with a gun to participate in this “challenge” is abhorrent. — Glenna Stanhouse

Yes, kill the coyotes. Their populations are soaring. This area was never their natural habitat. They are dangerous. — Mo O’Neill

The reason Georgia DNR is asking hunters to kill coyotes during pupping season is to inflate the game animal population, giving hunters more game animals to kill in the fall. It’s a money-making strategy at the coyotes’ expense. There is absolutely no scientific proof coyotes are negatively affecting local wildlife populations. … This contest is nothing but a predator slaughter to ensure greedy hunters can continue to kill as many as 12 deer a season (which are mostly does). — Brianna DiLorenzo

We cattle farmers are losing too many baby calves to hungry coyotes. Over-population is BIG problem and needs attention. — Joan Mcwaters

I am adamantly opposed to the Georgia DNR Wildlife Resources Division giving people incentives for killing coyotes. What a setup for stupid gun accidents, as well as further disruption of the natural Georgia environment. Of all departments, the Wildlife Resources Division should know and educate people about biodiversity. Coyotes help control the population of those pesky deer that chomp on your lovely plants in the back yard; and help control the number of raccoons, squirrels and snakes there, too. — Salpi Adrouny

We are in favor of coyote hunts in all of Georgia. Coyotes are an exotic, invasive species here. They are not a natural part of the food chain or ecosystem. As the AJC article says, they kill pets, livestock, and native wildlife and occasionally threaten humans. Coyotes carry diseases such as rabies, distemper and parvo, among others. They are also noisy at night. The logic used by the Atlanta Coyote Project is faulty. If you kill a substantial number of the current population, it WILL result in a decreased population of this vermin for some time. But like cockroaches, the coyote numbers will increase eventually, and we will have to do something to counteract the nuisance again. Nothing is permanent, but a hunt would be a good start. — Dan and Patti Lewis

I strongly oppose Georgia DNR’s recently implemented coyote killing contest. I have no problems with properly managed hunting of game species, but the intent behind the Georgia Coyote Challenge is just plain cruel. DNR has targeted the breeding period for coyotes for their contest time period, which will undoubtedly orphan dozens upon dozens of coyote pups. For most, this will result in a long, horrible death of starvation. … Coyotes play an important role in our ecosystem, such as controlling rodent populations and serving as a natural predator to other wildlife species such as white-tailed deer. Though not a historical native predator in Georgia, they have naturally filled the role left by wolves and other apex predators that have been extirpated or greatly reduced by humans. Co-existence with our wild neighbors is the best policy. Education about the importance of an animal’s role in the ecosystem should be DNR’s goal, not vilifying one species over another. — Michelle Hamner

Georgia DNR is right to be using every method to help control or eliminate this hugely destructive omnivore from our environment. … The most damaging impact is felt in the rural and wild areas of Georgia. Coyotes are out-competing our bobcats, foxes, and black bears. They are decimating the deer fawn numbers, ground nests of birds and reptiles, and the wildlife of our waterways. Coyotes are a smart, charismatic animal, and their presence should be protected in their native Southwest. However, this very successful, non-native predator and scavenger should be removed from the ecology of our state before its long-lasting effects are irreversible. — Curtis Kohlhaas

It makes me absolutely sick to read the article about coyote predation. It’s inhumane and disgraceful. — Daniele Talend

Georgia’s Deer Management Plan (2015-2024), prepared by the DNR, recommends: “Oppose coyote bounty programs because there is no documented scientific evidence indicating that bounty programs temporarily or permanently reduce coyote abundance.” The Georgia Wildlife Resources Division Coyote Fact Sheet says, “Overall, the coyote is a largely misunderstood creature and despite its nuisance reputation proves to be an asset in maintaining the balance of wildlife in Georgia.” Coyotes provide a valuable service in keeping prey species in check, including rodent control. — Linda Potter

I live in Peachtree Corners, where wildlife abounds due to the Chattahoochee River corridor and the over 200-acre Simpsonwood Forest. We have experienced the presence of coyotes for years, as well as the whitetail deer. Some neighbors who have lost domestic cats get into a wad over sharing the area with wildlife, but my family does not feel that way. We were horrified by the Georgia Wildlife Resources Division’s fair game ruling for coyotes. It should be allowed to let a homeowner eliminate a stalking coyote from one’s own property, but to give wholesale permission to eliminate the species is terribly, terribly wrong. — Gay Wiley Shook

