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Laney-Walker Boulevard closure up for debate

Public can weigh in on effect of MCG request

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Two proposals that would alter the flow of people and traffic in downtown Augusta go before an Augusta Commission committee today.

Medical College of Georgia's request to close Laney-Walker Boulevard to through traffic has already sparked "a great deal of interest" from community members possibly affected by the change, state Sen. Hardie Davis said.

The four-lane city street flanks the campus of Paine College at its western end, bisects MCG, then becomes the central artery through the Laney-Walker neighborhood.

Both Lucy Craft Laney High School and A.R. Johnson Health Science and Engineering Magnet School have addresses on Laney-Walker Boulevard.

Davis said he has been contacted by medical professionals who do business downtown, as well as other segments of the public, including those affected if through traffic had to take an alternate route. The nearest alternate routes around the health sciences university campus are Walton Way and Wrightsboro Road.

A 6 p.m. public meeting Tuesday at A.R. Johnson will give the public an opportunity to weigh in on the proposal, he said.

Placed on the agenda for discussion by Commissioner Don Grantham, the request will be heard by Augusta's engineering committee today. MCG President Dr. Ricardo Azziz or a representative is expected to present details to the committee.

Up for approval is another significant change, the addition of two levels to the city's parking deck now under construction on Reynolds Street.

Adding two levels to the deck would increase the available number of spaces from 450 to 650 while adding $3.3 million to the project's cost, but the city has leftover Special-Purpose, Local-Option Sales Tax 5 funds it can use, according to the proposal.

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Sweet son
10037
Points
Sweet son 12/12/10 - 10:21 pm
0
0
You can almost bet that Azziz

You can almost bet that Azziz will be at the meeting. He likes alot of camera time and he always has costly ideas. Make sure that he has money set aside from the college's budget to pay for the Laney-Walker changes. Maybe a few furlough days for him and his high paid generals. Wrightsboro is probably not an option because of it being two land all the way up to Highland Avenue. Get behind one of Fred's city buses and see how fast the traffic goes.

fdn315
2
Points
fdn315 12/13/10 - 04:32 am
0
0
The closure would be great

The closure would be great for the MCG campus but that is a critical artery to those who work, live, or have kids that are students at Laney Johnson and Walker. Wrightsboro road would have to be widened from jimmy dyess parkway all the way down to 12th st. to 4 lanes with a suicide lane and the same would probably have to be added where it merges with 13th st. Widening 12th street at the Laney Walker intersection would also be wise because traffic gets very backed up around the time Davidson and Johnson go to school and let out. at least a turning lane. According to the master plan it looks as if they will be diverting the rail way around the district which would help also

Justin4466
43
Points
Justin4466 12/13/10 - 09:21 am
0
0
Hopefully we will hear some

Hopefully we will hear some tangible discussion to make a prudent decision based on facts and not the desires of MCG or the emotional resistance of the community. How many cars pass through that area daily? How will it impact traffic on Wrightsboro Road and Walton Way. If Wrightsboro will be widen, will that be done prior to Laney Walker closing or will it be a promise that never comes to fruition. Whats the rationale for the closing, pedestrian accidents (how many have there been, over what period of time)? ETC.

CabisKhan
150
Points
CabisKhan 12/13/10 - 09:37 am
0
0
There is no room to make

There is no room to make W'boro into a four lane highway with a ctr. turn lane. It would be astronomically expensive on a non state road for the city and it would run through the Summerville Historic district. So no demolition there. It would create an urban blight area along its length.

Brad Owens
4259
Points
Brad Owens 12/13/10 - 09:42 am
0
0
Did everyone see the fact

Did everyone see the fact that trhye TEE Center just went up another 3% in cost so we can "add" much needed more floors to the parking deck?

Change orders, that is where ALL the money is in these giverment projects.

$3,300,000.00 to add 200 more parking spaces for a cost of $16,500.00 per added parking space. Seems to me we could buy the entire Golf and Gardens for $1,000,000.00 LESS than that. Does anyone know how many parking places already exist in the Golf and Gardens site? Anyone? Anyone?

Now, if that is correct then how many of these places would need to be filled with paying parking customers before it would be paying for itself? Remember, people attending events will get to park for free.

