North Hill Street corridor projects met with opposition

SHEILA MATHEWS :::

A town hall meeting regarding North Hill Street corridor changes held in the Fairmont Park gym began with Griffin City Manager Kenny Smith acknowledging that while change can be difficult, it is necessary to bring improvement to the community.

Many of those In attendance were not placated by that sentiment, however, as they acknowledged they are willing to accept change, but not the proposed North Hill Street/Northside Drive/Tuskegee Avenue round-about that will result in the closure of the Fast Gas store located at that intersection.

In addition, a four-way stop that is planned for the North Hill Street/Blanton Road/Sixth Street intersection will result in the closure of a second store — the Fast Break.

City and county officials say the projects will reduce crime and improve the flow of traffic while making the two intersections safer for motorists, but area residents say it will take away what is for some the only stores to which they have regular access.

Griffin Director of Public Works Dr. Brant Keller said he does not have immediate access to a grocery store, either, as the closest one to his home is 15 miles away.

That announcement was met with several outspoken comments from the standing room only crowd, with one woman exclaiming, “Yes, but you have a car!”

Lifelong resident Octavia Rawls angrily expressed, “We can’t walk over to Kroger. We can’t walk over to Wal-Mart. Where are we supposed to go to get what we need?”

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