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WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 1, 2006
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EDITORIAL

Planning Commission made a good decision on Beltline

The Decatur Planning Commission's decision Monday to reconsider and then reverse itself on the curb cut for a new car dealership is encouraging.

The reconsideration is a sign that the city is realizing that extenuating circumstances sometimes call for more than doing things by the book, and that City Hall can be business friendly.

The last thing Beltline Road Southwest needs is another curb cut to slow traffic and cause backups. That was why the commission last week denied the request of the owner of Hyundai of Decatur to directly access the Beltline at its new dealership.

But using nearby Modaus Road and Centron Drive to get to the dealership could create as many, or perhaps more, traffic snarls than what owner Gary Linam proposed. Allowing a deceleration lane into the dealership may actually improve traffic flow.

The commission didn't, however, agree to an exit cut because vehicles pulling into traffic could slow the flow. That, too, was a sound decision. Vehicles leaving the dealership will use Modaus Road and Centron Drive.

Hopefully, the City Council and state Department of Transportation also will give approval.

Having changed its mind doesn't mean the commission should now abandon its policy on curb cuts. Unusual circumstances simply made the decision right. The commission considered the odd shape of the property and decided that using Modaus Road isn't the best solution.

Being business friendly doesn't mean the city must abandon an orderly growth policy. It means that we must not be afraid of adjustments that make sense.

This one does.

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