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Oxendine Says Parallel Connector Needed

6 September 2009 1,392 views No Comment

ATLANTA – A plan to ease traffic in metro Atlanta is drawing fire. John Oxendine is proposing a second parallel connector.

Oxendine is the state fire insurance commissioner and he’s running for governor.

Oxendine said a parallel connector would make for an easier commute for people who live along 400 and Interstate 85.

But some in-town communities are concerned about a highway being built through their neighborhoods.

Bumper to bumper on the downtown connector — it’s a daily headache. Anyone in Atlanta can tell you about.

“The connector is maxing out. We’ve got to address it now because its going to be and more pressure on the connector,” said gubernatorial candidate John Oxendine.

But it’s how Oxendine wants to solve that problem that is causing controversy.

“We need to seriously study and consider a parallel connector,” said Oxendine.

A conceptual drawing of a parallel connector shows it running thru east Atlanta.

But it’s enough that groups like the Inman Park Neighborhood Association are already mobilizing to protect their communities.

“It’s a very cohesive place to live now and its just really wonderful but with the freeway going through, you don’t see neighborhoods around spaghetti junction do you?” said Judy Clements, a spokesperson for the association.

But Oxendine said that’s not what he envisions.

“I’m not talking about paving over any neighborhoods,” Oxendine said.

Freedom Parkway and Freedom Park are the result of a previous effort to build a freeway thru this part of Atlanta. Neighbors fought that for years to keep it from happening.

“Those of us who fought that road are still here and still ready to fight again,” said Clements.

Oxendine says he’s picturing a 21st Century freeway — maybe a sunken free — even a tunnel.

Oxendine said this is just an idea. There’s no plan for specifically where the highway would go.

He said if elected he would immediately order engineering and feasibility studies.

Edited by Steve Dixon

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