ATLANTA—Changes to a three-mile section of Peachtree are designed to ease conflict, but some commuters are unsure.
It’s been in the planning stages for months. Late last week, a GDOT contractor finished repaving and re-striping Peachtree between the Buford Spring Connector and Pharr Road. The re-design removes one northbound lane of Atlanta’s most popular thoroughfare and replaces it with a center left turn lane.
GDOT says the re-design should eliminate the conflict that used to occur when drivers block a lane of travel attempting to turn left. Frustrated commuters would line up behind a left turning vehicle, often swerving into an adjoining lane.
Commuter Dude Jerry Carnes tested the new version of Peachtree and compared his three-mile drive to one he took back in February before the change.
His February trip took over fourteen minutes. It was interrupted several times by drivers trying to turn left, and other drivers trying to swerve around the interruption.
His trip down the newly designed Peachtree took two minutes less than the February journey.
He did witness drivers who failed to understand the new design. They were attempting to turn left without entering the center turn lane. Another driver entered the center lane without realizing it was for left turns only, causing him to swerve out of the lane a short time later.
A GDOT spokesperson says permanent striping will soon replace the temporary stripes, which should clear some of the confusion. The agency acknowledges that accidents or delivery trucks blocking one of the two remaining northbound lanes could cause added congestion, but that should be balanced by removing the conflict from left turns.