Improving Buckhead’s Roads with Traffic Officers

It’s 5 p.m. on Thursday afternoon.  You look out of the window of your office, see the traffic build-up and ponder your drive home.  You know that the Buckhead CID is working to transform our roads so that they work better for everybody.  But did you know that the police stationed at the intersections of Peachtree and Piedmont, Piedmont and Lenox/Buckhead Loop, and Peachtree and Lenox are there to help you with your commute and are being paid for by your CID tax dollars?

When this program was established by the CID six years ago, we had two goals.  First, keep cars from clogging the intersections and impeding traffic flow when the lights changed.  Second, protect pedestrians who were braving the traffic while crossing the street.  That was before we started to fund Buckhead infrastructure improvements, which are now coming “out of the ground.”

During this past holiday season, which coincided nicely with some nasty weather, we had unusually bad traffic during the evening “rush hour.”  One of our CID area property owners got in touch with us and said that they had been observing and thinking about our traffic officer program and wanted to speak with us about it.  So speak, we did.

The owner had some good ideas about how to better deploy the officers, coordinate their efforts and, in effect, create a system of officers working together – perhaps with the cooperation of private driveway traffic officers – to more effectively pull evening traffic out of and through our central business district.  We will be bringing some smart people together early in 2011 to examine this idea, modify and optimize our approach, and achieve synergy with infrastructure improvements and traffic signal optimization.  Two imperatives: pedestrian safety will not be compromised, and drivers must understand the law and behave responsibly.

Have a great 2011.  Keep in touch.

– Jim Durrett, Executive Director

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