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Saturday, August 29, 2009 - 11:14am

Oxendine's Transportation Solution Raises Eyebrows

Updated: 5 years ago.
Oxendine's transportation solution raises concerns in Atlanta. (photo courtesy of the Office of Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner)

Republican Gubernatorial Candidate and Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine is making waves with his proposals to fix the state’s transportation problems.

In a campaign video published on-line last month, Oxendine traces several potential roads to be built all across the state, so many travelers won’t have to traverse Atlanta.

Among them are a western bypass through Rome, around Carrollton to Macon; an expanded fall line free-way that cuts through the middle of the state; an east-west connector through Atlanta; and the very controversial “parallel downtown connector” (Oxendine's speech in video quoted).

That translates to many Atlantans as an expressway that could “plow through most of east Atlanta!” That’s how one Atlanta columnist put it.

Like the other proposed roads, this one isn’t a new idea; rather they're revisited proposals from past DOT plans.

Back in the 1990s, when the road through East Atlanta was considered, it faced a legal battle, and ended with a compromise and a binding legal agreement to “do no more.”

That’s what the lawyer on the case, Al Caproni, told the Atlanta Journal Constitution recently when they asked him about it.

“Anything to try to change it at least in the area [the neighborhood coalition] was involved in would be violating the settlement agreement made back then,” said Caproni, “and I have to believe would meet with stiff opposition.”

Oxendine’s response to the AJC’s inquiry: “I am not proposing that that road be built. I’m saying we’ve got to find a way to deal with a Downtown Connector that is beyond capacity."

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