The Ku Klux Klan won't be cleaning highways in Georgia after all. On Tuesday, state transportation officials denied the white supremacy group's application to adopt a portion of Route 515 in the northern part of the state.
In rejecting the application of the International Keystone Knights, officials said they were concerned about safety issues the group's presence could cause driver distraction and social unrest.
"The impact of erecting a sign naming an organization which has a long-rooted history of civil disturbance would cause a significant public concern," wrote Keith Golden, Georgia's DOT director.
A day earlier, KKK reps told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution they weren't trying to stir anger, only clean the roads. "We're not going to be out there in robes," said Harley Hanson, the group's "exalted cyclops."
While Tuesday's decision will likely be tested in court by the KKK, the swiftness otherwise ends what loomed as a protracted and complicated dispute.
Wary of a similar court case in Missouri, Georgia officials doubted they could withstand a legal challenge based in the group's First Amendment rights. So rather than reject the application outright, the pondered disbanding the Adopt A Highway all together rather than allow the group to clean alongside the highway.