Power Pole Relocation Project in Buckhead, Georgia, Draws Criticism Over Pedestrian Safety
BUCKHEAD, GA. – According to a news story reported online by reporternewspapers.net, a power pole relocation project in Buckhead, Georgia, has drawn criticism over pedestrian safety concerns. The project reportedly provides a buffer space for cars running off the road, and critics say it places pedestrians at a higher risk for injuries.*
In a project called Clear Roadside, the Georgia Department of Transportation is moving 100 power poles on Peachtree Road and Roswell Road in the Buckhead area. The power poles are being relocated from the area right by the roads’ curbs to areas inside or behind sidewalks. Proponents of the project say that it will reduce injuries and fatalities from run-off-the-road crashes in which vehicles hit the power poles just beyond the curbs.
However, critics of the project say that it places pedestrians in danger and eliminates valuable sidewalk space for walkers, joggers, and people with disabilities. In some areas where the poles have already been relocated, the remaining sidewalk is barely wide enough for a wheelchair to pass, according to the report.
“GDOT’s philosophy behind moving the poles is sickening,” said Sally Flocks, president and CEO of PEDS Atlanta, a pedestrian advocacy organization. “The purpose is to provide ‘correction’ space if someone falls asleep or is distracted while driving.”
Georgia DOT says that it is working to expand affected sidewalks and meet all requirements for ADA compliance and also to make sidewalk improvements in other areas. In the meantime, residents are trying to navigate around open holes in sidewalks and broken asphalt at the edges of the two roadways.
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