Tucker City Council tables transportation plan amid Cooledge Road concernsFile photo: The Tucker City Council members.. Left to right: Councilors Pat Soltys, Matt Robbins, Michelle Penkava, Mayor Frank Auman, Bill Rosenfeld, Noelle Monferdini and Anne Lerner. Credit: Matt Holmes, City of Tucker.
By Logan C. Ritchie, contributor
Tucker residents grabbed the attention of City Council on Monday night, causing pause to the city’s approval of the new transportation plan.
Presented in May, the city’s $200 million Strategic Transportation Master Plan has been under review by council members and residents.
But after 15 residents stepped to the podium in a crowded council meeting, Mayor Frank Auman and council members took notice.
Neighbors surrounding Cooledge Road expressed disgust for the proposed plan to widen the two-lane resident street to a four-lane thruway. Cooledge runs between US-78 and Lawrenceville Highway. Allotted funding for the Cooledge Road Widening Project is $7.1 million.
Although the Cooledge project is only one of a dozen roads under review, the council voted unanimously to table the entire transportation plan until Sept. 9.
At the podium, Cooledge neighbors including Mary Seedlock, Dianna and Alfie Shallop, and Jessica Prince expressed concerns for increased traffic and dangerous road conditions.
Prince said, “If you build it, they will come. People will come off I-285 and create more traffic on Cooledge. Widening the road will increase noise, light, and air pollution.”
Upon hearing from her constituents, Councilwoman Noelle Monferdini proposed to change the language in the plan. She said, “This is a road map for the future. It needs to be as close to what the community wants as possible.”
Council voted 6-1 to change the Cooledge Road Widening to Cooledge Road Two Lane Complete Streets, guaranteeing the road will not be widened. Complete Streets accommodate drivers, pedestrians, cyclists, and transit riders rather than commuters.
Cooledge Road resident Sheila Barron, signed petitions in hand, said, “Increase the mobility, not the lanes. We don’t know what Complete Streets are yet.”
Council passed several of Monferdini’s changes to the transportation plan, including a traffic study on US-78; a study on the increase of traffic along Cooledge, Brockett, Fellowship, and Idlewood; regrading Montreal Road at the railroad crossing; and a traffic study at Lawrenceville Highway and Lynburn Road.
Residents have until Sept. 9 to contact council members regarding the changes to the transportation plan.