This is one of those they are trying to slip past us. Also, from WHAT SPLOST and WHAT project are these "extra" funds being "reprogrammed?"

You all better keep your eye on the ball here or the final cost of the TEE will be even MORE bloated than it already has become.

damejacqueline
34
Points
damejacqueline 12/13/10 - 11:02 am
0
0
If the City of Augusta, or

If the City of Augusta, or the County of Augusta or whoever is in charge of all this spending, there is absolutely NO REASON WHY WE CAN'T HAVE DECENT AND FREQUENT BUS SERVICE. When I was a child growing up here in Augusta, and even as a teen, I could catch the Wrightsboro Road bus every 15-20 minutes; Central Avenue bus every 25 minutes; Walton Way bus every 15-20 minutes, etc., and the city was smaller. We even had the Fort Gordon Bus for passengers to lived up Deans Bridge Road or Milledgeville Road who needed to get around in the city. Now Augusta's borders have widen...the city is much larger than it was in the 1970s and public transportation (bus service) has shrunk. If there is money to close off this historic street and widen other streets for the hell of it, I sure there is money to provide better bus service for those who need to ride the bus to get to work, doctor's appointments, go shopping, etc. I never thought, during all my years growing up here, that Augusta would have the uncaring city government it has now. What a disappointment.

GuesS wHU
0
Points
GuesS wHU 12/13/10 - 11:15 am
0
0
With the cost of changing the

With the cost of changing the MCG name estimated at only 1.8million, I'm wondering where the additional money to close Laney Walker is going to come from. Also on the agenda, refinishing the outsides of the buildings on campus to make them look uniform. MCG will be broke soon if this type of spending continues. Nothing tangible has come out of spending all this money. If I were a 3rd year med student at MCG I would be furious that my diploma will read GHSU. Imagine your interviews, "I've never heard of GHSU....."

dani
12
Points
dani 12/13/10 - 11:34 am
0
0
I see nothing wrong with

I see nothing wrong with Laney-Walker as it is. Drivers complain because they have to slow for pedestrians, big deal. They don't yet own the roads. Leave the crossings alone. Waiting a few seconds for a person to cross is much better than any alternative.

redked13
0
Points
redked13 12/13/10 - 11:49 am
0
0
My wife works at MCG and it

My wife works at MCG and it is very convenient to pick her up on Laney Walker when we share a car. Did MCG bother to ask their staff and students before making the request?

iLove
626
Points
iLove 12/13/10 - 12:29 pm
0
0
The Golden Rule: He who has
Unpublished

The Golden Rule: He who has the gold makes the rules. . . .(gold=money)

MistaChuckD
0
Points
MistaChuckD 12/13/10 - 12:43 pm
0
0
The city already GAVE MCG the

The city already GAVE MCG the Gilbert Manor property. Apparently that was not good enough for MCG. Now they want to restructure the traffic flow just of our city just because.

Hey August-Richmond County Government!!! Stop the madness!!!

If their reasoning for closing Laney-Walker Blvd is because of the pedestrian accidents, why not build a couple of walking bridges over Laney-Walker Blvd instead of closing Laney-Walker Blvd? That's what most colleges do. Instead of changing the landscape, most colleges try to fit in.

tjismyhero
0
Points
tjismyhero 12/13/10 - 01:05 pm
0
0
I understand that MCG

I understand that MCG contributes greatly to the city economy and I would hate to lose the college to another city, however, it seems like the relationship in no longer working when the school begins to think they run the city. It seems to me that if Georgia State University can find a way to work on the busy streets of downtown Atlanta, MCG would be able to come up with a solution as well. Why not build an overhead crosswalk like those at GSU? That would surely be less costly for both MCG and Augusta than closing a main throughfare.

showboat
330
Points
showboat 12/13/10 - 01:15 pm
0
0
Why close Laney Walker
Unpublished

Why close Laney Walker everyone crossing the street from MCG should look both ways but most think, that they got the right-of way and will walk out in fron your car.MCG dosen't run this city, this new president think that he can get anything that he want, send him back to Cal.!!!

comet2u
28
Points
comet2u 12/13/10 - 01:23 pm
0
0
Mo money, less "real" change.

