Houston & Peach

Ever cut through parking lots to avoid intersections? You may get a ticket.

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Byron business owner J.R. Pulliam is concerned for the safety of his workers and his customers.

Pulliam, owner of Hedgerow Landscaping, said motorists often travel through his parking lot to avoid waiting at the intersection of Ga. 49 and Main Street.

And that’s dangerous because people, including children, are often walking through the parking lot.

“It’s a safety hazard,” Pulliam said.

Byron Police Chief Wesley Cannon agrees.

He noted how easy it is for a child to pull away from a parent in a parking lot.

Cannon said complaints from business owners like Pulliam and several fender benders within parking lots led to Byron leaders adopting a new ordinance in May.

The ordinance makes it illegal for motorists to cut through parking lots to avoid an intersection, or to circumvent roadways and use a parking lot as a shortcut to reach another road.

Other Middle Georgia cities, like Warner Robins, have similar ordinances.

Byron police have been issuing warnings as the word gets out about the new ordinance, Cannon said. But motorists who continue to cut through likely can expect tickets as the unofficial grace period is now expiring.

Pulliam’s business is located across the street from the Dollar General, which also experiences problems with motorists using the parking lot as a cut-through, Cannon said.

There are two other troublesome spots, Cannon said.

One of those is the Texaco gas station parking lot at 245 Ga. 49. Motorists use the parking lot as a cut-through to get to Old Macon Road, Cannon said.

The other is where the Krystal restaurant and Chevron gas station on Ga. 49 are located, Cannon said.

Motorists often cut through the parking lot to reach Dunbar Road, or vice versa, rather than stay on the roadways to where Ga. 49 and Dunbar Road meet a few feet away.

Byron police recently posted about the new ordinance on the agency’s Facebook page. Most commenting welcomed the ordinance.

Pulliam posted, “Would love for y’all to handle that. They fly through our parking lot every day.”

Byron police posted back, “We have been giving warnings for a few months and are about to start writing tickets.”

Becky Purser: 478-256-9559, @BecPurser