Does Peachtree Road in Buckhead need to go on a diet?

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Credit: Andria Brooks

Credit: Andria Brooks

A trademark street in Buckhead may be the next major thoroughfare in Atlanta to be getting a slim down as part of what transportation planners call a "road diet."

Peachtree Road - currently three lanes wide in each direction - is in need of repaving. At the same time, the Georgia Department of Transportation is considering restriping the road to make it safer. Currently, the street lacks a center turn lane, which leads to a lot of sideswipe accidents.

The plan for the section of Peachtree Road between Deering Road and Peachtree Battle Avenue unveiled by GDOT last week would go even further, though. It would subtract one northbound and one southbound lane in order to squeeze in four-foot-wide bike lanes in each direction. That's in addition to a new center turn lane. It would look something like this:

This lane configuration is proposed by Georgia Department of Transportation on the section of Peachtree Road from Deering Road to near Peachtree Battle Avenue. Currently, there are three northbound and three southbound lanes. The proposed plan would eliminate one lane in each direction to add a center turn lane and two bike lanes.

Credit: Andria Brooks

icon to expand image

Credit: Andria Brooks

The section north of Peachtree Battle up to Pharr Road would remain six lanes wide. However, a northbound lane would be converted into a center two-way turn lane.

It would look like this:

This lane configuration is proposed by Georgia Department of Transportation on the section of Peachtree Road from near Peachtree Battle Avenue to Pharr Road. Currently, there are three northbound and three southbound lanes. The proposed plan would eliminate one northbound lane to add a center two-way turn lane.

Credit: Andria Brooks

icon to expand image

Credit: Andria Brooks

This isn't a revolutionary idea. In fact, road diets have been around for at least two decades. According to the Federal Highway Administration, the most common type of road diet involves converting a four-lane road into a two-lane road with a center, two-way left-turn lane. The reclaimed space is then used for bike lanes, pedestrian refuge islands, bus lanes and parking.

Road diets are steadily increasing in popularity, according to FHWA. They're part of an overall shift by many states to implement a Complete Streets policy, one that embraces not only automobiles but walkers and bicyclists on America's roadways.

You may recall that Ponce de Leon Avenue underwent a road diet in 2013.

What do you think about road diets? Are they a good solution for Atlanta?

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