Progress report

For all modes of transportation, we have made significant strides in recent years. Strides in safety, access and quality make our lives better and enhances each day we spend on our feet or behind the wheel.

We continue to enhance connectivity through our trail and sidewalk network.

Just as we seek social and economic connections, these physical connections that allow us to easily stretch our legs and visit friends are a tangible reminder that we are creating an Athens for all residents.

Interchange improvements. Further expediting safer and smoother movement throughout the community, the re-building of Loop 10 interchanges at Lexington Highway and Atlanta Highway are moving forward, with Lexington under construction beginning this year, and Atlanta Highway in 2023. The Lexington interchange was originally going to begin in 2027, but through appeals to the Georgia Department of Transportation, I was able to facilitate an early start date. After the period of construction, both of these will move more traffic in a manner that will allow motor vehicles and pedestrians alike better passage.  

Trail network grows. This year, the Firefly Trail extended beyond the Loop to Hancock Industrial Road, and finally see completion of the iconic bridge over Trail Creek that will offer breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape and provide a magnet to riders from near and far. As significantly, our expanding trails provide safe recreation and access to amenities to thousands of children and families along the Winterville and Spring Valley Road corridors, in the Barnett Shoals and College Station Road area, and to those near Commerce Highway and Newton Bridge Road, all areas in which safe access to recreation to on foot or bike was previously limited. 

More sidewalks. We have completed new sidewalk segments in many dense residential areas that were under-supported such as Baxter Street, King Avenue and Magnolia Street. 

Next steps

Making transit more frequent. To support our workforce needs, along with the new higher density residential nodes, in the years ahead we will target increased frequency on key Athens Transit routes. The next round of TSPLOST funding is well underway with a stellar group of community supporters for a vote this May, and the County Commission has agreed in principle to dedicate a portion of that existing penny TSPLOST tax after that point to transit. This new investment could yield a series of stops along key high-use corridors in which missing a bus by a few seconds and seeing the taillights fade into the distance no longer means that there is an hour to wait for the next bus, but instead a matter of just ten or fifteen minutes.

Intersection and corridor Improvements. We will evaluate and implement safety improvements that will ensure that fewer accidents occur, and we can safely get to our destinations. Reviewing accident data, we will highlight those areas of greatest need and devote resources to focused improvements.

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