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Muscular Buckhead Group Joins Fight Against Bike Lanes

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A powerful group of Buckhead business leaders has joined the opposition to a GDOT-backed plan to reduce traffic lanes on a portion of Peachtree Road to accommodate bicyclists. The Buckhead Coalition has penned a letter to Russell McMurry, Georgia Commissioner of Transportation, stressing that an "overwhelming" majority of its members are opposed to restriping Peachtree Road from Peachtree Battle Avenue south to Deering Road. Doing so, they argue, wouldn't be safe for bicyclists, and they said as much in a press release Monday. In an interview with the Atlanta Business Chronicle, coalition leader Sam Massell basically said Buckhead is collectively too old to accept bike lanes — in that the area's older population far outnumbers millennials for the time being. (A majority of Buckheaders — Buckheadians? — under age 30 actually favor dedicated bike lanes, feedback shows). "We just have to be reasonable, put this thing aside and look at it again in a few years," Massell told the newspaper, adding: "It's hard enough to cope already with the congestion success has brought to us." Meanwhile, in a recent AJC op-ed, Tuxedo Park Civic Association president Mercy Sandberg-Wright joined the chorus of opposition, writing that GDOT and pro-bike-lane leaders such as Jim Durrett, Buckhead CID executive director, likely don't understand "how overwhelmed we are by current traffic and how we fear what will come." How long until "avid bicyclist" is considered a slur north of Midtown?