It's official: The Peachtree Road bike lane proposal is dead, according to an Atlanta Business Chronicle report. First floated earlier this year, the proposal would have brought dedicated bike lanes to South Buckhead between Deering Road and Pharr Road. The lanes were to be part of an initiative to improve traffic on the Peachtree Road corridor by removing one lane in each direction and adding a dedicated center turn lane as well as space for two-wheeled road warriors. But opposition to losing a travel lane in each direction won out. The center turn lane project will still move forward when the road is re-striped by the Georiga DOT, meaning that those headed southbound will still lose a travel lane. But overall, the plan should result in faster moving traffic for all users as the two travel lanes at the center of the road in the current condition were often impassable due to people attempting to turn left.
In terms of long-range visioning for Peachtree Road, bike lanes weren't the only changes being considered as part of the "complete street" makeover. Originally, plans called for a streetcar to traverse the road from Midtown to Lenox Square as part of an ambitious transit plan. However, the fear of tying up travel lanes with transit resulted in the axing of a streetcar line from the final proposal for a comprehensive 50-mile system for the city.
While it's understandable that people are concerned about losing travel lanes, it's disconcerting that any alternatives are met with such vehemence. The roads have been a clogged mess for years, and traffic is only getting worse in Buckhead with a major building boom bringing more residents and workers to already restricted roads. The road diet measure might have seemed counterproductive, but in the long run Atlanta must reevaluate how it approaches roads and travel around the region, with alternative forms of transportation (e.g. bikes and streetcars) being an important component. But for now, Buckhead will stick with the car-clogged Peachtree corridor.
· State dumps bike lanes from Peachtree Road plan [Atlanta Business Chronicle]
· Peachtree Road Bike Lane Project is Now on Life Support [Curbed Atlanta]
· Muscular Buckhead Group Joins Fight Against Bike Lanes [Curbed Atlanta]
· Piecemeal Peachtree Bike Lanes a Source of Ire, Again [Curbed Atlanta]
· Buckhead's Controversial Bike Lanes Up for Vote... Again [Curbed Atlanta]