Signatures grow on Stop the HOT Lane petition | News
LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. - Anger continues to grow over the new Peach Pass HOT lanes on Interstate 85 in Gwinnett and DeKalb Counties.
COMPLETE COVERAGE: I-85 Express Lanes
Howard Rodgers is hoping to turn that anger into petition signatures to stop the new toll road.
Only a few days after starting an online petition at StoptheHotLane.com, Rodgers had 350 signatures as of Saturday morning.
He set up a table outside the Gwinnett County government building in Lawrenceville for a few hours Saturday to try and get more.
A steady trickle of angry commuters showed up in the parking lot, ready to sign.
One of them was Sharon Livsey, who said the new toll road has added an extra half hour each way to her weekday commute.
She also said her already strained budget can't take the added cost of paying to ride in what was once a free HOV lane.
"I can't afford to pay that on a daily basis, round trip commute; I thought that was ridiculous," she said.
After two weeks, the new HOT lanes have been relatively empty, while the other free lanes have slowed to a crawl during rush hour.
State officials say it will take time, as it has in other cities, for drivers to get used to the new system.
Rodgers hopes to gather as many as 5,000 signatures before Christmas and deliver his petitions to local, state and federal officials.
He claims what was supposed to be a traffic easing project has backfired.
"Georgia is running a 'go green' initiative and this is completely against go green," Rodgers said.
"We're spending more gas and more time and more money on the roads than ever before in Gwinnett County," he added.
Rogers admits it's probably too late to get rid of the I-85 toll lanes, but he wants them stopped until the bugs can be worked out.
He also hopes to gather signatures from indignant people all over the state to head off any similar toll roads in other parts of Georgia.