The Forest Hill Road project is necessary. The road is crumbling, bumpy, too narrow and a mess. It needs to be widened at Ridge Avenue. But while we should all be able to agree on that, can we also agree that the Georgia Department of Transportation’s plan is too big, too destructive of a beautiful neighborhood and most traffic has moved north to Bass Road. Bass Road is in far more desperate need now of expansion and stoplights than Forest Hill Road was even a year ago or five years ago.
Traffic patterns moved, road planning should too. At the same time, I fully support the Department of Transportation’s efforts at I-75 and I-16. The commercial traffic we are going to see over the next decade will be significant. We absolutely must improve and expand that section of road. Let’s hope whoever designed the parking lots at The Shoppes at River Crossing is not involved.
I have no idea who thought the parking lot design there was a good idea. If you park in the Dillard’s parking lot that fronts Wesleyan Drive, you are confronted with two options to actually get to Dillard’s -- walk through the ever growing hedge or walk all the way around the parking lot. Other parts are no better.
I spent this last week in New Orleans at my annual RedState Gathering. We had politicians and candidates from around the country pay their own way to New Orleans to talk to RedState’s readers. One of the most impressive candidates was a guy named Greg Brannon. He is a doctor running for the U.S. Senate in North Carolina. Another very impressive guy was Matt Bevin, a small businessman in Kentucky challenging Sen. Mitch McConnell in the Republican Primary.
No one running in the Georgia Senate race came. I did not ask them. I have not yet worked up measurable satisfaction with that race. I am friends with a number of the candidates running, from Jack Kingston to Paul Broun to Karen Handel. Kingston may be one of the finest people I know in Washington, D.C. He and his family are just stellar people. But in all the national conservative and Republican scorecards from the National Federation of Independent Business to the American Conservative Union to the Club for Growth, he ranks lower than Saxby Chambliss, the man he wants to replace.
I’m just not excited about the Georgia Senate race. About the only races less exciting are those for the consolidated Macon-Bibb County government. The mayoral debacle in Warner Robins is far more entertaining. The races here lack money, energy and compelling messages. Certainly they were thrown off by the delays and hiccups over preclearance, but they have never really taken off. At least the local Democratic Party has provided consistent drama of late.
Shifting gears here entirely at the end, upon returning from New Orleans, I realized school had started. Our oldest goes to First Presbyterian Day School, so we have a week left. But public school has started. Am I the only one who takes school zones seriously? I was driving up Zebulon Road the other day, slowed to 25 mph, and had the guy behind me angrily blare his horn and zoom around me.
For all its faults, growing up in Louisiana, every school zone had a sheriff’s deputy stationed daring people to speed through. School zone speed limits are not reduced to be inconvenient, but for the safety of the kids and parents coming and going. Slow down when the lights flash, please.
Erick Erickson is a Fox News contributor and radio talk show host in Atlanta.