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Buckhead's Controversial Bike Lanes Up for Vote... Again

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Detroit may be the "Motor City," but Atlantans do love their cars, too. And civic leaders in Buckhead so far have indicated they'd like to keep the status quo when it comes to the city's main thoroughfare, all but rejecting three measures that could transform Peachtree Street into a "complete street," according to BuckheadView. This skepticism about getting rid of vehicular lanes to enhance bicycle access across the city has prompted the City of Atlanta's Neighborhood Planning Unit-B — which encompasses Buckhead — to continually defer passage of a few key measures that could bring about big changes to local streets. The bureaucratic gridlock is starting to peeve some locals.

Beyond the complete streets initiative to make major roads in the area more inviting — and safer — for pedestrians and bikers, other aspects of the Connect Atlanta plan include new guidelines for transit oriented developments around MARTA stations. And while the trend has been taking off, some board members have said the newly written guidelines threatened existing single-family home neighborhoods within half a mile of stations like Brookhaven. The strategy proposal has since been finessed to alleviate fears, but it's still mired in controversy, so there's no word on when, or if, the measure will pass.

Asked why he opposes the complete streets ordinance, Board Secretary Jim Cosgrove said he feels that bike lanes are too dangerous for busy, major thoroughfares like Peachtree Road, the website reported. Cosgrove expounded with this: "Simply speaking, look at Pharr Road. We need to decide whether we are going to drive on streets in Buckhead or going to ride on bikes and streetcars. This is about the bicycle lobby. I cannot drive my kids to baseball practice on a bicycle."

So far, only one measure brought to the planning unit has been passed — Cargo Atlanta: A Citywide Freight Study — that will have very little effect on the unit's jurisdiction. Discussion on the rest of the measures is now dragging into a third month, with the next round of voting to take place Sept. 1. A final verdict has been requested by Sept. 14.

· NPU-B delays votes on Connect Atlanta Plan changes until September [BuckheadView]