A Bankhead Highway businessman addressed Carrollton City Council on Monday. He expressed concerns with a potential Bankhead Highway corridor improvement project that could result in the elimination of two of the five driving lanes, one in each direction, for a portion of that road.
Dr. Brent Harris, who operates the US Medical Clinic, fears the lane diet will result in a lower traffic count, hurting businesses in the area and could deter other business from starting there.
“What is the goal for this project. If it is simply for road diet and adding bicycle lanes, I think it is an absolutely horrible idea. The purpose of the Bankhead corridor is for a main arterial transport system coming into Carrollton, 20,000 cars a day. That is the primary goal of that corridor. It is a major business corridor,” stated Harris. “I have property on that corridor and my business is on my corridor. I have talked to multiple other business owners and I haven’t found another business owner that is adamant about this product.”
Carrollton’s Community Development Director Erica Studdard, responded to Harris’ concerns. She says that Bankhead Highway has been in decline over the years and the car-counts are dropping by leaving the corridor as it is:
“I think some of the issues are probably a philosophical difference. I think that we all recognized that Bankhead Highway needs help. The traffic counts are saying it. It is declining and going into the wrong direction. So that is why we are doing it. Because, if it is continuing to trend downward, its use as a commercial highway is declining. These businesses that are absolutely car dependent are not interested in Bankhead. We have got to transition it to something.”
The Bankhead Highway corridor plan was designed to revitalize the economic area and also beautify that area as the main entrance into town. The plan in place now hopes to bring new life to the corridor through tax incentives for relocating businesses in that area, and a new street plan in an attempt to beautify the entire strip. Part of the proposal does include making the area more pedestrian and bicycle friendly.