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What Should be Done with the Traffic on Prince Avenue?

Is it time to get moving on Prince Avenue again?

Another person was hit on Prince Avenue near the Grit this week. Thankfully, that person is fine. Others trying to cross the busy four-lane have had near-death experiences, jumping back from cars that fail to stop for people in the cross walks.

The flashing lights are not extremely effective at getting people to stop. Sara Ehlers, who lives on Hill Street, has pushed the signal and then shouted "STOP!" and waved her hands at drivers to get them to stop for her family.

Years ago, the Athens Clarke County Commission considered three-laning the road from Milledge Avenue to Pulaski and taking control of the road from the Perimeter into town to to make improvements like better sidewalks, more crosswalks, bicycle lanes and traffic-calming measures. The Commission voted no on that proposal. 

Things have changed markedly since then. More families, and thus, more walkers and cyclists have moved into neighborhoods on both sides of Prince. A Census report says 11 percent of Boulevard residents bike to work. 

Businesses like Model Citizen and Avid Bookshop attract customers to a busy part of Prince. Construction at Emmanuel means parishioners are parking across Prince. And UGA President Morehead actually lives in the President's House.

Requested by the ACC Commission in 2008, a corridor study of Prince Avenue seems to have stalled since last spring. 

With the expansion of the Medical Partnership and more dense development projected along the corridor, traffic is likely to become even heavier. So, what should be done with this important road? Anything? Nothing? 

Melissa Link December 07, 2013 at 09:48 AM
This can has been kicked down the Ave for far too long. The M&C accepted the Prince Ave Corridor study in early 2012 but it was several months before the mayor got around to appointing a committee to look at implementation of recommendations, and that committee was essentially toothless--dominated by development & med industry reps & tasked with being nothing more than a sounding board for a new zoning category that Planning proposed to apply only sparingly & rather haphazardly in places where it offers very little protection for the adjacent residential properties. Transportation & safety issues were not part of the discussion. The PC promised back in June that they would have a joint work session with the M&C to reassess the process--but not a thing has been done & those who were supposedly taking the lead appear to have dropped the ball... This community is in sore need of new leadership that not only has the drive, but the courage to overcome the go-along-to-get-along stagnation that pervades our community and sets us a step back at every turn. It will take creative vision and dedication to move this community forward--we deserve better!

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