Once again the intersection of Ga. highways 74 and 54 has attracted attention and is in the news.
GDOT has proposed what they called a Continuous Flow Intersection to be built in 2020. Why this sudden willingness to work on the intersection?
The answer is simple: law requires every 10 years a new Transportation Plan be submitted and approved. The last was in 2010. I was part of that effort in 2008 and 2009.
At that time they proposed a split grade intersection with ramps — a disastrous plan that would have destroyed all three shopping centers and not solved the congestion in Peachtree City.
We on council voted no and the offers went away until now.
The key for GDOT is the federal government pays 80 percent of the costs. That is why GDOT proposed this plan and wants Peachtree City to pay $1 million. That is 20 percent of the $5 million total cost.
I call this new proposal the Non-Continuous Continuous Flow Intersection. That is because you have to stop. There’s nothing continuous about it. It adds lanes and two traffic lights. It makes ingress and egress to the shopping centers even harder and more complicated to navigate.
Go to donhaddix.com. There you will find an enlarged drawing of the plan that makes all the details much clearer and two animations that demonstrate how this type of intersection works. Study those and you’ll see reaching your destination gets more difficult, not easier. Figure out exactly how you will get in and out of the shopping areas compared to now.
Notice nothing changes outside the intersection. So all the traffic issues on hwys. 54 and 74 remain the same.
Add to that, whenever the lights are retimed, as is currently GDOT’s answer, it gets harder to get on and off of the side streets. That is due to the increase in delay times on the side streets.
GDOT has long agreed with me there are no fixes within Peachtree City.
GDOT has also said MacDuff will probably make traffic worse, not better, as council claims.
GDOT liked my proposal to add ramps to Fischer from I-85 and agreed it would give significant relief by providing northbound traffic from Coweta with an alternative route that does not include Peachtree City.
Vanessa Fleisch, Kim Learnard and Eric Imker refused to back it.
Then Fleisch, Learnard, Mike King and Terry Ernst wasted around $300,000 on studies and plans that were useless. They refused to heed warnings about what we had learned in 2008 and 2009.
This council has acted as if they were the first to take these issues seriously and that they are smarter than anyone else. They claimed GDOT would pay for it all.
I said GDOT would not approve or pay for any of it, which has proven to be the case.
Just look at what that council did at Line Creek and on MacDuff to understand they have no idea what they’re doing.
Imker has also done damage. But that is a topic for another day.
With the holidays upon us Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah. Wishing you and yours all the best.
Peachtree City, Ga.
[Haddix is a former councilman and mayor of Peachtree City.]