Business owners on Lafayette Road in Fort Oglethorpe submitted a petition to both the city and the Georgia Department of Transportation objecting to planned raised medians that would block left-hand turns into many establishments along the road.
The plan impacts the stretch of road from the south end of the Kmart plaza parking lot to the south end of St. Gerard Catholic Church property.
The city listened to the concerns of the business owners.
“The city has submitted a written request to the department of transportation requesting removal of three of the five medians contained in the GDOT plans on Aug. 7th,” Fort Oglethorpe City Manager Jennifer Simpkins said last week. “The northernmost and the southernmost medians will remain as gateways to the city’s oldest commercial district, the Lafayette corridor. We are optimistic that GDOT will approve the requested changes (see press release below) to the satisfaction of concerned business owners while maintaining the integrity of the 2015 Lafayette Road Master Plan.”
The remaining medians, should the change take place, would alter access only at St. Gerard’s on the south end of the road, where entering and exiting would be possible from both directions but more limited than is currently the case.
Fort Oglethorpe City Manager Jenny Simpkins issued this press release on Thursday, Aug. 30:
The Georgia Department of Transportation, Arcadis, U.S., Inc., and the City of Fort Oglethorpe hosted a Public Information Open House to review the final layout of the $3,000,000 federally-funded project to improve Lafayette Road from Harker Road to Battlefield Parkway on Tuesday, August 7, 2018. Over 50 city leaders, business owners, and residents attended the open house. The proposed improvements along the 0.8-mile corridor include two traffic lanes in each direction with five raised medians, decorative crosswalks, intersection upgrades, shared bicycle lanes, and landscaped strips between the curb and the sidewalks.
At the open house, many expressed excitement and support for the proposed project aimed at restoring the city's oldest commercial district to its original prosperity. Some business owners along the corridor ex-pressed concern that medians in front of entrances may prohibit ingress and egress of customers to their businesses.
The city sent a letter to the GDOT project manager on August 21st re-questing the removal of the three medians between Gilbert Drive to the North and Enscore Street to the South from the final design. The north-ernmost median between Gilbert Drive and Battlefield Parkway and the southernmost median between Enscore Street and Harker Road will remain as gateways to the Lafayette corridor, consistent with the intent of the 2015 Lafayette Street Master Plan. The letter states that city intends to pursue signage, trees, and landscaping within these two medians to announce arrival to the city's oldest commercial district for those traveling north from the Chickamauga Battlefield and south from Battlefield Parkway.
On August 24, Arcadis responded with a letter to the GDOT project manager stating that the city's request to eliminate all medians from the corridor with the exception of the northernmost and southernmost medians should not have a negative impact to the project justification or safety of the corridor compared to existing conditions. The modified design has been approved by GDOT.
For more information on the project, please visit www.foriogov.com/LaFayette Road Streetscape. The revised final design will be posted upon receival from the project manager.