Some Milton residents upset about loss of trees, landscaping when GDOT widens Hwy 9

Some neighbors in Milton say adding multi-use trails along Georgia Highway 9 would destroy landscaping and harm their neighborhoods.

The state is widening the highway from two lanes to four lanes from Alpharetta into Forsyth County.

Plans call for an eight-to-ten-foot-wide multi-use path on each side of the road.

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But Ike Yancy, who lives in The Regency at Windward Square townhomes, says the multi-use paths would wipe out the trees at his subdivision’s entrance.

“What we have no absolutely no understanding about is taking out our mature landscaping and mature trees that we have that’s part of our neighborhood,” he said. “We believe it’s gonna affect our property values and generally it’s gonna cause all kinds of damage.”

He says a standard four-to-five-foot-wide sidewalk would save most of the trees.

Angela McIntyre, who also lives in the neighborhood, says there’s no need for multi-use trails on this stretch of Highway 9.

“It’s not really making sense,” she said. “Based upon what I’ve seen in the 20-plus years that I’ve been here, I have not seen much use of sidewalks in this area. I don’t want to see this area turn to all concrete.”

Sandy Macaulay says she appreciates multi-use trails, but not along all of Highway 9.

“All it does is encroach upon our prettiness, and it takes years for trees to get established and groomed and pretty like this, and then it’s gonna get ripped up,” she said.

Both the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) and the city of Milton sent written responses to Channel 2 Action News addressing the neighbors’ concerns.

“City staff are advocating for measures that advance our priorities of ensuring trees and greenery along this pivotal road as well as maximizing safety for drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians,” said Community Development Director Bob Buscemi.


GDOT spokesperson Natalie Dale said the agency made a commitment to communities along Highway 9 to improve safety.

“Among those commitments is a multi-use trail on both sides of the roadway. While a path of this kind is built to a standard width of 10 feet, we have worked to identify areas where adjustments can be made by reducing the trail to eight feet in width,” she said.

Dale said the project team plans to meet with Yancy this week to review the construction area.

“I don’t think the general public is gonna be happy about cutting down hundreds of trees, mature trees,” Yancy said. “I mean, that makes no sense environmentally whatsoever.”

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