Bulldoze It

People in Macon are fighting over the proposed widening of Forest Hill Road, a major artery on the north side of town that once was just a peaceful meandering road with houses coming fairly close to the road.

I say bulldoze it. While I am sympathetic to the ideas, such as roundabouts, etc., I think we need to accept the fact that there are an overabundance of 15mph driving blue haired senior citizens on that road who tie up traffic in 15 car backlogs, exacerbated by people cutting through from the interstate when there is a wreck.

Life goes on and it is time for Forest Hill Road to be expanded. It may not make the homeowners happy who live on that road, but the rest of us will breath a sigh of relief when we no longer get stuck behind granny in her Lincoln Town car slamming on the brakes for every curve in the road.

Besides, all the progressives in town who are obstructing the expansion should be happy. It is, after all, progress.

Oh, and while I grew up overseas and am comfortable driving around roundabouts, you will never, ever get a redneck comfortable with a French idea.

13 comments

  1. rugby_fan says:

    I emphatically agree with you Erick!

    Roundabouts are one of the great joys and marvels of European Urban Engineering and I could extol their virtues and sing paeans to their greatness for hours–if not days.

    Alas, I don’ think they would ever be appreciated here.

    (And roundabouts are not French).

  2. Jas says:

    I vehemently disagree.

    I grew up in Macon and lived there for close to 25 years until finally moving to Atlanta a few years ago. Funny, I spent an entire summer>fall in Macon on business in Fall ’04 and used Forest Hill Drive multiple times on a daily basis to get between my parents house and my office off Riverside Drive and I can never remember being stuck in the type of traffic that is being described, nor can my parents who have spent all their lives in Macon living in the Weslyan Woods area.

    I think the plan is flawed, and frankly, I don’t see the need.

  3. Jas says:

    Also I now live in Atlanta off Collier Road which is similar because its a cut through for the P-Tree and I-75/Northside Dr. If Collier doesn’t need to be widened, why does Forest Hill?

  4. macongop says:

    Eric, Just because I-75/I-16 was shut down yesterday due to the 6 car pile up and one 18 wheeler spilling liquid latex everywhere, there is no reason to expand Forest Hill Road. It is a residential area, not a by-pass around Macon, nor the express way that it has become. The speed limit is only 35 MPH and there is even a school zone on it that goes to 25 MPH. A roundabout like what we had in Dubai would never work on that road, there is just not enough space to put one at Wimbish and Forest Hill. A better solution would be to make a lane from I-75 South connect to I-475 North by Hartley Bridge and I-75 North connect to I-475 South just over the Monroe County line to form a complete loop around Macon in both directions, CW and CCW.

  5. Demonbeck says:

    I got caught up in that mess yesterday as well. Took me an hour from Tom Hill, down Forest Hill to Vineville to downtown to the Interstate to bypass the wreck.

    Something needs to be done. Perhaps the City of Macon can persuade DOT to spend some money outside of Atlanta to fix the problem. Macon’s not that far outside of DOT’s 11 county jurisdiction.

  6. VictoratGaImproper says:

    12/14/06
    Dear Erick,

    Thanks for occasionally providing an open forum for debate on issues other than politics for politics sake. Don’t feel bad, like you have done on this issue, i get into debates before i have time to de-ignorantize myself too. Looking forward to a long hot xmas season with you and yours bro… 🙂
    v.

    -Excerpts from Forest Hill Redesign meeting attendee’s letter to HD 137 Rep Allen Peake et al.

    It was good to see you and City Councilman Cole Thomason at the Forest Hill Road, Citizen Redesign Request meeting at City Hall yesterday. I only wish that Bibb County Commission Chair Charlie Bishop, Elmo Richardson, Robert Brown, David Lucas, Tony Sellier, Allen Freeman, Nikki Randall, Cecil Staton, Mayor Ellis, Sharon Patterson, City Council, Bibb Commission and our Law & Fire Safety Officials et al had arranged their schedules to at least give the appearance of concern for the safety of Bibb County’s Elementary School Children. (sorry if I left anyone out) They don’t have problems showing up to listen to forums designed to educate elected officials during campaign season or when they want a new SPLOST.

    Macon/Bibb Planning and Zoning’s Don Tussing, Jim Thomas and City Engineer Bill Causey are to be commended for showing up and expressing post-meeting, educated appreciation for safe & sensible road redesign via the use of roundabouts. And thanks to Councilwoman Nancy White for calling that she was unable to attend because she was stuck in GDOT’s I75 traffic.

    ***Dan Fischer highlighted that the current multi lane design of Forest Hill Road is DANGEROUS FOR THE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL CHILDREN OF BIBB COUNTY who have to walk to and from school along this proposed MULTI-LANE, HIGH-SPEED ROAD. As the neighbors present showed: MCKIBBEN LANE ELEMENTARY, ROSA TAYLOR ELEMENTARY, MONTESSORI and CHURCH SCHOOL CHILDREN will be exposed to serious and unnecessary danger as a result of the current GDOT plan for Forest Hill Rd. With the two tragic and recent pedestrian deaths of Bibb County Children near school bus stops, this is one issue that we can not afford to give up on. ***

    Forest Hill Neighbor Mary Jones is to be commended for getting 800 signatures to show you that the residents in our area and ACROSS THE CITY are demanding a redesign of the current overbuilt road plan that will waste taxpayer money and destroy the character of our area. The 800 signatures prove that “WE

  7. liberty21 says:

    Roundabouts are not new to the US. Several cities have them around the country. I have seen some in some areas where you would not think of. There is one in southern Minnesota, just south of the suburbs of Minneapolis-Saint Paul in a undeveloped area basically still a field along a road named route 69 between New Prague and Prior Lake, Minnesota. There is a roundabout in upstate New York in a small metropolis named Binghampton that connect streets. Roundabouts are great methods for traffic control.

  8. memberg says:

    I will not support any traffic plans in Macon that do not first re-time the light at Vineville & Pio Nono/Pierce. Without question, that is the worst intersection in the city. Vineville should have a green light at least 80% of the time.

  9. Pappy says:

    I know of at least two roundabouts (or traffic circles) right here in Atlanta. Both are in the Emory/Virginia Highlands area.

  10. Doc Holliday says:

    Roundabouts save Big Money, Time, Air Quality, and Reduce Road Rage!

    Georgia needs to be building them as quickly as possible.

    In Bibb Co the Citizens are asking for Roundabouts at Forest Hill Road.

    See:
    http://www.macon-bibb.com/FHR

    GaDOT needs to help us redesign this project to save Lives, Time and Money.
    Thank-you for your consideration!
    – Doc

  11. rugby_fan says:

    A roundabout is a true joy of urban planning.

    They are large circles that you put in the middle of intersections. Cars must drive ’round about to the side of the street to which they wish to exit.

    Why is this good? Well several reasons.

    First, unlike stop signs traffic is allowed to continually flow.

    Second, it actually creates safer driving as no one can “run” a roundabout and people thus obey speed limits more often.

    Third, they facilitate U-turns and other driving corrections.

    Fourth, as the middle of it is quite large, cities can add flora or art to the middle of it making a city more attractive overall.

    Fifth, roundabouts are safer for pedestrians as traffic is slower at intersections and pedestrian islands are often incorporated into the design and this normally encourages more walking (although I doubt anyone would walk more here in America).

    As I am sure I am putting you to sleep by reading this I will stop now. But this proves my comment above.

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