The Georgia Department of Transportation is finally getting around to building out a “Safe Routes to School transportation improvement” project and some residents don’t approve of one particular element of the project, moving the entrance to Glennwood Elementary to align with Sycamore Place. A petition created by surrounding residents to oppose the plan states…
“The current plan would result in the loss of existing trees and the current school sign and will create a much shorter front driveway for the school. The shorter driveway will result in the buses loading in the lower parking lot where carpool is currently held. This will result in requiring staggered dismissal times, which will be a considerable inconvenience for teachers and families. It will also result in traffic backups onto East Ponce de Leon, as parents’ cars will not be able to maneuver past the busses into the lower parking lot. Finally, there is a safety concern with having Sycamore Place end directly into our driveway, as a distracted driver may continue driving straight through the light without noticing the transition from street to driveway.”
City Manager Peggy Merriss says that the plan is “part of a Safe Routes to School transportation improvement that the City and the City Schools requested a number of years ago that GDOT is just getting around to completing.” She adds that the plan “also includes improvements to the intersection at Commerce Drive and Sycamore Place, installation of bike racks and some other items.”
There also seem to be differing explanations of why the plan was conceived in the first place.
According to the City Manager, the current situation along the street is that “…the intersection at East Ponce de Leon and Sycamore Place followed quickly by the entrance to the drive at Glennwood Elementary is a challenging one for pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles to negotiate and rebuilding it would improve conditions.” But opposing residents say the work was initially planned because of increased traffic due to it being a 4/5 Academy and that it is now unnecessary because Glennwood is now a neighborhood school and “many families living within walking or biking distance.”
So it sounds like there are a few different viewpoints on the purpose and result of the project at this point. Either way, Ms. Merriss also tells DM that “…the City is aware of the City Schools concerns about timing of construction and disruption to the school. We are trying to get GDOT’s cooperation in reviewing the project to address the concerns.”
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