The Georgia Department of Transportation announced Wednesday that it needs more time to respond to more than 2,000 comments received about a proposal to add a center turn lane and bicycle lanes along Peachtree Road in Buckhead.
Typically, the department advertises that it will respond to all comments within 30 days. GDOT extended the comment period from the original deadline of Nov. 9 to Nov. 16 to allow more time for the public to weigh in, during which time many more comments were received.
"We are diligently documenting each comment submitted to the department about the proposed Peachtree Road project, said Carleton Fisher, Georgia DOT project manager. "Citizens who submitted a comment via email, mail, court reporter, or online will receive a response letter from the Georgia DOT after each comment is reviewed."
GDOT held an open house in late October at the Shephard Center to provide information about the project.
The proposed project is aimed at improving safety and traffic flow along Peachtree Road. It includes installing a two-way left turn lane in the center from Pharr Road to Deering Road, and adding dedicated bicycle lanes from Deering Road to Peachtree Battle Avenue.
The entire stretch will also be resurfaced and restriped.
The project has been controversial from the start, with many strongly opposing the idea of subtracting a lane of travel to add bicycle lanes between Deering Road and Peachtree Battle Avenue. Bicycle advocates have been just as strongly in favor of the project, and some have been dissatisfied that the lanes don't extend farther north.
GDOT engineers say the two-way left turn lanes would reduce crashes that typically occur now because drivers stop and wait to turn left in the far lefthand through lanes, causing other drivers behind them to swerve into other lanes of traffic to avoid hitting them or getting stuck. GDOT's plan for bicycle lanes was proposed to help provide a safer street environment for motorists, bikers and pedestrians. The four-foot-wide painted lanes would provide a buffer between the sidewalk and automobile traffic, according to state transportation planners.
GDOT has not said how much more time it will take to respond to all the comments. However a spokeswoman for the department said that more information about the status of the project would be made available on Friday.
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