The top end of I-285 is a notoriously clogged part of the interstate.
Photo: Hyosub Shin
Photo: Hyosub Shin

Area councilman signs petition against I-285 toll lanes project

At least one city council member in the communities that will be affected by new toll lanes along the top end of I-285 has come out against the project.

Joseph Geierman, a member of the Doraville City Council, has signed a petition urging officials to stop the plans. The Georgia Department of Transportation aims to add up to two “express” toll lanes in each direction on the northern half of the Perimeter, with construction beginning in 2022. GDOT hopes when the arc is completed six years later, it could cut travel times for commuters.

“Someone has started a petition to raise awareness about the new toll lanes on 285 and to share that initial public feedback with the Georgia Department of Transportation,” Geierman wrote in a Facebook post sharing the petition. “It's only a first step, but I have added my name to this petition.”

As of Wednesday afternoon, the petition had about a couple hundred signatures. The $4.6 billion project shows few signs of slowing down, though, with GDOT moving along with plans and holding community meetings in the affected cities: Doraville, Chamblee, Dunwoody, Brookhaven, Sandy Springs and Smyrna.

Some residents and public officials have expressed concerns about the interstate expansion. GDOT expects to acquire or obtain easements for about 300 parcels for a key segment of the expansion, from Paces Ferry Road in Cobb County to Henderson Road in DeKalb County, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported last month.

» READ MORE: New lanes coming for I-285, putting some neighborhoods on edge

Some residents are worried about noise, lost property and declining values for homes that remain, and are looking for more details about GDOT’s plans.

“Over the past 50 years, the Atlanta metro area has experienced historic growth that is not slowing down,” the petition states, later adding that “had the State and GDOT possessed some vision of the growth, they would have adopted a multi-modal approach rather than continuously adding lanes.”

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