A coyote-killing contest? Really? I would like to see the analysis to support this kind of event and if it would fix any coyote-related problems. If there has not been an analysis done to support this irresponsible, inhumane proposal, someone – no, everyone – should to go back to the drawing board. How many of these poor creatures are going to be tortured during a contest like this? Do we really think people are going to go out and conduct clean kills and ensure there’s no suffering? It makes me sick to my stomach to think that someone would come up with this kind of a solution. — Lisa Caplan

The mass killing of coyotes is wrong, and will have long-term detrimental effects. Let them live. — Randy Jordan

Killing coyotes, and making killing of any animal into a contest is inhumane. Killing coyotes does not reduce the population. Having a contest to promote killing only slakes blood lust of certain people, and this is not something the media or the government should be promoting. The only people who should be handling wildlife concerns should be those who are trained to do so. — Jessie Tallent

This mass killing is wrong, not just from a moral standpoint, but from a biological one. I have been a wildlife rehabber for over 10 years. If the goal is to diminish the population, then this will only backfire. When a coyote is killed, the females in the pack immediately go into heat to replace the lost member. That means an average of four females will give birth to four pups. See why this isn’t making sense? House cats cause more devastation to wildlife than coyotes. Cats should remain indoors both for the safety of songbirds and for their own safety. Coyotes will regulate their own population if given the chance. What have we become as humans when we feel the earth is ours, we refuse to share and feel it is our right to take lives because we are inconvenienced? — Elexis Hays

I am opposed to the killing of coyotes in the Atlanta area, or even statewide. These animals are just trying to survive like all other species, and like other species, their habitat is being squeezed by continuing urban development. Any attack by a wild animal is serious, but it is not a reason to try to wipe the animals out – just as an attack on a human by a neighborhood animal should not be a reason to kill our neighborhood pets. — Tom Reynolds

When the state has a contest for killing wildlife, all Georgians look like redneck hunters. This contest is ill-advised, inhumane, and hurtful to the environment. I’m ashamed this is happening in my home state. — Dianne Belch

The Coyote killing contest being sponsored by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources is disgraceful. The DNR is supposed to protect wildlife, and they are promoting not just hunting, but inhumane trapping of coyotes. The science says that killing off coyotes only makes the others reproduce more often and have bigger litters. This is all about hunters, since the reasoning is coyotes are killing off deer. Yet they also say they need to hunt deer because there is an overpopulation. It’s crazy, circular logic. … I believe that the DNR should focus on educating the public on peaceful coexistence. Coyotes will manage their own population based on food supply. — Sally Jamara

The coyote-killing contest … is not only inhumane, it is not supported by scientific research on wildlife management techniques. Removing coyotes does not reduce their population over the long term. In fact, the number of coyotes will increase as competition for resources is reduced. And, coyote populations will not increase beyond the carrying capacity of an area. Studies show that they self-contain population numbers through dominant male territory control. So, they will not overpopulate, as some other species may do. Recent studies have shown, once again, that coyotes have minimal impact on deer populations. However, they do feed on rats, mice and other small rodents. Without coyotes, these prey populations would increase. Some folks argue that coyotes are not “native.” The reason that they now thrive in the Southeast is that we removed wolves from this area. … Coyotes have been in Georgia for decades, and they are here to stay regardless of these “contests.” — Katherine Smallwood

The idea of culling the coyote population is simply disgusting. The chosen time of year, when the puppies are born and left to starve or succumb to predation, only exaggerates the cruelty. From an ecological perspective, hunting and trapping won’t be effective as the coyote population will rebound as long as food sources are available. An innocent individual will have to be accidentally shot by an overzealous hunter before they realize how wrong this hunt is. — David Naterman

Coyotes are extremely reclusive animals, rarely seen by humans, and pose no threat to people. Coyotes are, in fact, valuable animals that help keep the predator/prey relationship in good balance. Exterminating coyotes serves no useful purpose and, in fact, will backfire. With fewer coyotes, the rabbit population expands. Coyotes from other areas migrate to an area with a good food supply and less competition. To promote a hunting contest based on unscientific and inaccurate data is unconscionable. The DNR needs to examine the facts. — Faith Pescatore

I find deplorable the idea of an animal being hunted in a “contest,” of being trapped or shot and its offspring left to starve. How could this even be considered? There are other known strategies to manage coyote populations. This one is unacceptable and sickening. — Martha Richards

David Ibata for the AJC



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