County hears update on transportation plan process

County staff and consultants continued their Transportation Plan tour of local government meetings with a presentation at Thursday night’s County Board of Commissioner meeting.

The plan sets a potential course for the future of Fayette and is a comprehensive assessment of all modes of transportation (automobile, golf car, bicycle, walking, etc) available within the county, along with a master cart path plan. It represents an update of the 2010 plan.

The public has been engaged at several community events, and input will still be sought for the project list until it is closed out later this year.

The plan was met with some skepticism.

Chairman Eric Maxwell said that while he supported working on the county’s infrastructure, he could not see how you begin to tackle what would require many millions of dollars to fund.

“Where is the money coming from?,” he wondered. “Quite frankly, it’s extremely expensive to do these projects.”

He referenced prior attempts to work with Peachtree City on a master path plan finding little cooperation.

“If Peachtree City doesn’t want it, why would Fayette County try to force it down Peachtree City’s throat?”

Commissioner Steve Brown expressed disappointment that government officials weren’t consulted earlier in the process of formulating the list. He lamented a potential disconnect between citizens encouraged by items on the project list that the government has to turn down because they are just not fiscally feasible.

“You’re putting us in a position where we’re being reactive, and now we’re having to react to something we’ve spent a lot of money on and had a lot of public comment on and we’ve never had a chance to really give any input into this process,” he said. “You’re going to end up with something that’s combustible at the end.”

Commissioner Charles Oddo was encouraged with the process as a good starting point, especially in gaging public feedback on what they think is most important.
“Whether or not we end up agreeing with it, we need to have a plan that encompasses the entire county,” he said. “Knowing what we want the county to ultimately look like, with input from the cities, gives us all direction.”

Public Works Director Phil Mallon said that they still have to make presentations to Tyrone and Brooks before they can close out the initial recommendation stage. At that point, they will make the final document, including a listing of all proposed projects, available online for feedback for three to four weeks in late November. After closing that out in December and edits are made, they will bring the plan back before each governing body for approval early next year.

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