Mo money, less "real" change.

LPM
0
Points
LPM 12/13/10 - 02:10 pm
0
0
@showboat: The pedestrians do

@showboat: The pedestrians do have the right of way when using the crosswalks.

dani
12
Points
dani 12/13/10 - 02:18 pm
0
0
showboat..If a driver can't

showboat..If a driver can't read and understand the stop for pedestrian sign then their license should be taken.

bojangles
0
Points
bojangles 12/13/10 - 02:29 pm
0
0
Brad is exactly rights about

Brad is exactly rights about change orders... I see it everyday. The students that were enrolled in MCG while the MCG name was still used will have the option of what school name they want on their diploma. People might not know what GHSU is now, but will they know what MCG is in 20 years?

BETONIT
2
Points
BETONIT 12/13/10 - 03:17 pm
0
0
The problem with Augusta

The problem with Augusta Richmond County is that they have not asked the RESIDENTS what changes they want and implemented those changes.

Roger
0
Points
Roger 12/13/10 - 09:45 pm
0
0
I am in complete agreement

I am in complete agreement with fdn315. While I understand safety concerns and college expansion, have any traffic studies been done for rerouting? Traffic on Central, traffic to Paine College, University Hospital and rerouted traffic to MCG will be a problem (not to mention residents on Central Ave and potentially school bus reroutes). My daily commute takes me down Wrightsboro Rd/RA Dent and I can tell you, the traffic is very backed up coming to Laney Walker. The curve near Goss lane (just under the overpass of 15th street) is treacherous in the am with cars darting off the railroad tracks. Someone will get killed there if we increase the flow of traffic further. Just some real food for thought here. What about the safety for AR Johnson and Laney Walker HS students with rerouted traffic? Again, food for thought.

Roger
0
Points
Roger 12/13/10 - 10:09 pm
0
0
Let us also not forget the

Let us also not forget the football stadium during events. Another concern would be that of a fire or an emergency in the surrounding area. How would emergency personnel get to buildings/schools/homes in a timely fashion? RA Dent is two lanes only... What about when the new dental school is opened? Its a pretty big building, wonder what effect that will have on traffic once its opened (employees, patients, semi trucks making deliveries etc)? I hear another large building will be constructed in 5 years next to it. Why not make Goss Lane the green space and have walkways over Laney Walker? I don't think MCG will be very good neighbors if they potentially endanger travelers to other community based sites just as important. Again, food for thought.

showboat
330
Points
showboat 12/13/10 - 11:27 pm
0
0
@DANI people in augusta can
Unpublished

@DANI people in augusta can read the cross walk signs,but pedestrains shouldn't walk out in front of you auto while you are near the cross walk,people @MCG need to take a safety lesson on when to enter the cross walk!!

MistaChuckD
0
Points
MistaChuckD 12/14/10 - 12:30 am
0
0
@LPM & Dani Just becuse the

@LPM & Dani

Just becuse the law gives you the right of way does not mean you shouldn't have the common sense to look for vehicles to make sure they are stopping or have stopped.

Knowing that you had the right of way is a really great consolation while you are recovering from a broken leg or worse.

I travel thru there several times a week and am always amazed at the future doctors who step into the street without so much as a glance.

@BETONIT

Augusta Richmond County doesn't care what changes the residents want. If Augusta Richmond County cared what the residents want, they would not be furloughing cops and fire fighters.

MistaChuckD
0
Points
MistaChuckD 12/14/10 - 12:49 am
0
0
OK I have had my hand slapped

OK I have had my hand slapped again by the powers that be.

Repost

This is a stupid idea so you know what that means. Augusta will allow it to happen.

If he is worried about students crossing the street, he should build a couple of pedestrian bridges like most other colleges do.

If he is worried about the campus being cut off by streets, why is he only wanting to close off Laney-Walker Blvd? Why not 15th Street. They have property on the other side of 15th Street. I'll tell you why. It is because he thinks (knows) the people in charge of Augusta will fall for any old crap you sling their way.

And also because he knows the state would not even entertain the idea because they would know what a ridiculous idea it is.

He is springing this on the good ole Richmond County Commission and the good ole city administrator because he has done his homework and studied their past less than smart decisions.

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