In the first 7 weeks of 2021, there were 7 fatal car crashes in Athens-Clarke County. 3 of the 7 fatal crashes in 2021 were on Tallassee Road. In responose to these fatal crashes and other dangerous crashes & altercations along the Tallassee Road corridor in early 2021, Commissioner Tim Denson called for Athens-Clarke County Government to implement a Traffic Safety Audit for Tallassee Road. After a year of data gathering, analysis, and work the results of the Traffic Safety Audit have been released.
The Tallassee Road Traffic Safety Audit identified 44 projects to be addressed. These 44 projects range from simple (cutting back vegetation) to complex, expensive (additional roundabouts at Lavender Road & John Collier Road) to cheap (moving stop signs to better align them with intersections). 16 of the identified projects have already been completed(!), while 7 are in progress. The remaining 21 will require funding to be identified or revenue collected before they can be addressed.
One project would be creating a “School Safety Area” along Burney-Harris Lyons Middle School. This School Safety Area recommendation would include speed reduction, speed enforcement, controlled pedestrian crossings at select locations, working with the school to reduce traffic buildup in the roadway, and potentially roundabouts at Lavender & John Collier roads.
Another project recommended is creating Athens’ first “Safety Corridor” along Tallassee Road. A Safety Corridor would include an increased Police Department “presence along safety corridor. Double fines inside the Corridor. Legislation that gives the police department power to implement a zero tolerance policy and double fines in the safety corridors. Then sign the roadway accordingly.”
Hopefully the recommendations of the Traffic Safety Audit team will be prioritized and implemented so that fatal crashes on this corridor will become a thing of the past.