The results of a $70,000 study to improve traffic flow on Ga. Highway 54 West will be discussed by the Peachtree City Council Monday night at a workshop meeting.
The highly-anticipated report from the city’s consulting traffic engineering firm was not available at press time Friday afternoon. It is, however, expected to be available on the city’s website in the “packet” of information published in advance of council meetings.
Authorized in January, the study by Pond and Company was initially thought to take three months, but it has actually taken twice as long.
Highway 54 West is the main choke point of traffic in Peachtree City, particularly during commuting times, as it provides the main artery in and out of Coweta County — as well as the only way in and out for residents in Wilksmoor Village who need access to MacDuff Parkway.
The study is expected to provide data to support Hwy. 54 improvements so they can be “put on the books” for future funding by the Georgia Department of Transportation and the Atlanta Regional Commission, noted City Engineer David Borkowski.
“We think it’s money well-spent,” Borkowski told the city council at a January meeting. “… We will have something in our hands to go to DOT and ARC for future grant funding for projects.”
Prior to council’s decision to fund the study, DOT officials had informed the city that it would need to fund the traffic study. DOT did help with input on the scope of the project so it can provide potential solutions for improving traffic flow in the future.
DOT would not commit funds to the study because traffic along Hwy. 54 West isn’t bad enough to show up on the agency’s radar, officials have said.
The vote to approve the $70,000 funding was 3-2 with councilmen Mike King and Eric Imker opposed. Imker opposed the cost, arguing the city should wait to see how DOT’s modifications to traffic light timing in the area would work.
King questioned whether the study would solve any of the traffic problems since Hwy. 54 is the main east-west route for commuters.
Much of the problem on Hwy. 54 West derives from the high-impact commercial activities in the area, creating cross-street traffic even during peak commuting times in the afternoon.
In the meantime, John Wieland Homes has announced it is ready to begin building 475 single family homes on a 379-acre site north of the current terminus of MacDuff Parkway. Wieland is committing to funding its portion of the extension of MacDuff — which includes a costly bridge over the railroad tracks — as soon as partner Brent Scarborough company is ready to develop its 650 “active adult” homes on adjacent property. The two sites were annexed in 2007 by the city council.
The new traffic study will take into account the impending extension of MacDuff, which is expected to change commuting patterns for residents of Wilksmoor Village. They will be able to use the road connection at Ga. Highway 74 north to avoid the traffic on Hwy. 54 West entirely.