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Text version of the letter:


 Subject: Forest Hill Road - citizens remain right - by Erick Erickson
Posted on Fri, Mar. 25, 2011

Macon’s ‘amateur hippies’ remain right on road

When I first got on Macon City Council, having been a daily driver down Forest Hill Road for a number of years, I was ready to bulldoze it, build a 10- lane (in both directions) super highway and have plenty of room to fly around the massive Lincoln road tanks filled with little old blue-haired people out for leisurely drives to Kroger for senior citizens’ Wednesday.

Having taken on the mantle of “responsible” public servant, I actually had to listen to the Forest Hill Road residents -- people one Department of Transportation employee referenced as “amateur hippies.” Turns out those amateur hippies were right and remain right. In fact, while the section between Forsyth and Wimbish does need some expansion and turn lanes due to capacity issues, the flow between the Forest Hill -- the Wimbish fork and Northside Drive flows well, other than senior citizens and their leisurely 10 mile per hour pace.

Certainly, Forest Hill Road needs smoothing, resurfacing and a bit of widening -- heavy emphasis on the “bit.” But it does not need to become a major thoroughfare. While the Department of Transportation bitterly clings to its master plan (and maybe its guns and religion too), the rest of us have moved on. Frankly, it seems the urban planners in Bibb County always get it wrong.

The city has migrated to its northern and southern extremities. While we have poured resources into the Hartley Bridge Road exit and now the Sardis Church Road area, Bass Road is going gang busters.

If the Department of Transportation and weekend road planning warriors had not noticed, Bass Road is taking on the appearance of the Chinese National Highway 110, which had a traffic jam back on Aug. 14, 2010, that lasted into the first week of September. No, I am not kidding.

As more Maconites flee to the north to escape what may or may not become Re-Jacked City, the traffic on Bass Road escalates. With Atlanta moving south and businesses moving in, it is a typical occurrence to see a traffic back up from the Farm Bureau Building to the entrance for the Providence neighborhood.

Without a northbound connection to get onto I-475 South, Bass Road is also now a major corridor for people trying to get over to I-475 or just to the Zebulon Road area. The only saving grace has been the collapse of the economy. That collapse has forestalled major new developments at the Bass Road interchange with I-75.

Unfortunately for road planners, it seems development is picking back up. Land is being cleared and graded, a Chick-Fil-A is going up soon. Now if someone would only put in a Taco Mac up there by the Homewood Suites.

It is time to consider ditching the plans for Forest Hill Road’s grand expansion and focusing on Bass Road instead. It does not need to be autobahned, but it certainly needs additional lanes to handle traffic flow. At the south end, where Bass becomes Foster and runs into Tucker, it may very well need a ramp onto and off of I-475. 

I am no expert. I am not an “amateur hippie.” I did not even stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night. But I have seen the growth in traffic and now experience it on a daily basis. While our urban planners are focused downtown and our traffic engineers are focused on Forest Hill Road, the public and major retailers are moving to the north end of the city.

The bureaucrats should not have to play catch up.

Erick Erickson is a CNN contributor and radio talk show host on WSB in Atlanta.



(EA) - Environmental Assessment - Errorsronmental

Stormwater Runoff
The EA incorrectly lists the FHR branch tributary of Savage Creek as intermittent, but it is a perennial stream
This stream is easily observed where it flows under a bridge/driveway at 744 Forest Hill Road - residence address. 
Several hundred feet of this stream will be heavily impacted. 
Mitigation has not been properly calculated for this constant-flowing stream.


Macon, Ga



 - The Forest Hill Rd Neighborhood Mediation Team:
- Carol Lystlund <>
730 Forest Hill Rd.
Macon 31210

 - Lindsay Holliday <>
744 Forest Hill Rd.
Macon 31210

- Susan Hanberry Martin <>
4831 Guerry Drive
Macon 31210

 - Dan Fischer <>
489 Ashville Drive
Macon 31210

- Alice Boyd <>
540 Forest Hill Rd
Macon 31210


Macon Telegraph Viewpoints for Thursday, May 5, 2011

Letter to Editors:

Several citizens and I met with Mayor Robert Reichert recently to discuss problems with the Forest Hill Road project design. Reichert said he’s afraid to ask for a design change from GDOT, because “someone” told him the project might lose funding if it is delayed for design modifications. Reichert summed up his feelings with this: “we need to spend the money because we have it.”

This is nuts.

If I called your health insurance company and got approval to amputate your leg, would you let me do it? The money would be there, and you would lose the money if you didn’t go through with the operation. Of course you would never make decisions like that just because the money is there. Road projects are the same thing. Supersizing FHR will destroy a valuable and stable neighborhood for what? The need is not there and the argument that we need to spend taxpayer money is immoral.

Mayor Robert Reichert needs to search his (political) soul for a better response. Please. Fix the intersections and make FHR safer for walking and biking. And save taxpayers millions of dollars while you are at it.

-- Lindsay D. Holliday

The 1994  "Road Improvement Program"  SPLOST - grossly mis-mannaged - threatens to destroy the Forest Hill Neighborhood.

- CAUTION Macon -

Forest Hill Road