County not happy with unkempt state highways

County not happy with unkempt state highways

Hwy314-2
These pictures, which were taken about a mile apart from each other, demonstrate how much better Hwy. 314 medians look within Fayetteville city limits than they do in the unincorporated portion of northern Fayette County. County commissioners Thursday night acknowledged the bad impression it gives motorists of Fayette and said they would like to see the situation rectified. (Staff photos by Danny Harrison)

Hwy314-3The Georgia Department of Transportation’s failure to keep their highways running through Fayette County neat and tidy is becoming a sore point for county commissioners, all of whom last week agreed the time has come to revisit the issue and to even consider making the upkeep a county concern.
Highway 314, which stretches from the Clayton County and Fulton County borders southward into the City of Fayetteville before dumping traffic onto Hwy. 85, is of particular concern to Fayetteville resident Wanda Clark, who brought the matter up at Thursday’s Fayette County Commission meeting.
“It’s really an eyesore,” Clark told commissioners during the Public Comments portion of the meeting. “It’s not a good first impression. I need someone to take North Fayetteville seriously.”
Clark says she drives up and down Hwy. 314 each day to and from work, and she worries people will develop low opinions of Fayette County based on the upkeep of the highways, even though it is the state that should pay to keep them maintained. She said she and friends have taken to walking up and down Hwy. 314 collecting trash, but she noted that the grass is also not being mowed.
Commissioner Steve Brown opined that the problem isn’t Hwy. 314 alone, and mentioned that Hwy. 85 in Riverdale looks aesthetically pleasing, but that it looks unattractive as soon as you hit the Fayette County line.
Indeed, this is also the case when Highways 85 and 314 cross into the City of Fayetteville. According to City Manager Ray Gibson, the city funds the upkeep of highway medians and shoulders within city limits.
“My mama said, ‘Your first impression is very lasting,'” Clark told commissioners. “When Clayton County starts looking better than North Fayetteville, I take issue with that.”
Brown said it may be a good idea to follow Clayton County’s model and coordinate with the court system to use community service candidates to fulfill their hours by cleaning up the highways. He also said the state should be pressured into spending more of Fayette County’s tax dollars on highways that run through Fayette County.
“There’s not a lot of D.O.T. money being spent in Fayette County,” Brown said. “They owe it to us to spend our money here.”

Danny Harrison

Danny Harrison, a 1992 Fayette High School graduate, began his journalism career with Fayette County News in 1995. After taking several leaves of absence to pursue journalism and Christian ministry opportunities, including a few out of state and overseas, he returned full-time to Fayette County News in August 2014. Harrison earned a bachelor's degree in pastoral ministry in 2009 while serving as a missionary journalist in England and Western Europe.