PTC says ‘yes’ to new traffic light on Hwy. 54W

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If it meets state approval, a new “continuous flow” traffic light intersection will serve a new shopping center on Ga. Highway 54 West and Line Creek Drive.

On a 4-1 vote, the Peachtree City Council decided to apply for approval from the Georgia Department of Transportation.

The intersection would allow the problematic westbound traffic to flow through continuously without stopping. To accomplish this feat, traffic on the northern part of the intersection will be restricted to a right-in, right-out … and traffic turning left out of The Overlook shopping center to go west will queue into a merge line that will be constructed in the median.

Trinity Development spokesperson Jim Lowe said the company will pay for the intersection work including the traffic light at a cost of about $350,000. The process is expected to take about six months, Lowe told council.

The new intersection was recommended by the city’s traffic consulting engineer Pond and Company based on a review of the entire 54W corridor. The city council spent $70,000 on this specific traffic study, and it was unveiled for the first time Monday night at a workshop meeting.

Councilman Eric Imker cast the lone vote against the change, insisting that the new light would harm traffic on the highway, since eastbound traffic will still have to stop at the intersection to allow traffic out of the shopping center.

“Nobody can convince me it won’t slow traffic down one way or the other,” Imker said. “… I just don’t agree with it.”

The Georgia Department of Transportation must approve the new signal and intersection changes since they would take place on the state-operated highway system.

The concept of a traffic light at Line Creek Drive has been somewhat controversial due to the existing glut of traffic on the highway during commuting times. In fact, the DOT denied a traffic light request a number of years ago because the intersection was deemed too close to existing traffic lights at Planterra Way and MacDuff Parkway.

The same traffic study that looked at the Hwy. 54 West corridor has also recommended there not be a link from The Overlook to Planterra Way as Trinity Development had recently pursued. Instead, the study recommended building an access road westward from The Overlook to reach the MacDuff Crossing shopping center for interparcel access.

Such a road would have to go over land currently owned by the Southern Conservation Trust as part of the Line Creek Nature Area.